Planning a trip to Bali is exciting – there’s so much to consider like what to see and where to stay! The island has two main kinds of accommodation that families can consider: hotels and resorts or private villas.

Villas and hotels have their own advantages and disadvantages. It pays to do your homework and research the pros and cons of booking a stay at a hotel or renting a private villa before making a final decision. Each family is different and has their own needs, however to help you along in the decision-making process, we’ve listed down many of the factors you should consider before making your pick between a Bali villa or resort:

Hotels & Resorts

Pros:

Fuss-Free Booking

Most travel sites have a list of highly recommended hotels so it’s extremely easy to get all the information you need on the resort or hotel you’re considering. You can check out messenger boards or forums to get unbiased reviews of a certain hotel. From there, you can book a stay online.

Beach-Side Locations

Most luxury resorts in Bali are located just a few steps from the beach. From there, guests can lounge, swim or simply relax by the shore. Or if you want to enjoy the view, you can always frolic poolside until the kiddos need a nap and mum & dad need an afternoon cocktail.

Tons of Socializing

If you choose to stay at a hotel or resort you will have tons of socializing opportunities. Whether for you or your kids! There’s different events happening all the time and there’s always others families around to meet. This is especially great if you have older kids who want to make some new friends on vacation!

Photo Credit: Febris Hotel Spa Bali

Great Service

Resorts – particularly three to five stars hotels – employ professional staff that caters to your every need. You just need to arrive and focus on your having the best time of your life, while the staff works to take care of everything else for you. No need to worry about pickups, laundry or housekeeping, as long as you make the necessary arrangements, everything will be taken care of!


Photo Credit: Barong Resort

Excellent Amenities

Your room is equipped with all the right amenities to make your vacation as comfortable as possible! From kids-clubs to flat-screen TVs to infinity pools to spa and wellness centers, hotels and resorts offer an array of services and amenities that will appeal to virtually anyone, even the kiddos! Most hotels come with nifty facilities such as play areas, multiple swimming pools, tennis courts, gyms, restaurants and so much more.

Photo Credit: Hard Rock Hotel Bali

Discounts & Deals

Many hotels and resorts offer discounted packages during the low season, so if you want to save more money (who doesn’t?), you can keep this in mind! Hotel packages usually include everything from airport pickups to breakfast buffets, but you can customize them according to your family’s needs. Want to go on tours or go sightseeing on need a chauffeured ride? You don’t have to drive yourself insane with all the bookings – the hotel personnel is more than happy to arrange every tour and reservation for you.

Cons:

Limited Privacy

Outside your own hotel room, freedom to do everything else is somewhat limited. You’re sharing the space with hundreds of other guests so, despite the many amenities, you could find yourself in the pool with several other families on vacation like you. Also, you won’t absorb much of the culture because most people who stay in hotels are tourists just like yourself.

Overpriced

From the food right down to the contents of the mini bar, everything in a hotel is pricier than outside the hotel or resort.

Private Villas

Pros:

Spacious, Cozy Rooms

Forget about cramped hotel rooms, villas come with spacious rooms surrounded by manicured gardens or a tropical forest! Most rooms come with all the amenities that most hotels provide: air condition, Wi-Fi, TV, hot and cold shower, etc. Unlike a hotel room, a private villa is warm and homey too!

Photo Credit: Rumah Besar

Complete Privacy

Because you rented the whole place for yourself and your loved ones, you have a secluded area to relax! No more sharing hotel facilities with other guests or put up with rowdy tourists after dark, a private villa provides complete privacy for the whole family.

Photo Credit: Sandi Kala Villas

Independence

If you’re the kind who wants to make a vacation as stripped down and close to the basics as possible, then a private villa is perfect for you. It’s quite a flexible choice because you can either do the cooking on your own and book everything else personally, or hire a personal chef to do the cooking for you and get assistance on booking, tours, etc. Don’t worry, you can still ask the staff for housekeeping, laundry, and other requests, but this will depend on the agreement between you and the villa manager.

Photo Credit: Santi Mandala Villa

Cons:

Language Barrier

Although most locals understand and speak English, there is still the possibility for a language barrier and miscommunications. And when you’re away from the conveniences of a hotel room, you’ll likely struggle with communicating with locals and getting things done on your own.

Independence

When you don’t have amazing customer service reps around, you’ll have to do everything yourself. And it’s hard to enjoy a vacation fully when you’re constantly worrying about things you don’t usually worry about when you’re staying at a hotel room such as prepping the food, doing bits of housekeeping, or generally cleaning after yourself.

Pricier than a Hotel

There is a price to pay for all that spacious rooms, manicured garden, and complete privacy. Renting a private villa costs more than an average hotel room. So be prepared to spend more when you opt for a private villa over a stay at a three-star hotel.