Sure, there are all kinds of ways to enjoy a Balinese vacation. There could be something to be said for almost any kind of temporary residence, because Bali’s such an enjoyable place that you really could stay in a stable and still have a good time. But from surveying a lot of travellers over the years, you’ll find that villas are the overall top-rated accommodation.

1. It’s private.

Hotels are crowded, private lodging is dodgy, and youth hostels are not only dormitory style, but a great place to get your luggage stolen. Bali, as a culture, is generally structured to be a lot more communal than what we Westerners are used to. Villas are the one respite from the hectic, chaotic pace of Balinese cities, and gives you a chance to regroup away from the mobs.

2. It’s more modern.

Bali villas are a relatively recent innovation, with most of them constructed in the past couple of decades, tops. Compare that to most other buildings in Bali, which might go back a couple of centuries. Those buildings are charming to take a tour of, but they won’t seem as attractive once you realize that most of them have outdoor plumbing at best, limited electricity if any, and wireless Internet is unheard of. A Bali villa gives you all the comforts of home – and yes, we Westerners are a spoiled lot, aren’t we?

3. It’s actually (usually) cheaper!

Especially for multiple residency, such as a family. Hotels in the city have been quick to take advantage of the boom in tourism to Indonesia, and tend to fleece you a little bit if they can get away with it. Even the more high-end villas may cost as much per person, but you’ll have to admit that you actually get something for your money there.

4. The villas have the best locations already.

Private beaches, secluded locations, natural scenery, spas and pools, spas, boutiques, and even the occasional golf course is thrown in. Most of them take advantage of Bali’s generous amounts of coastline to be convenient to the beach. Especially surfers, divers, and lovers of all aquatic sports swear by Bali beachfront villas, because they give you a perfect base right by the drink.

5. Many of them are tailor-made to individual tastes.

Some are themed after a spa and wellness motif. This suits some of the new medical tourism that’s been attracting new visitors to Bali. Some are remotely located and themed around a real tropical adventure, with hiking and biking trails nearby. Some provide a more meditative experience, with a temple nearby and Hindu customs going on. As opposed to an impersonal hotel, Bali villas are a really necessary factor in getting the full Bali tourist experience.