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So it's been a few days since i posted a blog. This is due to a number of reasons, but the main one being that i've been trawling the web for a villa for our retreat in Bali. Now when i say trawling, I mean TRAWLING! I genuinely never even considered that there would be SO many villas to choose from, as with my previous experience from booking the retreat in Koh Tao the main challenge was purely to find a villa large enough for our group. This time however, the challenge was sorting through approximately 500 (Yes you read right, 500!) beautiful villas in various different locations all over the island.

Locations

Now from what I can see that's on offer, the main bulk of the villas are in 3-4 main areas of the island.

  1. Kuta - From what I can gather from allot of roaming online this is the busiest, most developed, touristy area of Bali. The is also the most popular area for tourists looking for a boozy holiday, and not really particularly cultured or desirable for those that want the quiet life. The plus side is that it's pretty much as close to the airport as you can get, but not really an area that i'm exactly excited to visit.
  2. Seminyak - This is (from what I gather) a popular area for those tourists that which to distance themselves slightly from the debauchery of Kuta but still have it within easy reach. It is mostly occupied with Villa dwellers and a slightly more upmarket crowd. This means that culturally it's still slightly bland and restaurants carry a slightly higher priced menu, but again from what I gather it's a nice area to stay and within a pretty easy reach of the real beauty of Bali. This area is about 45mins from the airport (getting better)
  3. Ubud - This is the most accessible and occupied "In Land" resort area. Approximately 30-45mins drive from the beach, surrounded by rice fields, lush greenery and with a much more natural look to it. Although still abundant with resorts, they seem allot more spread out and properties don't seem to overlook each other at all and tend to have a couple of rice fields scattered in between each piece of land to break it up. This area is about 1.5-2hrs from the airport and the main area of Kuta, so starting to get a little more isolated but still within a reach of life if you need it. The downside of course is NO BEACH!
  4. The North - Now, the reason I've referred to it as just "The North" is that I can't seem to find a definitive area that is the most popular part. I've seen villas for rent scattered all along the Northern coast and this has made it very difficult to know what areas are best. From what I can see, the North is beautiful and quiet, the sort of place I love! Close to Temples, Hot Springs, Hiking, and various other pursuits. It's also the best place to go diving as it has the best Coral & Marine life.

So every bone in my body is telling me to book the villa in the North because that's where I would stay if I was booking it just for myself...........But i'm not booking it for myself am I, i'm booking to for a group of people that I want to have the time of their lives in Bali. I want them to see everything they want to see, do everything they want to do and have it all at an arms reach. I also want these people to come back time and time again with us, which means that the risk of booking a villa 3-4hrs away from the airport and the main life of Kuta might not be a great idea.

So back to the drawing board I go! I've managed to find some happy medium villas that are within an hour of the main area/airport and slightly rural but also within 30mins of the nearest beach, so I think i'm slowly winning but i've changed my mind so many times with this one it's unbelievable!

Why can't everywhere be as easy to book as our Koh Tao retreat. We just had to find the biggest villa on offer and book it, talk to the activity companies on the island to find the best way of doing things and to discuss our ideas, create a schedule, and book our flights. Then we just spend a week having the most amazing time with our guests on our little tropical island adventure. I think from now on all retreats will have to be on islands no bigger than 25KM2!

I'm so excited about this year it's ridiculous. Koh Tao (our first retreat in June) is going to be amazing, and so much fun, and then Bali in October to finish the year off with a bang! If you're reading this and want more info just head to our page New Horizon Active Escapes for more info.

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