Private Villa or Resort – we are breaking down the pros & cons of each

Sometimes it could be a little confusing while preparing a holiday. Especially when you are deciding on where to stay. Private villas and resorts are both great options, but which of them is more suitable for your trip? Here, we have broke down the pros & cons of them each to ease the planning of your trip.

Ayana Resort & Spa Bali The Rock Bar

There are so many decisions to make when it comes to a Bali trip- aisle or window, bintang or cocktail, shopping or massage? Your accommodation is a key part of your booking process and you want to make sure you choose the right option for you and your group. Private villa or resort are both great options to consider with everything they offer, but what will you get out of each experience? We have put together a list of pros and cons for each to make your planning process easier, so you can focus on enjoying your holiday!


Villas are a great option for exploring your surrounding area. Either part of a complex or a standalone property, generally there will be a private pool, a small garden, a basically stocked kitchen and anywhere from 1-5 bedrooms (sometimes many more!)  with ensuites.

PROS of choosing a private villa:

  • Private pool villas have an exclusive feel, especially with all of the privacy they offer. The pool is yours to use and yours only. Kids can be kids and splash and make noise. You can have a little pool party (as long as you are respectful of neighbours and the rules of your accommodation), or even try for a moonlit skinny dip! Come on, we dare you.
  • Unlike at a resort, you can hire a pool fence from many baby equipment hire companies to keep your kids safe (sometimes the villas you choose will offer to arrange this for you too).
    * Find more tips on travelling to Bali with kids here.
  • You won’t be sharing a lobby area with other guests. You may share a walkway or driveway with a few other villas in the complex but it will feel a little more private. 
  • You can find private villas with 5 bedrooms or more which make them great for travelling in a group. Most rooms come with an ensuite so you don’t have to do the polite bathroom dance with friends.
  • Kitchen facilities are available in the villa. This may be a good option if you are staying for more than a few days and don’t want to eat out every night. If you have kids you can wash bottles and prepare snacks. 
    * TIP: If someone in your group has dietary requirements such as celiac disease, a kitchen means they can prepare food without the worry of contamination.
  • Your villa may come with a helper who will cook food, chop fruit etc. You also have the option of hiring a private chef for a special dinner or even for your daily meals!
  • Most properties have indoor/outdoor living concepts where the living room is open air. Usually, there is a garden and outdoor area so you can bask in the Bali sunshine and enjoy balmy nights. 
  • * NOTE: Indoor/outdoor living can be a con when travelling with young children
  • Villas are generally a little more spacious so they are a great option for holidaying with extended families and groups of friends.
  • If you plan on hiring a nanny there is more space for the nanny to entertain the kids, unlike a hotel room.
  • Find info on hiring a nanny in Bali here.
  • You don’t have to rush to catch the breakfast buffet or reserve sunbeds- everything is on your time- or ‘Bali time’ as we call it on the island.
  • Order anything from food to spa treatments straight to your room using Grab SuperApp
  • * TIP: the first we do when we check in to a villa is use GrabMart on the Grab app to order some basic groceries and supplies to stock the kitchen. 
  • Generally, you will have the same staff each day when you stay in a villa. This can be a nice touch to a holiday as you get to know your staff.

CONS of choosing a private villa:

  • You may not necessarily be able to walk to shops and restaurants. Although apps like GRAB make things a little easier with food delivery, a private villa won’t have the same in-room dining facilities or restaurants like at a resort. 
  • Private villas are often tucked away in side streets and can be hard to find. Make sure you check the location before you book, and it’s a good idea to get your accommodation to arrange an airport pick up so you have a smooth check in. 
  • The pool won’t be as large as a resort pool.
  • If you are travelling with kids you might miss out on meeting other families and making new friends.
  • There is no kids club. 
  • *TIP: https://balibuddies.com/activity-for-kids-in-bali/
  • Most villas are open-air which can be annoying during the wet season. Also if you are travelling with kids this may mean you have to be extra vigilant with insects, pools, dirt etc. It is often also not practical to have the kids’ bedroom door locked and your door locked throughout the night (as rooms often open right out into the open air area).
  • Beachfront villas are scarce and those that exist come with a beachfront price tag.




There are so many beautiful Resorts all over Bali, with a high concentration of luxury beachfront properties in the Nusa Dua area. You will find extensive amenities and inclusions and different room types to choose from when choosing a resort as your place to stay.

PROS of choosing a resort stay:

  • Generally, a resort will have one or more spacious pools and extensive grounds to explore.
  • Food is a no brainer-most resorts offer multiple dining facilities and themed nights so you can experience something different each day.
  • Room service is often 24 hours.
  • Usually, there is even a bar or multiple bars, and party events too!
  • You might find that yoga and pilates classes, meditation sessions and more are included and offered daily.
  • If you want to be beachfront, resorts will be more affordable than a private villa. 
  • You might have the option of a room with an ocean or jungle view, especially at multi-storey properties.
  • Don’t want to miss a workout? Most resorts have a gym with everything you need. You may even have access to a sauna and jacuzzi.
  • Ready to be pampered? Many resorts have a spa on site too, making it easy to find time for a daily massage!

CONS of choosing a resort stay

  • Although resorts are very exclusive, within the resort there is less privacy than at a private villa for example. You will come into contact with fellow guests around the pool area, in elevators, lobby area, restaurants etc. There will probably be more staff members around also. This may not be a con for everyone, and there may even be an opportunity to become friends with other guests.
  • Your schedule may somewhat be dictated by the resort’s schedule. For example, breakfast might be from 7-10 am.
  • Some people will reserve sunbeds very early in the morning before going for breakfast. 
  • Once you are in a resort, it can be a barrier to experiencing the local culture if you predominantly stay on the property. 
  • You will generally have less space at a resort as you miss out on your living area and garden like in a villa.
  • You will have limited kitchen facilities which means preparing your own meals is usually impossible.



Often we get asked about private villas within resorts….these do exist and can often be the ultimate choice, the privacy of a villa with all of the facilities and services of a resort. .We are preparing a list of villas within a resort for you soon! Note though, that this can be the most expensive option when choosing accommodation – private villas within resorts do not come cheap. 

Now that you have all the info on what to expect while staying at a villa or resort, we hope you are closer to booking the trip that you have been dreaming of! 


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Bali Buddies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to affiliated sites.

For more information, please visit our disclaimer page.

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