FOR many years Bali was known as a cheap destination,
with all kinds of accommodation options for backpackers and surfers.
Then came the five-star re¬sorts, the villas and celebrities. Bali
style is now as modem as anything you would see in Paris or Milan. While
the cheap option is still available with family-run losmens and small
hotels, you can now stay in a villa with a private pool, kitchen, cook
and even a butler.
For families, couples and groups of friends, villas can offer particular
benefits. Despite the reluctance of many Australians to holiday in Bali
following the bombings in 2002 and last year, hotel and villa building
Up to 15 super-luxury hotels are being built, including the new Bulgari
Resort Bali, by the Italian watch and jewellery¬maker, overlooking
the Indian Ocean on the southern tip of Jimbaran Peninsula. Chief executive
Francesco Trapani said the company was willing to invest in Bali even
though the island hasn't recov¬ered from its economic slump after
The target market for the luxurious hotels is still Japa¬nese, but
Australians are next on the list and celebrities have been assured exclusiveness.
Meanwhile, the growing Indonesian middle class, Aus¬tralians and
others are invest¬ing in the growing villa market.
Marcus Goldstein, owner of Villa Coco villas in Seminyak said more foreigners
were mov¬ing to Bali to live.
He said an average three¬bedroom villa with furniture sells for
about $517,756 and gives a return of 7 to 8 per cent. But locals and
others warn those wanting to buy into this market to do their homework,
making sure the villas have been approved as rental prop¬erties,
and all the i's have been dotted and i's crossed.
In some cases foreigners need a Balinese co-owner, especially for freehold
title, and this may make the villa difficult to sell. A new development,
Angsana Resort & Spa is on 4ha on the southern tip of the Bukit
Peninsular, a location that is being called Millionaires' Row. The resort
has been designed by British architectural firm GFab and managed by
the Banyan Tree Group.
Karma Resorts, which has Australian involvement, has 38 villas with
pools at Jimbaran Bay on a "rent-back" program. The Villas
Bali Hotel and Spa in Seminyak began as the vision of artist Jim Elliot,
and then friends asked him to build villas for them and they later decided
to rent them out.
Attached is Prana, a spa with decor inspired by the Moguls of Rajasthan.
Or nearby Chill has reflexology treatments and products at affordable
prices. Another gorgeous place to stay is Kayumanis private villa and
spa at Nusa Dua designed in "contemporary simplicity". Prices
start at $425 a night for a one-bedroom villa and pool.
Meanwhile, Balinese-built resorts such as the Pita Maha and the Royal
Pita Maha in Ubud use traditional architec¬ture and furnishings.
They are owned and run by the royal family of Ubud. The Royal Pita Maha
was designed by Ijokorda Gde Raka Sukawa¬ti, the third son of the
Also in Ubud, Kamandalu is nestled amid rice terraces and built along
ridges that curve above the Petanu River.
Many people make a holiday combination of the beach and mountains, giving
themselves a few days in the calmer, more cultured atmosphere of Ubud.
And there's still the luxury and centrality of the older hotels such
as The Oberoi, opposite the beach in Seminyak, a stone's throw from
the bars and night¬life that attract many to Bali.