Review: ‘Villa Martine’ Luxury Private Villa, Bali

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Bali has a wide range of accommodation options and each has its attraction – some travellers like resorts, some choose international 5 star hotels and some prefer private rentals. Those who have done Bali however will attest that these best, and more affordable option, is to hire a private villa. Searching the internet will bring up a vast selection of villas available for hire at differing levels of pricing. We were lucky to have found Villa Martine for our family holiday.

Bali is a unique island in the Indonesian archipelago off the coast of Java. The island is home to some 4 million inhabitants with the majority belonging to the Hindu faith. We decided on Bali as it fit within our broader holiday plans and the costs were reasonable for our six-day stay.

As we booked our trip quite late we had some difficulty in finding good quality accommodation in Bali and we wanted to stay somewhere half respectable and not in the “Aussie white-trash” surrounds of Kuta. We paid roughly $450/night for this three bedroom villa.

Location of Villa Martine

Villa Martine is located in Seminyak though it is at the Legion Beach end of the Seminyak stretch. The property sits back from the main road and is connected by a small laneway which serves the other villas and local’s homes in the area. At the end of laneway sits a supermarket and bottle shop, which came in handy during our stay. The main street was home to a number of shops and boutiques and whilst the shopping wasn’t that fantastic there were a couple of shops in the area that kept our wallets busy.

The Villa & Facilities

The two level villa has three bedrooms which includes a master bedroom which is separate from the main house. Having the master separated from the house provided privacy but also had its drawbacks – there was no covered walkway to the house for example, meaning we would get soaked in passing summer showers. The house had two bedrooms with accompanying bathrooms upstairs and a kitchen, lounge and dining downstairs. A large dining table was the centrepiece of our stay and was where we had our breakfasts that were lovingly created by our housemaid.

The wrap-around pool was also an attraction in itself and it kept the kids (big and small!) occupied. The pool also came with a spa and this was a fantastic way to relax after a hard day shopping and exploring. The amount of chlorine in the pool and spa was a little on the high side which meant that some of our guests had skin reactions after prologned stays in the pool – use in moderation!

The bathrooms unfortunately were exposed to the elements which had that ‘tropical’ feel but also meant that mosquitos and other insects would pop in for a visit. The bathroom in the main bedroom was the most exposed to the elements which resulted in a large array of visitors rom centipedes to geckos. The bathrooms weren’t stocked with toiletries so you will need to bring your own shower gels and shampoos.

As mentioned before the house came with its own housemaid. Her responsibilities included making us breakfast and cleaning the house. Whilst this was nice, it was a little awkward sharing your personal space with an outsider, though she was the nicest most gentle woman we could have hoped for. She also had friends in the service industry, such as massage people that would just ‘pop-in’ to see if we wanted a treatment. People would come and go from the Villa which was disconcerting at times – we made sure then to pack away valuables and money.

The Verdict

The pluses:

  • Location is at the Legion Beach end of Seminyak, right behind the BinTang supermarket
  • The BinTang supermarket was our local source of food and munchies
  • Close to restaurants and shops and ATM’s
  • Amazing pool which wrapped around the building
  • Day bed and upstairs outdoor entertaining area
  • Maid Service

The minuses:

  • No oven in kitchen, only a cooktop and microwave (but keep in mind you won’t be eating at home all the time with so many restaurants nearby!)
  • The villa is down a back laneway which is a few minutes walk from the main street; its dark at night and there is a risk of being run down by locals on scooters
  • The air-conditioning did not cope so well with all of us running our units at minimum the whole time
  • Large amounts of chlorine in the pool
  • Maid service: I like my privacy, so it was odd sharing your space with an outsider. Occasionally there would be other people, like the pool person, or the local massage woman, who would just wander in (with implied consent from the maid I assume) – felt strange but to them it was business as usual
  • Most rooms weren’t properly sealed from the outside world, in the main bedroom there was a gap between the door and frame on the main door and the outside bathroom meaning that mosquitos could get in along with other weird and wonderful creatures
  • TV’s in upstairs rooms didn’t have TV channel access: only a DVD player could be used. Unfortunately the villa doesn’t have a DVD collection so it was useless having TV’s at all in those rooms.

For the price we paid for Villa Martine, which was half the price we would’ve paid at a local hotel, we were happy with the end result. We booked at last minute in the middle of high season so we were lucky to have found this property. There are a vast array of other villas available so do your research and you may find something better than Villa Martine for the same price; though if you want a good solid option this could be the one for you!

The website for the villa is here.

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