Few destinations can match the exotic tropical atmosphere of Bali. This popular Indonesian isle is the example that all other "island paradises" are compared to. For would-be newlyweds dreaming of a wedding with palm trees, sultry weather and ocean views, Bali is the perfect choice. However, not every inch of this island could be considered a paradise. If you decide on a destination wedding on Bali, you have to be careful with your choice of venue. Resorts, even luxurious ones, can get very crowded. The best options are either a private estate or a resort that features large villas instead of hotel-like accommodations.
Even if you can find a few such venues, you will probably want to choose one that will give you an only-in-Bali experience. Otherwise what is the point of having a destination wedding on Bali? The island does have a number of sleek modern estates that provide every luxury that you could ever want. However, there is little to differentiate these places from similar venues in other parts of the world. For many couples, a more-modest villa with an open-air design, classical landscapes and Balinese architecture might actually be preferable to a state-of-the-art luxury villa without these traits.
The estates that are ideal for a destination wedding on Bali have the best of both worlds: luxury and a unique appeal that you can't find anywhere else in the world. The first example of this type of venue is Villa Gajah Putih. This seven bedroom estate is located on one of the most coveted stretches of oceanfront real estate on the island. It is located in Pantai Berawa, an area that has a traditional vibe, but is not far from the main tourist area of Kuta.
Gajah has it all: quaint tropical surroundings, expansive grounds with green lawns and palm trees, and reserves of comfort and luxury. The bedrooms have en suite marble bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows and large plantation shutters. When it is time to have your ceremony and reception, there are a number of different settings to choose from. The lawn can host events for up to 400 guests, while spots like the ocean view gazebo are perfect for a more-intimate ceremony.
Semara Uluwatu is another option that can provide the ultimate destination wedding on Bali. Like Gajah, it has expansive grounds with well manicured gardens and lawns. Semara boasts private villas that are tucked into quiet corners around the seven hectare property. There are seven villas in all. Each one has five bedrooms and is fully self contained. Some of the suites have private balconies or patios and others have plunge pools. Features like outdoor showers and a main pool and lounge area overlooking the ocean give this estate an only-on-Bali appeal.
Semara is perfect for a quiet elopement or a small destination wedding. The resort can provide planning and catering services, and the ceremony and reception can be held at any one of the seven villas. Two of the villas can be combined to make a total of 10 bedrooms. This is a perfect setup for a destination wedding.
Gajah Putih and Semara are sister properties, so you could put most of your guests up at Semara and then use the expansive lawns at Gajah for your wedding ceremony.
Whether you choose one of these two options or a different venue, be certain that the place that you opt for can give you a unique experience that you can only find in Bali. If it can't deliver this, keep looking.
Do you have a favorite venue on Bali? Let us know about it in the comments section