By Julia Gralberg @luxnomade18 Jan 2017Hotels and resorts can be fantastic however, staying in a villa is an increasingly popular accommodation option and perhaps worth considering for you next Bali visit? If you are like me, curious to seek out accommodation options beyond the traditional hotels and resorts, you might find this review from my recent stay at a luxury villa in Bali, useful. Having previously stayed in villas in Europe this was my first experience from a villa stay in Bali and I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are numerous villas on the Balinese market, many of them great, but it might be worth establishing what kind of villa you are looking for before you go ahead and book. Most reputable villa providers, as well as travel agents selling the products, will assist with finding the right option for you based on your location preference (would you like to be close to the beach, shopping and restaurants? Do you prefer to stay in a remote area for total privacy?) and the level of service you prefer (are you looking for a 24/7 service comparable to a hotel/resort, or are you are happy to cook your own food similar to staying at a service apartment?). Below is a review from my recent stay at the 1-bedroom ‘Villa Ketut’ at Abaca Villas in Seminyak, Bali which ended up being a secluded slice of paradise with great service in a top location. Villa Ketut Villa Ketut’s 13m x 3m swimming pool Launched in June 2015, this French-owned property offers four (almost) brand new villas for couples, young or multi-generational families or larger groups of friends. All villas are unique and divided into (2) 5-bedroom villas, (1) 3- bedroom villa and (1)1-bedroom villa. If required, the four villas (Iluh, Kadek, Nyoman and Ketut) can be rented together (the doors cleverly open up between all properties) providing guests with a fourteen-bedroom renting option (!) suitable for wedding parties or special events. Location View from the villa Located off the popular and busy Jalan Petitenget road in Seminyak the villa is hidden away in a secluded and unique location surrounded by rice fields and complete serenity. Famous for being a mecca for foodies, fine dining gastronomic restaurants such as Métis and Sardine are only a few steps away as well as night clubs such as La Favela, Hu’u Bar, Petitenget Rest & Bar, Potato Head, Mirror Lounge & Club, Mint and La Plancha which are all within walking distance. For fashionistas the best shopping in Seminyak is just around the corner (literally) with walking distance to the famous streets of Petitenget and Oberoi. The Villa Rumour has it that the French owner uses this 1-bedroom villa, situated at the far end of the property complex, as his private residence when in Bali. Apart from being very modern the villa is incredibly well laid out, offering every convenience you could think of, creating a home-away-from-home experience in your own secluded slice of paradise. The large living room and the dining area were both partly situated outdoors creating an airy and tropical atmosphere overlooking the 13m x 3m swimming pool. Dining area Sitting room which is combined with dining area Bedroom with air conditioning Outdoor shower Spacious bathroom The living area had a large comfortable sofa and a rustic wooden coffee table. The kitchen was fully equipped and set up for any kind of cooking and coffee, tea, milk and soft drinks were provided daily as well as ice. The bedroom was the only room which wasn’t partly situated outdoors and also the only room with air conditioning. The four poster bed with a voile that went down during nighttime was really comfortable and cosy. The outdoor bathroom provided two sinks and amenities such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, cotton buds, shower-cap, soap and shampoo. The outdoor shower was spacious and shielded by a custom-made wooden wall which gave it an exclusive and tropical feel. Service Daily breakfast is included in your stay Breakfast is included in your stay and served every morning by a member of staff who cooks eggs to your liking from your own villa kitchen as well as serving up a mouthwatering fresh fruit salad. All washing up and cleaning is carried out by staff members so guests can kick back and relax by perhaps listening to their favourite music through the surround system whilst checking emails using the villa’s free Wi-Fi. There is a phone with a direct line to the reception and the 14 members of staff are incredibly helpful and can assist with anything from organising day-trips, running grocery shop orders and assisting with ordering take-away food. Housekeeping provides morning and evening service including bringing in sun lounge cushions, spraying mosquito repellent, making the bed and providing new towels. There is also a reliable laundry service available for an extra charge. The villa complex is very secure with guards stationed at the reception 24/7. Would I stay at Villa Ketut again? One of the sun lounges Absolutely! Not only is this a five-star villa, it offers a five-star location coupled with a five-star service. The location is hard to beat and I can’t praise the villa decor and layout including the swimming pool enough. The personable service is fantastic. The staff brought us a cake for New Years Eve and invited us to watch the fireworks they had prepared earlier which is just one example of their friendliness and hospitality. Villa Ketut is perfect for couples or close friends whilst the larger villas are great for extended families. The only downside to this villa was the Wi-Fi which was at times a bit patchy. Seasons Peak season – 1 July – 15 September, 15 December – 9 January Low season 15 September – 15 December , 9 January – 30 June (expect for Chinese NYE and Easter) We were told that the rice fields, surrounding the villas, could be slightly noisy during harvesting time in February, May and August which is possibly something to keep in mind when booking. Rates starts from $231/ per night. For bookings please visit www.villa-bali.com Have you seen an increase among travellers booking villas over traditional hotels? 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