Friday, January 30, 2009

Villa Asmara in Canggu Bali

4 bedroom villa accommodates up to 8 people and allows its guests to relax and unwind in a tropical Balinese hideaway.

A newly completed Bali luxury villa perfectly positioned in the village of Cemagi. Pass through a small scenic road just past the Balinese village of Mengening where you will discover the oceans edge with picturesque views of a Balinese water temple. Villa Asmara is a 45 minute drive from Bali’s International airport and 30 minutes from the vast array of restaurants, shopping and nightlife of Seminyak. The famous Greg Norman designed Bali golf course – which recently won ‘best golf course in Asia’ is only 10 minutes away.

Enter Villa Asmara through traditional antique doors which lead you across the palimanan stepping stones and over a lily pond with water features. The living and dining area of this Bali villa are open-air located on the ground floor overlooking gardens and the swimming pool with a large stone Buddha water feature. The garden lawns are perfectly manicured with tropical palms and plantation. The salt water swimming pool (14m x 5m) is equipped with pool loungers and umbrella.

Upstairs from the living and dining area is the first master bedroom, featuring glass sliding doors with en-suite bathroom offering views over the rice paddies and the ocean. The second floor also boasts a lounge and pool table area, perfect for entertaining and viewing the spectacular sunsets. The media room on the third floor is equipped with a plasma television, satellite channels ,DVD player and Bose speakers. Wireless internet access is also available throughout this Bali villa.

The villa has two separate buildings on either side of the swimming pool. One features two large air-conditioned bedrooms each with open-air garden bathrooms and balconies. The building opposite features the second master bedroom with a large open-air garden bathroom equipped with a deluxe bath tub.

Villa Asmara features a large modern kitchen and service area. This Bali villa chef is fully trained and can prepare a wide range of meals snacks as well as offering an extensive selection of wines, gourmet coffees, and cocktails. The villa has trained full time staff including housekeepers, butler, gardener and evening security. There is also an English speaking site manager who will ensure your stay is both memorable and enjoyable.

o Pool table
o Bose Sound System
o High Speed Wireless Internet
o Full sized Tennis Court (Tennis rackets available)
o Safety Deposit Boxes
o Fully equipped kitchen and laundry
o Complimentary Laundry Services (dry cleaning at a fee)
o Babysitter on request (at a cost)
o Car with driver (excluding fuel) included from 9am-5pm daily

simple balinese, proud to be a balinese

By Balivillas

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/vacation-rentals-articles/villa-asmara-in-canggu-bali-570832.html

Bali Villas | Villa Kedidi in Canggu Bali


Bali villas | Villa in Canggu Bali



Villa Kedidi located in Canggu, a 30 minute drive from the airport and just 15 minutes away from Seminyak and Legian, where the best restaurants & shopping are. This Bali villas are approximately 100 meters from Sunset beach, a lazy 2 minute walk with surrounding rice fields & temples. Next door is a 22 room boutique hotel which provides guests access to a business center with high speed internet, food & drinks room service menus, gym and spa treatments. The Greg Norman designed Nirvana Bali Golf Course at Tanah Lot is also a 15 minute drive towards the North.

Villa Kedidi is ideal for friends or extended families on holiday. For guests with young children, this Bali villa and staff are child-friendly with many baby equipment provided for like cots, high-chairs, baby monitors, toys, etc plus a children’s menu. In addition, there are no steep drops where toddlers can fall from and the pool is within view from the living, dining and bedrooms. This Bali villa is fully backed-up by a generator in the event of a power failure. The villa offer both families & groups of friends a relaxing holiday.

This bali villa is supported by a carefully selected team of highly trained and experienced staff members who will ensure that its guests experience a truly enjoyable stay in Bali. The team includes an in-house chef housekeeper, a gardener & pool maintenance and four security guards. The chef is trained in the preparation of both local and international cuisine, and is responsible for the market shopping.

Simple Balinese...proud to be a balinese

By Dharma Putra

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/vacation-rentals-articles/bali-villas-villa-kedidi-in-canggu-bali-563398.html

Bali Villa Holiday Guide to Family Holidays in Bali

A rental villa in Bali is a great way to spend your well earned few weeks with family members.

However, whether you go for a luxury Bali villa or a standard private Bali villa, how you spend your holiday, and what you do will almost invariably be defined by the number and ages of the children in your family.

This quick guide is intended to provide you with insights into Bali for families, with Bali travel tips and tricks.

Of course, we will start our list in priority, with the most important people, the young ones. If you wish, you may want to scroll down to the right age group for your children.

Infants

A Bali villa holiday is an ideal choice to make (over hotels and the like), if you are traveling to the island with an infant.

At a rental villa you have greater flexibility, support, and often much needed space.

Invariably, Balinese adore children, especially the younger ones. At your Bali rental villa you will more than likely get eager support to look after the little ones whilst you take a much deserved dip in the pool.

Today in Bali, most of your infant's and your own needs will be met readily. Clean bottled water should be available at your villa, at no extra cost. Most rental villas will offer a microwave, so handy for warming up bottles. Some will even provide child friendly cutlery, so you don't have to carry your own. Needless to say, as a favourite international tourist destination, Bali offers some very good international standard hospitals and English speaking doctors, if the need arises.

If your little one (or you for that matter), have a particular make of infant formula that you prefer, you may want to get your Bali Villa Manager to check availability for you before you arrive. Whilst there is an increasingly wider choice of baby formulas and ready-made fruit/vegetable purees available in Bali, you may not always be able to find the specific brand that you are familiar with. Of course, the same goes for disposable nappies. These are available at most supermarkets, but possibly not exactly the right brand you may be after.

The great thing about taking your own baby formula, and disposable nappies to Bali is that, having used these up in Bali, for your return trip home, you are left with much more space/weight allowance for all the shopping you will have done in Bali!

For your supplies, you may wish to try Bali Deli, Bintang Supermarket Bali. For a good selection of inflatables drop in at Matahari Bali at Bali Galleria.

Toddlers

Toddlers will love Bali and the Balinese people, since they are absolutely wonderful in interacting with the young ones.

If you want your toddler to make the most of your Bali villa pool, then you can find a variety of inflatable swimming support equipment at department stores, malls and pharmacies. Of course, it is worth noting that when buying these types of devices in Asia, one needs to pay careful attention that it meets international safety regulation. Also, as all inflatable equipment intended for children should clearly state, -these are not life saving devices and should always be used under the supervision of a competent adult swimmer-..

Also, it is worth noting that, many good villas in Bali, will actually provide some basic toys for your toddlers. Again, it is worth checking that these do meet international safety standards, as some cheap knock-offs may have small pieces or sharp edges.

If you are in need of some nap time stories, there are numerous bookshops in Bali which carry a good selection of English language children's books. You will find that especially those printed in Indonesia are very reasonably priced. You may want to try Peripulus Bali or Gramedia Bali, both of which seem to have suitable book selections for the young ones.

Older Children

In my experience, older children will have a ball in Bali and quite likely very happily tire themselves out between the villa swimming pool and the daily excursions.

If you have chosen one of the more spacious Bali villas, it is worth noting that the Balinese do enjoy playing football/soccer as much as the next nation. The rental villa staff will probably need only a tiny bit of encouragement to start playing ball with your young ones.

Similarly, your female villa staff will be more than happy to play-house with your little girl for many hours. What a better way for the young ones to get to learn a new culture, and may be pick up a word or two of the local language whilst having fun!

Of course, once you manage to drag yourself out of your Bali holiday villa, the options for the young ones are even more numerous.

Here is a quick list for starters:

1. Waterbom Park Bali A genuine must during your Bali villa vacation. Suitable rides for children of all ages.

2. Horse Riding From chaperoned rides on ponies to full galloping experience on the beach.

3. Cruising A selection of boats, and family cruises to choose from.

3. Lovina Dolphin Watching Bit far away from most Bali villas, but still well worth the trip.

5. Elephant Safari Park With some great conservation and animal rescue efforts.

6. Go-Karting For those with the need for speed.

Teenagers

I regularly get asked, if it is safe to mix Bali with teenagers. In all honesty? The answer is an absolute and one hundred percent, yes.

Bali is essentially a very safe place.

Over a million people visit Bali every year, with tens of thousands of teenagers traveling to Bali with their families, or on their own, and in majority of the cases, no one ever feels threatened or in any form of risk.

There are numerous restaurants, bars, and night clubs in Bali, and probably all are essentially safe places for anyone with some common sense.

Three simple guidelines apply in Bali, as with any other holiday destination. - Keep away from illegal substances. - Drink alcohol in moderation (especially in the heat, as one will already be dehydrated) - Think twice before renting a motor-bike (or certainly, riding one under the influence of alcohol)

Once these three basics are addressed, you will find Bali to be one of the safest holiday destinations for your teenagers.

For You

Of course, last but not least, if there is any time left, you yourself will want to enjoy your Bali villa to the fullest.

The great news is, you have your own private swimming pool in your own villa. (Almost all Bali villas come with private pools.) Also, quite likely a wonderful sun-deck from which to soak up the rays.

Most Bali rental villas come equipped with a TV and Satellite/Cable connection. So if you want to catch up on the news, or sports, or just enjoy a DVD, you will not feel out of touch.

Many rental villas in Bali will also provide a library service, providing all sorts of fiction/non-fiction books for your reading pleasure whilst in Bali.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous, and can actually bring yourself to leave your newly found haven, here are a few things you may wan to try:

1. Dance Performances Try to catch one of each of:Kecak, Legong and Fire Dances, at least.

2. Designer Shopping In the recent years, Balinese design scene has been experiencing an amazing renaissance.

3. Diving Different courses and organised dives exist to meet all needs.

4. Fishing Fishing boats from Benoa Harbour or Sanur) 5. Golfing A number of 18 hole courses are available across Bali, many with great views. 6. Helicopter Tours Not cheap, but certainly an experience never to forget. 7. Kite Boarding Some great wind and lift, as well as the equipment for rental are available at Nusa Dua beaches.

8. Surfing If you are experienced, you will know where to go. If you want to learn, head for the Kuta beach where you can catch beginners' lessons.

9. Paragliding Throw yourself off the sheer cliff faces into the Indian Ocean!.

10. White Water Rafting Enjoy a thrilling ride through 8 kilometers of rapids!

Once you have done it, you will agree that, Bali villas offer an amazing setting to enjoy your family holiday. The great thing is, you get to have a great Bali holiday, together, but each enjoying their own space, flexibility and freedom.

Hopefully, armed with these insights, you can now ease into your new Bali rental villa, and have a spectacular holiday in this island paradise.

Many happy returns...

By Joanna M Lawson

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.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/travel-articles/bali-villa-holiday-guide-to-family-holidays-in-bali-43058.html

Villas in Bali by Kadek Sudarsana

A villa is basically a house where a family can spend their time together. In Bali however, a villa is a breath of nature for the family, for first time honeymooners, or individuals who want to re-encounter the self being. Most villas in Bali take personal privacy into account, and this is at harmony with nature. The detailed concept of their respective architectures can be various, but privacy and luxury play an important role in the basic concept of many villas.

Luxurious, sometimes superbly luxurious, the architecture of many villas in Bali is breathing in the rhythm of space that plays on the silence of the surrounds and fits effortlessly and discreetly into the small community.

In recent years the island of the Gods has become the site for many villas, or a cluster of villas in Bali referred sometimes as a boutique resort. The beginning of the new super luxury trend began at the end of the 1980's, precisely with the opening of the Amandari, perched on the edge of Ubud's Sayan Gorge. The mind behind the resort was renowned Australian architect Peter Muller along with owner Adrian Zecher.

Hotels of that era were built with many rooms. Villas, however, have different approach. It is not simply how many hotel rooms you have, but how wonderful they are. Luxury, too, is not only determined by expensive materials for many of these resorts often use the simplest of local materials.

The detail of concepts of boutique resorts and villas in Bali have developed since the days of Muller and Zecher, who has initiated the rejuvenation of the Balinese traditional village living within their architecture design. "Nowadays, modern touches are an important component in the design of villas in Bali," said Popo Danes, a reputable Balinese architect who has designed a plenty of villas in some of Bali's more remote locations. As a result, according to Popo, the sense of simplicity is becoming stronger.

Initially, simple village living has been blended with a luxurious urban lifestyle. Nowadays, however, the sensation of simplicity has built the luxurious atmosphere. Details of architecture of many villas in Bali have beautifully combined the traditional and modern elements and features.

There is one feature almost always seen: Balinese traditional gate angkul-angkul, which usually gives access to Balinese compounds in many places of the island, has been utilized to strengthen the traditional senses of the villa building.

The presence of angkul-angkul has given a particular atmosphere of village living in many villas in Bali. Almost all villa designers' in Bali, seemingly, consider angkul-angkul as a standard feature for Balinese designed villa. However, the popularity of angkul-angkul has expanded beyond the boundaries of the island. In Jakarta as well as in many places in Java, including in Jogyakarta and in Surabaya, angkul-angkul has gained a particular place in villa design, it is often applied to give access to many private villas even luxurious residences. Perhaps it is to remind them of Bali, to bring about the nuances of Balinese harmony of living.

Once you pass the villa's angkul-angkul, a serene garden awaits you. A garden is apparently another 'compulsory zone of beauty' for Bali-based villa designers. With lines of colorful flowering plants or decorative leaves, tropical gardens bring nature into the villas, each of which with their own details according to the sense of their respective landscape designer. The garden is not merely decorating the villa; it is so much important for the image that some villas in Bali use it as a marketing tool and promote the property as a 'garden villa'.

Adjacent to the garden, often under the shadow of a frangipani tree, often lays the swimming pool. Private pools have been another luxurious trend in villa design. Nowadays, it seems that a villa in Bali is not a 'real' villa without a private pool. It can be a small swimming pool or even a plunge pool where you guests spend time relaxing and basking under the sun.

The garden and the pool sometimes (not sometimes, often!) are perfected with a spectacular backdrop of green rice fields, of mountainside, of river flow or beachfront: according to the blessing of the beauty of the villa's location. This is Bali, where the stunning panorama of nature has long become an important element of beauty.

A villa, by this very definition must be small and limited. Above all, it should have its own recognizable flavor and character. The only similarity between many villas in Bali is the level of luxury and excellence. If you have the money and want to really relax and enjoy yourself while visiting Bali, make sure that you reward yourself by staying in one or more of the world's best resorts.

All Bali Villas .com features a great selection of luxury private villas in Bali for honeymoon, ultimate holiday or vacation.

About the Author

Villas in Bali by Kadek Sudarsana

Source:http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=103465

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Live Where Time Suspends at Villa Kanti Ubud by Adi Arifin

Perfect combination of magnificent surrounding, stunning views, spectacular property, and service excellence presents Villa Kanti ... luxurious sanctuary where time is suspended - giving you as much time to enjoy ultimate tropical bliss as your body, mind, and soul desire. With the whole property and all oft its staffs are solely dedicated to your personal indulgence, your satisfaction is guaranteed. The only drawback is that your reluctance to leave is also assured.

Set amidst thousands of swaying palm trees and ricefield spreading through the horizon you will enjoy 360 degrees of magnificent views around from almost every corner of the house. With nearly no other property within your sight, your stay at Villa Kanti is giving you more than just a private holiday home, but virtually the whole world at your private disposal, letting you to completely dissolve yourself to the mother nature.

Five spacious luxury bedrooms each with enchanting en-suite bathroom come with either terraces or balconies overlooking the river and the ricefield are housed in three different pavilions. Huge open air living and dining area comes with private library and entertainment studio. Private spa with massage area, sauna, and jacuzzi. On the ground facing the river are large infinity-edged lap pool and a soothing gazebo floating on the river. Full time dedicated staffs including on-site villa manager, private chef, bartender, butler, maids, gardeners, and security guards are at your command. What else you could ever expect to have at your home?

Located in traditional Balinese farming village of Lodtunduh, Villa Kanti sits in the middle of lush infinity ricefield, enjoying continuous changing colours along the years. From the dark brown soils during preparations, glittering waters during the early days, green whilst grown up, yellow closing to the crop, gold at the harvest time, and light brown afterwards. An amazing cycle rounding back two to three times a year. When the rice is grown up to nearly harvest time the villa looks like floating up the ricefield from a distance. There are no other properties close by, allowing you to enjoy unbstructed 360 degrees views, feeling like having the whole universe all to yourselves instead of just a private holiday home.

The cultural town of Ubud is les than 10 minutes drive away. As home to numerous local and forreign artists Ubud offers a number of fine-art galleries, fine-dining restaurants offering excellent traditional culinary experience, the island's best spas for health and well-being indulgence, and best meditation and yoga classes. Ubud is also inherits rich Balinese traditional treasures ranging from the Royal Palace of Ubud Kingdom, various ancient temples, and local tradition artist which you can meet either at the art market as well as their modest work-space at their home.

Fast-pacers can enjoy numerous tropical adventurous activities like country trekking, white-water rafting, mountain-biking, quad-bike adventure, kayakking, and many more. Families with children can take their juniors to various themed-park like The Bali Bird Park, Reptile Park, Zoo, Botanical Garden, Elephant Safari, and more other options.

About the Author

Adi serves as online marketing consultant of Villa Kanti Ubud and Bali Villas.

Source:http://www.goarticles.com/cgi-bin/showa.cgi?C=511267

How To Select Your Preferred Bali Hotels

Bali is a wonderful island situated in Indonesia, the ultimate tourist destination in Asia, is worth a visit. Most people come to Bali for its beach, waves, sun, some come for business, some come for its undying art and culture, some come for its breathtaking landscapes and some for pure relaxation.

Choosing Bali for your holiday destination, of course you should select and decide your preferred Bali Hotel which would match your interests. There are myriad of accommodations to choose from in Bali, from five-star luxury hotels to budget accommodations.

Bali Hotels by locations: Accommodations by the sea (has beach front), in town and hotels are situated in countryside. Or Bali Hotels by interest (boutique hotels, villas, small hotels in traditional Balinese style bungalow and big or leading Bali Hotels).

Every place has its own attractions and features:
Sanur: Famed for its white sandy beach, sun rise, sea activities, close to other places of interest. Is for gracious living, peaceful and quiet. More "international" but somehow far less cosmopolitan than frenetic Kuta. There are so many excellent hotels here that you can scarcely go wrong.

Kuta: Frenetic, sometime chaotic, noisy, lots of hype, but a great playground. Originally what drew visitors to Kuta was the wide beach and the surf. It still has best sea front on the island. Kuta also famed for its shopping, dine and night lives. Though there are now many first-class hotels and home stays, caters best to the economy traveler who likes to be in the thick of things.

Legian & Seminyak: Lie at the north end of Kuta Beach strip. This is the place to stay if you want the best of both worlds. Conveniently located within 15 minutes from the center of Kuta, yet safely removed from the nerve-wrecking intensity and hype. The villages are perfect for extended vacations. There are several first-class hotels, a great number of intermediate-range bungalow, and inexpensive accommodations.

Nusa Dua & Tanjung Benoa: The area is rather isolated from the rest of Bali. Nusa Dua is providing a "total" hotel environment, everything you could possibly ask for is available on the premises. White sandy beach and a wide range of sea activities.

Jimbaran bay: Has nice and wide beach, good sunset (weather permitted), and close to Airport. There are two leading hotels, good villas and nice hotels in Balinese style bungalow.

Ubud & environs: The heart of arts and cultures of Bali. There are many small resorts deluxe and intermediate accommodations, most blend of typical Balinese and modern amenities. Situated either in town or in the countryside, most have wonderful gardens and views. Ubud is a paradise for shopping too.

The east: Offer more restful vacation.
Nusa Lembongan: Is a surfing, snorkeling and diving paradise. There are some excellent hotel resorts and some inexpensive hotels.
Balina beach: Buitan Village, this is spacious, gorgeous white sand beach, is one of the major scuba diving centers of Bali. There are a deluxe hotel and some intermediates and budget hotels.
Candi Dasa: The beach (at low tide, at high tide there IS no beach) because it has been eroded by the waves, but Candi Dasa offer restful vacation. There are first-class, intermediate and inexpensive hotels. You will be treated here with the utmost of graceful service.

The North:
Lovina beach: A northern beachfront alternative to Kuta and Sanur, this is a serene and infrequently visited vacation spot. Black sand beaches and quite waters nestles inside of extensive coral reefs distinguish this idyllic beach. Snorkeling is superb here and the reef is close enough that even children and beginner swimmers can feel comfortable here. There are first-class, intermediate and inexpensive hotels.

Western Beaches:
Up along this coast north of Kuta and Legian lies a stretch of black sand beach with a dangerous reef and heavy undertow, these beaches are not ideal for swimming and beginner surfers. At Canggu there are some luxury hotels. Yeh Gangga boast a small luxury resort Waka Gangga is facing the Indian Ocean. Tanah Lot boast a leading hotel Le Meridian and a world championship golf course with breathtaking view of famous Tanah Lot temple and sunset.

Western Interior:
Bedugul: This mountain resort is famous for its air, restful and serene. There are a number of places to stay here, from luxury hotels to budget accommodations (losmen).

The quickest and easiest way to select your preferred Bali Hotels is to go online and visit hotel reservation website. Do a search for the city or place (Indonesia, Bali, Hotels) you are traveling to and you will be presented with a list of available hotels in that area. There are also more information about hotel's and room's facilities. Most luxury hotel has excellent spa facilities.

The wide choice can be confusing - especially for first-time visitors - and it's sometimes difficult to select the right accommodation. So still go online and click travel. Choose your reputable travel agent (contact him by e-mail). Just let him know your personal needs and preferences that he can recommend those hotels he feel suit you best.

My immense thanks to you readers.

By: Made Dertha

About the Author:
Made Dertha was an English and Italian tour guide for many years in Bali, writes for Bali Turista where he is the Managing Director now. Visit www.baliturismo.com & www.baliturista.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/How-To-Select-Your-Preferred-Bali-Hotels/1397

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Owning a Villa in Bali is your Key to Paradise

The quintessential Bali villas were originally created by the colonial Dutch to take advantage of Bali’s tropical conditions, and were designed to exploit the wind, the sunshine and climate by creating high-ceilinged, open-plan living spaces using local materials to create comfort in what was essentially an alien environment to them. Since that time the Bali villa has evolved with the times incorporating western trends design philosophies, resulting in Bali having become a haven for world-class architecture, comfort and luxury.

There are many diverse locations in Bali so when thinking of where to build or buy a villa you must ask yourself the question: What do I want around me? If you want to live in the thick of all the best restaurants, beaches and endless nightlife then Seminyak is the place. For peace and serenity, Canggu offers a much quieter experience of stunning rice field views, while Ubud to the north is an equally peaceful haven for the arts. Jimbaran and Sanur are well developed and family-friendly locales while the Bukit to the south offers stunning and dramatic cliff top views of the Indian Ocean, and is hotting up to be the place of choice for the most discerning of Bali’s villa owners.

There are many things to look out for however in the search for the perfect villa. The government is cracking down and enforcing a great many rules and regulations designed to control the Bali villa industry so, as with investing in any new home, one must make sure that everything is “squeaky clean” with regards to title, covenants, surveying and above all due diligence. It is therefore vitally important to have expert advice to see you through the entire process. Exotiq have all the right people to guarantee that the process goes smoothly with an absolute minimum of fuss, from choosing your piece of land, right through the building process to finally putting the key in your front door and walking inside your new home.

The benefits of having a villa in Bali are endless: the weather, the culture, the beaches, premier golfing facilities, world-class resorts, an endless array of gourmet eateries, and above all, the opportunity for a watertight investment. The market for Bali villas is reaching fever pitch, prices are at an all time high and returns on investment are better than ever. Whether for investment or retirement there has never been a better time to buy into your own piece of paradise. This is one purchase that will change your life.

By Michael Travers

Michael Travers is a Bali-based writer specializing in Travel and Property Journalism. He has been living in Asia since the year 2000 and is currently living the dream in paradise. Since 2007 he contribute as a copywriter for Exotiq Real Estate, an international real estate chain focusing itself in tropical holiday properties across Asia-Pacific.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/owning-a-villa-in-bali-is-your-key-to-paradise-220066.html

Seminyak is Bali’s Capital of Cool and Home to the Hottest Real Estate in Bali

Every city has its fashionable hangouts and Bali is no exception. Like Paris’ La Marais, Tokyo’s Roppongi, New York’s Village and Sydney’s Darling Harbour, Bali has its Seminyak, a place whose international reputation precedes it like minstrels cavorting before a king. Far removed from Kuta in more than just geography, Seminyak is the playground of the almost-rich and infamous crowds of locals, tourists and expats. With plenty going on seven days a week, 364 days a year, Seminyak is an endless fusion of food, fashion and fun.

Seminyak is home to some of Bali’s most prestigious hotels, including The Legian, the Oberoi and the Samaya to name but a few, all sharing prime Bali beachfront and offering some of the best ocean views and sunsets in the world. Along with these world-class hotels are a slew of top-notch eateries and nightspots. Venues such as Sentosa and Kudeta: Bali’s most famous and hippest nightspots that ensure the cool keep coming and the party never stops.

It wasn’t always this way however. Seminyak started life as a sleepy village dominated by palm trees and rice fields and was the ideal place for people who wanted a traditional slice of Bali life. But as time progressed, like anywhere, once people realized they were on to a good thing, everybody wanted a slice.

Today’s Seminyak is almost full to the brim and property in becoming increasingly harder to find. This has resulted in a rapid, some may say, spoiling of the area, an accusation that is thrown at much of lower Bali. Rampant, unchecked building by many has resulted in overcrowding, overdevelopment and an overwhelming demand on utilities and infrastructure. That said, with this pressure comes concern and as a result, much is being done to remedy these problems to bring the infrastructure in line with what one would expect from a world-class resort island.

As for prices, in 1996, land was available for as little as US$1500 an are (100 square metres). In 2006 it was up to US$25,000, with prime beachfront land at more than US$70,000 dollars an are, (that’s if you can find it). That’s an increase to make anybody sit up and take notice! Increases like this are almost too good to be true, but they are real enough. Furthermore, as development keeps heading north into the areas north of Seminyak, they will only keep increasing and increasing and then increasing some more.


By Michael Travers

Michael Travers is a Bali-based writer specialising in Travel and Property Journalism. He has been living in Asia since the year 2000 and is currently living the dream in paradise.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/seminyak-is-balis-capital-of-cool-and-home-to-the-hottest-real-estate-in-bali-318930.html

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bali Villa Rental Tips & Tricks

If like me, you have been bitten by the ‘Holiday Villa Bug', you will already know that no hotel can match the privacy and luxury of a good Villa Holiday. The great news is that today there are even more villa rental options out there than ever before. Not to mention the fact that if you know how to choose the right holiday rental villa you will be saving a lot of money in comparison to the same level of service in a comparable quality hotel.

It seems that no where in the world has seen as big an explosion of luxury fully serviced holiday villas, as the island of Bali in Indonesia.

OK, I happen to be blessed with a great line of work, as a Travel Writer, and have been lucky enough to stay in some of the best tropical resorts around the world, especially in Asia. But still for me, nothing compares to the peace, luxury and delights (not to mention the cost effectiveness) of staying in a good serviced villa in Bali.

So, what makes a ‘good holiday villa'?

Like everyone else, I have learned how to choose the perfect villa through luck, some mistakes and sheer experience.

Here are my top tips for choosing the right villa in Bali for your next Bali holiday.

Location-Location-Location

This sounds obvious, but it is not always easy to make the right location decision when we are sat at home, far away from our holiday destination.

Like every other world-class holiday destination, Bali offers a range of options, from ‘central' locations, to those which offer ‘absolute tranquility'.

I personally like a balance between the two. On a Bali villa holiday, the last thing one needs is to be sooo central that you feel like you are an extension of a night club's base unit till wee hours of the morning. On the other hand, I really don't want to be more than 15-20 minutes away from where the restaurants, shops and the action is. I like my villa to be certainly quiet, preferably amongst rice fields, but at the same time accessible (within 30 minutes of the airport, and a few minutes from the action).

The great thing is that Bali caters for all of these tastes.

Those seeking a central location, with a lively night life may want to look into Legian and Seminyak, (I exclude Kuta area from this list, as there are hardly any proper rental villas left in this bustling tourist centre).

Those who don't mind a bit of a trek, and don't want to go out and about much during their holiday, may opt for areas such as Uluwatu or Canggu and beyond.

For me the perfect choice is Kerobokan and Umalas areas. Quiet rural environment, surrounded by rice terraces and real villagers going about their real daily routines (instead of trying to push you a handicraft (Kuta) or pull you into a restaurant you really couldn't care for (Seminyak)).

Quality and Availability of Service Now this is an area where villas differ from each other immensely. In Bali most villas proclaim to be ‘fully serviced'. However, how ‘fully' and how ‘serviced' range from the most basic to being totally pampered.

A good villa should provide a guest to total staff ratio of nearly 1 to 1, or at least 1.5 to 1. So, if you are a group of 8 you should be looking at, at least, 5-6 full time staff, or for a group of 4 at least 3-4 full time staff. Sounds ostentatiously high? It really isn't once you consider the effort it takes to keep a holiday villa, its gardens, and the pool in a tip-top shape.

Of course, quantity is never the only answer. The staff needs to be full-time and fully-trained at a professional level. There are too many villas out there, which are run by ‘part-time' managers and staff who actually have other full time jobs elsewhere!

Your Own Chef

One of the great pleasures of traveling to a foreign destination is to experiment with and experience the local cuisine. And what better place to experience this, than in the comfort of your own villa!

So, make sure that your villa comes with its own Chef. Once you have tasted the delights of enjoying home cooking in your own villa, you will probably not want to venture out to restaurants at all. The best thing is, having your own private villa Chef in Bali, is substantially cheaper than eating out.

However, make sure to check how the Chef arrangement works.

Ideally, the Chef cost should be included in your rental rate. In this case all you have to pay for are the cost of the ingredients which are purchased for you, typically at the local market/supermarket prices, with no mark-up. So, financials of eating at your own villa becomes just like eating at home, but without lifting a finger, and at substantially lower Bali prices.

Some villas claim to offer a Chef service, but charge restaurant/hotel prices for each dish that the chef prepares for you. I prefer to avoid these, as I can always pop out to a restaurant if I so wished anyway.

So, check to make sure that the Chef is part of your villa team, and that you will not be charged incrementally for food on a per item basis.

Your Villa Manager

A professional Villa Manager makes a huge difference to your enjoyment of your holiday. Even if you have been to Bali many times before, a good Villa Manager can be a much valued life-line, a great source of shopping tips, and a problem solver. A good villa manager can provide a wealth of directions/advice, from where to eat, to which river to choose for your white-water rafting adventure in which season, or where the cheapest golf courses are, to which temples to visit to see which local ceremonies.

Needless to say, they should also be managing the villa team, and making sure that the quality of service and cleanliness are never compromised.

Before I book a villa in Bali, I always check to see what the Villa Manager arrangement is like, and that there is a full time Villa Manager on site at the villa I am planning to rent. Typically, for good villas, you can expect to have your own dedicated Villa Manager, or have a Villa Manager who is working at 2-3 adjacent villas. However, if a Villa Manager is expected to look after 5-6+ villas, then you are most likely not going to see him for more than a few minutes a day, only during his courtesy visits (at best), so you loose out on the real benefits of having the inside-track.

Villa Quality & Upkeep

Be very, very weary of any rental villas which can not provide you with more than at least 20 recent photos of the property. These photos should show you not only the outside of the buildings, but also the living/dining areas, as well as insides of bedrooms.

If you are not provided with a sufficient number of photos giving you a clear idea of the property, then it is quite likely that there is something substantially wrong with the property, such as a building overlooking it, an abattoir next door, or at the least peeling paintwork or missing fixtures/furniture.

Remember, not all villas are created equal. But additionally, not all villas are kept and maintained equally well. It is your right to request and see these photos of the property.

Mod-Cons

OK, you are planning to stay on a tiny island, in the middle of the tropics. What mod-cons should you expect? From own experience, I would suggest that even in the middle of the tropics, good Bali villas should be able to provide at least the following mod-cons:

Air-conditioning in all bedrooms

Clean, Western style kitchen -fully equipped with a fridge, microwave, electric kettle, and a coffee maker, as well as sufficient crockery and cutlery

Safe deposit box - at least one for your private villa use, and preferably one in each bedroom

TV/Satellite/DVD Player - as there will always be someone who wants to catch the news, or children who will need entertaining

Telephone - whilst many of us live attached to our mobile/cellular phones, it is important that there is a permanent phone connection at the villa, in case of emergencies

En-suite bathrooms - if you are looking at going as a family or a group of friends, you really don't want to spend your holiday in Bali queuing for the next available slot at shared facilities!

Enjoying a fully staffed and serviced villa with your own Chef may seem like an un-attainable dream in most other parts of the world. However, renting a Villa in Bali is by far one of the most cost effective ways of enjoying this beautiful island and the company of its hospitable people.

Now armed with this check-list you are ready to plan you next dream holiday in a Villa in Bali. Like me, you will probably never want to leave, and go back to reality!

Many happy returns...

By Joanna M Lawson

Joanna M Lawson
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.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/travel-articles/bali-villa-rental-tips-tricks-38475.html

Seven Jakarta restaurants you should not miss

Seven Jakarta restaurants you should not miss.

Sari Bundo
JL.H. Juanda 27

Drop in anytime to a place that you will never be disappointed. Be prepared for spicy Padang cuisine.

Senayan Sate Khas
Jl. Cokroaminoto, JL Kebon Sirih (Menteng) and JL Pakubuwono VI (Kebayoran)

The best of original Indonesian cuisine is served here. Very reasonable fare in both quality and diversity. Sate is to die for.

Nippon Kan
Hilton Hotel

You should make sure you dine at this Japanese restaurant because sushi and sashimi lovers across Jakarta are rejoicing here. Renowned as the best Japanese restaurant in Jakarta.


Chopstix
Plaza Indonesia, Jl Thamrin

Looking for quick and easy for your meal? The restaurants serve various Chinese cuisine especially noodle is the popular menu.


Café Battavia
Jl. Pintu Besar Besar Utara 14

A converted Dutch-style house, this restaurant is arguably one of the finest restaurants in Town. The menu is exciting, with a variety of Indonesia cuisines and international food.


Bengawan Solo
Sahid Jaya Hotel

Authentic Central Java food is served here in a luxurious manner.


Payon
Jl Kemang Raya 17
Offering Western java, Central Java, an Eastern java cuisine at average price. Decorated in York Jakartas style.