It’s hard to think of a better way of doing Bali (or Phuket, or any other island for that matter) than by renting a villa. Here are three of our favorite agencies.
Rated “Excellent” by TripAdvisor for its coverage of Phuket’s Kamala beach, this high-end villa rental and sales site’s USP is that the founder, Joanne Baylis, personally stays and checks on each listed property. The focus is on ultra swank spots like the three-bedroom Villa Chi (just a five-minute walk from Kamala Beach) featuring incredible sea views and a 16-meter infinity swimming pool, which goes from $750 per night.
Bali Tropical Villas
In operation for more than 17 years, this Bali specialist has over 500 properties across the island. Expect diverse options from remote beaches or mountains to better known spots in Seminyak, Kerobokan and Sanur. A luxe pick is Taman Ahimsa Retreat, a seven-bedroom eco-getaway built using recycled iron, tamarind and teak woods. Dedicated chefs are also on hand, serving organic, macrobiotic and ayurvedic meals. The rate’s the same through the site or direct at www.taman-ahimsa.com: US$2,700 ($3,476) for the peak season from June 1-September 15.
The Villa Guide
Covering Indonesia, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand, The Villa Guide offers a cute, irreverent voice, an easy-to-navigate site and a carefully curated selection of properties. Among the highlights is Suralai, high in the hills overlooking Koh Samui’s Bophut Bay. This kick-ass spot sleeps 12 and comes with its own private chef. It goes from US$1,530 ($1,965) through the site, versus US$1,200 ($1,540) when booking direct through www.suralai.com.