Where to stay in Bali when visiting for the first time

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Bali is an exotic island in  Indonesia where you find stunning mountains, beautiful beaches, green jungles, and incredible rice fields. Yet, not every part is the same, so in this ultimate travel guide on where to stay in Bali, I’ll show you where your stay will be the greatest exotic experience you can imagine!

In general, we can say that the North of Bali is the quietest area.  In the South and the East, you’ll find the most beautiful beaches! Right in the middle is the best place for the jungle and mountains, you can see from pretty much anywhere, but they are mainly situated in the Northern part all the way from the East to the West!

Bali is a great place for any type of traveler: The budget traveler, the traveling family, couples,  honeymooners, surfers, divers, party people, solo travelers, backpackers and the list keeps going! In this post, I will explain exactly which place is best for any type of traveler and what kind of holiday you can expect while staying in the many different areas of Bali. 

Where to stay in Bali for couples (and for  honeymooners)

Bali is the perfect gataway for couples. During the stunning daily sunsets, you get to enjoy  a very romantic moment, no matter if it is at the beach in Jimbaran Bay or Ubud in the rice fields. There are also lots of opportunities for excellent massages.  Then when you are hungry, you’ll find good food in many of the cute and romantic restaurants.

Even for a honeymoon, Bali can be an enjoyable good destination. There are many quiet, romantic places around Bali and beautiful honeymoon resorts in the middle of the rice fields or with infinity pools overlooking the ocean.

The best place to go as a couple for a romantic trip or honeymoon is one of the islands around Bali, like Nusa Dua, Nusa Lembongan or the Gili Islands. Here you’ll find many romantic hotels with private pools and stunning views. If you prefer to stay on the mainland of Bali, you could have a look at the Bukit Peninsula, which is the southernmost part of Bali where you find incredible beaches.

Where to stay in Bali for families with kids

Kids would perfectly enjoy a Bali family holiday. There are plenty of activities to do, like conquering heights in the Bali treetop adventure park, watch and hold tropical birds in the Bali bird park, feed elephants in the elephant safari park or laugh and have fun in the sacred monkey forest!

There are many Bali family-friendly villas and beach resorts with a kids club and some even have water slides! Some are situated in the middle of the rice fields, like in Ubud.  Others are within walking distance from the beach. If you plan on staying in Sanur the Ayung river is always a fun option forwater sports like white water rafting.

Seminyak, Kuta, and Legian are situated on the South West coast of Bali. This is also where you find many Bali family resorts. Nusa Dua and Nusa Lembongan are also places where the whole family with children of all ages will be entertained.

Where to stay for a Bali yoga retreat

If you want to practice yoga, Ubud is the perfect place to go in Bali. It is situated in the center of Bali and the vibe is serene, quiet, and everyone is easy-going. You’ll find many yoga practices in the middle of the jungle or overlooking the rice paddies in the area.

For an affordable yoga retreat, you can go to Shanti Toya Ashram. For as little as US$30 a night you’ll get 2 daily yoga classes, 3 vegan meals, and coconut water. During the week you’ll also get a 60-minute Balinese massage and a Bali experience. This is a great retreat experience.

Ubud is the perfect place for a yoga holiday, where you find healthy food and beautiful rice fields, natural healing, yoga teacher training, meditation sessions, and many other wellness opportunities.

Want to become a yoga teacher? Check out the Firefly Resort Bali where they offer intensive courses. Do you prefer to stay close to the beach? Then you should check out Pelan Pelan, which is a yoga and surf retreat.

Where to stay in Bali for beaches and surfing

In Bali, you can find stunning beaches. So if you are a beach lover or a surfer, you’ll love it here! The Bukit Peninsula, in the South of Bali, is where you’ll find the most beautiful white-sand beaches. Seminyak has some great beaches as well and don’t forget the Gili islands, of which Gili Air has the most stunning beaches and Nusa Dua from the Nusa Islands is also very popular for a beach break!

You’ll also find a lot of great Bali surf spots around the island. Green Bowl Beach, Padang Padang Beach, and Balangan Beach are three famous surf spots on the Bukit Peninsula. On the West Coast the popular spots among surfers are Kuta, Canggu and Seminyak with perfect waves for experienced and beginner surfers.

Bali is a great place in Indonesia, but even worldwide for surfing. There are many surf camps and surf villas with infinity pools in the rice fields. It’s also great that it’s always surf season somewhere around the island!

A popular surf trip to take is to Nusa Lembongan. Keep in mind that this place is  for the more experienced surfer as the waves break on the reef. If you’re in for an adventure, but not yet capable of surfing on the reef, plan surfing at night in Canggu!

Where to stay in Bali for diving

Although scuba diving isn’t as popular as surfing in Bali, you will love exploring the underwater world around the island! There are a couple of popular dive sites, like the Secret Bay in North-East Bali and Padang Bai and the Tulamben in East Bali. In Tulamben is where you’ll find the U.S. liberty wrecked ship. Close to this magnificent dive spot you can stay at the Liberty Dive Resort.

Diving in Bali is a popular day trip, but if you are more serious about diving you can stay in one of the dive resorts. Especially on the Nusa Islands, like Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, you’ll find world-class dive resorts.

Once you take a Bali dive, keep your eyes open for the Sun Fish, or the so-called Mola Mola. This is the heaviest known bony fish in the world!

Also read: 7 of the most incredible adventures in Bali

Where to stay in Bali on a budget

Indonesia, and especially the island of Bali, is a popular destination among budget travelers. Because even on a low budget you can live like a king Bali! Enjoy the local food, the cheap massages, the budget hotels with a private pool, and explore the top things on your bucket list, like the rice terraces, the monkey forest, and the stunning beaches.

You can travel anywhere in Bali on a budget, but the top picks for budget travel are Ubud, Seminyak, Kuta, Canggu, Nusa Dua and Nusa Lembongan. Here you can enjoy luxury on a budget while staying in a beach hotel with a swimming pool overlooking the rice fields.

Best and safest areas in Bali to stay

Canggu

Canggu is a cool combination of relaxing wellness and exhilarating parties. It has attracted surfers, digital nomads, world travelers, and foodies. The town sits on a beach with some great waves and cafes. Part of the culture today is because back in the 70’s it was home to a bunch of hippies, beach bums, and artists. 

Eastin Ashta Resort Canggu: The Eastin Ashta Resort is an oasis from the moment you step inside. The colorful lobby and rooms make it feel very luxurious. It is very close to Echo Beach and Batu Bolong Beach, for when you want to explore the area.

Aston Canggu Beach Resort: This resort is equipped with all the things to make your stay great like a swimming pool, airport shuttle, spa, restaurant, and bar. It is less than half a mile away from Echo Beach and just 500 feet away from Batu Bolong Beach.

Jimbaran

Jimbaran is easy to access since it is only 20 minutes away from the airport, perfect if you are traveling from another area of Bali or from another part of the globe! That isn’t the only convenient part about Jimbaran, it is walkable and has a very slow pace feel. This makes it easy to enjoy the popular seafood or famous sunsets – perfect for a romantic getaway!

Jimbaran Bay Beach Resort and Spa by Prabhu: A romantic spot for couples, there are plenty of places around the resort where you can have some alone time with your loved one. They even have some rooms with a tub on the patio so you can watch the waves roll in from the comfort of your soak tub.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay: Like any Four Seasons Resort, you are going to find world-class rooms and dining. But unlike many of their resorts, this one has an outside pool that overlooks the ocean. Not only is the hotel beautiful, but the location is great too! It is close to the Sundara Beach Club, Samasta Lifestyle Village, and Jimbaran Corner. 

Kuta

Some come to Bali for the relaxing sunsets and soothing massages, if that is you Kuta may not be your spot. If you want to enjoy some awesome parties, inexpensive drinks, and thrilling water sports, Kuta is probably more your speed. 

Amnaya Resort Kuta: This beautifully designed hotel has wide open spaces and plenty of lush greenery. It is popular among backpackers and budget travelers, mainly because this hotel is in a great location. It is close to Waterbom Bali, Discovery Shopping Mall, Kuta Center, Kuta Art Market, Lippo Mall Kuta, and Kuta Square.

Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort: This 5 star resort has everything you would expect and more. It is ideal for party lovers and surfers, likely due to its location near beaches and attractions. It is not a far walk away from the Hard Rock Cafe, Bounty Night Club, Paddy’s Club Kuta, Legian Beach, and just 50 feet away from Kuta Beach. 

North Bali (Lovina & Tulamben)

Your trip to northern Bali is going to be most accessible by car. Once there you will find plenty of ways to enjoy the water in Lovina and Tulamben. Enjoy a calm swimming pool, dolphin watching, snorkeling, diving, or even your own private pool at your hotel.

Frangipani Beach Hotel: This simple and quiet resort can be perfect for the budget traveler that wants an escape. It is close to many waterfalls and the beach, but Ganesha Beach is only 6.6 feet away from the property.

Nugraha Lovina Seaview Resort & Spa: If you want a bit of peace and quiet, this resort can be perfect for you. It has plenty of nearby waterfalls, like the Aling Aling and Banumala. It is also not too far from Lovina Beach, where you will find plenty of water sports.

Nusa Islands

A 30 minute boat ride to the Nusa Islands of Bali may sound like a slight inconvenience, but once there you will find it totally worth it! Some decide to visit for a day, while others plan to stay here for their entire trip. Either way you will find some of the most beautiful sites in all of Bali.

On Nusa Dua, one of the islands, you will find dreamy beaches like jungut batu beach, mushroom bay, and batu beach. It is a quiet area that has plenty of options to stroll and look around. 

Nusa Lembongan is another fun area of the Nusa Islands. It has clear blue water, making it perfect for the surfer or snorkeler. Some fun beaches to check out in this area include crystal bay, kelingking beach, and atuh beach. 

Last on the list is Nusa Penida. If you want to have an authentic Indonesian experience, with beautiful scenes and calm beaches, Nusa Penida is for you. Here you won’t find fancy bars or luxurious spas, but it is so beautiful, it is definitely worth the trip!

The Tamarind Resort: While this resort is high-end, what visitors like most about the resort is its close location to so many fun beaches and water sports. Nearby you can visit Jungutbatu Beach, Song Lambung Beach, Devil’s Tear, Panorama Point, Mushroom May, and Gala-Gala Underground House.

Hotel Arsa Santhi Nusa Penida: A simple budget resort with everything you need to explore this part of Bali. It is only 800 feet away from Nusapenida White Sand Beach, with even more options just a bit further. Nearby there is also Crystal Bay, Manta Bay Snorkeling, and Friends of the National Parks Foundation.

Saka Boutique Hotel: A simple boutique hotel that has all sorts of creature comforts to make your stay enjoyable. Some of their popular nearby spots include Nusapenida White Sand Beach, Prapat Beach, and the Manta Bay Snorkeling. 

Don’t miss: Bali Packing List: The ultimate Checklist for Female Travelers

Sanur

Sanur is all about the water. There are parts with shallow waters and small waves, making it the perfect spot for families or sun bathers. There are also parts with some incredible waves, that attract every type of surfer. In the water, you will find large reefs with plenty of fish that makes diving and snorkeling very enjoyable.

Besakih Beach Hotel: A simple budget option that is right on the water, which is perfect if you just want to spend all of your time outside! It is very close to Batu Jimbar Cafe, Segara Beach, Karang Beach, Sindhu Market, and the Le Mayeur Museum.

Prime Plaza Suites Sanur: If you want all the comforts of home, this hotel has apartment-like rooms with views of their pretty garden and pool. It’s location isn’t bad either since it is in the center of Sanur Village. Everything is very close, which is perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Seminyak

In Seminyak you will find high-end restaurants, fancy restaurants, and luxury shopping. Their nightlife scene is definitely worth checking out as well. They also have modern bars and clubs where you can always have a good view of the beach.

Grandmas Plus Hotel Seminyak: Located in probably one of the best neighborhoods in Bali, this hotel is modern and close to the best parts of Bali. Less than a mile away, you will find Double Six Beach, La Plancha Bar & Restaurant, Cocoon Beach Club, Bintang Supermarket, and Ultimo Restaurant.

Lloyd’s Inn Bali: This hotel is moody and modern, for when you want to try something a little even more different in Bali. There is tons of luxurious shopping, bars, restaurants, and beaches that are all within walking distance.

Ubud

If you want to surround yourself with all things Balinese, Ubud is a great place! Here you can watch some traditional dances, visit the monkey forest, or even walk through the rice paddies. 

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan: This hotel sits on some grand property and is all about the great views of the forest and rice fields. There are plenty of activities like rafting down a river, experiencing yoga in the middle of all the greenery, or riding bikes through the paddie fields.

Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve: If you want a hotel that embraces the Indonesian culture, then this may be the perfect one. It is a peaceful spot that overlooks forest, rice paddies, and Ayung River. Aside from the beautiful views, it is also close to Sobek Rafting and Ubud Monkey Forest.

Uluwatu 

Uluwatu is near the southwest tip of Bali and perfect for couples or those wanting to enjoy some fun outdoors. Uluwatu is considered one of the most beautiful parts of Bali due to its great views. Whether you are wanting to find some place to stay or enjoy a night at a beach club, you will definitely find some stunning views. 

Alila Villas Uluwatu: One of the most upscale resorts you will find in Bali, this has plenty of beautiful areas to lounge in with a loved one or sunbathe before a dip in the pool. Around the hotel, you will find different activities like New Kuta Golf, Topan Beach, and the Nirmala supermarket.

Villa Maiara: A resort with ocean views and an outdoor swimming pool that will make you want to spend all of your time in the water. It is close to some day clubs, like OMNIA. There are also nearby beaches like Karma and Melasti Beach.

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Thank you for checking out these places to stay in Bali! Hopefully, you found one or even more you like to visit when in Bali. Did you visit any of these places or do you have a question? Please let us know in the comments below!

For more information on what to do, check out our Bali travel guide or read more on our travel tips.

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