Where To Stay In Bali, Indonesia

This delightful island has yet to lose any of its vibrancy as a plethora of five-star hotels and resorts continue to offer heightened levels of sophistication and coziness. The Bali Island is a lively center of Hinduism found on the largest Muslim country of the world. Dotted by myriad coastal beaches, palm trees as well as the warm blue waters the island lives up to its billing as the best tropical tourist destination in this part of the world. It also offers an additional dimension in its spiritual culture. Even the simplest offerings of petals and rice by the roadside shrines seem exotic.

The varied beach and volcanic landscape of the island, for most part, is its greatest draw. To other people though, the spiritual culture is the most appealing phenomenon. More pragmatically, the island provides an extraordinary degree of luxury accommodation.

Places To Stay In Bali

1. Kuta Beach & Legian

Kuta Beachflickr/Aaron Toth

This is by far the busiest beach in Bali. It has gazillions of vendors, beach boys, masseuses, currents, and high waves and is also lined up with numerous resorts and hotels which are mainly of 2- and 4-star levels. Although this is the main tourist hub of Bali, the beach is so big and at the same time wide that it does not even feel too crowded even when populated by many people. As the sun sets, enjoy your drink as you watch locals play football (soccer). You could also try to catch the last waves just before darkness sets in.

The nightlife centers of Bali are Kuta and Legian and the two towns boast many pubs, open bars, restaurants, discos and all manner of department stores and supermarkets. The towns are also littered with many shops selling beach fashions and casual wear, handicrafts, antiques and souvenirs. But a high number of hawkers and frequent traffic jams have made Bali unsavory for many visitors.
This place is recommended to stay in if you want action, a night out or some excitement. However, it is not the best place to go to if you want a romantic honeymoon or family vacation.

2. Seminyak to Batubelig, Kerobokan, Tanah Lot and Umalas

Tanah Lot Templeflickr/Farley Roland Endeman

The place was once a rural and mainly residential area that stretched a couple of miles north of Legian. It has some good off-white sandy beaches as well as robust waves and strong currents. It gets less crowded as you move further north. The number of villas and hotels here is increasing at a rapid rate and are great although quite reasonably priced. It also has the most interesting pubs, clubs and discos plus shops that sell casual and designer wear. You can also find shops selling handicrafts, decorative items, furniture and lots of antiques.

If you would rather keep some distance from the loud partying crowds but want easy access to Kuta and Legian, this place is recommended for you. Also, it offers an excellent access to other areas of the island as you do not necessarily have to g through the congested Kuta. Find some of the most beautiful vacation villas that are serene with surf camps and rice fields between Batubelig and Seminyak.

3. Ubud and its Surroundings

Ubud Baliflickr/Vin Crosbie

The Ubud town is just as important to Bali as Jogykarta is to Java. Here is where you will find the most accomplished dancers, painters, carvers, musicians and weavers living and working. It is also home to some very good art galleries and museums. Given that it is located some 30 kilometers at the foot of the mountains, temperatures here tend to be a bit lower compared to in the lowlands. The year-long rain drizzles ensure there is lush tropical vegetation every time you come calling.

The town has gone through a rapid development, and as you walk by the road today, you will be met with art shops, souvenir and handicraft shops and several restaurants and cafes. You can see tourist groups as well as other day visitors roaming eateries and shops until late afternoon. Ubud is also the central part of what some people refer to as Green Bali. There are green vegans, vegetarian, as well as raw food restaurants. Majority of restaurants here also abolish the use of plastic straws and the shops don’t have any plastic bags in them. You will also find yoga schools, psychic readings, meditation centers and raw chocolate courses. If you want alternative healing, you can expect to find it here too.

Generally, business owners and visitors show a lot of environmental consciousness here. The shops will begin shutting down after sunset as the town enters relative quietude. Tourists frequent this place to watch Balinese Dance Performers at night. Ubud is also an excellent place to commence your day trips to go to zoos, bird parks, hot springs and temples.

4. Jimbaran Beach

Jimbaran Beachflickr/Sarah Ackerman

This can be very easily said to be the best beach in Bali given its innumerable accommodation and hotels. It is almost white sand as waves are not too high which allows for wind surfing, swimming and sailing but do not expect motorized water sport activities. It does not have too many tourists and has some up-market resorts and hotels. There is also a rising number of good sea food restaurants right by the water front. If you want to have a picturesque view of the famous sunsets of Bali while washing down the delicious seafood relaxingly, this is the place to be. It is located just some miles southwards of the airport.

5. Nusa Dua,the Bukit & Tanjung Benoa

Tanjung Benoaflickr/amelia Arifin

The southern peninsula of Bali is the home of majority of the island’s world class 4- and 5-star hotels and resorts. It is set on the lush manicured though not typically a Balinese garden environment. It is a nice beach containing shallow water and has no high waves. It also has all manner of water sports as well as 18-hole golf course. The Nusa Dua is the center with relatively expansive department stores, shops and restaurants. In case you want more reasonably priced restaurants, you can check the nearby villages of Bualu and Tandjung. Nothing great about its night life can be said. It is located roughly 12 kilometers from the airport.

There are many private villas being constructed on the Bukit, which is found to the southern part of the airport. Most of these villas offer breathtaking views of the Denpasar, Kuta, Sanur and the Bali’s mountains and also of the sea. Climate is cooler and drier.

6. Tuban

Tubanflickr/Farley Roland Endeman

This is the busiest area with lots of resorts and hotels of all categories found right on the beach. Most of the shops and restaurants here are found by the main road. It is found between Bali international airport and Kuta.

7. Sanur Beach

Sanur Beachflickr/McKay Savage

35 years ago, you would find nearly all the international standard hotels of Bali here but the beach has never been this outstanding. Not only is the beach cleaner today but several marinas have also been put up to prevent the sand from being washed away. Compared to Nusa Dua and Kuta, Sanur is relatively quieter although it is still the go-to place for some foreign students and old-time visitors. Great hotels like Tandjung Sari Hotel indulge their guests with lush Balinese gardens, standalone gardens and a great atmosphere.

8. Candidasa & Lovina

View from Puri Bagusflickr/Graeme Churchard

The two tourist centers have grown into popular meeting places for anybody who wants to take a break from the visiting tourists. Both of them offer simple yet adequate restaurants and hotels. However, Beaches straddling Candi Dasa, sort of disappeared in the past decade following the destruction of most coral reefs. Not many visitors prefer the black sand that cover most of the Bali beaches.