Where to Stay in Bali
If you want to get the most of your stay in Bali, don't limit yourself to the main tourist strip around Kuta. We stay most of our time in the cultural centre, Ubud, which we recommend.
For just the first two months of our long stay in Bali, we were staying at the Bali T House Klod (there is another compound just down the road called Kaja), located in the village of Lodtunduh just a short drive south from Ubud town centre. There are quite a few villas in this group, we have the only 3 bedroom one that was suitable for our family.
We are staying here while we look around for a more permanent place to stay. It is nothing fancy, just the way we like it, and just what we need. The staff are very friendly and helpful. We get breakfast cooked for us every morning, usually for us it is eggs done several ways. They comeback later to clean and make the beds, and several times a day to sweep up the forever falling leaves.
In front of our villa is a great pool, with a shallow kids section perfect for Jetson and Casper. We are in it every day. Already Olive has become more adventurous and becoming a better swimmer.
Like many of the more traditional villas in Bali, it is very open plan. There are no walls to the kitchen and living area, so it's open to all the little bugs and creatures of Bali, a great introduction to living here! The numerous geckos are hopefully keeping the mosquitoes at bay, but they leave a mess behind, and walking around at night you have to watch out for frogs. That's just the start of it.
The three bathrooms in our villa are essentially in a garden, which makes for interesting showering out in the open and among the trees, including the resident spider.
Location wise this villa would not suit everyone. It is good distance out from Ubud, so you really need some form of transport to get to most places of interest. Fortunately for us the school is within walking distance, albeit involving going through a temple and across a river.
There are only one or two places to eat within walking distance from here, though we have discovered that most restaurants in Ubud will deliver and the staff here will cook for you if you want. We have been relying on taxis to get around but that is not ideal. Most people here end renting a scooter, but we are not so sure about that option for us. We have a post already about riding a motorcycle in Bali.
Being away from the hustle and bustle of Ubud has it advantages. Here we are part of a small village and adjacent to their rice fields, so we are experiencing a different side to Bali and are able to observe and be part of their daily life. It is the first step for us to become residents, not tourists.
You can see more at about this accommodation at http://www.balithouse.com/
After several months at the T Houses in Lodtunduh, which was always our temporary residence while we looked for something better, we have moved closer to town to the Chili Cottages in Nyuh Kuning. It is a well sought after area – quiet, safe, neat and close to town. It is just a 15 minute walk to Ubud from here through the monkey forest. We occupy the family villa, and the standard of accommodation is not much different from the T House, just in a better area. This villa is situated among lovely manicured gardens behind Chili Café. Like our last place, we share the gardens and pool with a few other villas, although so far they have mostly been empty. The garden shelter is a great place to chill out, especially when the cleaners come in. The grassy area in front of our villa is a fabulous backyard being well used at the moment to play World Cup Football. There is a good-sized pool, but it lacks the shallow kiddy pool we had at the T House. It does have a wide step they can stand on to play. The boys in their floaty vests are pretty confident now to swim in deeper water. The villa has walls! A closed in house was one of the essential criteria that Clare had when we were looking for a new place to live. This way you get a lot less bugs coming inside. We have resident geckos (which eat the other insects), mozzies that sneak in, and the occasional spider, but that is about it. This is very significant change compared to the creatures of Bali. The bedrooms are air-conditioned, so we can seal them up and there is no need for mosquito nets. The boys share the other room. The house has only two bedrooms, so we turned one of the living areas into a room for Olive, as she was not that keen to share with her two brothers. There is only one bathroom, with is a downgrade from the three we had in the last place, however the bonus is having a bath. It is closed in, but you can open all the windows to get a feel for the tropical open bathroom. There is a cosy living area, and we have a TV now, which even has the Australia Network showing Play School and some AFL games! The kitchen is outdoors and separate from the house. A very basic 'typical Balinese' setup, which is fine as most of the time we eat out or get food delivered. We have a little outdoor eating area too, great for breakfast and lunch, but unfortunately in the evenings the mozzies swarm around us. This forces us, as the sun sets, to head indoors and close up the house. We are very happy with the decision to come here, fortunately… as we have paid all our rent in advance (the Balinese way). This will be our home until the end of the year. So if anyone is keen to visit us, it is a great neighbourhood and there are plenty of nice villas here and in the surrounding area.