When the in-laws come to town the hairs at the back of our neck stand up, awaiting the worst. We dread the small Singapore flats, the all too common Gardens by the Bay-Singapore River Cruise-Night Zoo trips and the endless meals that will surely carve a hole in our pockets. The best solution? A trip to Bali to leave them speechless and send them home with high talks about how much you love them measured in the size of the rooms, the infinity pool views and the private chef meals with everything your mother in law loves.
Here are a few of our favorite secret villas in Bali to impress the in-laws.
1. Villa Umah Shanti
Details: Accommodates 7 people in 3 bedrooms, 4 staff members with a 2:1 Guest to Staff ratio
What we love about it: Pretty much everything. We particularly look forward to the wrap-around rainforest jungle feel where every room has lush door to ceiling doors and windows. We absolutely love the breathtaking infinity pool rivalling the famous Ubud Hanging Gardens minus the four digit room rates, and the large garden showers and freestanding bathtubs where your mother in-law can peacefully soak in and soften up to honor the name of the villa “House of Peace”.
Room to choose: Although all rooms have access to the jungle, the master bedroom has direct access to the pool so you can sneak out at night for a dip under the stars.
Make it happen: Book here, rates per person starting at USD75 per night
2. Villa Amrita
Details: Accommodates 6 people in 3 bedrooms, 3 staff members with a 2:1 Guest to Staff ratio
What we love about it: Secluded, secretive and completely private, a getaway to a special place with expansive views over rice paddies, volcanoes and jungle, a true Balinese blend. The unlimited home-made ice cream stocked in the freezer will satisfy all your sweet teeth and the espresso machine will awake all your senses.
Room to choose: The master bedroom comes with a large jacuzzi hot tub which you may want to give to your in-laws for some late night pampering and to show how much you love them, or quietly keep to yourself! Master bedroom and second bedroom are located at opposite ends without any risk of the sound traveling through.
Make it happen: Book here, rates per person starting at USD85 per night
3. Casa Hannah Villa
Details: Accommodates 10 people in 5 bedrooms, 6 staff members with a 2:1 Guest to Staff ratio
What we love about it: It’s very sleek, designer-chic decor and architecture split by the elongated pool are only suitable for the coolest and most modern in-laws. Of course, the cinema room is the perfect place to send the in-laws and the children for an afternoon of bonding while you shop to your heart’s content in Seminyak, where the villa is located. This is also the perfect place to entertain other guests if you are having a celebration with friends and family in the same villa or elsewhere because the garden can accommodate up to 40 people and even has a bar area. Your mother in law will be thrilled to play host to such a modern villa.
Room to choose: There are two king rooms so they feel they are getting the best treatment. We also love that the rooms are split into two buildings, so you can retire to full privacy even if you have the full family, including nieces and nephews, there.
Make it happen: Book here, rates per person starting at USD120 per night
4. Villa Lulito
Details: Accommodates 8 people in 4 bedrooms, 6 staff members with a 3:1 Guest to Staff ratio
What we love about it: The colonial white washed decor that makes us feel like we are somewhere between the islands of Curacao and the French Provence. We also love the garden BBQ, which could be the perfect excuse to keep the father in-law occupied with some father-child bonding time over a sunset outdoor feast. A professional chef can be at hand should the fun fade away after the first few burgers and the heat of the open fire on the warm Balinese evenings.
Room to choose: Because the master bedroom is adjacent to the children’s bunk bed room, you will have it easy to convince the in-laws that this has to be yours, unless they are keen to offer some child minding help, and so will the stone carved freestanding bathtub where you can luxuriate away the hours while the children play with the many pool toys. Best yet, leave the children in the expert help of the babysitter and the many toys available and venture out on foot to Seminyak’s many bars, cafes and hip local designer stores.
Make it happen: Book here, rates per person starting at USD137 per night
5. Villa Atas Ombak
Details: Accommodates 10 people in 5 bedrooms, 21 staff members with an impressive 0.5:1 Guest to Staff ratio
What we love about it: Where to start. The impressive 6,000sqm of beachfront gardens and 100m of direct beach access makes this one of Bali’s most luxurious and most coveted villas and granted it coverage in Vogue and Elle. There are outdoor stone baths, jacuzzis, beach front bedrooms with glass walls, gazebos, massage tables that can be placed anywhere and a media room. You will have access to the Finns Recreation Club (former Canggu Club), the only country club in Bali, and an array of experiences arranged by the 21-man staff ready to fulfill even your, or your mother in-law’s, wildest dreams.
This is the perfect villa to bring together complicated, soap opera worthy families without any risk of arguments. The surroundings will do the talk and set the tone for a memorable gathering offering something for everyone to have the holiday they desire without a compromise on the rest. If you manage to gather the strength to leave the villa, Mozaic, Potato Head, The W Hotel, La Lucciola, The Legian Hotel and Ku De Ta are all in walking distance.
The sea facing location and the expansive grounds will leave your in-laws speechless, making sure this remains a vacation to remember. The only issue? You will have a hard time topping that next holiday, and the Flower Dome will certainly not do it.
Room to choose: The master bedroom is huge and comes with its own plunge pool but the two new bedrooms added in the beach pavilion are close to the sea breeze and waves.
Make it happen: Book here, rates per person starting at USD200 per night
Bonus: Villa Impossible
Details: Accommodates 12 people in 6 bedrooms, 5 staff members with 2:1 Guest to Staff ratio
What we love about it: The location is breathtaking, as are the rates for this gorgeous private beach villa with sweeping views over the ocean from all rooms. Even if you are only visiting with your in-laws, the price is still very affordable at USD80 for a family of 6, a total steal for such an incredible backdrop. And if you surf, the villa is sandwiched between famous surf spots at Padang Padang and Bingin Beach. We are also in love with their boho-rustic beach vibe that comes from the bamboo white linen combo. As the villa does not have a swimming pool it is perfect for mother in-laws who prefer to stay away from the sun rays while still enjoying the smell and sound of the sea. Did we mention it faces the sunset? Gorgeous, jaw-dropping evenings guaranteed.
Room to choose: All of them have sea views and there are two master bedrooms so everyone will feel equal.
Make it happen: Book here, rates per person starting at the bargain rate of only USD42 per night