The Best Places to Stay in Bali – Tips and Advice
- Which areas in Bali are best?: It’s true that many first-timers to the island are likely to head to the most well-known areas. It’s also true that you’ll probably find the broadest range of accommodation options in these places, as well as leisure and entertainment facilities. The beaches will be the busiest but will also offer the best amenities. Yet these tourist areas are not necessarily for everyone, and some people may well prefer the more remote or less-populated places like those out on the further reaches of the island or up in the highlands. These regions are often ideal for families, as well as backpackers and couples, and do offer a somewhat more authentic glimpse into the local culture than those focused more on mass tourism.
- Beaches: areas like the upmarket Seminyak or the more isolated Uluwatu are both popular destinations for slightly different reasons. Nusa Island is ideal if you want a smaller place along with surf trips and snorkeling; and Jimbaran and Canggu are great if you want surfing, swimming, or simply lounging on a stretch of white sand with pristine waters and impressive waves. Then there are the scuba diving favorite locations of Amed and Tulamben, which are adjacent to each other.
- Tourist areas: like Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak are the areas that most first-timers in Bali are likely to head. These are the main centers of mass tourism in the region, thus you’ll find the widest variety of accommodation in these areas, from self-contained apartments to top-of-the-range hotels. Canggu, which is close to Denpasar, is where you’ll find local surfers and expats. This is one of the regions that has become quite a bit more touristy in recent years.
- Rural countryside and historic culture: is to be found in the highland location of Ubud. This is a region of Bali that is largely rice fields and river valleys with slightly cooler temperatures and offers a different side of the place aside from beaches and nightlife. There are plenty of historic sites as well as art shops and local culture.
- Quiet areas are a-plenty on the islands if you have a family or want to avoid the mass tourism vibe. Whether it is the quiet local town life of Denpasar, the favorite honeymoon destination Gili Islands, or Lovina which is ideal for families. Nusa Lembongan is another sparsely-populated area with some amazing views to boot, and then there is the serene backpacker stop-off Sanur.
- If you don’t mind paying top dollar for your Bali experience, then the exclusive, 5-star resort region of Nusa Dua might be up your street. This is a secluded and idyllic spot that is nevertheless not lacking in any amenities.
- Staying in Bali on a budget: Accommodation is notoriously expensive on most of the island, but if you head for regions such as Denpasar, Balangan, Bingin, and Padang Padang you will be able to find a few options somewhat more suited to lower range budgets. The small but scenic Nusa Lembongan also has a few budget hotels for less than $20 per night, so it pays to choose the smaller and less-populated areas to stay when trying to find lower-priced accommodation. You’ll be able to find a few decent cheap B&B establishments that charge somewhere between $5 and $10 per night with a little digging, and many of the hostels in Bali are really good value for money.
The pristine tropical island range of Bali has long been a destination on many a globetrotter’s lists of must-visit places. It is a province with various-sized islands that happens to be smack bang in the middle of the country.
Yet Bali does have a somewhat different vibe to other regions of Indonesia. It has some of the most idyllic beaches, as well as a few decent waves. This means that it is a popular SE Asian surfing destination, although it also offers a diverse range of other attractions including local cultural attractions, Hindu temples, restaurants, shopping, and relaxing spas.
Bali is a reasonably accommodating destination for English speakers, although the local dialect is Indonesian with a smattering of Balinese, and the currency is Rupiah.
The tropical climate is warm and humid all year, not usually dropping below around 28 degrees Celsius – but you should be aware of the monsoon season which usually occurs sometime between October and April. December is largely the wettest month of the rainy season but it can be unpredictable.
A lot of people get around in Bali by hiring scooters just for that sense of independence and freedom that should be part of any trip to a beach destination such as this.
However, some caution may be required with this option, and it’s not really recommended when the rainy season is in full effect. Thankfully there are a few taxis around, and even better they use the Grab app which means you can get picked up or dropped off virtually anywhere on the island without too much hassle.
Bali Neighbourhood Guide
Kuta is one of the most popular and well-known places in Bali and is one of the hubs of mass tourism in the region. With plenty of hotels, shopping, and surf shops, you’ll also find a wide range of accommodation options here, including family-friendly ones.
As the area is such a tourist hotspot though, there is plenty of traffic, as well as noisy nightlife. This is obviously not always that suitable for anyone with young families, which is one of the reasons why some people consider Kuta as being more for younger people.
- ($$$)Anvaya Beach Resort • Swimming Pool and gardens, 500 m from a shopping mall and Tuban Beach, 1 km from Ngurah Rai International Airport
- ($$) The Kuta Beach Heritage Hotel by Accor • Great location just a 5-minute walk from the beach, 15-minute drive from the airport
- ($) Sulis Beach and Spa • Budget location 30 m from the beach, with rooftop pool; 1 km from shopping mall and airport
- ($$) Lokal Bali Hostel • 1 km from Jerman Beach, 15-minute walk to Discovery Shopping Mall; pool and garden, 1 km from the airport
- ($$) Beach Hut Hostel • 1.5 km from Kelan Beach, close to Kuta center and shopping mall
- ($) Da Housetel Kuta • 2 km from Kuta Beach, outdoor pool and garden
- ($$$) Beachwalk Residence • 200 m from Kuta Beach, 2 km from Double Six Beach; pool and views
- ($$) Kuta Reef Apartments • 400 m from Segara Beach, 1 km from mall and waterpark
- ($$) Kuta Ardenia Residence • 10-minute drive from Kuta center, 15-minuet drive from Seminyak
Legian is also one of the most popular areas in Bali, but it is a little more peaceful than Kuta and is thus favored more by slightly older people. It is still quite a touristy area, but as it is slightly less populated than Kuta the accommodation is a bit cheaper comparatively.
- ($$$) Legian Beach Hotel • 4 km from the airport, beachfront location close to Double Six Beach
- ($$) New Garden View Resort • 100 m from Padma Beach and Legian Street; 10 km from Monumen Perjuangan stone carvings
- ($) Legian Village Hotel • 200 m from Legian Beach, 10-minute drive from Seminyak
- ($$) • 2.2 km from Double Six Beach and 1 km from Sky Garden; also near to Bounty Night Club and Legian Art Market
- ($$) Borough Capsule Hostel • outdoor pool with great sunset views, 700 m from Legian Art Market
- ($$) Fello B&B Hostel • 2.3 km from Jerman Beach; close to Bounty Nightclub, 2 km from the airport
- ($$$) Villa Bunga Dewi Sri • close to Double Six Beach and Legian Art Market, 5 km from the airport
- ($$) Sara Residence by Nakula • 20-minute walk from Legian Beach, 10 minutes from Seminyak
- ($) Sunset Residence and Condotel • 10-minute drive from Double Six Beach, Legian Beach, and Seminyak Beach; 20 minutes from the airport
Largely considered as the more upmarket beachfront area of the mass tourism hotspots, Seminyak is popular for its beaches and sunsets views, as well as it’s shopping and nightlife — which is a little more subdued than nearby areas like Kuta. You’ll also find a few reasonable water-themed activities on offer, and a good few luxury resorts, although there are a few cheaper options available.
- ($$$) Seminyak Paradiso Hotel • 3-minutes’ walk from Seminyak Beach, a 15-minute drive from Kuta city, and 25 minutes by car from the airport
- ($$) Lloyd’s Inn Bali • 400 m from Double Six Beach, 3.8 km from Petitenget Temple, 5 km from the airport
- ($) Singgha Hotel Seminyak • Central Seminyak, 1 km from Double Six Beach, 3.9 km from Petitenget Temple
- ($$) Karisa Pods • outdoor pool and sun terrace, 700 m from Seminyak Beach
- ($$) Sharespace Bali • 2.7 km from Batu Bolong Beach, 2 km from Petitenget Temple
- ($) ALA Hostel • 1 km from Double Six Beach, close to Seminyak Shopping Mall, 6 km from the airport
- ($$$) Alamanda Villa • 700 km from Double Six Beach, close to Ku De Ta and Oberoi Street, 6 km from the airport
- ($$) Flora Apartment Bali • 1.3 km fro Ku De Ta and Petitenget Temple; close to Seminyak Village and 1.2 km from Double Six Beach
- ($) Maharani Residence • terrace, garden, and pool; just over 4 km from Ku De Ta
Ubud provides a refreshing contrast to some of the busy beach locations in Bali. It has plenty of natural areas to explore amidst the backdrop of tiered, green rice paddies. There are a few high-end hotels in the region, but there are also more affordable options.
Ubud is a slightly cooler place with some amazing views including a few breathtaking vistas, especially along the Ayung River where rafting is an option if you fancy it.
There is distinctly more of a local, small-town vibe in Ubud, and the place is more likely to attract lovers of grass-roots culture and history than beach parties. With a plethora of art galleries and shops, as well as a good few historic sites like the Puri Saren Royal Palace and the Monkey Forest, Ubud is a great place to escape the beach bum mass tourism that many people associate with Bali.
- ($$$) Kano Sari Ubud Villas • 5-minute drive to both Ubud Market and the Royal Palace, and a 10-minute drive to the Sacred Monkey Forest; 30 km from the airport
- ($$) Bucu View Resort a Pramana Experience • 5 minutes’ walk from both the at market and the Monkey Forest, outdoor pool and spa
- ($) MaxOneHotels at Ubud • 700 m from the Monkey Forest, 27 km from the airport
- ($$$) Lagas Hostel • 5 minutes from central Ubud and the Monkey Forest, 30-minute drive from Denpasar
- ($$) Namastay • close to the Monkey Forest, ARMA Museum, and Bebek Bengil
- ($) Pondok Ubud Hostel • close to Saraswati temple, Ubud Palace, and Ubud Market
- ($$$) 5 Deluxe Bedroom Villa • private pool, 3.6 km from Ubud Palace
- ($$) Deluxe Family 3 Bedroom Villa • 3 km from Ubud Market, 3.6 km from Saraswati Temple, and 31 km from the airport
- ($) HOKYY Accommodation • around 2 km from Saraswati Temple and the Monkey Forest
This is the place considered by many as the best if you want to sample a taste of authentic Balinese. Visitors are usually surprised at how untouristy Denpasar seems, and there is plenty of peace and quiet to be had in this region of Bali.
You’ll still find plenty of choice for accommodation here though, whether you are on a tight budget or you fancy a trendy boutique hotel. Denpasar is rich with historical sites that are deemed an integral part of local Indonesian culture.
This town is also the place to head if you are doing a spot of backpacking and thus looking for inexpensive hotels. The range of accommodation in the area is mostly somewhere in the midrange, with options at either end of that if required.
- ($$) b Hotel Bali & Spa • outdoor pool and kids’ playground, a 10-minute drive from Kuta Beach, 15 minutes from the airport
- ($$) Inna Bali Heritage Hotel • 15 minutes’ drive to Sanur Beach and the Art Centre, a 5-minute walk from market and museum
- ($) Spot On 1927 Hotel Candra Adigraha • central Denpasar, 20-minute drive from Sanur
- ($$) G’Mory Stay Hostel • 2.4 km from Padang Galak Beach and Bali Museum, 1.8 km from Kreneng Night Market
- ($$) Ratih Bali Hostel • 10-minute drive from Badung Traditional Market, 30 minutes from the airport
- ($) Ballini 9 Hostel • 6 km from Bali Museum, 3.8 km from Department Store, 10 km from the airport
- ($$$) Town House I • sea and mountain views, 20 km from Bali Museum
- ($$) Prambalitour • 1 km from Double Six Beach, 7 km from the airport
- ($) Bali True Living • Western Denpasar, 5 minutes from Trans Studio Mall, 10-minute drive to Kuta
If you favor the warm and humid SE Asian climate with a backdrop of amazing beaches surrounded by rice fields and volcanoes — then you’ll love this place. You’ll find quite a bit more than beach and surf havens in Bali (although you’ll find that too), and there is enough diversity across the various island destinations to suit all-comers.
For tropical adventurers, Bali really has it all. And although there is no shortage of high-end, luxurious accommodation options in resorts and hotels with views to die for, there is also plenty of scope here for backpackers and anyone else on a budget.
It certainly pays to get the low-down on the different areas across the islands though, especially the contrasts between lively and peaceful, and touristy versus local. That way you can ensure the experience of a lifetime that will likely leave you wanting to come back and explore Bali again.
Best Hotels By Type
- The Seminyak Paradiso Hotel is one of the best luxury hotels in Bali for its location on the beach, Balinese-style rooms, 24-hour facilities including spa and massage, and its relative price and quality
- Lloyd’s Inn a pretty good bet in terms of its style, location, and value for money
- The Spot On 1927 Hotel Candra Adigraha is indeed spot-on in terms of cheap hotels with real character in an ideal location if you are looking for an area away from the real lively locations
- The b Hotel Bali & Spa in Denpasar is one of the best family hotels with its pools, kids’ playground, and proximity to Kuta Beach
- When it comes to the best romantic hotel in Bali, the Anvaya Beach Resort is up there with the best of them, and with its swimming pool and garden sunset views it is one of the places frequently booked by couples on honeymoon