Planning our trip to Bali wasn't nearly as easy as we thought it'd be. We're not exactly the type of travelers to stay in a room with a family, and definitely not hostel types. I guess you could say we're something between luxury travelers and middle class expats.
During our last days in Thailand we spent a solid two days searching for the right place to book. We ended up picking an Airbnb villa, offered for a rate of 40 Euros per night for one week. The villa is a three story building with two private one-bedroom apartments, and a shared lounge/pool area on the ground floor. Keep reading for details on each aspect of the villa.
Pool Area / Shared Spaces
By far our favorite part about this apartment was the pool area. Complete with two lounge chairs, a towel drying rack, fan, corner bar table, bar stools, and a fridge, our needs were more than fulfilled. If you're having a difficult time adjusting to the humid tropical heat of the island, having your own private pool is the one thing that will save you, day after day.
Being digital nomads, having a space to work at our temporary home base is essential. Being able to lounge on the chairs (there's an outlet behind them on the walls! Major bonus points) or move to the bar to work was great. We loved being able to work outdoors, but still within the comfort of our own "home," with protection from weather or other distractions.
The one major buzzkill for this apartment as a place for digital nomads was the wifi connection. Although wifi is not one of the island's strong suits (as we have learned so far), the wifi we were told to use here seemed to actually belong to the villa across the street. We contacted the host about this issue numerous times and were given a signal booster by the caretakers next door, but the problem persisted. We ended up buying sim cards and using the hot spot for that as a more effective connection.
Apartment / Bedroom
Like I said before, the villa has two apartments. Although they have slightly different layouts, they are essentially identical. The beds have nightstands with lamps and usually just one side has an extra outlet. The rooms get plenty of sunlight, but are situated conveniently so that the rooms don't overheat. If it gets too hot, the AC is well placed in the room so that it will cool down the temperature without blowing on your face all night long.
Both rooms have two bean bags for lounging as well as a small dining set. We are not especially tall people (5'4" and 5'8") and this table set was nearly impossible to eat at. Instead of attempting to eat at home we recommend a nearby restaurant, KZU. They have all-day buffets and plenty of fresh juices or smoothies to choose from.
The major different between the two apartments is the bathrooms. Both are recently renovated and are mold-free with running hot water (actually a luxury here in Bali!). The showers have a lovely rain bath and traditional shower head, but look quite different. The top apartment has a much more closed shower design (pictured below), whereas the lower apartment has an all glass shower big enough for two. The toilet is in the same room as the shower.
As I was saying, you probably shouldn't plan on cooking any elaborate meals here. These kitchenettes are equipped with a juicer, toaster, coffeemaker, kettle, microwave, fridge, and plug in stovetop. You'd think this is enough to make a meal with, but it's simply not convenient due to the size of the tiny kitchen corner.
We made a few snacks here as well as a simple breakfast without any problems and would recommend the same to any future visitors.
View + Location
Located somewhere between Kuta and Seminyak, this apartment is within a 10-15 minute walk to the beach when heading West, and 10 minutes to the downtown shopping and nightlife area when walking South. The villa is located on a narrow street away from the main driving areas, so the noise level is nice and low.
What was sort of a turn off about the area was the lack of sidewalks (pretty much everywhere on Bali) and the smelly swamp from a few blocks away. If you can live with keeping the balcony doors closed to avoid mosquitos at night then you should have no problems.
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Overall / Pros
- Location was good for walking to the beach, better if you have a bike/scooter
- Pool and downstairs area was well kept + fridge and fan are a nice touch
- Everyday cleaning
- High chance of being here alone, according to Airbnb reviews
- Friendly family next door maintaining the facilities
- No insects or lizards were able to get inside our apartment (apparently a common issue here in Bali)
Overall / Cons
- Unreliable wifi connection
- Heard/saw rats in the night
- Semi-intrusive caretakers (for our taste)
- The gate to the shared area is somewhat see-through
- Table set in room was much too small to eat at comfortably