Tips for Renting a Villa in Bali, Indonesia inner banner

Tips for Renting a Villa in Bali, Indonesia

Renting a self-contained villa in Bali is a popular alternative to the impersonal style of stay characterised by many traditional hotels. The following tips will ensure you're socially savvy when relating to staff, your neighbours, and the community at large.
Tips for renting a villa in Bali
Tips for renting a villa in Bali

It’s the quintessential Balinese holiday that every traveller dreams of.

Ensconced in your luxurious private sanctuary, renting a villa in Bali offers true respite from the hubbub of the outside world. Generally, villas feature deluxe, multi-room accommodation and all the amenities you would find in a private home. Most come complete with a pool framed by verdant gardens and high fencing to shield you from prying eyes. Specialist staff like chefs and masseurs are on stand-by, and you’ll spend your days wrapped in the type of tranquilly that can only be found on this palm-fringed piece of paradise.

That said, an understanding of local customs and social etiquette is essential to ensure a smooth stay. The following tips for renting a villa in Bali will help you foster positive relationships with staff and local residents, as you immerse yourself in the island’s culture, history, and exquisite beauty.

Show respect for Balinese culture and traditions

Bali’s cultural heritage is deeply entwined with Hindu traditions and customs, which have shaped this distinctive part of Indonesia’s way of life for centuries. Visitors should approach their stay with a genuine sense of respect for these conventions. This is particularly important when renting a villa, as you’ll be regarded as a temporary member of the community.

Tips for renting a villa in Bali
Be mindful of cultural norms when attending local festivals in Bali.

Be aware of behaviour that may be considered disrespectful or offensive. Bali’s cultural norms strongly emphasise modesty and respect, especially when visiting religious institutions or participating in festivals and culture-based ceremonies. Dress conservatively in these situations, covering from your shoulders to your knees. You should also avoid public intoxication and overt displays of affection, as they can offend local sensibilities.

Learn to use local greetings

Politeness and social graces are highly valued in Bali, and one of the easiest ways to demonstrate both is to learn a few simple phrases in Balinese before your trip. The use of ‘Rahajeng semeng’ (good morning), ‘Rahajeng tengai’ (good afternoon), and ‘Rahajeng peteng’ (good evening) accompanied by a wide smile will go a long way towards building rapport with villa staff. Other basic terms in the local language such as ‘Matur suksma’ (thank you) and ‘Suksma mewali’ (you’re welcome) will also serve you well. Even if your proficiency with the language is limited, simply making an effort will be met with appreciation and goodwill.

Maintain a relaxed approach to the concept of time

Indonesians have a unique concept of time — often referred to as ‘jam karet’ or ‘rubber time’. It literally means that time flexes like rubber, and it can be misinterpreted by westerners as an excuse for poor timekeeping. In fact, it emphasises the importance of patience and adaptability, and guests renting a Balinese villa should adopt this alternative to clock watching. Rather than becoming frustrated by delays or last-minute alterations to plans, embrace the unhurried pace of life; you’ll experience a deeper sense of relaxation as a result.

Tips for renting a villa in Bali
Relax and rejuvenate on Bali time.

Be environmentally conscious

Bali’s beauty is one of its most precious assets, and guests renting a villa should minimise their impact on the environment wherever possible. This includes conserving water, reducing energy use, disposing of waste thoughtfully, and supporting any eco-friendly initiatives that have been implemented by villa owners and staff. Every visitor to the island has an obligation to do their bit to preserve its wondrous natural state.

Communicate clearly and courteously

From reception attendants and housekeepers, to chefs and gardeners, villa staff are the backbone of your stay in Bali — and it’s their dedication and hard work that will ensure that your holiday is an exceptional one. So, always be kind and courteous when interacting with staff. Whether requesting housekeeping services, arranging transportation, or seeking advice on local attractions, articulate your needs clearly and avoid unreasonable demands. The verbal acknowledgment of good service provided by a staff member will always be greatly appreciated.

Tips for renting a villa in Bali
Tips for renting a villa in Bali: Acknowledgment the efforts of staff to provide good service.

Reward excellence with a tip

Tipping is a customary practice in Bali, especially in the hospitality industry. While it’s not mandatory, leaving a gratuity demonstrates an appreciation for good service in a tangible way. Guests can leave a tip at the end of their stay, either directly with villa staff or in the designated tip box. Alternatively, you may want to tip individual staff members who have gone out of their way to provide an exceptional experience.

If you decide to provide a shared tip, the norm is five to ten percent of your villa rental cost. In most cases a shared tip will be distributed amongst all staff members, including those working behind the scenes.

Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of tips for renting a villa in Bali? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.

Additional images: Depositphotos, Bigstock, and Envato

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