Where to stay in Bali: a guide for all types of travellers
Choosing where to stay in Bali is not the easiest thing to do. The information available on the internet often leaves us more confused about which is the best place or the best beach. That said, Bali is one of my favorite destinations of life. Do you know these places that we’re already going crazy to go back? And I promised I would, to better explore all the wonders of the island. Relax on the beaches, take a yoga course in Ubud, get to know the volcanoes, dive …
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that in Bali, less is more. As in the rest of the country, the traffic there is chaotic and the absence of an efficient public transport system makes the locomotion between the beaches a headache. Small distances can take hours to be covered. Knowing this, it’s best not to take a hectic travel pace. Even because this does not match the climate of the island. Choose few places and stay in them for days.
Which beach to choose in Bali?
The most famous and well-named beaches are the southernmost islands on the Bukit peninsula and nearby Kuta: Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Sanur and Seminyak, which are also close to Denpasar airport, Bali’s main airport. See now our suggestions on where to stay in Bali.
Ubud, the cultural capital of Bali
Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali. Surrounded by temples, mountains and rice paddies, the city also houses artists, art galleries, festivals, yoga schools and meditation centers. The tourist infrastructure is great. It is the perfect place for anyone who wants to take a break on a trip, relax, taste the typical gastronomy and learn about Balinese culture.
Even if you are going for the beaches, reserve at least three days for Ubud.
Kuta, Legian and Seminiak: the hottest beaches
Kuta is controversial. The capital of the island of Bali receives, every year, thousands of tourists looking for beaches, resorts, bustling nightlife and places to shop. But it’s not uncommon the testimonials of people who say that staying there is a terrible choice. The criticisms are many: dirty beaches, environmental degradation caused by predatory practices of tourism and crowd. It passes away from the calm and mild climate for which the island is famous. Some say he hated Bali because he stayed there. On the other hand, it is there that concentrates the largest tourist structure of the island. It is certainly easier to get around and hire services and facilities staying there. It’s your choice.
One way to stay close to Kuta facilities, but at a safe distance from the hustle and bustle, is staying at the nearby beaches, Legian and Seminyak. Legian is the closest to Kuta and still suffers from the crowds of tourists, but there the thing is more bearable. The beaches are cleaner and attract many surfers. Also not to be missed in the structure: restaurants by the beach do not lack there.
If Kuta has bad fame, Seminyak is the coolest region. It is full of boutique shops and trendy restaurants, among them the Ku De Ta, a world-famous meeting point on the beachfront. Speaking of it, the beach is quieter, but it does not come to impress with its beauty.
It is a region full of four or five star resorts and usually has higher prices than other parts of the island, but as in Bali nothing is too expensive, it is possible to find good accommodations for very little. Stay here if you want to see beautiful people, comfort, music and sophistication. Avoid if you are looking for a closer experience with the local culture.
Jimbaran: resorts in Bali
Next to Denpasar airport, Jimbaran lies between Kuta and the Bukit peninsula. It was formerly a small fishing village, but today it was invaded by five star resorts, both which is known as the Beverly Hills of Bali. It also has some middle-term and economic hotels, although it is not the stronghold of the region. The beaches are good for bathing and white sand. Jimbaran is perhaps the best place in Bali to eat the traditional seafood barbecue. The place is good for shopping, but the nightlife is almost dead.
Uluwatu and Padang Padang: awesome beaches
Uluwatu is the surfers paradise, these two beaches on the Bukit peninsula are beautiful, clean, crystal clear and are 5km apart. They do not usually attract crowds, but they can get fuller in high season. The region is less inhabited and therefore leaves little to be desired in the infrastructure. You will not get as many dining, nightlife and transportation options as nearby Kuta, but the scenery and nature make up for being more secluded.
Padang Padang is chosen by many surfers and backpackers, as prices are inviting. This was also our choice during our stay in Bali. We stayed in Uluwatu, a few meters from the famous temple, and we loved it. On a next trip, however, I would not repeat the lodging. You would choose a hotel closer to Padang Padang. I found the beach there better and had a minimal structure (type ATM and these basic things).
Nusa Dua: for those who enjoy luxury
Luxury resorts is what is not missing there. The place even has a private beach, for the exclusive use of the guests of these hotels. The sea is clean, blue and calm, almost without waves, which leaves the surfers away, but attracts a lot of people who just want a swim. It is the perfect choice for those who want rest and stewardship. It is located on the easternmost side of the Bukit peninsula.
Sanur: a more familiar beach
Sanur is a quiet and relaxed getaway but with an excellent structure of hotels and restaurants. It’s more expensive than Kuta, but cheaper than Seminyak. In general, it is frequented by more mature people, families or those who do not have the patience for the spirit of hype that can stand out in other parts of the island.
Where to stay in Bali: other options
Did not like any of our suggestions? Do you have another place in mind? Do not worry! Booking has almost 3,000 properties listed in Bali. You can refine the search according to your preferences – hotels that look for the guest at the airport, for families, that accept pets and everything else. Check the map: