The Best Luxury Hotels on Bali

Updated: January 31, 2016

On This Page

Tips and Recommendations

  • The Best Time of the Year to Visit BaliThe Best Beaches on Bali
  • My favorite beach town on Bali is Seminyak (nice beach, great restaurants, quality hotels). My favorite inland town is Ubud (wonderful art, culture, and food; surrounded by rice paddies and countryside).
  • The best beach hotel on Bali is the Legian Bali in Seminyak. The best hotel in Ubud is the Viceroy Bali.
  • The dry season in Bali runs from April to October. The wet season is from November to March. While there is more rain and less sun during the wet season it can still be a great time to visit. Just be prepared for the occasional downpour – which tend not to last long and are followed by sun shortly afterwards.
  • The best months for surfing are from May to September (generally the dry season) when the west coast beaches (Bingin, Canggu, Uluwatu, Padang Padang, and Impossibles) have the best surf. From October to April the best breaks are on the east coast beaches (Sanur, Serangan, Nusa Dua, Green Balls, Keramas).
  • Kuta is great for learning how to surf and has many surf schools.
  • The best restaurants on Bali are La Lucciola (Seminyak), Sardine (Kerobokan), and Mozaic (Ubud). The beach restaurants serving fresh seafood along Jimbaran beach should not be missed.
  • Bali is an awesome destination for kids.

The 8 Best Hotels on Bali

  • The Legian Bali Hotel – Seminyak
    Beautiful location right on the beach (and the hotel offers free surf lessons). Wonderful pool, huge suites, great food. The one bedroom villa with private pool is stunning. Hotel phone: +62 361-730622
    The Best Hotels on Bali: Legian Resort on Seminyak Beach
  • The Oberoi Bali – Seminyak
    This is a stunning hotel and a great location for restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Every detail is just right and the staff are the best on the island. Luxury Villas are worth the upgrade. Hotel Phone: +62 361-730361
    One of the best luxury hotels in Seminyak: The Bali Oberoi
  • Padma Resort Bali – Kuta/Legian
    A 5-star hotel but a little less expensive than the others I’ve chosen. Wonderful swimming pools that are well cared for and lots of fun. The hotel is very kid-friendly (there’s a good kids club) but still luxurious and tasteful. Hotel Phone: +62 361-752111
    Best Resort in Kuta Legian Area
  • Viceroy Bali – Ubud
    Breathtaking setting and incredible views. Every villa is stunning. The infinity pool overlooks a lush jungle landscape. Hotel phone: +62 361-971777
    Best Hotel in Ubud: Viceroy Resort
  • The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah – Ubud
    Peace, quiet, and beauty. Fantastic location (the hotel is surrounded by rice paddies), fabulous service (every suite gets a personal butler), and wonderful views. Hotel Phone: +62 361-975685
    One of the best hotels in Bali: The Chedi Club in Ubud
  • Four Seasons Resort Bali – Jimbaran
    Beautiful location on Jimbaran Bay with its own private beach. Wonderful food and superb service. Every villa has a private plunge pool. Most are one-bedroom but there’s also a 3-bedroom villa that sleeps 6.
    Hotel phone: +62 361-701010
    The Best Hotels on Bali: Four Seasons at Jimbaran Beach
  • AYANA Resort & Spa – Jimbaran
    Beautiful hotel with an incredible setting and stunning views. The infinity pool is amazing and the Rock Bar regularly gets picked as the coolest place to have a drink on Bali. Hotel phone: +62 361-702222
    The Best Hotels on Bali: Ayana Resort on Bali
  • The St Regis Resort Bali – Nusa Dua
    If it’s pure rest and relaxation you’re after this is the place. Beautiful spot on a private beach with golden sand and calm water. The salt water lagoon pool is huge and wonderful. Hotel phone: +62 361-8478111
    The Best Hotels on Bali: St Regis Resort on Nusa Dua Beach

Kuta

Best Resorts in Kuta
The hub of the Bali tourist scene, Kuta is busy, noisy, hectic – and a lot of fun. It’s where you’ll find the most nightlife in the form of large thumping dance bars. Crowds are younger but older travelers are in the mix too. This is the busiest beach in Bali but still a great place to suntan and swim. Also, a great place to take beginner surf lessons.

The Best Luxury Hotels in Kuta

Legian

Best Resorts in Legian
Legian is largely indistinguishable from Kuta other than saying that as you move north it becomes calmer and quieter. There are still plenty of places to eat and drink and the sand and surf are still great. And the hum of Kuta is just a short walk away.

The Best Luxury Hotels in Legian

Seminyak

Best Resorts in Seminyak
Seminyak is where you’ll find the high-end dining, trendy clubs, and best hotels of the Kuta-Legian-Seminyak region – which is basically one long beach town. The crowd here skews older and wealthier but it’s still a fun and lively place. Lots of bars, nightlife, and music. The beach is wonderful too (and quieter than Kuta and Legian).

The Best Luxury Hotels in Seminyak

Nusa Dua

Best Resorts in Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is home to many of the 5-star resorts of Bali. It’s a great destination if you want to sit by the pool and drink cocktails. Not so great if you want to see the “real Bali”. The beach here is lovely with the softest sand on Bali. There is a large shopping mall (Bali Collection) filled with high end western name brands but not the eclectic collection of shops that you’ll find in Kuta, Seminyak, or Ubud.

The Best Luxury Hotels in Nusa Dua

Sanur

Best Resort in Sanur
A quieter alternative to Kuta-Legian-Seminyak. A nice beach (though narrow in spots) and calm waters (protected by a reef) make Sanur popular with families. Lots of restaurants and shopping. Nightlife is restrained but still plenty of places to get a late night drink.

The Best Luxury Hotels in Sanur

Ubud

Best Resorts in Ubud
The cultural heart of Bali – Ubud is where to go to watch traditional Balinese performances, take a cooking class, wander through rice fields, or buy from local artists. The food here is wonderful and some of the hotels have jaw-dropping settings. I highly recommend 2 to 4 days in Ubud.

The Best Luxury Hotels in Ubud

photo credits

Got a question? Ask it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

152 Questions and Comments

  1. Good Beach with Bars and Restaurants

    Hi Dave

    My husband and I are doing our first trip to Bali at Easter. We are going for 7 nights, staying in Ubud for either 3 or 4 nights – then want to go to the coast but don’t know what area to go. We like nice beaches – ones that don’t have hawkers, with cheap beach restaurants and nice bars. Not into the raging night scene – would also like some good shopping.

    Laurie

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Bali has several different beach resort areas. The most popular is, of course, the chaotic Kuta and the northern extensions of Legian and Seminyak – with all the bars and shops you could possibly need. But to get away from the surfers and night-clubbers while remaining in the convenient southern region of Bali, stay in Sanur. It is uniquely situated along a 7km beachside promenade lined with cafes, shops and hotels. There are a few bars, and some shops – but for malls, you can head to Kuta in 30 minutes by taxi.

      Better still is Padangbai, a village on the east coast and easy to reach from Ubud. It offers a genuine village vibe, delightful beaches (especially at Blue Lagoon), and is a perfect base to explore the region. There is very little nightlife and even less shopping but these are blessings for many who have ‘endured’ Kuta/Legian. Padangbai gets a little chaotic for 1-2 hours a day as island hoppers to the Gilis come and go by ferry but it’s reasonably quiet otherwise, with plenty of restaurants (which double as bars) facing the curved beach lined with jukung fishing boats. If staying there, you can also can easily daytrip by chartered car or local transport to Goa Lawah temple, Klungkung royal capital, Ujung water palace, and the secret beach paradise of Pasir Putih.

      Reply
  2. Jimbaran or Seminyak in October

    Hi! Looking for recommendations for our honeymoon in October. Current plans included longest stay in Jimbaran, then to Lombok and finally to Gili. Looking for relaxing beaches with options for great food and outdoor activities. Would you say Jimbaran is too touristy? I noticed you recommended Seminyak often and debating switching locations. Lastly, if you have any favorite hotels, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Laura

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Jimbaran is the most underrated and under-visited beach resort area on Bali. It’s convenient to the airport but far from the relative chaos of Kuta (30-minutes away by taxi) and offers a superb crescent of vacant sand and sea. A seafood dinner on the Jimbaran beach at sunset will is a highlight of a trip to Bali. In contrast, Seminyak has become a trendy extension of Kuta and Legian – full of shops, cafés, clubs and tourists, and (on average) higher prices.

      In the Seminyak area (technically Petitinget, the next beach to the north), the W Retreat & Spa is quite extraordinary – vast enough to offer a buggy cart to reach the main road from your bungalow. And in Jimbaran, it’s hard to beat the Four Seasons for sheer elegance and views to die for.

      Reply
  3. Things To Do in Jimbaran, Seminyak, and Ubud

    Hi David,

    I have 3 Questions for you. We will be in Bali for 2 weeks starting April 3. Jimbaran for 3 nights, Seminyak for 4 nights, Ubud for 3 nights and then probably to Gili Islands for 3 nights before back down south for the remainder of the trip.

    1) What are some day excursions you’d recommend? These can be nature filled or hiking etc.
    2) Ubud is obviously overrun now, but what are some top spots?
    3) Do you recommend a scooter rental and are there plenty of Dual rentals to put my girlfriend on the back?

    Daniel

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      It’s great that you’re staying at different places and having a good look at what Bali has to offer. From Jimbaran, I’d suggest daytrips to the south, including Ulu Watu temple; Nusa Dua beach and shops; Tanjung Benoa for beach and watersports; and isolated surfing/swimming beaches like Padang-Padang. From Seminyak, head to Tanah Lot temple (best at sunset but also very busy then); check out the markets in the capital, Denpasar; and maybe zip over to Sanur beach and nearby mangroves. Ubud is an ideal base and places to visit on daytrips include Goa Gajah temple, Tegallalang rice-fields; Petulu village with the daily migration of birds; stunning Gunung Kawi rock temples; and the sacred Tirta Empul temple and springs.

      However, your best idea is to hire a car with a diver (it’s cheap, convenient, and much safer than driving yourself or renting a scooter). The driver will offer you up to 10 different itineraries for daytrips from wherever you are. These trips include everything you should see and some possible extras, such as a temple with a ceremony or some rice-field views with no tourists around. I’m sure your hotel can offer some drivers they know or just walking down the street should garner a number of offers for a driver and tour.

      Ubud seems overrun with tourists during the day, but quietens down when day-trippers and buses leave. In fact, Seminyak will feel more touristy than Ubud. In Ubud, visit the Monkey Forest; the Museum Puri Lukisan art museum; the ARMA art museum and gardens; take a rice-field walk behind the Puri Lukisan; and stroll around Penestanan village. These and other places are featured in short clips on the YouTube channel Ubud in a Minute.

      Reply
  4. Great Beach and No Party

    Hi Dave.

    Thank you for all your info, it’s priceless!!

    I’m headed to Bali end of January, beginning of February for about two weeks, traveling solo. Ubud is definitely on my list and I’ll probably stay there for a week.

    The second week I’d like to spend on the beach. Here is what I’m looking for:
    – ideally a beach bungalow right on the beach, so I can wake up to the sound of the waves :-); basic and inexpensive (I’m on a budget :-))
    – nice, clean beach; possible to swim in; the more secluded the better (but still close to some places to get great street food or grab a drink). Still beach bungalow would be my priority over the more/less secluded beach.
    – time to relax; party’s are the last thing on my mind :-)
    – beach or other places to go for a longer walk or a jog

    I can stay on Bali or go to Gili’s, I don’t mind moving, as long as I know I’ll find what I’m looking for.

    I read through your posts but it is hard to say which beaches are fine for swimming and which should at the same time be clean this time of year. So any recommendation is more then welcome.

    Thank you in advance.

    Marija

    Reply
  5. Budget Place with Fresh Seafood

    Hi Dave, what are the best choices of hotels for solo travelers with fresh seafood dining? thanks

    Reply
  6. Best Dive Spots near Beach on Bali

    Hi Dave,

    I will be planning to go to Bali in July when I am 28. I plan to spend half my time in Ubud and half my time near a beach but I am having trouble deciding where. This will be for my honeymoon so I would like a nice hotel with a nice (white sandy) beach, clear water, and not too strong of a current. I’m fine with just staying around the hotel and the beach for this part of the trip. However I would love to go scuba diving and since I don’t really know the area I can’t tell which beaches these dive sites are close to. Any suggestions?

    These are the links I was using to find good dive sites:

    Dive World and Dive Zone

    Thanks!
    Olivia

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      There are no great dive sites near the best beaches of Bali. The two best diving spots on Bali are in the east near Amed (this is where you’ll find the Liberty shipwreck site) and in the northwest near Pemuteran. These would be best visiting as day trips from Ubud. If you really want to stay on a beach but be close to good diving spots then look at Nusa Lembongan. Nearby are the Manta Point, Blue Corner, and Crystal Bay dive spots (but these are not for beginners). Nusa Lembongan has great beaches and is a short ferry ride from Sanur.

      Reply
  7. Budget Towns in Bali

    Hello Dave

    Your blog is very helpful for bali traveling seekers.

    But I need more specific advice please.
    My boyfriend and I (25 years old) are planning to go to Bali end of January from January 31 till February 2 (maybe less as we have another option to go explore Yogyakarta). We are budget travelers, seeking to explore Bali and do activities as well as not exhausting ourselves and give some time to enjoy the beauty and relax.
    Can you recommend which we can stay in it and from it move around EASILY to others? I’m confused about where to stay UBUD/SEMINYAK/SANUR….
    thank you in advance :)

    Mai

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Ubud and Seminyak are generally pretty expensive (though as you move away from the central trendy areas it gets less so). Kuta has lots of cheap hotels and Jimbaran has several inexpensive good value hotels. Sanur is in the middle (and better if you want to explore central and north Bali on day trips).

      Reply
  8. Beach on Bali with Cheap Hotels

    I’ve been teaching in China for the last year, working way too hard. I get some time off in February, and I want to spend a week of it lying on a beach doing nearly nothing. I did a search for low-cost flights to “everywhere” and Bali looks like a reasonable choice. I want to spend as little as possible on accommodations, and my objective is just to relax… I’m not a drinker, and I don’t want to go on any tours. Can you recommend the best area for me?
    Veronica

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Look at Kuta or Jimbaran – both have some very cheap hotels ($30 to $50) that are still nice and have pools. Kuta has more cheap hotels but perhaps not great if you’re looking to relax as it’s pretty hectic. Jimbaran is quieter with great cheap seafood restaurants. (Puri Bambu is my favorite budget hotel in Jimbaran.)

      Reply
  9. Beach Town and Culture Town

    2 ladies, mid 50’s travelling first time to Bali. Would like to stay in 2 places. One for beautiful beach to
    relax but with good restaurants, without too many children and also somewhere with some culture, shopping, and great restaurants that are within walking distance to hotels. Night life not a big priority but somewhere to have a drink in the evening. Thanks. Deborah

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      For beach I’d recommend Seminyak (good beach, lots of restaurants, nightlife, shopping), Jimbaran (good beach and great seafood restaurants), or Nusa Dua (great beach, large resorts, not a lot around that’s very interesting). For a cultural town nothing beats Ubud (great restaurants, shopping for local arts and crafts, good local shows/performances, beautiful walks through the rice paddies and villages).

      Reply
  10. Getting Around Bali

    Hi there, amazing site, so much time and effort gone in so thanks for all the help! I have seen above you mentioned taxis are fairly easy but we want to really explore the island. Thinking (based on what you have said above) of going to Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Ubud as our bases and then visiting the little towns and sights from these locations. Daft question, but how do most get around? Should we hire a car? A Scooter? Or can we solely rely on taxis? Lastly we’re on a 6 month trip (long honeymoon) how long do you think you need in Bali to feel like you’ve experienced the main sites? Are we seriously missing out if we don’t make it to Gilli Islands?
    Thanks, Naomi

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Taxi, hired car, chartered bemo (minivan) are all sort of the same thing – find someone willing to drive you and negotiate to get a fair price. Hiring someone for the day is the way to go if you have multiple stops planned. 2 to 3 weeks in Bali is a good compromise (lots of places to see in the world but you could easily spend a month or two here and still leave a lot undiscovered). I’d use Jimbaran, Seminyak, and Ubud as your bases.

      Reply
  11. Nice Resort, Not Expensive, for Couples

    Hi Dave
    I wanted to ask your opinion as to which area in Bali would be best and if you would recommend any resorts/accommodations.

    The trip would only be for 3 days 4 nights for 3 couples all married – good friends all in late 20s. Ideally three separate bedrooms would be preferred. One couple is starting their honeymoon through this trip. One couple would be 7months into their pregnancy.

    They just want to have a good time having a holiday together, good food maybe some nice massages and nice pools/beaches.

    Would be great if you can recommend some areas and resorts that you know that are good quality but not too expensive.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  12. Hotel/Resort near Hiking and Wildlife

    Starting honeymoon planning for mid-to-late May. Looking for, if possible, a combination of quiet, beautiful beaches with reasonably easy access to good hiking and wildlife. We’re not committed to a hotel; would be OK with a resort.
    Ben

    Reply
  13. Best Beach for Solo Traveler

    Hello David,

    So glad I came across your page and would really appreciate any tips.
    I’m a 28 year old solo female traveller looking to relax on a beautiful beach but at the same thing me close enough to areas where I could possibly get to meet people.

    I’m looking at spending about two weeks and would like to check out Bali as a whole as its my first time there.

    Thanks
    Faiza

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      It’s easiest to meet single travelers in the Kuta/Legian area. In general, the restaurants, bars, and nightlife as you head from Kuta north to Seminyak get more expensive, older, and trendy. That’s not to say you’d feel out of place in Seminyak as there are plenty of solo travelers there too.

      Reply
  14. Seminyak Beach Resort or Westin

    Hi David,
    Could really do with some advice, amazing site found by accident.
    I want to book a holiday for my sister (big birthday coming up). She loves long walks on the beach and loves to sleep to the sound of waves. As she will be travelling on her own, she needs to be close to restaurants, shopping etc. I have been looking at Seminyak Beach Resort & spa and also the Westin. But what would you recommend for a single female who loves both beaches and interactions with local amenities? thank you
    Nina Merchant

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Definitely the Seminyak Beach Resort if she wants to be near amenities, a large choice of restaurants, and shopping. The beach is also more suitable for long walks.

      Reply
  15. Where To Go with Kids in Bali

    Hi David,
    Next July we are going to spend 11 nights in Bali with our kids aged 19 and 17. We would like to stay in 2 different places during that time. Where would you recommend? We would like a bit of beach, shopping, food and culture.
    Thanks
    Suze Shannon

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      I would do Seminyak and Ubud. Ubud is not a beach town, but has lots of culture and interesting things to do in the surrounding area.

      Reply
  16. Gili Islands

    Hi David

    We’re traveling over to Bali in late April and are planning on spending 3 days in Ubud before moving on to some surrounding islands for 6 days, We’re looking to be in a good location to do things in the day whilst in Ubud and then finding something nice and secluded whilst on an island. We’re looking for a little luxury in Ubud, nothing too extravagant and then something a little simpler on the islands, I’ve had a look at the Gilis and I think Meno sounds like what we’re looking for but any info or tips would be greatly appreciated about Ubud and Bali’s surrounding islands.

    Thank you
    Adam & Hannah

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      The Gilis are great – Gili Trawangan has a fair bit going on (bars, restaurants, nice hotels), Gili Meno is much slower and quieter. It will take almost a full day to get to Gili Meno from Ubud – ferry to Gili Trawangan and then small boat to Gil Meno. Same thing on the way back. Nusa Lembongan has a similar vibe to Gili Meno (no bars or nightlife), good snorkeling, and relaxing but is much closer to Bali. It might be a better option.

      Reply
  17. Beach Towns on Bali

    Hey David,

    I’ve read most of your replies and appreciate your unpretentious style of travel.

    We’re spending New Years in Seminyak, skip off to Gilli T (not booked so I’m considering Gilli Meno for the BEAUTIFUL places that keep cropping up on my Booking.com searches). BUT…. To end the 2 week trip (the remaining 4 nights are open). I’m looking for a remote, peaceful place to ooh and ahh over the views and vibe. At/under/around/ish $50 a night. Canggu?

    Travelling with my 31 yr old boyfriend and I’m celebrating my new decade of 30. Appreciate any recommendations for this extremely exciting trip happening in 4 weeks. Thanks David!

    Ondine

    p.s. Coming from our home on the beautiful beaches of Cape Town so Bali has a lot to live up to.

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Canggu is a great place with a quiet vibe and some fun restaurants/beach bars. The one caveat is that you’ll probably end up in Seminyak most of the time to eat/drink/party – and you might end up thinking, “Why didn’t we just stay in Seminyak?” But if you’re really looking for a secluded location still close to the sea then Canggu might be it.

      Reply
  18. Great Beach on Bali

    Heading to Bali from Singapore with my sister to get some sun and have a few days away from the kids. We want to sit on a nice beach, get some spa treatments and not spend a ton of cash. We are heading over in the beginning of Dec and will only stay a long weekend. I don’t want to risk being on a beach that isn’t great for swimming and relaxing. Thoughts?
    Monica

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      I would recommend Seminyak with the only caveat being that it’s not cheap. Look for a hotel back from the beach and more to the north and that should save you some money.

      Reply
  19. Good Hotel near Bali Airport

    Hi David

    My partner and I are going to Bali on 23/Dec and flying out on 25/Dec.
    Can you recommend someplace nice and away from the hassle and crowd areas. We love food, especially local.
    Our main concern is to make it to the airport on time on Christmas Day, around lunch time.

    Thanking in advance.

    Cheers
    James Rao

    Reply
  20. Non Touristy and Interesting Area of Bali

    My husband and I are looking at going to Bali in December for 6/7 nights. I must admit my reluctancy at visiting Bali based on its reputation of being a tourist filled night haven for the young but research shows that it has far more to offer (I certainly want to give those tourist areas a wide berth). We are in our 30’s and are really looking for a trip away from tourist/overly-commercial areas or resorts. We are looking for somewhere to experience Balinese culture and also to spend time strolling through local markets with handmade local items. We also love great food and spending our evenings in restaurants and bars with an enjoyable fun atmosphere including some live music, staying in luxury accommodation. Any adventure sports like white-water rafting or diving would definitely be a plus but certainly not a must. We like the beach but an inland water spot or even a nice pool would suffice and so not a priority. We are not interested in the nightclubs or tourist-filled bars and restaurants.

    Based on our interests, it is likely we will need to split the holiday to two locations and Ubud did catch my eye. Your recommendations on areas and also hotels and restaurants in those areas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sarah

    Reply
  21. Best Dive Beach in Bali

    Hi David,
    Will be in Ubud for Christmas holiday. Want to spend a couple days at a beautiful beach where my my boyfriend can dive. Staying as far away from Kuta as possible, as it is not my scene. Willing to drive a ways out for the beauty and good diving experience. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Vernice

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      If it needs to be a beach then Bloo Lagoon near Padangbai (and not too far from Ubud) is probably your best option. Another dive site is to take a boat from Sanur to Nusa Penida island (40 minutes) and dive there.

      Reply
  22. Boutique or Resort Hotel

    My husband and I are debating where to stay in Bali. I want to stay in a small boutique hotel with lots of character. He wants to stay in a resort with American chain restaurants nearby. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  23. Canggu, Sanur, or Lombok

    Hi David, We (family of 5 = parents with our 3 older teenagers / young adults). Heading to Bali 15 days in early January. Staying in Ubud 3 nights, then a 6 night window which I’m uncertain of where to go. We finish with 5 nights in Seminyak. We like high end, villa accommodation, culture, low key adventure, with a bit of beach thrown in, (shopping can be saved for Seminyak leg), basically things we can do as a family unit. Thinkign Canggu, Sanur, or go across to Lombok beaches? Open to suggestions, but want simplicity – have done complicated logistical OS trips, we kind of want a break from that and just stick to day trips. Many thanks :)
    Nat

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Canggu, Sanur, and Lombok are all great places and could easily suit your needs. Sanur is better for day trips. Canggu and Lombok are both great for chilling. Going to Lombok introduces another 2 days of travel. It’s really just flip a coin if you’re still uncertain.

      Reply
  24. 2 Best Towns on Bali for Honeymoon

    Hi David. This is very helpful. I am travelling to Bali in January for my Honeymoon. We will be staying for a week. Please suggest 2 ideal places (Seminyak/ Ubud/ Jimbaran/ Padangbai/ Sanur) for hotels. Looking to have a great romantic experience along with sightseeing and adventure activities. Also where can we get quality seafood who dont charge a bomb in the name of fresh catch of the day. Thanks :)
    Amit

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Of those towns I’d go to Seminyak and Ubud. Both great places with lots of great food. At Seminyak it’s mainly about the beach. In Ubud it’s more arts and cultural and also very easy to do day trips to inland Bali’s wonderful sites, mountains, villages.

      Reply
  25. Sanur for a Couple

    Hi David,
    Just found your website and its great. This will be hubby and mine 4th trip to Bali, have stayed Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud, Lovina (bit too quiet for us) and Lembongan and loved them all. This time we are thinking Sanur – hubby loves to sit at a beach bar and chat with locals and people watch whilst I lounge on the beach reading and swimming. Will Sanur allow us to do this. Also any tips on where to stay on beach within walking distance of local warungs? Many thanks, Carmel

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Sanur is great. It’s quiet compared to Kuta but still lots of restaurants and good hotels and has much more going on than Lovina. Beach is good (not incredible, but good) and many hotels have really nice pools that are just back from the beach so you get a bit of both – which I like. Many good warungs about and nothing too far of a walk from anything else. Check out Warung Blanjong if you’re in need of something specific.

      Reply
  26. Good Bali Beach in November

    Wow, what a great resource! Just like the others I’d love your advice: I’m a female solo 25 yo traveller, spending one week in Ubud and then I want to split my second week between two places – I’ve been thinking Seminyak and Sanur and perhaps do a day trip to Uluwatu just for the view.

    Criteria are: scenic beaches where I can swim in November, ok hotel prices (20-35 euros/night) for walking/biking distance to the beach and lots of cafes. Not too crazy night life but not too dead either. Since I’m splitting my time, one could be calmer and the other one more happening. What do you recommend? What about Canggu? Geger? Nusa Dua?

    THANKS in advance!!!
    Emma

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Out of Canggu, Geger, and Nusa Dua I would go with Canggu – not a lot of nightlife but a few bars and beach restaurants where you can meet people. A short taxi ride to Seminyak where there is lots of nightlife. The beaches at Geger and Nusa Dua are calmer and more idyllic but there is not much (certainly not nightlife) nearby.

      Reply
  27. Best Beach Towns for Kids in Bali

    Hi David, thanks for your help.
    We are a family with 2 young kids (age 6 and 8). We hope to have:
    1) nice beach that is fun for the kids
    2) family shopping
    3) nice and reasonably priced restaurants

    Any advice on where and which hotel?
    Thanks again!
    Alvin

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      This sounds like Sanur to me. It’s not the absolute best beach on Bali (it’s narrow in parts) but it’s still nice, good shopping (less than Kuta area but not as busy), lots of good restaurants. Very nice, relaxed town.

      Reply
  28. Bali and Gili Islands in January

    Hello, great article, didn’t know if you could help. Spending 6 nights in Bali and the following 3 in the Gilis in january, looking to go with a beach resort with cheap prices and some nightlife followed by a couple of nights in Ubud to see the scenery. Would it be beneficial to stay in a beach resort such as Kuta or Seminyak (or any suggestion) with a day tour to Ubud or spending a couple of nights in Ubud (or any suggestion) before heading to the Gilis, this taking in consideration the beach weather in January? Any advice on a 7day beach/culture trip considering logistics and weather would be really helpful. Tom

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The beach weather in Bali can be a little iffy in January but the Seminyak area is still the best place to base yourself – great beach and restaurants but not as busy as Kuta. Definitely do a few days in Ubud as a day trip won’t capture the magic of the area.

      Reply
  29. Sanur or Seminyak

    Hi David! Just found your page and I really hope I can get a quick answer. I’m going to Bali with my boyfriend for his 30th birthday tomorrow!!! I’ve booked a hotel in Sanur for 5 nights, and we are going to do 1 night in Ubud and 2 nights in Jimbaran. I am wondering if Seminyak would be a better choice for us. We dont like heavy partying but we enjoy having nice drinks and dinners. We want something between wild and calm. What is your opinion? Best regards, Nilo.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It’s hard to say what anyone will prefer, but by the sounds of it I think you’d like Seminyak better. Sanur is pretty subdued. Seminyak has some party but it’s easy to avoid and find more trendy/chill nightlife and dinner spots.

      Reply
  30. Quiet, Beautiful Beach on Bali

    Hey David :)
    In Nov/Dec I am planning to go to bali with my boyfriend. Our priorities are: a beautiful beach, quiet, zen-mode, cute restaurants, culture, and romance.
    Do you have any suggestions where we could find these combinations not to expensive in Bali?

    Looking forward to your reply,
    Zorica Malic

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I love Padangbai. Small town with a quiet feel. Great beaches a short walk away (but not right in town). For culture, you’d have to go elsewhere though.

      Reply
  31. Where To Rent House on Bali

    Love the site. Question going to Bali for 3 weeks want to rent a house near beach great restaurants and night life. Any suggestions on what area I should be looking at?

    David

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It’s easy to rent a house close to great restaurants (Jimbaran, Canggu) but if you need to be near nightlife then that draws the circle a little tighter, so the best area would be Seminyak and just north of there.

      Reply
  32. Best Town in Bali for Beach and Nightlife

    Hi David, my boyfriend and I are going to Bali in mid-October for the first time. We’re only there Fri thru Mon. Our priorities, in order, are: Amazing beach, nightlife, hiking/cultural activities. We are currently booked at the Grand Bali Nusa Dua which gets good reviews but I’m worried it’ll be too touristy or kid-friendly. I’d love something more romantic and character-filled. Also, should we just stick to one place or can we do beach in the mornings/afternoons and take a taxi somewhere at night for clubbing?

    Thanks so much!
    J.E.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I would not stay in Nusa Dua for nightlife or anything romantic. Seminyak is where you’ll want to be. Great hotels, nice beach, and good nightlife. Kuta is a short taxi ride away if you want something a little wilder.

      Reply
  33. Beach Town for Mountain Climbing

    Hi David, I need your help!
    My husband and I will be spending our honeymoon in Bali on November. We’re planning to climb 2 mountains there in our 6 days stay. The plan was to climb 1 mountain on our second day, on the 3rd day, relax at the beach and 4th day another mountain (Mt Agung) maybe. We like a good and clean but not so expensive place to rest at night. Thanks for your help in advance.

    Ann

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I’d stay in Padangbai – a quiet, inexpensive town with nice nearby beaches. And Amed as a second choice. Both good for accessing central/north Bali while avoiding the traffic of the Ubud/Denpasar/Kuta area.

      Reply
  34. Where Should We Stay for 1 Month Stay in Bali?

    Hi David!
    I’m traveling with a friend in april (older teens), we are staying for one month, we really want to do as much as possible, see the best spots and we like diving/photography/swimming and he also likes climbing. We want to live near a beach (clean one) and we were thinking about renting a car and drive around to see ubud and other places. Do you think it sounds like a good idea? and where would you suggest us to live? or is it better to live in two different places?

    Nicole

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Staying in one spot for the duration is nice – you really settle in and get to know the area. I’d probably stay 3 weeks in the area north of Seminyak up to Canggu – very popular with long term residents. Use this time to explore the immediate area and everything south of Ubud down through the Bukit Peninsula. For the final week do a trip around the eastern and northern shores of Bali. Perhaps 3 nights in the Amed area and 3 nights in the Lovina area (and do day trips from each of those bases). Return to southern Bali and stay your final night in Jimbaran. It’s close to the airport and has wonderful beach restaurants that serve awesome (and cheap) fresh seafood – it’s the perfect way to end a trip to Bali.

      Reply
  35. Bali Weather in Late December and Early January

    Rainy Season

    Hi David, I’m loving the advice on your page! We’d like to travel to Bali over Christmas/NYE but read that it’s the rainy season. Does it actually rain that much or are we talking 1hour a day of rain? I love the beach so gutted if it rained all day.

    Cheers!
    Charlotte

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      No guarantees with the weather but rain storms tend to be short lived on Bali and the sun comes back out after an hour or two.

      Reply
  36. Seminyak vs Sanur for Beach and Nightlife

    Hi David,

    I will be going to Bali at the very beginning of September with my bf. We are staying in Ubud for 4 night and want something different for the 5th night. We are back and forth between Seminyak and Sanur. We would love a nice beach and a bit of a nightlife as we won’t have one in Ubud. Would you have any recommendations on location? We are willing to go somewhere completely different as well.

    Cheers,
    Sheena

    Reply
  37. Sanur Beach

    Love your site! We have booked a week away in September to Sanur. We chose Sanur as we wanted to stay on a nice beach with access to restaurants and bars, but didn’t want the noise of a resort (kids screaming in pools! ) or a busy city . We are staying at the Elora Villas which look lovely and a short walk to the beach. The issue is I’ve had a family member this week tell me that the beach in sanur is “not nice” and more for kite surfers and fisherman rather than swimming. Can you please let me know whether there are nicer parts of Sanur beach than others? If so where are they located? We have paid for accomodation so can’t change it. But is be keen for another opinion! We are after a relaxing holiday with perhaps a day trip or two plus a nice swim everyday. Thanks in advance /)
    Carey

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It was probably the time of year that they visited. There can be times (due to the currents) when the beaches of Bali become less-than-pristine. But you should be fine in September.

      Reply
  38. Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta, Jimbaran or Ubud?

    Hi David, great article :)
    I want your advice, me and my fiance will spend our honeymoon at Bali next November and we planned to visit two areas of Bali, so what’s your recommendation? We want very clean beach and nightlife. Should we go to Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta, Jimbaran or Ubud?
    Miriam Moheb

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Nusa Dua – Great beach (very calm), not much nightlife
      Seminyak – Great beach (with some surf), trendy nightlife
      Kuta – Great beach (with some surf), boisterous nightlife
      Jimbaran – Good beach (calmer than Kuta, not as calm as Nusa Dua), not much nightlife
      Ubud – No beach, mature easy going nightlife

      Hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. How To Get from Kuta to Nusa Dua

        Thank you David for your quick reply :)
        We can stay 8 nights at Kuta, then go two nights to Nusa Dua, is it easy to go from Kuta to Nusa Dua? How can we go to Nusa Dua?
        Miriam Moheb

        Reply
        1. DavidDavid Post author

          Taxis are easy to find and the best way to around. Blue Bird are reliable and more likely to use a meter – but sometimes you’ll be forced to use whoever drives by and will take you. If you travel late at night you can sometimes be forced to take whatever is available. It costs about 100,000rp to 150,000rp ($8 to $12). The ride from Kuta to Nusa Dua takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

          Reply
  39. Family Resort on Beautiful Beach

    Amazing and unique website!
    My question is fairly easy but the answer may not be!

    I love the Bali resorts and want this aspect for a family of 4 but we are also looking for it on a picture prefect beach with picture perfect water – does this exist?

    Thanks very much, Susanne

    Reply
  40. Quiet Beach with Nightlife

    hi David ,
    I am planning to have my honeymoon in Bali starting December 20 (high season, very busy time).
    I plan to stay in a villa with private pool in ubud for 3 days as I noticed there are a lot of tours and activities to do in Ubud (please tell me whether I’m right or not because that’s what i understood from tripadvisors research).
    And then I want to go to a nice beach not very busy though. I want to have fun at night (restaurant or bars with walking distance) – which beach do you recommend in Bali?
    Hana

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      That’s a bit of a contradiction: you either get a busy beach and nightlife, or a quiet beach and no nightlife. But, Sanur and Seminyak come closest to having it both ways. And yes, Ubud has lots of activities and tours to keep visitors busy (if they wish).

      Reply
  41. Ubud and Nusa Dua

    Hi David. Your site is really a big help for first timers in Bali. My husband and I will be spending our first wedding anniversary in July for 4 days. We’re planning to go first to Ubud and then Nusa Dua. Is this plan wise or better to go to Nusa dua first? Also, is the beach in Nusa Dua clean or we rather go to Jimbaran? Thank you Lorie

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The order of your visits doesn’t matter. Nusa Dua is closer to the airport so you just have to decide whether you want a short drive after arriving or a short drive before departing. (The trip from the airport to Ubud goes through the heart of Bali traffic so can be quite slow.) Nusa Dua has a nice beach than Jimbaran but Jimbaran is much more interesting (fish market in the morning, beach restaurants in the evening).

      Reply
  42. Sanur for Teens

    Sanur – is it going to excite 2 older teens?
    What besides biking along the water & water sports is there to do there?

    Reply
  43. Clean Beaches in Bali

    Hi David,

    Heading to Bali in early Dec. Heard the beaches around Kuta are very unclean that time of year. Are they cleaner on the east coast that time of year?

    Cheers,

    Trish Cornish

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Yes, the clean and dirty beaches do tend to alternate based on the time of year and the direction of the currents. That said, I would not agree that the beaches are very unclean in December. After a storm they will tend to have some rubbish for a few days (if you’re staying at a 5 star resort they’ll usually have workers out there cleaning the beach) but it’s rare for it to be dirty enough for a long stretch that it will ruin your vacation.

      Reply
  44. Jimbaran or Nusa Dua

    Great website and after reading everything I have narrowed down my week stay in Bali to either Jambaran or Nusa Dua.

    I will be travelling with my bf and my parents (50s). We are looking for a place that has a few bars / restaurants etc within walking distance so we can stoll around of an evening. Which of my 2 choices would you recommend for this?

    Last year we took them to Sanur and whilst everything was great and within walkign distance if I am honest we did feel a lttle let down by the beach!

    Suggestions welcome

    Thanks
    Faye

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Jimbaran is great at night with restaurants set up along the sand at night – lots of fun. You can walk up and down the beach with a beer, kids and families are playing in the surf, it’s wonderful. Not much nightlife there but Kuta is a short taxi ride if you want to hit some clubs one night. The beach is good though surf can be “active” some times, other times quite calm. Nusa Dua has far less to do but the beach is more idyllic and almost always calm and inviting. So it just depends what you prioritize: the beach or the vibe?

      Reply
  45. wisa

    Thanks for the info, we went to Bali last week and we stayed at Nusa dua, it was a great fun trip, thanks again :)

    Reply
  46. Travel Agent for Bali

    Thank you for the amazing advice.
    Can you recommend a good tour operator who could help me plan and organize my holiday in Indonesia.
    Iqram

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Sorry, I don’t use travel agents. You’ll get much better rates and airfares by using booking.com (for hotels) and kayak.com (for flights). With travel agents they have pre-arranged package deals with hotels and resorts and try to push you into booking there whether they are good or not. You also tend to end up staying with a lot of other people on the same package tour – and it can feel rather cookie-cutter. Doing the planning on your own (while a little more work) makes for a much more rewarding holiday for most people. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  47. Day Trip to Nusa Lembongan

    Hi there David,
    Just wondering if you knew any companies that did a day trip from either Legian/our hotel to Nusa Lembongan for a adventerous young couple looking for a fun day?

    Many thanks,
    Chloe

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I don’t. But even if I did I’d still recommend waiting to arrange it after your arrival. It’s easy to find tours and there are quite a few details that are always changing with tours it’s best to talk to someone in person a day or two before you go and pick the tour that works best.

      Reply
  48. Sharlynn Ng

    Hi David! Your beach overview is fantastic! I plan to go to bali end of next month and will be staying in Kuta and then Ubud. This might be a slightly dumb question but I was wondering if there are public areas on the beaches such as Legian/tuban/sanur? I’m sure some of the best stretches are taken up by hotel properties but would you say there are also good areas open to the public? I’m interested most in beaches around Kuta!

    Reply
    1. Public Beaches in BaliPublic Beaches in Bali Post author

      All of the beach along Kuta, Legian, and Tuban is open to the public and unrestricted by the beach hotels. The Four Seasons has a private beach and there are resorts in Nusa Dua that completely take control of the beach area in front of their hotel but for the most part beaches in Bali are free to use for non-guests – though there will be a charge if you use their beach chairs and umbrellas.

      Reply
  49. Honeymoon Beach in Bali

    Hi David!
    Thanks for this great article! I would love advice about where to stay in Bali! My husband and I are going to Bali for a week in April for our honeymoon. We’ve already booked 4 nights at a private villa I’m sesah village because we wanted to immerse ourselves in the Balinese culture and plan to take day trips to Ubud and Tanah Lot, etc. But for our second half of our honeymoon, we’d like to just completely relax on white sand beaches and crystal clear blue water in a quiet serene place (with option to snorkel and beginner level surfing), preferably away from lots of tourists though and not a crowded beach. What town would you recommend me look for a resort or luxury villa? I’ve been debating between Nusa Dua (beaches look perfect but I feel like it’s a bit too touristy for us), Jimbaran and Uluwata, or maybe even Gili islands?? Are there beaches just as beautiful as Nusa Dua but not in the gated tourist area?? Any advice would help! Thanks so much!
    Bonny

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Both Nusa Dua and the Gili islands will have the white sand beaches you’re looking for. Yes, Nusa Dua does have a resort feel to it. The Gilis are more laid back and low key with both attitude and accommodations. Gili Trawangan is the busiest with the most nightlife (though nothing crazy like Kuta). Gila Air is quieter and more upscale. Gili Meno is somewhere in between.

      Reply
  50. Calm Beach on Bali

    Hi
    I needed advice about beaches in bali. I’m not really into surf and was looking to some relax time wit a peaceful beach like maya bay in phi phi. Would I find such a beach in bali?
    Alka

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      There are a couple beaches just outside of Padangbai that are wonderful. Padangbai itself is relaxing and low key. Nusa Dua has a great stretch of calm beach as well. Nearby Lombok also has its share of peaceful beaches.

      Reply
  51. Bali with 3 Kids

    Hi David – great site!

    We will be in Bali around 3 weeks in July with 3 kids (10-15). They like to surf and do the usual (pre) teen stuff so Legian/Kuta would be good – but mom and dad like to be in a hipper -more happing area ( a la Seminyak beach clubs). I think we’ll split the trip into beach and Ubud – staying in 3 or 4 different places (maybe with a few days Lombok thrown in).

    What would you recommend?

    Erik

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I think you’ve got it right. Split your time between Kuta (around waterbom), Seminyak, and Ubud. Throw in Jimbaran (as a base to explore the beaches of the Bukit) if you need a 4th.

      Reply
  52. 3 Weeks in Bali – Where To Stay

    Hi there, We are looking for some advice. Our family is heading to Bali for 3 weeks (late March/early April). Our kids are 13, 11 and 8. We are looking to try some surfing, see the sights of Bali and relax. We originally had planned on staying in the Amed area but have swayed toward Kuta recently. We would like to be within walking distance to a beach and a village/amenities. The more research I have done on Kuta seems like it is just so busy with tourists and not as relaxed as other places. But we also want to be able to go on an adventure if we get restless. We are also contemplating staying at the same place or breaking it up.. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

    Stehanie Henry

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I would definitely break up those 3 weeks. Kuta is good for shopping (which kids tend to like) and taking surf lessons – but after a week there you’ll be ready to move on. To explore the Bukit Peninsula I’d use Jimbaran as a base. To explore central and eastern Bali I’d have Ubud (my favorite), Sanur, Padangbai, or Amed as a base. If you wanted to explore the north then Lovina is great. I’d probably choose 3 or 4 of those towns and see as much of the island as possible.

      Reply
  53. Bali with a 7 Year Old

    Hi there,

    i really need some advice. I am looking to travel to Bali, just my 7 year old son and I. We are flying in from London for 2 weeks and was originally looking at Sanur, however i have found Sanur to have a lot of mixed reviews. In your experience, where is the best place to stay in Bali with children? I don’t want the typical 5 star, all inclusive experience as i want him to experience the culture, but at the same time i do not want him to become bored- especially as we are staying for 2 weeks!

    Many thanks

    Zara

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      First off, I would say with 2 weeks you should stay in a variety of places – certainly more than 1. Sanur is on the quiet side but is also close to central and eastern Bali where there’s lots of great stuff to explore. Good day trips from Sanur are easy. Ubud is a great town (and the surrounding area) if you’re looking for Balinese culture. Seminyak and Jimbaran are 2 more ideas.

      Reply
  54. Affordable Hotel in Jimbaran

    Dear David, would you please advise me some hotels (range $50-$60/night max) in Jimbaran for a week stay. Me and my husband would like to spend holidays but not have that big budget. Would there be any such hotel within this range with beach/bay view? Alternatively, suggest me some hotels which are walking distance from beach coz I love beach.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Hotel Puri Bambu in Jimbaran is great. It’s a 3 minute walk from the beach, has a good pool (with swim-up bar), free breakfasts (or did when I was last there), and super friendly staff. Great seafood restaurants are at this section of beach so cheap delicious food is available too.

      Reply
  55. Good Hotel (not too expensive) in Jimbaran or Nusa Dua

    Hi David, my husband and I are Bali newbies. We are heading there for 11 nights in May/June. We are hoping to pamper ourselves by staying somewhere luxurious with a gorgeous pool, but without the luxury prices! – maybe $250-300/night rather than the $650/night you have to pay at places like St Regis or Four Seasons Jimbarin. We want to be on a beautiful, sheltered beach, not too crowded but still with easy access to great places to eat etc … Not asking for much, am I! Thinking about Jimbarin or Nusa Dua, but are open to other areas not overrun with the party crowds. Your opinion/hotel recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    Nicole

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran is a nice hotel with a good pool but not right on the beach – it’s a 2 minute walk away. Lots of great seafood restaurants are a very short walk away. You’ll find much better food in Jimbaran than Nusa Dua.

      Reply
  56. Hotel with Great Beach

    Hi there and thanks for great info. we are heading back to bali next year. We stayed at The Padma in may/june this year however were very disappointed with the beach there (hotel was fantastic ). Can you suggest a place that has a great child friendly and clean beach and a great hotel for young children.
    Thnks

    Reply
  57. Where To Stay in Bali

    Hi we are a family with 2 small kids, age 3 and 4.. Want to go Bali for 2 weeks.. Where should we stay.? I am confused, really don’t want to stay at kuta.. We from the Gold Coast and live near beach however the beach is definately very important to us. We want to experience Bali and see it all.. I thought Seminyak but people said, no.. Want things to do but also chill out. Should we split out trip and stay in 2 different areas , or maybe somewhere that is close to everything!

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Sanur is a great choice. It has a good beach (not great) and is close to many things to see and do (the “real Bali”) in the interior of the island. When you’re in the Kuta and region and try to get north you have to deal with Kuta traffic and then Denpasar traffic. When you’re Sanur you’ve bypassed most of the congestion. But there are many places. Jimbaran, Ubud (no beach), Padangbai, and Amed are all great.

      Reply
  58. One Month in Bali

    Hello!

    Just wanted to say thank you for the great advice!

    My wife and I are taking a sabbatical and spending one month on of it on Bali.

    Thank you for the information you provide. I find it useful because of my not being so general but specific and opinionated.

    Thanks,

    Ville

    Reply
  59. Bali in November

    Hi, you seem to have a gret knowledge and hoping you can help. We’re travelling to Bali for the first two weeks of November – splitting our time between Sanur, Gillis and Ubud.

    Conscious that it’s the raining season and hoping to find a beach which is clean for sunbathing/swimming and quite calm – we’re considering the Jimbaran/ Ulu Watu area for our final three days and hoping to pay around £100 a night – do you have any suggestions, and is this the best place for relaxation/ luxury to finish off the holiday? Not planning on hiring a car, so preferably nowhere too isolated.

    Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Rain shouldn’t be too bad in November. Perhaps a big downpour once a day but sunny before and after. It’s sort of fun actually. Puri Bambu in Jimbaran is great. Friendly, inexpensive, and a nice pool. Short walk to the beach.

      Reply
  60. Bali for Surfing and Family

    Hi,
    We are planning to go to Bali in early October for 10 days. We’ll spend some days in Ubud and then we want to spend some time at a nice, not too crowded beach, where my partner can surf and I can hang around with my 4 year old son.
    We’ve been looking at Balangan but I’ve read you need to get on a car to get anywhere and might be a bit too isolated? Otherwise I was looking at Jimbaran.
    Can you recommend one over the other one? and also, any good suggestions for accommodation? we are happy with a simple nice villa, rather than resorts :)
    Thank you,
    Ines

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Balangan has better surf but not a lot of places to stay. Jimbaran has many hotels and resorts, tons of places to eat, but the surf is for beginners at best as the bay is protected and the waves very calm compared to Kuta and other beaches. Canggu (north of Kuta and much quieter) is great for advanced surfers and lots of villas though they are very spread out. Padang Padang to the south might also be a good choice but then you’re back to being somewhat isolated like Balangan.

      Reply
  61. Villas in Jimbaran

    I am planning to celebrate my 40th in Bali and would like to rent a four bed villa close to Jimbaran beach. There are so many villas to choose from and getting rather confusing as all of them have wonderful photos and descriptions. Do you have any villas or information sources that you would recommend. Many thanks.

    Reply
  62. A place to hang with small kids for a day at Jimbaran Beach

    We are staying on Bukit in the south and wondered about a place that you can hang out on Jimbaran Beach for the day, hire loungers, eat and let the kids play in the surf and sand.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Shouldn’t be a problem. There are lots of restaurants and several hotels where you can sit as long as you purchase food. Just walk along the beach until you find a place you like.

      Reply
  63. Bali in December and January

    Love your website, found amazing advises.
    Please advise me, we are a family of four, six nights in Bali, wanting to split our stay between resorts on good beaches, luxury resorts but reasonably priced too. And not very far from touristy places too. And traveling in December-January
    I was thinking of Jimbaran beach or kuta or nusa dua, any resort ON BEACH not near beach but beach front, suggest any villas too as we re a family

    Thank you,
    Sid

    Reply
  64. Bali in November

    Hi Dave!

    Just wondering if you have any recommendations for me? I’m planning to take a trip to bali late november but am not looking for the hotel resort type. More the Eat, Pray, Love coastal bungalow type? It’s supposed to be a relaxing escape but we also don’t want to be too far from the touristy places either. Wat accommodations can you recommend and what location? Your expertise would be greatly appreciated!

    Kelly

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I’d try in and around Amed (on the coast) or Ubud (in central Bali – and where Eat, Pray, Love is set). Both have some great hotels. Ubud in particular is loaded with fantastic little hotels set out in the hills and surrounded by rice paddies and thick forest. The town is still close but you don’t feel like you’re near a major tourist center. If you have the time the best way to find them is to spend a day driving between a few places, looking at the rooms and checking the rates. Hire a car for the day – it’s a great way to see the country side too.

      If you’re short on time or want something booked in advance then these links might help:
      Hotels in Amed
      Hotels in Ubud

      Good luck.

      Reply
  65. Beach in Candidasa

    Great inspiration – just wanted to get your take on Candidasa in later March…? Is there any beach, can you swim there or is it hard with currents? Are there anywhere else you would suggest to take my wife and four year old son? We will spend some time in Ubud, but also have days to spend at the sea beach…
    Kuta is most likely too touristic, are we are looking for an quiet place.
    Looking forward hearing from you and once again thanks
    Ole Just

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It’s not so much the currents around Candidasa, it’s that the beach has been eroded and the sand is very narrow. Padangbai is a good choice in eastern Bali. Several good beaches nearby (some just a short walk). Sanur has a very kid-friendly beach but it’s pretty touristy.

      Reply
  66. Hotel Villa in Seminyak

    Thank you for your brilliant site. Very useful and interesting.
    We are going to a wedding in Seminyak next April and would like to make a 10 day holiday out of it. We would like to find a family friendly yet moderately luxurious resort/hotel/villa in Seminyak that has a warm pool for the kids and is close to a beach. I have looked at Semara resort but am slightly concerned by lots of negative reviews. We welcome any suggestions…Thanks.
    Emma

    Reply
  67. Bali in October

    Hi David! My husband and I are thinking about heading to Bali in early October and friends already have reservations just north of Nusa Dua in Tanjungbenoa. How are the beaches in Nusa Dua and Tanjungbenoa? I’ve read mixed reviews, and I really want to stay at a decent hotel where I can lay on a beautiful beach and swim in the water. Any good beaches for this and hotel recommendations ($150 or under a night) would be so welcome and appreciated.

    Great advice on this website, thank you!

    Rachel

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Hi Rachel. Tanjung Benoa has more character than the rest of Nusa Dua. Nice beach too. The Grand Mirage Resort Bali is very family friendly. It might be a bit over your budget but in October there should be some great deals. Good luck.

      Reply
  68. Cheap Hotels in Bali

    Really great articles you have here!

    Me and my sister are going to bali mid august for 2 weeks and im trying to find best hotels and things to do. I read so many articles on lonely planet that my head is just spinning now. Since you’ve visited bali several times could you give some tips where to stay and what tours to take without being ripped off. We are looking for amazing beaches and to get the best experience as its our first big/far away trip. we want to try snorkeling and surfing too and can spend up to 80$ a night for hotel and can change a few since we want to go to Gilis etc. Your advice would be highly appreciated.

    Rita

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Hi Rita. In many ways Kuta is the best place to organize tours from as there are so many companies there and such a wide range of activities. On the other hand, getting out and seeing the island on your own (or at least hopping between 3 or 4 different towns) is a great way to see “beyond the tours” and the other big tourist towns (Ubud, Lovina, Sanur, Nusa Dua) will have plenty of different options for arranging tours.

      In general the surfing and beaches are best in the south; the rice fields and beautiful balinese countryside is in the central part of the island; the mountains in the north,east, and far west; the dolphins in the north (by Lovina); the scuba diving in the west and north of the island.

      Jimbaran makes a good place to explore the south. Ubud is good for exploring central, north, and west Bali.

      As for hotels, if you’re just looking for the best deals for the money then use this website.

      If you need a recommendation then I love this hotel in Jimbaran and this one in Ubud.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

      Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Kuta is great for beginners. Many places to rent gear and take courses, and lifeguards on duty if you get into trouble. Uluwatu probably the best for advanced surfers, though lots of choices on the Bukit for great breaks.

      Good overview here on the different surfing spots in Bali: http://www.baliblog.com/surfing

      Reply
  69. Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta

    We loved Kuta and thought the beach was fantastic. I’d heard so many negative things about Kuta that I wasn’t going to spend anytime there but found a great hotel (the Hard Rock with an amazing amazing pool and slides) and couldn’t drag ourselves away.

    We found the other towns sort of boring in comparison. Different strokes suppose.

    Reply
  70. Booking Hotels in Kuta

    How would you book a hotel in Kuta for a week? We’re looking for a mid-range hotel with a pool in a central location, other than that we’re not fussy.

    Are there good websites that you can recommend for booking? or should I find a hotel in a guide book and phone them?

    First time to Bali and a little confused.

    Ayia

    Reply
  71. Hotel for Honeymoon in Seminyak

    Could you recommend a splurge hotel (for our honeymoon) in Seminyak or that general area? Great pool is the most important.

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      The BIMC hospital (http://www.bimcbali.com) is very good quality. We’ve used their emergency-room care when our son was bit by a dog and had to get a series of rabies shots. They were very professional and I’d highly recommend them. It’s located on the eastern edge of Kuta and you can get there in less than an hour from anywhere south of Ubud. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  72. Getting a Taxi from Jimbaran to Kuta / Shopping Malls in Bali

    How hard is it to get between Jimbaran and Kuta? I’m not big on shopping malls, but are they easily accessible from Jimbaran? Thanks.

    Glenn

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Very easy. Taxis are easy to get and it takes about 10 minutes. There’s the Bali Mall Galeria and the Discovery Mall that are fairly easy to get to from Jimbaran in that there on the south and east side and you can avoid central Kuta to get to them.

      Reply
  73. Best Beach Town in Bali

    So hard to pick one. Jimbaran has been recommended to us by friends. We have 10 days and would like to stay in just one area. Maybe do some day trips but don’t want to switch hotels. What beach and could you recommend a hotel there? Thank you.

    Wen

    Reply
    1. DaveDave Post author

      Go with Jimbaran. I love it. Quiet. Great beach. Some really awesome and cheap beach restaurants that serve fantastic seafood dishes. It’s a short taxi drive to Kuta if you want to shop or do some night life yet you don’t have to deal with the crowds of tourists like when you stay in Kuta.

      My favorite hotel in Jimbaran is the Four Seasons at Jimbaran. It’s great.

      Good luck.

      Reply