29 March 2014, by Tan Li Lin
The ‘Bali Wedding’ journey up until now was suspiciously smooth.
Shortlisting the villas were a breeze, and apart from our rental car breaking down uphill, the villa hunting experience in Bali was seamless.
A week after we had returned from our trip, Ronald and I were ready to confirm the villa we wanted. This view won hands down, and I love it so much it’s become my new laptop wall paper!
ARE YOU READY?
Did you know? The horizontal man-made structures you see in the calm waters are Seaweed farms!
It didn’t quite matter that the villa itself was only preeettyy ‘okay’, and that we had to put up with this ‘award-winning submarine inspired pool’ …
Not quite from here 🙁
Yeah I know right, it’s looking quite grimy. But I loved the lawn, and imaged how lovely it would look with hanging lights. Guests would stream in through the main door, towards a sunset-lit sky as they arrived with a cocktail in hand.
The view just pulls you in. Welcome to Banyu Biru Villa, Uluwatu!
This is the typical fee structure for renting Villas in Bali for events:
The Villa (Low Season, min. 4 nights stay) = US$4060
Event Fee (2 nights’ fee) = S$2030
‘Banja’ Fee (this is an additional amount paid to the neighborhood police) = US$550
Total = US$6640
This is considered a ‘good price’ for a villa with that view. Most villas with stunning cliff-top views go over US$2000 a night. The villas usually come with a Cook and daily breakfast, a driver and an 8-seater and staff. Further more, the villa manager allowed me to convert the entertainment (TV) room into a 4th bedroom for my (poor) brother. We wrote in to the villa manager to confirm our interest, and requested that he finalize the price so that we could go ahead and book.
Mr. Ketut wrote back immediately, saying that he checked in with the Villa owner and found out that the price has increased. SERIOUSLY? OVER A WEEK? We negotiated with him several times over the next few days, but it turns out that the owner really insisted on his prices, saying that “we are already getting it cheap and the price is going to increase… (now)“.
As much as it was annoying, the truth is that doing business in Indonesia is very different from doing business in Singapore. Our transparent, structured black-and-white ways provide consumers safety and assurance. In Indonesia, everything is grey and deliberately left grey. I could be screaming in his face about poor work ethics but that would be like picking a war over a breadcrumb: Pointless, with a rather holey basis. Somehow though, having been to Indon several times already, I have to applaud them for their creativity – and I’m not being sarcastic. Being ambiguous does have it’s use in business, and I’ve always thought that us Singaporean entrepreneurs are at a huge disadvantage because of our rigid upbringing.
After much tango back and forth with Ketut, Ronald and I decided to move on to our second choice. I had already committed myself 100% (emotionally) to Banyu Biru, but I knew that working with shady characters is risky because they might spring additional charges on us anytime. Because we’re a fish out of water there (at least for me – Ronald’s more like a…. mud-skipper), we figured we had better be safe, than broke. Who would want a taste of regret every time you recall your wedding, and the US$2000 surprise that came along with it?
It didn’t take us long to close that chapter and fall in love with #2. After all, other than the odd grey cliff edge that stares at us from across the ravine, the view is just as breathtaking.
Villa Karang Kembar III has a charm that grows on you
You don’t get to see the cliff here, because I subconsciously avoided it in all my photos. Maybe this was the villa that was meant to be, because I had told my family that we wanted a villa that had ‘a cliff view’. Everyone burst out laughing at the idea of waking up in the morning, only to come face to face with a cliff.
Well guess what. Laugh no more, because my wish came true.
And I had whined to Ronald about ‘the ugly cliff face’ only to have him reply me snarkily with “You told your Sis you want a cliff view villa what...”
In that moment, I knew in my heart… this was it la. My parents tried to assure me that we could face all the chairs and tables away from the cliff. Erm, no Mom… not when it’s A CLIFF.
So I guess I should say, BALI WEDDING SUNSET + CLIFF VIEW, HERE WE COME!!!
The interior is lovely, and a slope replaces the usual Staircase – which I think Coco will love.
Grey cliff-view aside, there is a gorgeous sunset view and the loud but distant sound of the waves really is quite surreal. Just. Ignore the cliff.
Karang Kembar III has 4 bedrooms and a more sophisticated interior, at US$500 more than Banyu Biru per night. But what’s most assuring – and convincing – is that the Villa Management company we went through (Villa-Bali) was very professional and had an office here in Singapore. After confirming the final price, we headed down to their office at Chinatown to pay the deposit via cheque. The office is legitimate, the staff were friendly and everything was clear-cut. We got our receipt on the spot and the Bali agent contacted us the next working day confirming our reservation.
Peace and relief 🙂 A a pretty stunning map of Bali at the Villa-Bali office.
Now that we have a roof to house my family and an awesome party this September, it’s on to the invitations and party theme preparation!
(Maybe I should use the grey cliff as an inspiration for the Invitation cards.)
Lin Tan is an Entrepreneur and an Executive Coach who dedicates more time to making society a better place over making babies (for now). Follow her blog on ilovechildren.sg/blog and journey with her as she embarks on all things ‘life after 30′.