The past year has been a little bit quiet on the travel front but finally a few weeks ago, our schedules opened up enough for us to book a trip to Bali. Indonesia is such an easy destination for Australians. It’s just a 5.5 hr flight from Melbourne (less from most other cities) and I don’t think I’ve ever been to another destination with better hospitality. Ben and I had been to Bali a few times before Evie came along but we really wanted her to experience it too. This would be her second international trip since she was born, the first being the Cook Islands at just two months old.
The last few times we’d been to Bali, we’d stayed in hotels and resorts. This time, we really wanted to stay in a villa instead. As a rambunctious one-year-old, Evie loves to move and explore and so we thought a spacious villa would be ideal. After browsing the huge range of villas available on the Villa Finder website, we settled on Villa Jaanuva in Canggu. It ticked the box on everything we were looking for and so we decided it would be perfect for our first family trip to Bali. If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to stay in a villa in Bali, here’s a review of our experience at Villa Jaanuva.
Villa Jaanuva: A luxurious retreat in Canggu, Bali
The location of the villa is actually quite close to Seminyak (approx 15-20 minute drive). Getting to Canggu’s main strip, however, takes a little longer (approx 30 minutes by car). If there are traffic jams, it could take longer. We found that we were taking a car a lot of the time because the roads surrounding the villa aren’t really pedestrian friendly (there was a lot of traffic and no footpaths) and we didn’t feel too safe on foot. For this reason, having access to transport is essential. Thankfully, we had pre-arranged with the concierge team to have a car on standby for whenever we wanted to go out. This made it super easy for us to get around without any hassle.
Just around the corner from the villa was a great supermarket stocked with all the essentials as well as an ATM, so that was a bonus.
I have always loved the fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces in Balinese architecture and Villa Jaanuva is quite striking in this regard. The villa’s expansive living area is open, wrapping in an L-shape around the garden and 15-metre pool in the centre. No matter where you are in the villa, you have a view out into the tropical greenery. There’s not one but two lounge areas, one with a large, flat-screen TV. The dining room table seats eight, meaning that the whole family can come together at mealtimes.
There are three expansive bedrooms, each air-conditioned and with their own ensuites and luggage storage. The master suite on the top floor even has its own private terrace, a lovely secluded area hidden away from the rest of the complex. The two other bedrooms are pool-side, one with a king-size bed and the other with twin beds.
With its combination of wood and stone, breezy linens, neutral tones and tropical accents, Villa Jaanuva’s interior design feels luxurious and tranquil.
Even though the flight had gone smoothly, by the time we collected our bags and made our way through customs and immigration, we were all pretty tired. Thankfully, complimentary airport transfers were included with our booking so it was a relief to see our ride waiting for us. We bundled into the air-conditioned car, strapped Evie into her car seat and 30 minutes later, were delivered to our villa. There, waiting by the door to greet us, were our two full-time housekeeping staff as well as the villa manager. There was no formal check-in to complete, which I must admit, was a relief, as by this time the babe was hangry and overdue for a nap (not a good combo, trust me!)
The manager gave us a quick villa tour to let us decide which bedrooms we’d prefer so Evie’s portacot could be moved into the right spot. While the staff were busy arranging everything for us, we sipped welcome drinks and I set the babe up with a snack of fresh fruit. I’d requested that there be some fruit for us on arrival so she would have something to eat right away when we arrived – such a good move.
I’ll admit, as soon as I stepped through the entryway into Villa Jaanuva, I was immediately blown away. It was absolutely enormous and far bigger than any hotel room I’d ever stayed in. I couldn’t believe that we had all this space to ourselves. I definitely wasn’t complaining though – travelling with a child makes you appreciate every square metre of space you can get!
Even though there were only three of us, I was glad that we could take our pick of the three bedrooms. We actually decided to all stay in the bedroom at the end of the pool, Evie too. Usually she sleeps in her own room at home but we found that the other two bedrooms were too bright for her (she likes a dark room, our girl). I also stupidly forgot to bring the baby monitor’s charger so if she would have woken up crying in the night, I wouldn’t have been able to hear her in such a large villa as this. So we all felt better sleeping close to one another.
Without a doubt, our favourite thing about the villa was the pool. Evie couldn’t get enough of it. She learnt a new word, ‘pool’, and literally as soon as she woke up in the morning, she was pointing and calling to get in.
Another wonderful aspect of Villa Jaanuva is that there are two villa staff on site all day. They arrive early in the morning to cook breakfast and then do a housekeeping service. They helped us with lots of things, including going with us to the supermarket to carry our groceries. Also, they didn’t even bat an eyelid when helping to clean up Evie’s poo explosions!
The villa really is kitted out with everything you could possibly need but there was one thing we found missing: a landline phone. Usually this wouldn’t have worried us but when we all fell sick and needed to call a doctor, for some reason our mobile phones wouldn’t work. Since it was after hours, the villa staff had gone home and so there was no one we could get to help us dial the doctor. We ended up calling Ben’s dad in Australia, who then called the doctor for us. A landline phone in the villa would have been useful at the time.
The only other thing that was a little frustrating was the construction happening in the block directly behind our villa. Canggu is undergoing rapid development and you see construction everywhere you turn. There was lots of hammering and drilling all through the day and night. Usually the concierge team notifies the guests in advance if they know there is construction happening nearby, so they must not have been aware of it. Luckily, it didn’t keep us awake at night though.
While it’s lovely to dine out on holiday, sometimes you just feel like staying in. Villa Jaanuva has a fully furnished kitchen complete with a fridge, stove and oven so you have everything you need to cook your own meals if you choose. Breakfast is included every morning of your stay, which includes coffee, freshly squeezed juice, fruit, toast, pancakes and eggs. The lovely housekeeping staff would wash Evie’s bottles for us and we’d easily sterilise them on the stovetop. It was really convenient having a kitchen accessible like this, especially when travelling with a baby.
The concierge service
The thing that really impressed me with the Villa Finder experience was the concierge service. Free to all guests, the concierge is your local team on the ground, there to assist you in any aspect of your stay. As a travelling family, we asked the concierge to help arrange a few things for us. Firstly, we asked for a high chair, a cot and a pram to be available so that we didn’t have to bring our own – trust me, we had enough luggage as it was! The team also offered to construct a childproof fence around the pool for us (they really can do anything!) but Evie wasn’t walking yet and we knew we could keep her safe without one.
We also requested that the villa be stocked with some groceries, as I mentioned earlier, so that Evie would have snacks on hand at all times. Parents, you know this is essential! We knew that we would be wiped out from a long day of travel so we also asked the concierge team to arrange a chef to come to the villa to cook us dinner the first night. I can’t tell you how grateful I was that this was possible. It just made everything easy and relaxing which is exactly what we needed.
As there wasn’t too much within walking distance of Villa Jaanuva, we also had the team arrange a driver during our stay too. It was just convenient having transportation waiting whenever we needed it.
Book this villa if…
If you’re craving a little more space and privacy on your Bali holiday, a villa is a fantastic option. Villa Finder represents villas in over 15 countries. The company personally inspects each one too so you can rest assured knowing they’re of the highest quality. A villa is a great option for families who might desire a space that is self-contained or one with a bigger floorplan. Having the benefit of the free concierge service to take care of your holiday needs is really valuable and takes away a lot of the stress when planning your trip (especially when you’re travelling with kids!). Finally, for the kind of property you get to call home, the value for money is truly exceptional.
Villa Jaanuva and other Bali villas can be booked through the Villa Finder website.
Looking for more travel guides on Bali? Read these next:
- A Guide to Canggu: Bali’s Most Chilled-Out Neighbourhood
- A Foodie’s Guide to Seminyak
- A Quick Guide to Ubud: Where to Eat, Play and Stay
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