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Twice the Paradise at Half the Price

Aug 17, 2007
I'll let you in on a well kept holiday secret. Globally, savvy travelers are increasingly opting for private holiday villas instead of more traditional hotels, motels or resorts. This trend is most noticeable across the tropical paradise islands of Asia, such as, Bali, Phuket, and Koh Samui.

Gone are the days when holiday villa rental was the domain of the jet-setters, the rich and the powerful. Today, you can rent your own piece of paradise from as little as US$ 100 per night!

So, why do savvy travelers prefer to rent private holiday villas, instead of going for hotels and resorts? We did a survey of the converts, and here their reasons for preferring rental villas:


One of our responders put it: "Why would you want to queue up with 100 other people to have your breakfast in a hotel, when you can have your own villa staff queue up to serve you!"

Whilst increasingly more popular, renting your own villa does provide a level of exclusivity un-matchable by most hotels and resorts.

A fully staffed and serviced villa in Bali or Phuket for example, will typically provide you with not only your own dedicated house-keeping staff, but in many instances your own kitchen staff and even your own Chef!


By definition, in order to manage the large number of guests, hotels/resorts need to have rules, regulations, meal times, opening/closing times and the like.

Where as in your own tropical rental villa, it is totally up to you when you wake up, at what time you have breakfast, or that 'last drink' at night without worrying about extraneous closing/opening times, rules and regulations.

You will also find that many professionally run villas will be flexible in additional services that they offer. For example, one of my favourites, Mia Villa in Bali, offers in-villa massage services on their chill-out terrace, overlooking the rice fields, or will arrange for in-villa yoga sessions, painting classes, and even jewelry making workshops.

Yes, these services cost extra, but certainly a fraction of what such professionals cost back home.


Again, privacy is not for the exclusive benefit of the rich and the famous. Taking a break from our typically busy lives, very likely having been surrounded by other people most of the time, it is quite normal to seek a bit of privacy, peace and quiet during a tropical holiday.

Most private rental villas in Asia provide this option for privacy. And for those of us who seek the action, we still have the option to walk out of our private haven, and enjoy the restaurants, clubs, and shopping often just a few minutes away.

Even if you don't want isolation, there is nothing worse than not having the option for privacy during a well earned tropical holiday.


One of our respondents pointed out, today, even the most exclusive hotels offer typical room sizes of 40 to 50 square meters. (Unless you are splashing out on that presidential suite!)

On the other hand, most decent villas in Bali or Koh Samui will offer you at least 200 to 300 square meters of your own space, with some larger villas being in the 1,000 to 2,000 square meters in size.

Extra space means that you can be together with your loved one(s) on holiday, but at the same time you do not have to be 'on top of each other'. I find that especially when traveling with family or friends, this extra space goes a long way in making a good holiday a great one! I can peacefully read my book, whilst my partner catches up with the latest sports news on satellite, and the children use up their energy in our own private pool. All together, within a shared visual space, but each with our own space!


Many villas in Asia will offer kitchen and Chef service at no extra cost, as part of your rental rate.

What this means is that you do not have to pay hotel or restaurant rates for your meals.

You choose what you would like to eat. If you wish, your villa staff does the shopping for you, the preparation, and your own Chef prepares your feast for when you like. All you pay for are the cost of the ingredients at the local market prices.

Given that, food ingredients, in places like Bali and Thailand are considerably cheaper than 'back home', your feast is very likely to be even cheaper than eating at home.

With the added benefit of not having to spend time shopping, or labouring for hours in the kitchen.


In addition to your own Chef, you can expect holiday villas in Asia to offer a full Villa Team. Typically, this will comprise of your own housekeeping team, gardener(s), pool attendants, security personnel, and of course your Villa Manager.

In some Bali Villas, our panel of respondents have come across guest to staff ratios which are as high as 1 to 1. Having said this, a dedicated guest to staff ratio of 1 to 0.7 or 0.8 is more than sufficient for most of us.

What this means is that your villa is continually kept in a pristine condition, you get gorgeous gardens kept in perfect condition, a swimming pool which is crystal clear, and on top some amazing service to meet your every request and whim during your stay.

Imagine an existence where you don't have to make your own coffee, let alone cook, where all your tour bookings are arranged for you by your Villa Manager, pool towels get magically removed, new towels appear out of no where, and an existence where your postcards are hand delivered to the nearest post office!


This is where private rental villas in Asia excel above all else. If there are more than two of you, even good quality Koh Samui or Bali villas will likely cost you less than hotel/resort rooms for the same number of people. Today you can rent your own private villa in Bali, with 2-3 bedrooms and your own private pool, for as little as US$ 150-200 per night.

A standard size hotel room on the other hand, may set you back US$ 100 per room night.

So, as soon as there are more than 2 of you, a tropical rental villa is more than likely to be cheaper than a hotel room.

All the additional benefits of exclusivity, flexibility and privacy and additional services are bonus freebies!

Yes, may be, once you have enjoyed the private rental villa holiday experience in a villa in Bali or Phuket, your expectations change for life.

And yes, may be, being pampered and spoilt to this extent may not feel right to begin with. However, if you consider the fact that, financially you have not pushed the boat out, and quite likely, saved some money in the process, who is to blame you for making the right choice!

Sounds too good to be true? Well, just have a go, try something like 'bali holiday villa' on Yahoo, Google or your favourite search engine, and see what pops up. If nothing else, enjoy the photos, and see how others holiday, and get a bargain in the mean time.

Many happy returns...
About the Author
Joanna M Lawson is an independent travel writer based in SE Asia and splits her time between London and Bali. Ms Lawson is not directly affiliated with Bali Villas. To reuse this article you are required to link to the site above.
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