Seminyak is where the party’s at in Bali! The trendiest shops, the hippest bars, and the coolest restaurants are all found in Seminyak, which is why Mike and I have decided to spend the last leg of our honeymoon in this lively town. Of course, because it’s so commercialized and popular, that also means that accommodations here are generally expensive. Mike and I have decided that we would stick to our budget of a maximum of PHP 65,000 (Around IDR 1,800,000 or USD 1,400) for accommodations alone for our entire 12 days in Bali. We have already spent most of that on our first two lodgings in Ubud and Jimbaran (it was our honeymoon after all!). How on earth can we afford staying in the upmarket area of Seminyak for 6 nights with only PHP 23,000* to spare?(*Around IDR 6,800,000 or USD 500) Was it doable?
Thanks to Airbnb, it surely is!
It was our first time to book a home through Airbnb. While I’ve heard many good reviews about it, I have also come across some Airbnb horror stories, which made me a little wary about using the service. This was our honeymoon — a once-in-a-lifetime event — and I really didn’t want any disasters on such an important occasion! What if I book a “charming one-bedroom beachfront villa” and arrive there, only to find out that the photos of the property have been Photoshopped and we are actually staying in a decrepit dump overlooking a grimy canal? Or what if I pay the reservation fee online and the host runs away with my money? Or what if my host cancels my reservation just days before our scheduled arrival? (I have seen many reviews of properties that say “This host has cancelled this reservation x days before arrival.”) Que horror!
To assuage my fears, I looked at many properties, read plenty of reviews, did lots of research, and contacted each host one by one to gauge their character through the way they respond. The great thing about Bali is that there are literally thousands of gorgeous private villas to choose from! Every corner you turn, you’ll see a villa. A lot of foreigners have purchased properties here and rent it out to vacationers for days, weeks, and even months! Some of these foreigners stay in Bali, close to their Airbnb villas, while some hire a caretaker and manage it from wherever they are in the world.
After hours of doing my research, I’ve finally settled on our home in Seminyak: a 3-bedroom pool villa called Villa Angel!
3 bedrooms?! Why book a 3-bedroom place when only 2 people are staying in it? First, most of the 1-bedroom places I looked at in this area are either booked already or above our budget. Second, surprisingly, the price of renting this 3-bedroom home is the same as (or even lower than!) some of the 1-bedroom homes I’ve looked at. Third, how often do we get to live in a massive mansion and feel like we’re in an episode of MTV Cribs? Not everyday, that’s for sure!
Based on the reviews and photos of the villa, I chose Villa Angel for the following reasons:
- Price – The damage for renting this humongous home? Including the Airbnb service fee, only PHP 3,800/night! (IDR 1.1M / USD 80) Not bad at all, considering we had the home all to ourselves!
- Location – In the reviews, I read that it is about a 10-minute walk to the Main Street but is located in a more quiet part of Seminyak, which is good for honeymooners who want easy access to the main hub but also want privacy.
- The host – Christian Savet, the owner of Villa Angel, owns many other villas in and outside of Bali and has received many good reviews, so at least I’m confident that he’s not going to run away with our money! He also responds fast to messages, which is a big plus, especially for an impatient person like me.
- The look – I love all things colorful, and I love the splashes of color in Villa Angel! The fun furniture and the vibrant greenery definitely caught my eye.
I’ll talk about these things more later and reveal whether our expectations were met or not.
To get to the villa, we had to pass through a very dark and narrow alleyway. When we reached this alleyway, I gulped in nervousness. “Uh oh,” I thought, “this doesn’t look too good.” It seemed impossible for our driver’s car to squeeze its way in that tiny gap! Good thing he was skilled so he was able to miraculously manage to glide his way through that small lane. I’ll be honest: the area leading to the villa looked shady and scary. Even though our driver assured me that Bali is a very safe place, and I’m generally adventurous, I didn’t feel like walking alone here at night. But as soon as we were warmly welcomed by the villa’s security guard (yes, we had our own security guard every night!), we found that behind the villa’s gate was a beautiful sanctuary!
We have lowered our expectations about our Airbnb home. For the price we are paying, we weren’t expecting anything amazing. We were happy to settle for something decent and livable. When we were escorted inside the house, Mike and I scanned this expansive space with its own 12×3 meter lap pool, open-air living and dining room, and well-cultivated garden, and finally said “Nice!”
Villa Angel can be rented out as a 2- or 3-bedroom home. Naturally, renting it out as a 3-bedroom would cost more. For people like us who opted to rent it out as a 2-bedroom home, we could just choose 2 out of the 3 rooms that we liked best. All rooms are vibrant, colorful, and modern with some Balinese touches, and they have their own en-suite bathrooms, work desks, and spacious wardrobes. I’ll take you through all the 3 rooms in the villa, as well as all the other parts of the house. I’ve also included both daytime and nighttime photos so you can visualize the place better.
Obviously, this was the biggest room in the house so we went straight for it. The warm and bright colors in this room are really pretty, the closet space behind the bed is enormous, and it is the only one with a tub in the bathroom. However, we did not stay here because the air conditioning was not very cool and one of the doors looked like it was going to fall off anytime soon.
Room #2, the middle room, which had cooler colors, was also quite big! However, Mike still thought that the room wasn’t cold enough for his liking.
Finally, we arrived at Room #3, which was at the very end of the house. For some reason, I had this feeling that this is the “kids’ room” because it’s the smallest one and the painting that hangs over the bed looks like an artwork with a child’s scrawls and doodles. While moving from room to room, I felt like Goldilocks from “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The first room was too hot, so we moved to the second room, which was still a little hot. And then, we went to the third room and said, “Ahh, this room temperature is just right!” and “It’s not too big and not too small!” and we decided that we’d stay there. Besides, even though it was the smallest room, it was actually still roomy enough for two people! It also had the best view, in our opinion. So even though we could stay in 2 out of the 3 rooms, we just stayed here in this “kiddie room” for our entire 6-night stay at Villa Angel.
Villa Angel’s long and big swimming pool is great for doing laps or having a pool party. The water temperature is nice (not too cold) and it gets a lot of sun so it’s perfect for those who want to get a tan in the comfort of their own villa. However, because it’s right next to the plants and is located in the garden, I did see some creepy crawlies plummet to their death in the pool. Mike didn’t mind but I was a bit iffy about stepping on centipedes on the swimming pool floor so I only swam in it once. The pool could use more regular cleaning, which we have asked the villa’s staff to do so, and they have always happily and willingly fulfilled our requests.
Outdoor Living Space
I liked lounging around this vivid outdoor living room overlooking the pool. It’s a nice and peaceful place to relax, read a book, go on your computer, and meditate. My only problem here were the pesky mosquitoes. Every time I went here, I made sure that I slather on some bug spray!
This pretty and cozy gazebo right next to our bedroom can be used for relaxing and getting an in-villa massage, which the staff can arrange for their guests. We didn’t really get to kick back here though because there were wasps flying around and we just didn’t feel like getting stung on our honeymoon!
Semi-Open Air Living Room and Dining Room
There’s something so striking about the simple yet vibrant interiors of Villa Angel’s living room and dining room. The combination of the clean and white walls, minimalist furniture, interesting artwork, and radiant bursts of color bring so much life and energy to the home.
Again, my only beef about this place would be the mozzies, which we should have expected already since this is Bali and this is an open-concept home. Big groups will really love it here because there’s so much room to move around, play, drink, eat, and hang out. The living room also has a TV, DVD player, DVDs, and its own bathroom.
We never actually did any cooking in Villa Angel’s kitchen since we ate out all the time. Hence, I can’t really say if everything was working. I think long-staying guests might enjoy preparing meals in this kitchen though. There’s a stove, microwave, fridge, water dispenser, and plenty of storage for food.
2 villa staff and 2 security guards work in shifts and help ensure the comfort and safety of the guests at Angel Villa and they are the best! It’s funny that they have the same names– we had helper Putu (we call her “Day Putu”) and security guard Putu (“Night Putu”), and helper Wayan who comes every morning to clean (so we named him “Day Wayan”) and security guard Wayan who guards the villa at night (hence, “Night Wayan”). Whether it’s cleaning the pool, getting your laundry done, cooking breakfast for you, or arranging massages, they get the job done with a smile on their friendly faces. They cleaned our rooms for us everyday without us even having to ask. At night, when we needed to walk outside and pass the dark alley and get through some aggressive dogs, our security guards would shoo these dogs away for us and accompany us outside. All of them are just lovable and kind, but I have really grown fond of Day Putu, the motherly lady staff of the villa. She hugs me every time she sees me! On our last night at the villa, she found out that we were checking out very early at 6:30 in the morning the next day. She said she only comes to the villa at around 8:00 am but she will try to go to the villa earlier so she can say goodbye. Putu comes all the way from Tabanan, which is almost 2 hours from Seminyak, so I was not expecting anything. But the next morning, there she was, way too early for her shift, just so she could give us one last embrace before we left Bali. She is the sweetest!
What made me sad about the staff was their working conditions. They stayed in a small room just right behind the villa gate separating our living space from theirs. It looks humid in that corner and I often saw the security guards lying on the floor. They didn’t have proper beds to rest on. I’m sure they’re used to it already and it’s nothing to them, but Mike and I still felt bad for them anyway, especially since they were so nice to us.
While Villa Angel is not exactly in the heart of Seminyak, it is easy to walk to the major spots in the area. From the villa, we just walked to Oberoi (Eat Street), Potato Head, Seminyak Beach, and Seminyak Square. It was about a 10-minute power walk, which was good exercise, really. And when we felt lazy, it was very easy to get a cab at the main road (Too easy, actually. The cab drivers kept passing by and honking their horns at us even when we weren’t calling for a cab!). The villa was located just right across Warung Kultur, our favorite restaurant in Seminyak and our second favorite restaurant from our Bali trip, and there are some nearby dining places around. There is also a Mini Mart just a few steps away from the villa, which is very convenient for little emergencies or midnight cravings.
I only have two negative comments about the location, and they are beyond the host’s control. The first would be the pitch-black pathway leading up to the main road. We literally could not see anything when we passed here. A light or two will surely help! The second would be the vicious dog owned by one of the neighbors. (I think his name is Billy but we just call him “asshole”). I had a traumatic experience when I was walking all by myself down that road during the day and this fiendish dog was already staring at me from a distance, waiting for me to get closer so he could attack me. I tried to act calm but when I got closer, he started barking at me and was getting ready to bite me. As if that wasn’t bad enough, two other dogs appeared from the other end of the road and started barking and moving toward me. (I later on found out that the other two dogs were harmless). I was cornered by dogs! Good thing there was a man and his kid there, and they helped drive away the dogs and made sure I got in the villa safely! That same dog also tried to bite Mike. Maybe I should have asked our driver Made to cook that dog!
Other than that, the location was just fine.
So, in conclusion, this is what we thought of Villa Angel:
What we liked:
- Spacious and clean rooms / rooms were cleaned everyday
- A bed and sheets so comfortable and fluffy, we spent so much time just lying in bed
- Nice shower with hot water working perfectly fine
- Wonderful and helpful staff
- Beautiful design of the rooms and villa
- Pool temperature is always nice
- Location is good, quiet, and accessible
- Host was reliable and responded fast to messages
- Bottled water was provided in each room for free
- Free wi-fi in all areas of the house, although it can be a bit slow sometimes
- Plenty of areas and open spaces to laze around in
- Big and perfect for 3 couples, big groups, or a huge family
What we didn’t like / what could be improved:
- That violent asshole of a dog (not really the host’s fault though)
- Pitch-black alley leading up to the main road (again, not the host’s fault)
- Plenty of mosquitoes and insects, which is quite common in Bali. A wasp was able to sneak in our bedroom and we held ourselves hostage in our bathroom until it died from the bug spray. More frequent fumigation is needed.
- Weak air conditioning in Rooms 1 and 2
- Signs of wear and tear are showing. Sliding door in Room 1 was coming off, a chair with a wobbly leg broke when I was sitting on it, and there were holes in the sun bed
- The pool needs to be cleaned more often
If you’re looking for an affordable and comfortable home in Seminyak that’s close to the major shopping, dining, or leisure spots but away from the noise, Villa Angel is heaven sent!
*Note: When you use my link to book this villa (or any other home in Airbnb), you’ll get PHP 780 in travel credit and PHP 2,340 in travel credit when you welcome your first guest. Simply go to www.airbnb.com/c/nadines154 and plan your trip!
Address: Jalan Pankungsari, Br. Taman, Petitenget, Seminyak
– https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/4942651 (2-bedroom rental)
– https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/930125 (3-bedroom rental)
Rates: Rates vary depending on season and length of stay. Contact the host for more information.
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For all stories related to our Bali honeymoon trip, visit the link below: