by Bali Dave • The best hotels & resorts in Bali
Last updated: January 11, 2023
My Favorite Hotels in Bali
• Best Legian Hotel: Padma Resort
• Best Seminyak Hotel: W Bali
• Best Kuta Hotel: Hard Rock
• Best Sanur Hotel: Tandjung Sari
• Best Jimbaran Hotel: Four Seasons
• Best Nusa Dua Hotel: St. Regis
• Best Ubud Hotel: Four Seasons Sayan
• Best New Hotel: Raffles Bali
Bali Hotels – Tips & Advice
- I love Bali. It’s jam packed with great hotels and beach resorts. If I had to pick just one as my favorite it would have to be the Four Seasons in Jimbaran. Magical.
- The best website for booking Bali hotels is Booking.com (safe, reliable, huge selection, best rates).
- Best Luxury Hotels in Bali
Four Seasons Sayan (Ubud) • St. Regis (Nusa Dua) • W Bali (Seminyak) • Four Seasons (Jimbaran) • Padma Resort (Legian)
- Best Boutique Hotels in Bali
Viceroy (Ubud) • Ecozy Dijiwa (Canggu) • Jimbaran Puri (Jimbaran)
- Best Cheap Hotels in Bali
Kuta Beach (Kuta) • Febri’s Hotels & Spa (Kuta) • Puri Cendana Resort Bali (Seminyak) • The Open House (Jimbaran) • Alam Indah (Ubud) • Nick’s Pension (Ubud)
- Where to stay in Bali? My favorite beach towns on Bali are Jimbaran (quiet stretch of beautiful sand, great seafood restaurants, luxury hotels) and Seminyak (nice beach, trendy restaurants, quality hotels). My favorite inland town is Ubud (wonderful art, culture, and food; surrounded by rice paddies and countryside).
- Bali is a great year-round destination and weather shouldn’t make a huge difference in deciding when to visit Bali. That said, expect the least rain and most sun from April to early November.
- See Also: Bali Hotels for Families.
- About Bali Dave
On This Page
- Best Bali Resorts
- Kuta Hotels
- Legian Hotels
- Seminyak Hotels
- Jimbaran Hotels
- Bukit Hotels
- Nusa Dua Hotels
- Tanjung Benoa Hotels
- Ubud Hotels
- Sanur Hotels
- Candidasa Hotels
- Nusa Lembongan
- North Bali Hotels
- Hotels with Private Pools
The 38 Best Resorts in Bali
1. Four Seasons Sayan – Ubud
Best Resort in Ubud – Unimaginable opulence in a breathtaking, riverside setting, with stunning pool, world-class spa, and kids club with creative activities.
• My review • Check prices for the Four Seasons Sayan
2. St. Regis – Nusa Dua
3. W Bali – Seminyak
Best Resort in Bali for Pools – With infinity edges and swaying palms, as well as “beaches”, “islands”, and “waterfalls”, the pools are stunning for their size, design, and position.
• My review • Check prices for the W Bali
4. Four Seasons – Jimbaran
5. Padma – Legian
6. Raffles – Jimbaran
Best Resort in Southern Bali for Pool Villas – Almost redefining the word luxury, the 32 very secluded and peaceful villas are spread across an incredible 57 acres.
• Check prices for Raffles Bali
7. Laguna – Nusa Dua
8. The Ritz-Carlton – Bukit Peninsula – south of Nusa Dua
Best Resort in eastern Bukit Peninsula – Breathtaking setting close to Nusa Dua that’s ideal for families with sheer opulence and absolute extravagance.
• My review • Check prices for the Ritz-Carlton
9. Grand Hyatt – Nusa Dua
Best Resort in Southern Bali for Beach – Massive, convenient, traditional, and world-class facilities, it faces arguably the most beautiful beach in Bali.
• My review • Check prices for the Grand Hyatt
10. Tandjung Sari – Sanur
Best Resort in Sanur – Since 1962, the “Cape of Flowers” has been oozing serenity, tradition, charm, and romance – all in a top-notch location.
• Check prices for the Tandjung Sari Hotel
11. Viceroy – Ubud
12. AYANA – Bukit Peninsula – near Jimbaran
Best Resort in western Bukit Peninsula – With twelve pools and 222 acres of tropical gardens, there’s so much luxury and elegance across an extraordinary clifftop setting.
• My review • Check prices for the AYANA Resort
13. Tugu – Canggu
Best Resort in Southern Bali for History – With antiques and relics all over, it oozes so much class, charm, and history – but also very convenient.
• Check prices for the Hotel Tugu
14. Meliá – Nusa Dua
Best Resort in Nusa Dua for Gardens – One of the finest settings in Bali, with a marvelous beach, world-class gardens, beautiful facilities, and a convenient location.
• Check prices for the Meliá
15. Oberoi – Seminyak
Best Resort in Seminyak – With vast gardens and fantastic facilities, the beachside setting and village-style layout are superb – and in downtown Seminyak.
• Check prices for the Oberoi Beach Resort
16. Andaz – Sanur
Best Resort in Bali for Tropical Gardens – Very new, outstanding for families, and some of the most magnificent gardens imaginable anywhere in Asia.
• Check prices for the Andaz
17. InterContinental – Jimbaran
Best Resort in Jimbaran for Facilities – Being substantially renovated in 2022, it has vast tropical gardens, six pools, tennis courts, and an excellent kids club with abundant activities.
• Check prices for the InterContinental
18. Seminyak Beach Resort – Seminyak
Best Resort in Seminyak for a Romantic Holiday – Luxurious suites with a jacuzzi, secluded villas with private pool, and one of the most magical beachside pools.
• Check prices for the Seminyak Beach Resort
19. Komaneka at Bisma – Ubud
Best Resort in Central Bali for Setting – Unrivaled luxury and heavenly pools in a dramatic setting facing a ravine, forest, river, and rice-fields – yet in downtown Ubud.
• Check prices for Komaneka at Bisma
20. Ecozy Dijiwa – Canggu
Best Boutique Resort in Canggu – Quiet and well equipped rooms with private gardens or private pool in thriving area; also butler service and super-friendly staff.
• Check prices for the Ecozy Dijiwa
21. Jimbaran Puri – Jimbaran
Best Boutique Resort in Jimbaran – Hidden gem where adorable villas and cottages face the perfect beach, manicured gardens, and palm-lined pool.
• Check prices for the Jimbaran Puri
22. Hard Rock – Kuta
23. Poppies – Kuta
Best Resort in Southern Bali for Charm and Romance – Built in the 1970s, Poppies still exudes history, elegance, and class within an oasis in downtown Kuta.
• Check prices for Poppies
24. Conrad – Tanjung Benoa
Best Resort in Tanjung Benoa – Luxury suites and villas, perfect for families, facing the gigantic grounds or the flawless beach.
• Check prices for the Conrad
25. Mövenpick – Jimbaran
Best Resort in Jimbaran for Families – Staggering size, mall attached, and amazing facilities for families with children of all ages.
• Check prices for the Mövenpick Resort & Spa
26. Hilton – Bukit Peninsula – near Nusa Dua
Best Resort in Bukit Peninsula for Facilities – Truly massive resort on a cliff-top with pools featuring “beaches”, as well as tennis courts, amphitheater, and all sorts of family activities.
• Check prices for the Hilton Resort
27. Sofitel – Nusa Dua
Best Resort in Nusa Dua for Location – Stylish design, family-friendly, and gorgeous beach, with definite bonus of being walkable to facilities in neighboring Tanjung Benoa.
• Check prices for the Sofitel
28. Hyatt Regency – Sanur
Best Resort in Sanur for Families – Newly renovated throughout, the central location, world-class facilities, and vast gardens are adored by families.
• Check prices for the Hyatt Regency
29. Alam Indah – Ubud
Best Hotel in Ubud for a Romantic Holiday – Traditional, serene, and charismatic, with adorable bungalows in spectacular ravine setting close to downtown and Monkey Forest sanctuary.
• Check prices for Alam Indah
30. Westin – Nusa Dua
Best Resort in Nusa Dua for Families – Compact, convenient, and luxurious, with excellent facilities for families.
• Check prices for the Westin Resort
31. Bandha – Legian
Best New Resort in Southern Bali – Exquisite luxury and fantastic facilities in superb location along the pulsating street and sandy beach.
• Check prices for the Bandha Hotel & Suites
32. Anantara Vacation Club – Legian
Best Apartments in Southern Bali for Families –Very rare collection of large and well-equipped apartments in a great location with a kitchen, living area, and up to three bedrooms.
• Check prices for the Anantara Vacation Club
33. Segara Village – Sanur
Best Resort in Sanur for Facilities – Long-established and traditional, with adults-only wing of rooms and pool, but also family-friendly with a kids club, tennis courts, and playground.
• My review • Check prices for the Segara Village Hotel
34. Grand Mirage – Tanjung Benoa
Best Resort in Tanjung Benoa for Families – One of two adjoining resorts called Family Paradise with a vibrant design, abundant facilities for children, and five types of rooms for families.
• Check prices for the Grand Mirage Resort
35. Aquaria Eco Resort – Candidasa
Best Boutique Resort in Eastern Bali – Cute, eco-friendly, and peaceful, with perfect beachside position and lovingly furnished rooms.
• Check prices for the Aquaria Eco Resort
36. Genggong – Candidasa
Best Resort in Eastern Bali for Sea Views – Serene and secluded property where all the rooms have views of the beach lined with traditional boats and dotted with small islands.
• Check prices for the Hotel Genggong
37. Indiana Kenanga – Nusa Lembongan
38. Tamarind – Nusa Lembongan
Best Resort on Nusa Lembongan – So lovable and convenient, with large, quiet and stylish villas (with up to three bedrooms), and perfect rooftop pool with extensive views
• Check prices for the Tamarind Resort
KUTA – THE BEST HOTELS
The 12 Best Places to Stay in Kuta & Tuban
Pictured above: Sheraton Kuta Resort
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 on Bali but still a great place to suntan and swim. Also, a great place to take beginner surf lessons.
1. Hard Rock
Vast grounds and endless family-friendly facilities — yet in downtown Kuta.
This inconceivably massive resort is, remarkably, on the busiest corner of Kuta. The Hard Rock theme continues with autographed guitars on the walls and an immense cocktail bar decorated with gold records. But the main attractions for many are the pools, which never seem to end. They feature islands, a beach with volleyball courts, lifeguards, a beach club, and huge gazebos. All types of rooms and suites are luxurious and face extensive gardens. They are also nicely distant from the traffic noise outside. Probably the finest resort on Bali for families, the Hard Rock provides a children’s pool with a playground in the water, two exhilarating kids clubs with extensive activities for different age groups, and a range of other fun things for the whole clan. Yet, incredibly, the main entrance is only 50 meters from Kuta Beach and just a few minutes’ stroll from the world-class Beachwalk Shopping Center.
Historic, elegant, and charming oasis within the chaos of Kuta.
One of the very first hotels built in the region, Poppies oozes a romantic vibe. The gardens include fountains, bridges, ponds of goldfish, and thatched umbrellas with rattan chairs. The gorgeous cottages feature a corner sofa, a thatched roof, an open-air bathroom with a sunken marble bathtub, and a private patio facing flourishing gardens that provide privacy without isolation. The stylish pool is a decent size and lined with shady palms and blossoming bougainvillea, while a library, bar, and jacuzzi sit alongside it. Lofty stone walls keep it quietly secluded, and it’s directly opposite the equally-renowned Poppies Restaurant, where breakfast is included. But it’s only meters away from a selection of shops, cafés, and bars, and a short stroll from the renowned Kuta Beach.
3. Bali Garden
Stylish, convenient, unpretentious, and old-fashioned — but in a good way.
The traditional design, with its lotus-filled ponds and trickling fountains, is more appealing than most other resorts nearby. All rooms are spacious and tasteful, featuring contemporary Balinese decor and face the sea or tropical gardens. The main pool with a swim-up bar is very shady, while the adults-only pool is lined with gorgeous gazebos, and a third pool is alongside the sea. Still part of the curved Kuta Bay, the beach in front of the resort is broad, and the sand is white, among the best in Tuban, South Kuta. The Bali Garden is also ideal for families with teenagers because of the excellent beach, pools, and location; adjacent to the Discovery mall, with familiar fast-food outlets, opposite the fantastic Waterbom waterpark, and next to a beachside path perfect for cycling. The resort is also close enough to walk to Kuta (500m) but distant from the comparative chaos there.
Exquisite luxury that could not be closer to Bali’s most popular beach and mall.
The gigantic lobby sets the scene: waterfalls, men playing gamelan instruments, and young ladies in traditional costumes welcoming guests. This contemporary and fashionable resort is perched above the multi-level Beachwalk Shopping Center and in the midst of downtown Kuta. Every room is opulent and features vibrant decor and a plush “Sheraton Bed.” Many rooms are angled with a balcony offering beautiful views of Kuta Beach and its celebrated sunsets. The upper-level infinity pool and adjacent gym also boast superb vistas and welcome breezes. And somehow, the entire resort avoids most of the noise from the traffic below. Note: in late 2022, the hotel was still undergoing extensive renovations to its rooms, restaurants, and other facilities.
Unique charm, ambiance, and tranquility in the midst of chaotic Kuta
The name of this adorable hotel emanates from the Balinese kulkul tower at the front and the Indonesian word for nature. It’s squeezed between two mega-resorts and resembles a traditional Balinese village. The low-level buildings are surrounded by lovingly landscaped gardens packed with rattan furniture and dotted with ponds, palms, statues, and fountains. Two adequately-sized pools feature a bar and wooden deck. The standard rooms are very comfortable and contain a veranda or balcony and feature a Balinese-style thatched roof, a wide veranda, a four-poster bed, and windows that maximize light and views. All rooms are at least 100 meters from the traffic along the beachside road. Accessible along a stone path, the villas are airy, tranquil, and secluded. The hotel entrance is 50 meters from Kuta’s famed beach, sunsets, and endless cafés, bars, and shops.
6. Bali Dynasty
Superb facilities, terrific location, and extra special for families.
While this resort does not directly face the ocean and, therefore, no rooms offer sea views, guests can still enjoy the private Beach Club very close by. The main pool, with its “waterfalls,” volleyball nets, and swim-up bar, is truly massive. Another caters to children, and a third pool is for adults only. All rooms are very comfortable, and those specifically designed for families feature bunk beds for up to three children. Most rooms overlook the pools and extensive gardens, but some face the parking garage and entrance road, so choose carefully. The two main selling points are the location and the facilities for families. It’s walkable to the Discovery and Lippo malls and the world-class Waterbom waterpark. And family fun includes two cheerful kids clubs, a 50 meter waterslide, and a range of fun all-day activities.
7. Aloft Kuta
Perfect position for Kuta’s major attractions: shopping, surfing, and swimming.
The little sister to the nearby Sheraton Hotel is the new four-star Aloft hotel that’s unashamedly hip, quirky, and instantly likable. The words SAVVY and SASSY are displayed in the lobby that pulsates with flashing lights and DNA music. It’s quietly positioned 200 meters down a dead-end lane and adjacent to the world-class, multi-level Beachwalk Shopping Center entrance. Moreover, the Aloft is only a five-minute stroll to Kuta Beach, renowned for its sand, surf, and sunsets. The compact rooms, which feature colorful decor and innovative design, are dominated by a massive Smart TV that swivels for maximum viewing pleasure. Despite the limited space, the Aloft also provides a gym and outdoor pool overlooking the shopping center below.
Stylish, sophisticated, nicely-located, and fab for families.
With its eye-catching layout and design, this five-star resort offers charm and elegance. The rooms and suites feature modern design and Balinese decor rarely seen in the Kuta region. Most of the ground-level rooms provide direct access to the lagoon pool. The onsite spa and restaurants are also as classy as expected. The ANVAYA is popular with those on a romantic getaway, yet also impressively set up for families, with eight pools, plenty of activities, Family Premiere Rooms, and a small but engaging kids club. And the location is undoubtedly a major attraction. It faces the finest beach in Tuban, South Kuta, and is easily walkable to two malls, Discovery and Lippo, the world-class Waterbom waterpark, and numerous places to shop, eat, and drink.
New, chic, and convenient — and already popular.
Opened as recently as early 2022, the Tribe is already setting the standard in a revitalized area of northern Kuta (not far from Legian). Facing the beachside road, this very stylish boutique hotel is unapologetically hip and caters so nicely to the younger crowds. It offers a range of compact rooms and suites at lower-than-expected rates, but there’s nothing traditional about the design or Balinese about the decor. The location is meters from the beach, which is considerably less crowded than just 200 meters further south or north, and a brief stroll to the world-class, multi-level Beachwalk Shopping Center, crammed with places to eat and shop. The rooftop holds the sublime, bright-blue infinity-edged pool that almost seems to drip into the sea.
Likable, colorful, and wonderfully hidden from traffic and crowds.
Part of a small chain of luxury boutique hotels across Bali, the Amnaya has distinctive mauve paint and wood-stained balconies. All rooms are spacious. Most face the elongated and inviting pool, while the Family Suites feature two of everything – bedrooms, bathrooms, and balconies. And the villas are concealed behind lofty walls yet still only a few meters from the pool. Located 150 meters along a tranquil path from the busy road through Tuban (also known as South Kuta), the Amnaya is less than 400 meters from the beach and about 1 kilometer from shopping heaven at Kuta. Also, the hotel is close to a cluster of tempting eateries, convenient to the Discovery Shopping Mall, and behind the world-class Waterbom waterpark (which does make the resort a little noisy in places).
Chic, dazzling, lovable, and in a revitalized part of Kuta.
Squeezed alongside the equally adorable Bali Tribe hotel, the MAMAKA is the essence of a boutique hotel: compact, trendy, and so easy to like instantly. Nothing about the layout or design is Balinese, but it’s vibrant throughout. The rooms and suites (with names like Swagger and Top Gun) are highly functional and feature all the latest conveniences; some offer two bedrooms and a kitchenette. Bonuses rarely seen elsewhere include a free minibar during certain hours, self-service laundry, and breakfast (included). Moreover, the glorious beach over the road is considerably less crowded than elsewhere in Kuta, and rates are lower than expected. However, the major attraction is on the rooftop: sparkling pool, heavenly ocean views, lounge chairs, gazebos, bar, and outdoor cinema.
Newly-renovated and nicely-located, it’s unfussy and terrific for families on a budget.
This four-star resort boasts a vast array of rooms in low-level buildings facing gardens that are rarely this extensive in downtown Kuta. Almost hidden behind a small arcade, the SOL is pleasingly quiet, and the two bright-blue pools, one with a swim-up bar, are particularly shady from all the frangipani trees. The location is a selling point, too. It’s between Kuta, rightly famous for its beach, shopping, and nightlife, and the northern part of Tuban (also known as South Kuta), lined with sports bars and restaurants offering live seafood. The SOL is also recommended for families. There is plenty of space to run around, a few games are offered, and rooms with connecting doors are easy to arrange. Moreover, it’s an easy walk to the world-class Waterbom waterpark, and rates are very competitive (often including a hearty buffet breakfast).
LEGIAN – THE BEST HOTELS
The 10 Best Places to Stay in Legian
Pictured above: Padma Resort in Legian.
Legian is largely indistinguishable from Kuta other than it being calmer and quieter as you move north. There are still plenty of places to eat and drink, and the sand and surf are still great. The hum and nightlife of Kuta is just a short walk away.
Massive, traditional, convenient, and perfect for families.
This long-established five-star resort is based around lovingly landscaped gardens in a gigantic area within walking distance of Kuta and Seminyak. Of the 13 categories of accommodation, the spacious and comfortable bungalows, called chalets, include a balcony overlooking tropical plants. The smaller Deluxe Rooms are in motel-style blocks with patios on the ground-floor rooms that spill out into one of four pools. Some suites have two bedrooms and are ideal for families, while the Presidential Suites, with three bedrooms, a private pool, and butler service, are fit for, well, a president. The beachfront pool appears endless and has one of the most enticing swim-up bars imaginable. The younger ones would enjoy the children’s pool with waterslides and all the fun activities offered at the supervised kids club and attached Game Center.
Exquisite luxury, perfect position, and fantastic facilities.
With an ideal location set 100 meters from the main street and facing the beach, The Bandha is easy to miss and larger than it looks. There are two distinct sections. One area faces the larger Lagoon Pool, surrounded by extensive decking and lounge chairs. Another cluster of rooms is near the infinity pool and across from the beach. Most rooms on the ground floors offer direct access to a pool. And the suites are truly magnificent: some with two bedrooms (so perfect for families); many with a spa bath; one on the rooftop with a private pool; and a few provide the sort of direct sea views rarely possible in Kuta, Legian, or Seminyak. Topped with a rooftop lounge and café with friendly, attentive service.
Wonderful apartments ideal for families and long-stayers in glorious location.
This newish four-star resort offers the sort of self-contained apartments rarely found in this part of Bali. Perfect for families and those staying a while, these apartments are huge. Each contains a kitchen with extras like a water cooler and rice cooker and plenty of luggage space for everyone. The extended balcony on the upper levels also adds to the immense feeling of space. For families, some apartments have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the one on the rooftop with three bedrooms boasts a plunge pool. The shady pool sparkles, although most guests prefer the lovely beach just 50 meters away. Extras like free bicycle rental, laundry machines, and free shuttle service to neighboring Seminyak shops add tremendous appeal. There’s also a reasonably sized kids club. The other attraction is simply the location in the most likable part of the Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak region: facing a quiet beachside path and top-notch eateries.
Vast, convenient, long-established, and popular with families.
The delightful Balinese style and charm starts at the entrance, flanked by goldfish ponds, and extends to the lush gardens dotted with fountains. On the edge where chaotic Kuta blends into laidback Legian, one side of the resort faces a pathway alongside the glorious beach. The facilities include tennis courts, a surf shop, and two beautiful, shady beachside pools. The standard rooms are smallish but comfortable enough, while the secluded and traditionally-designed bungalows have been lovingly renovated. Some villas have two bedrooms, and many feature a private pool. The Little Starfish Kids Club offers Balinese dance and squirrel feeding, and the game room is great for older children.
Compact and classy, with resort-style facilities but not the crowds.
This charming resort faces a serene stretch of beach far from traffic and is within a short stroll of the neighboring regions of Seminyak (for boutiques and bistros) and Kuta (for bars and surf). Pleasantly compact, the Niksoma features an appealing design of beige and maroon, as well as two pools with sea views and gardens scattered with lounge chairs and gazebos. The range of accommodation is also impressive. Deluxe Rooms are in small three-level buildings facing the gardens and inviting split-level pool. The suites, with a four-poster bed and marble bathroom, are perfect for a romantic getaway. The (singular) two-bedroom Presidential Villa is the height of seclusion and luxury. 50 meters north of the resort is a path that leads guests to downtown Legian, crammed with places to eat, drink, and shop in about a five-minute walk.
Gorgeous design, expansive gardens, and prime location.
Less opulent and, therefore, more affordable than neighboring resorts, the Bali Mandira features a pleasant Balinese-style design. Rooms don’t offer sea views, but they do face the beautiful gardens filled with ponds and statues. All rooms are spacious and renovated with many Balinese touches. The cottages are nicely secluded and accessible along a village-style path. The extensive lawns are peppered with lounge chairs and palm trees, and the glittering beachside pool features a “waterfall” and sandy “beach” with thatched umbrellas. Another pool is for adults only, and a third for children has waterslides. Other reasons to stay include the modest kids club offering activities in Indonesian culture, the thatched two-level Azul Beach Club, which provides tasty meals and splendid views, and, of course, the glorious white sands and magical sunsets of Legian Beach just 50 meters away.
Massive resort with impeccable location and superior luxury.
Along the invisible divide between Kuta and Legian, the five-star Pullman enjoys a prime position with many shops, cafés, and other facilities in all directions. Plus, the white sands of the famous Kuta Beach are just across the busy road. Most rooms and suites don’t hear the street noise and provide a sizable balcony or patio facing the vast gardens or the main pool. Rooms on the third level or above enjoy sea views. Although the design and decor are rarely reminiscent of Bali, guests come (and return) for the impressive facilities, including the gorgeous rooftop infinity pool with sublime views, the world-class spa, and the two kids clubs offering engaging activities.
8. The Stones
Perfectly combining luxury and location with elegance and convenience.
This massive, opulent resort is along the invisible border between chaotic Kuta and laidback Legian. The spacious rooms, each with trendy decor and the latest conveniences, can be dark inside. Better are those on the ground floor with patio steps leading to a private pool that opens to the main pool, which is lined with cabanas and surrounded by a wood deck. Alternatively, the fabulous pool on the rooftop provides welcome breezes and lovely views. The kids club is indoors but still bright and airy, although The Stones is not that focused on families. It’s so close to the famous Kuta Beach, the world-class Beachwalk Shopping Center, and so many other shops, bars, and cafés, yet quietly distant from the busy beachside road.
Stylish yet unpretentious, convenient yet quiet – what’s not to love?
The Ossotel is centrally located in downtown Legian. Surrounded by places to eat, drink, and shop, and only a two-minute walk via a pathway to a shady beach of white sand. The hotel is instantly likable. The modern design of the building contrasts delightfully with the old-style photos in each room. Despite the limited space, all accommodations are large – particularly the suites that feature a balcony or patio with comfortable outdoor furniture. Most on the ground floor has direct access to the lagoon-style pool lined with a wooden deck and lounge chairs. The staff is attentive, the rates are favorable, and there’s a café and bar facing the street.
Charming, traditional, and mid-priced oasis.
One of the very first hotels in Legian is still one of the very best. Stretching across a vast property and facing a relatively quiet street lined with shops and cafés, this hotel boasts a setting and size envied by five-star mega resorts. Three Brothers doesn’t look or feel dated, with constant renovations ensuring modern comforts without sacrificing charm. Rooms are primarily semi-detached in low-level, traditionally-designed buildings, away from the noisy pool, lobby, and roads. Most feature ornately-carved doors, a four-poster bed, and a high thatched ceiling. The sparkling-blue pool, with an attached children’s section, is almost hidden behind thick palms. The well-established gardens that ensures room privacy are home to masses of birds. The Staff is accommodating, and the street-side café uses organic ingredients.
Hotels on Map: W Bali • Potato Head • Seminyak Beach Resort • Anantara • Royal Beach • Puri Cendana • Blu-Zea • Double-Six • Bali Niksoma • Melasti • Three Brothers Bungalows • Padma • Bali Mandira • Legian Beach Hotel • Mercure
SEMINYAK – THE BEST HOTELS
The 10 Best Places to Stay in Seminyak
Pictured above: infinity pool at the Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa
Seminyak is where you’ll find high-end dining, trendy clubs, and the 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, shopping, and music. The beach is wonderful too (and quieter than Kuta and Legian).
1. W Bali
Luxurious and modern, and with one of the most stunning pools anywhere on Bali.
This five-star resort on a colossal property in northern Seminyak is innovative and chic without feeling trendy or unwelcoming. Rooms are angled to maximize ocean views in a building facing the sea. The luxury villas, with up to three bedrooms and names like WOW and Marvelous, sacrifice views for seclusion with their high walls but offer direct beach access. These villas also feature a huge private pool, a dazzling open-air lounge and dining area, a large sofa, and a long desk. The infinity pool alongside the beach is arguably the most spectacular in southern Bali – and massive enough to feature “beaches,” “waterfalls,” and “islands” with palm trees. Although a little isolated from facilities, the W is within a short stroll along the sand from several glitzy beach clubs.
Prime position, vast gardens, fantastic facilities, and not as overbuilt as others.
The Oberoi proudly claims that 70% of its 15 acres of grounds in downtown Seminyak are dedicated to bright-green lawns, lush tropical gardens, and lily ponds with fish. There are fewer rooms, only about 70, that are nicely secluded and on one level. The villas designed with stone walls and thatched roofs are laid out like a traditional Balinese village. They are all luxurious and beautifully furnished. Some even offer a pool – and one that’s large enough for a family. The Lanai Rooms are just as stunning, with rattan chairs and a four-poster carved bed. Any promised “ocean views” may disappoint because the beachside areas are for all guests. Frangipanis frame the excellent restaurant and attractive pool. The gym and spa are world-class, and The Oberoi also offers rare extras, such as a tennis court and amphitheater for traditional performances.
Vast, stylish, and serene – and one of Bali’s finest beachside pools.
Located where the reasonably quiet street narrows towards the beach and within a short walk to the numerous bars, bistros, boutiques, and beach clubs for which the ‘Yak is renowned. Rooms are either in the Beach Wing facing the sea or the extensive Garden Wing on the other side of the main road. All rooms are comfortable, without being opulent, and feature modern Balinese decor. The larger and more luxurious suites offer a jacuzzi with sea views, and the secluded villas with a private pool are sumptuous. The main pool is one of the most magical in Bali, with a swim-up bar, beachside location, infinity edges, and lined with many palms, statues, and fountains. A better value than most rivals in Seminyak, this resort is particularly romantic, although families are still welcome.
Utterly charming, attractively designed, and different from nearby resorts.
This four-star boutique hotel is simply captivating. The striking design is reminiscent of the colonial era, e.g., the checkered tiled floors, lobby filled with lounge chairs, swaying palms, whitewash walls, and brown-stained window frames. The hotel grounds are compact without feeling cramped and offer plenty of seats on terraces under overhead fans where guests can sip a G&T as if it were Singapore in 1852. There are two separate wings of rooms, each with its own lovely pool. All rooms are as adorable as hoped and contain lampshades, a leather headboard, a marble floor, old-style photos, and all the usual modern conveniences. The limited number of guests ensures personal service, and it’s nicely located among Seminyak’s restaurants, boutiques, and ultra-hip beach clubs. Absolutely worth a splurge, so book ahead! But note: young children are actively discouraged.
Stylish and modern, yet personable and old-fashioned – and with a truly exquisite pool.
The first impression of The Legian (which is actually in Seminyak, not the adjoining area of Legian) is the modern design. However, the lobby area with lounges, a library, and a gamelan musician is delightfully old-fashioned. The resort is smaller than nearby rivals, and the staff is attentive. All the facilities are exceptional, especially the spa and gym, and the standout feature is the classic tropical-style pool. It has three tiers, is lined with swaying palms, overlooks the beach which is three meters away and has those infinity edges that seem to merge into the sea and sky. The rooms, called suites, are lovely. Some are antique with a four-poster bed, others are more contemporary, and the pool villas are exceptional. The resort is also nicely located in a classy part of Seminyak and within walking distance of many bistros, boutiques, and beach clubs.
Fashionable and in an ideal location for shops, sunsets, and sand
Along the invisible border between stylish Seminyak and laidback Legian, this five-star resort features a design of stone, glass, and wood that’s almost futuristic. The luxurious suites in five-level buildings feature funky furnishings and abundant windows to maximize the ocean views. Those at ground level have a patio with steps leading to the magnificent infinity pool overlooking the beach. The Penthouse stretches across two levels and has butler service and a jacuzzi on the terrace. The facilities are equally as impressive and include an amazing spa, a 1920s-style restaurant, and the aptly-named rooftop Sunset Bar. Its location faces the beach, strewn with bean bags for drinking cocktails and watching sunsets. Within a short walk are stylish shops along the street and cafés down the beachside path, also ideal for jogging and bicycling.
Luxury, seclusion, and romance.
From the main street, an arched pathway lined with dense bamboo trees leads to the charming lobby area. From there, guests can walk (or be taken by golf cart) to the very secluded villas. Each villa has one or two bedrooms and a private pool. The apartment suites are in a separate building in the back and have one or two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a balcony. The ambiance is tranquility and romance. The whole place is well-designed, ensuring distance from traffic noise and maximum privacy for guests. There is ample parking, an attractive pool, engaging activities for the kids, and a poolside restaurant. Nearby, a few restaurants and boutiques are starting to pop up along the street, but the Avani is a little isolated. It’s easy to grab a taxi, ojek (motorbike taxi), or the free shuttle service to the lovely beach or sophisticated shops.
New, with a striking design, fantastic facilities, and top-notch location.
Inside the Courtyard are Rows of rooms and suites on three sides, and the lobby and restaurant surround the long pool. The triple-tiered pool is stunning and flanked by frangipani trees, colorful beanbags, and comfortable lounge chairs. All rooms feature a balcony or patio overlooking the pool or, less appealingly, the main road. Some of the rooms on the ground floor provide direct pool access. Other attractions include the award-winning spa, kids club offering engaging activities, and sunken pool bar. And the location is among the most pleasing in Seminyak: along a reasonably quiet street packed with restaurants and boutiques. Less than 500 meters from the beach, with cafés and bars on the sand.
Small, funky, great value, and in a quiet yet convenient area of classy Seminyak.
The Tijili is part of an expanding chain of affordable, quirky, three-star boutique hotels. The lobby has yellow-and-red furniture and attentive staff. The rooms are nicely decorated and larger than expected. They are also thoughtfully designed and offer extras often lacking in five-star resorts, like multiple electrical outlets, a rain shower, a particularly comfortable bed, and an internal sliding door that effectively blocks out light and noise. The pool is a decent size and alongside an even funkier bistro. The Tijili is on a reasonably quiet, meandering street where some facilities are popping up. It’s also only 200 meters to a road packed with restaurants and boutiques and a little further to the beach. But for most, the attraction is simply the great value rates.
Inviting and unpretentious mid-range option in the heart of classy Seminyak.
Despite being rebranded in recent years (from The Breezes), this resort remains very popular among guests who return year after year for the location, facilities, and great rates. Almost all rooms are in low-level buildings facing the pools and far from the busy road. The furnishings are very comfortable, the Balinese decor is stylish, and plenty of traditional art adorns the walls. The balconies or patios offer views of the tropical gardens, which are small but tastefully designed. Of the two huge connecting lagoon-style pools, one has four tiers, the other a sandy “beach.” Other welcome attractions include a sunken pool bar, library, special lounge for late flights home, pool table, and tennis court. And the kids club has improved considerably. The hotel is only 400 meters from the beach and is surrounded by the sort of bars, bistros, and boutiques for which Seminyak is renowned.
JIMBARAN – THE BEST HOTELS
The 7 Best Places to Stay in Jimbaran
Pictured above: The fantastic beach at the Jimbaran Puri Hotel.
One of my favorite beaches in Bali though it could be a little too quiet for some – if you want shopping, nightlife, or trendy bars this isn’t the place for you. Jimbaran is minutes from the airport and makes a perfect spot for the first few days before heading off to explore the island. At night the beach is lined with seafood restaurants that serve some of the best food on the island.
Such tranquility, opulence, and seclusion – and the finest views in Jimbaran.
Cascading down an extensive hillside facing the sea and among ornate tropical gardens, this resort offers a range of villas with up to four bedrooms. Each villa is secluded, spacious, and sumptuous, with subtle Balinese decor, a stunning bathroom, and abundant windows to maximize the views of Jimbaran Bay. Every villa also features a private pool with a gazebo, and the main infinity pool blends seamlessly into the horizon. The Jimba Kids Club offers an impressive range of activities for the young ones and the whole family. There is no beach directly in front, but guests can easily walk (or get transported by cart) to the immaculate, private beach club and the seafood cafés set up on the sand for yet another magical sunset.
Height of luxury, serenity, intimacy, and seclusion – perfect for a romantic getaway.
The grounds at Raffles Bali are unbelievably extensive: only 32 villas scatter the 57 acres of gardens, forest, and jungle among streams, ponds, and flourishing plants. Villas (some with two bedrooms) are big and impeccably furnished and include a private pool and Wellbeing Butler service that almost redefines luxury. The substantial private pools face the ocean and are surrounded by lounge chairs. Alongside is a gazebo perched to maximize sea views. Seclusion and privacy are guaranteed: villas are behind walls or thick foliage, and there’s an option to check-in inside the villa. Guests can swim in the infinity pool with edges that seem to merge into the sky and sea or at the Crusoesque cove of powder-white sand only accessible from the resort. Nothing is within walking distance, but Raffles is just a five-minute taxi trip from a delightful outdoor mall and the beachside cafés with tables on the sand for yet another magical sunset.
Massive resort offering luxury, convenience, and fantastic for the family.
The grounds are vast, and all the rooms, suites, and villas are spacious, feature traditional touches, and garden views from sizable balconies or patios. Suites in the exclusive wing are sumptuous and include 24-hour butler service. The extensive gardens are packed with statues, fountains, ponds, and corridors lined with Balinese art and photos. The resort also offers six gorgeous pools and one just for youngsters. The kids club is among the finest in Jimbaran. Families can also enjoy tennis, water sports, and other activities. The resort is within walking distance of beachside cafés set up on powdery-white sand for Jimbaran’s renowned sunsets. Note: extensive renovations were being undertaken of the older wing in mid-2022.
Hidden gem with perfect tropical-style beach, pool, and villas.
This gorgeous boutique resort, facing a magnificent stretch of powder-white sand, beautifully marries the traditional (thatched roof) with the new (private pools). Among the manicured gardens are spacious cottages with teak furniture, a sunken bathtub, and marble floors. Elsewhere are secluded villas (with one or two bedrooms) featuring a substantial private pool and a private butler. Adding to the charm and tropical holiday vibe is the boutique, library, and shimmering infinity pool alongside the beach, lined with cabanas and palm trees. The resort is serenely located 300 meters from the main road, in a quieter part of Jimbaran, and only a short stroll to the seafood cafés that set up tables on the sand for the majestic sunsets.
Staggering size, mall attached, and amazing facilities – the finest in Jimbaran for families.
This new and large resort is now the premier destination in Jimbaran for families. The spacious rooms and suites feature a contemporary design and decor. The Jimbaran Pool Suites, four times larger than the standard rooms, comes with a private pool and (distant) ocean views. The resort offers multiple pools, a jacuzzi, a sunken pool bar, “beaches,” and a children’s pool playground. The Meera Kids Club offers various interactive and fun-filled programs, including classes in Balinese culture. Conveniently located next door is Samasta Lifestyle Village, a nice outdoor mall. About one kilometer away is a glorious stretch of white sand, where cafés set up tables for dinner at sunset.
Colonial-style, serene, charismatic, and adorably unique.
Just across the road from the InterContinental resort is a truly wonderful surprise: the enchanting, four-star boutique hotel, Balquisse. Spread across a former coconut plantation, guests are immediately charmed as they approach the open-air lobby. Everything is exquisitely cozy, with shuttered doors, checkered tiles, woven mats, Clawfoot bathtubs, and ornate chandeliers. It feels like you’ve stepped back into the mid-19th century. Each of the 16 rooms, bungalows, and suites are individually decorated with antique furniture (or perfect replicas). The Plantation Master Suite is as lovable as it sounds. There are still modern comforts, of course, inside and out, including a spa and sizable pool. Set way back from the main road in a quieter part of Jimbaran, the Balquisse is so peaceful that the birds are louder than the traffic.
7. ASAI Village
Huge villas offering serenity, sophistication, and seclusion – perfect for two couples.
ASAI Village offers something quite rare: modern, self-contained, but fully-serviced villas. Most are two-level and have a huge living area, fully equipped kitchen, and dining table, all overlooking the private pool that accommodates four people. Upstairs, both bedrooms have an attached bathroom and are the same size – ideal for two couples traveling together. The villas are light and airy, and the whole complex is peaceful, secluded, and private. ASAI Village is a 15-minute steep walk to Jimbaran beach and the cafés with tables on the sand for dinner at sunset. Note: A total of 20 villas (some with one bedroom and a shared pool) are planned, as well as a gym, café, and spa.
BUKIT PENINSULA – THE BEST HOTELS
The 8 Best Places to Stay in the Bukit
Pictured above: The beachfront pool at The Ritz-Carlton.
The peninsula south of Kuta and the airport is known as the Bukit Peninsula. “Bukit” means “hill” in Indonesian. The area is dry, hilly and rocky, with lots of scrubby bush – not good for growing rice, so there are no real villages. Outside of the beach areas of Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa (described separately below), there is little shopping and the beaches (such as Padang-Padang and Dreamland) are mainly for surfing. The cultural highlight of the Bukit is Ulu Watu, the isolated sacred temple on the south-west tip. In the middle of the peninsula is the rather odd Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, designed for Indonesian tourists, with traditional dances, souvenir stalls and massive religious statues; and awesome views. There is no public transportation or tourist shuttle buses, so the only way to get around is by taxi – or rented car or motorbike (not recommended). Anywhere in the peninsula, taxis would normally have to be pre-ordered by your hotel.
Oh-so immense and luxurious – and marvelous for families.
The luxury and absolute extravagance commence at the lobby perched on a cliff overlooking the vast beach. From the lobby, a glass elevator hurtles to sea level, where guests wait for transport to the villas and suites among the lush tropical gardens. Suites are comparatively modest, and ground-level guests have direct access to the stunning infinity pool facing the sea. The contemporary Cliff Villas and Sky Villas have private pools. The resort also caters well to families. Many activities at The Ritz Kids Club focus on Balinese culture and are available for the whole family. The children’s pool and playground are large, secure, and supervised. And with the resort providing free, regular shuttle buses to the restaurants and shops at Nusa Dua, The Ritz-Carlton is not as isolated as it may feel.
Luxury and elegance in an extraordinary clifftop setting.
Spread out over 222 acres, the AYANA Resort (with the adjacent AYANA and RIMBA villa complexes) boasts one of the largest grounds on Bali. It’s recently renovated and even more stylish and elegant, with exquisite Balinese furnishings and carvings. The lawns are vast enough for an 18-hole putting course, and the lush gardens are comparable to some city botanical gardens. It features twelve pools across the grounds, including one for children and the stunning clifftop infinity pool connected by an outdoor elevator to the renowned Rock Bar and a tiny cove of white sand. The AYANA caters very well to families, with a game area, children’s playground, and an impressive kids club with a cinema. Guests rarely leave the property with so much to do and about a dozen places to eat and drink. Nothing is within walking distance, but there are regular shuttle buses to Jimbaran and Nusa Dua.
Such opulence with family-friendly facilities and astonishing cliff-side setting.
At this massive resort, carved from an extended cliff, an elevator plummets 15 levels from the lobby to the exquisite white-sand beach below. There are 21 types of accommodation, ranging from rooms at ground level with direct access to one of four pools to the Presidential Suite Ocean View with two bedrooms and twin balconies. The main lagoon-shaped pool is grand enough to feature sandy “beaches” and “waterfalls.” The Hilton also offers amenities rarely found elsewhere, like, tennis courts, a medical clinic, and an amphitheater for traditional performances. Families enjoy special rates, an adventure playground, and the Jungle Kids Club. It’s 5 kilometers from Nusa Dua but easily accessible by a resort shuttle bus.
Unparalleled size and unrivaled extravagance.
For once, descriptions such as eye-popping, jaw-dropping, and mind-blowing are not exaggerations. The sheer magnitude of this resort is almost impossible to believe without being there. For example, about 100 meters across the lobby from the reception desks, an elevator descends 15 floors to sea level, where guests get transported by golf carts to the beach. The extravagant design, decor, and furnishings are extraordinary. No expense has been spared – from the spa (with its own pool) to the 60-meter-long main pool and the Jalak Family Club. Over half of the 475 rooms, suites, and villas have a private pool. About 5 kilometers south of Nusa Dua, the Apurva Kempinksi feels isolated, but almost everything required is within the resort, and a shuttle bus makes regular trips to the outside world.
Relaxed, enchanting, and attractive in an exquisite seaside location.
The layout of this elegant, charming, and sustainable boutique hotel is instantly striking, from the wooden floor in the lobby to the superb lounge facing the ocean. The cliff-top setting is stunning, with the open-air restaurant, the infinity pool, and many rooms facing the sea. However, there is no direct access to a beach. There are 36 rooms and villas furnished and designed to maximize the breeze. They also feature Balinese crafts, and most have a balcony with direct views of the extended bay. The Suarga is energy efficient, and the staff is professional and personable. It’s in a more developed part of the increasingly hip area of Padang Padang and barely 100 meters from the steps down to the spectacular surf beach that is no longer a “secret.”
6. Ulu Segara
Contemporary, intimate, elegant, and endless sea views.
Far smaller than neighboring mega-resorts, the Ulu Segara faces a small private beach accessible by narrow steps that mostly disappears at high tide. The villas are massive and feature modern decor, a private garden inside and out, and abundant windows. They also contain a bathroom as large as the bedroom, comfortable living, kitchen, and dining areas, and a private pool. Some have two or three bedrooms. Suites feature a kitchenette, a huge lounge area, and a broad balcony with stunning sea views. With a swim-up bar, the infinity pool overlooking the sea is one of Bali’s finest. The Ulu Segara is large enough for a great gym and spa, yet small so guests can receive personalized service. A free, regular shuttle bus to the shops and eateries at Nusa Dua (6km) is available. It’s romantic and popular, so book ahead.
7. Radisson Blu
Huge, modern, quiet, fabulous facilities, and great value.
This surprisingly large hotel is in the midst of farmland, about 1.5 km from the renowned surfing beach of Padang Padang. (It is not in Uluwatu, famous for its temple about 6km away.) The hotel layout is instantly striking, and the rooms and suites are superb. The gym, spa, and restaurants are as impressive as those in larger resorts, and the pools with “islands” of palm trees seem to stretch in all directions. Adding to the attractions are the free yoga classes, vibrant play area for children, exceptional service, and it’s pet friendly. The Radisson Blu is along a 1km paved path where cows still roam. It’s also a little further from facilities in the increasingly trendy area of Padang Padang, with a stunning beach that is certainly no longer a “secret.” Free hotel shuttle buses help offset the isolation and lack of sand nearby.
Utterly adorable and memorable, relaxed and convenient.
Part of a chain of funky boutique hotels spread across the region, the PinkCoco is designed with a Mexican-Spanish influence. The namesake color is everywhere – from staff uniforms to the flamingo statues – and the decor and furnishings are enchanting throughout the 28 rooms and suites. Many rooms feature an outdoor alcove or patio with bright cushions and are secluded despite the limited space. Both pools are charming, and guests also rave about the staff. It’s in a more developed part of the increasingly hip area of Padang Padang and about 300 meters from the stunning beach that is certainly no longer a “secret.” (Despite the name, the hotel is not at Uluwatu, it’s about 4km away, and famous for its cliff-side temple.) The PinkCoco is eco-friendly and for adults only.
Hotels on Map: Sakala • Grand Mirage • Hotel Nikko • Conrad • Holiday Inn • Sol Benoa • Club Med • Sofitel • Nusa Dua Beach Hotel • Westin • The Laguna • Meliá • Grand Hyatt • Merusaka • Novotel • St. Regis • The Bale • Mulia • Hilton • The Ritz-Carlton • Ulu Segara • The Asmara Heavenly Residence • AYANA
NUSA DUA – THE BEST HOTELS
The 13 Best Places to Stay in Nusa Dua
Pictured above: The Laguna in Nusa Dua.
Nusa Dua is home to more 5-star resorts than any other beach town in 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 soft sand. 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 area has benefits unheard of elsewhere in Bali: minimal traffic, wide roads, flat footpaths. The world-class Museum Pasifika showcases arts and crafts from across Indonesia and the region. A lovely pathway lines the beaches at Nusa Dua and extends to Tanjung Benoa; the path is ideal for strolling and cycling – rent a bike from your hotel. There are also two world-class golf courses in the Nusa Dua area.
1. St. Regis
Exceptional facilities and ultra-opulent villas facing a flawless beach.
As expected, everything about this incredibly vast resort is truly world-class. Fronting one of Bali’s longest and loveliest beaches, each villa, with up to four bedrooms, boasts an idyllic seafront position. Serene and secluded, these villas feature the most up-to-date appliances, a kitchen, personal butler service, and a sparkling private pool. The stunning suites face the sea (but at a distance), with ornate furnishings, a walk-in closet, and a sunken bathtub. The main lagoon-style pool is enormous, and the extensive gardens burst with coconut palms. Families enjoy the kids club, which provides engaging activities. The St. Regis is just south of Nusa Dua but within walking distance of a few affordable shops, cafés, and some restaurants in neighboring resorts.
Faultless luxury among vast tropical gardens in a superb location.
The wide variety of rooms, suites, and villas are spacious and superbly furnished with subtle Balinese touches. Some newly-renovated rooms face the lotus-filled lagoons, after which the resort is named, and some are angled towards the sea. Many at ground level have direct access to one of seven pools. A few are large enough to feature “islands,” “waterfalls,” and “beaches.” The actual beach out front is immaculately groomed. There are plenty of family activities, such as tennis, yoga, and water sports. Youngsters adore the kids club, children’s pool, and game room. Located within a short stroll of all that Nusa Dua offers, guests can also access the numerous facilities at the adjacent Westin resort.
3. Grand Hyatt
Massive and convenient, with world-class facilities and one of Bali’s finest beaches.
The lobby of this enormous resort sets the tone with its lotus ponds, thatched roof, and welcoming staff. Most rooms are in traditionally designed buildings spread over vast lawns and gardens referred to as “villages.” Spacious and designed with stylish Asian decor, the rooms and suites also feature an expansive balcony or patio facing the sea or gardens. The luxurious villas offer more seclusion, a beachfront setting, and a large private pool. Guests love the curved beach, where the sand is white and clean, and the water is calm and shallow. Other attractions include the five pools (some with a swim-up bar), tennis courts, an outdoor boutique mall, and a water sports center. There are many family activities, and youngsters enjoy the beach playground, children’s pool, extra-long waterslides, and kids club.
Perfect location, sublime beach, and world-class gardens.
Boasting one of the finest settings anywhere in Bali, the Meliá is within an easy walk of the Bali Collection shopping mall and the twin headlands, which lend Nusa Dua its name. The resort faces a curved bay of white, clean sand and calm, shallow water. Perhaps even more impressive are the 27 acres of landscaped tropical gardens with ponds and fountains reminiscent of the water palace at Tirta Gangga in eastern Bali. Traditionally designed and tastefully decorated, all of the eighteen types of rooms, suites, and villas are very comfortable and spacious. They offer a broad balcony or patio with views of the gardens or lagoon-style pools, some of which are large enough to feature “islands.” The kids club has many games and activities for the whole family. Guests can also choose all-inclusive rates, including all meals and a few enticing extras.
Stylish, convenient, and family-friendly.
All rooms and suites feature elegant and contemporary decor, a corner sofa, a marble bathroom, and a balcony or patio with a rocking chair overlooking the gardens or pools. Many at ground level have direct access to the main pool from the patio, and some suites, and all villas, have a private pool. The gardens are comparatively modest but still immaculate, and lawns run up to the beachside path that meanders through Nusa Dua and beyond. The huge pools feature a striking design and sandy “beaches.” The Sofitel caters particularly well to families, too. The impressive kids club offers abundant activities, and a reef protects the pristine beach, so the water is particularly calm and shallow for swimming. Adding to the overall appeal is the proximity to Tanjung Benoa, with a selection of shops, cafés, and water sports within walking and cycling distance.
Compact, convenient, understated luxury, and excellent for families.
Smaller and more personable than some nearby resorts, the Westin offers 19 types of rooms and suites. All are comfortable, functional, and warmly decorated and offer views from floor-to-ceiling windows of the gardens, pools, or ocean (at a distance). There are also several great room options for families. The five pools are shady and shaped like lagoons. Some even have a “waterfall” and “beach.” The Westin faces a scenic, sheltered bay with immaculate sand and calm, shallow water for swimming. The kids club, with a shady playground, trampoline, and spa, is among the finest in Nusa Dua. It accepts children aged from a few months to 12 years in separate secure areas, indoors and outside. The Westin is also centrally located, so everything Nusa Dua offers is within walking and cycling distance.
Sumptuous, spacious, and secluded – ideal for a romantic getaway.
This exquisite five-star boutique resort offers just 39 luxury villas on surprisingly vast grounds where terraces laced with wisteria lead to ponds with “islands” of palms and flamingo sculptures. From under a futuristic-looking arch, a path meanders towards villas among the largest and most secluded in Bali. With up to three bedrooms, they all feature a long private pool, jacuzzi, substantial open-air living area, and contemporary Balinese decor. The Amarterra is much smaller than neighboring resorts, so the staff can be attentive and personable. Still, it’s also large and stylish enough to offer a gym, top-class spa, bicycle rental, and shuttle services around the area. Candlelit dinners and “floating breakfasts” in the guests’ private pools add to the feeling of romance. The eco-friendly Amarterra resort is located in Nusa Dua, where walking and cycling are enjoyable, especially to the golden sands at the private beach club 300 meters away.
Convenient, luxurious, and more affordable than nearby resorts.
Formerly known as INAYA Putri, this resort exudes more personality and flair than most rival resorts. The 400+ rooms and suites are stylish and compact, and many at ground level offer direct access to the main pool via a patio. In a separate enclave, luxury villas have one or two bedrooms and a lovely private pool. The main pool has three tiers and is conveniently located in front of the building packed with facilities. Adding further to the appeal are the billiard-table lawns, immaculate beach lined with funky lounge chairs, water-sports counter, and kids club. Plenty of other activities are available, including the unique outdoor market-style arcade. All of what Nusa Dua has to offer is within a short stroll or bicycle ride via the delightful beachside path, but for many, the main attraction is the competitive rates.
Unpretentious, nicely designed, and welcoming for families.
With traditional gates, ponds, statues, and an abundance of palm trees, the Novotel oozes a classic Bali vacation vibe. Comfortable and spacious rooms feature a wide balcony or patio with views of the gardens or pool. Ideal for families, the suites have up to four bedrooms and a massive lounge, kitchen, and dining area. Some also have a private pool or jacuzzi. The lack of a beachfront is easily compensated by the vast, two-tiered lagoon-style pool and the shuttle buses to the private beach club (500 meters away) with white sand and water sports. The Novotel is also firmly focused on families. The kids club is substantial. The spa offers “kids funny massages,” “beautiful Barbie packages,” and creative activities. Young ones would also love the special children’s pool, playground, and bicycle rental. Parents like the discounts on children’s accommodation and meals. Moreover, many inexpensive shops and cafés are just outside the gates of Nua Dua and within an easy walk of the resort.
Tasteful, traditional, and particularly affordable.
Reminders of Bali as a tropical holiday destination are so wonderfully evident throughout. With intricate carvings, lush gardens of swaying palms, murals of traditional art, dragon spouts among ponds of lilies and goldfish, an ancient Banyan tree, and a stone amphitheater where dance and music performances are held most nights. Thatched bale huts face the shady gardens. All rooms and suites, some with two bedrooms, are spacious and feature a subtle Balinese decor. The long beach out front is curved and immaculately groomed. The main pool has an extensive sheltered deck and a fabulous swim-up bar. Families also enjoy the special Family Rooms, two children’s pools, game room, sandy playground, and the many activities offered through the vibrant Gecko Kids Club. The competitive rates and package deals are also attractive.
Compact, functional, unpretentious, and great value.
The Courtyard is subtly but significantly different from many resorts nearby. Firstly, the lush tropical gardens are walkable, with no need for a cart to get around the grounds. Secondly, rates are probably lower than expected because it doesn’t face a beach (600 meters away.) Thirdly, the resort is easily accessible (400 meters) to inexpensive cafés outside the southern gate of Nusa Dua. And lastly, it’s connected by a side entrance to the adjoining Marriott Gardens, and guests are welcome to use the facilities at both resorts. Of course, the Courtyard has everything expected of a luxury five-star resort, including a sizable kids club, access to a private beach club, complimentary shuttle service around the area, and a meandering lagoon-style pool among the finest in Nusa Dua. Overall, the resort design and furnishings are about functionality rather than tradition and value over luxury.
12. Marriott Gardens
Compact, appealing, affordable, and twice the facilities with the sister resort next door.
The Marriott is instantly likable: the grounds are compact, so guests don’t need carts to get around, and the resort is stylishly designed and highly functional. Many rooms and apartments (also called “villas”) face the meandering pool, and those at ground level have direct access from a cute patio. Families love the vibrant kids club and various activities (including free bicycle rental). And the two-bedroom apartments with a fully-equipped kitchen are large enough for a family of five without feeling cramped. What’s more, rates are more attractive than at most larger and flashier resorts nearby. The entrance is along a road just outside Nusa Dua, so guests can easily access the many inexpensive places to eat, drink, and shop. Another definite advantage is that the Marriott is connected, by a side entrance, to the adjoining Courtyard Resort, and guests are welcome to use the facilities at both resorts. Also, the Courtyard Resort is a shortcut to the beach (1 km), or there’s a free shuttle bus.
13. Grand Whiz
Compact, affordable, and likably different from most other Nusa Dua resorts.
Ignore the cheesy name and consider what this has to offer: four-star facilities within the upmarket area of Nusa Dua, but at a fraction of the rates charged by much larger resorts nearby. This hotel is small, so the staff is personable and attentive, but it still offers everything expected, like a bright-blue pool, spa, outdoor jacuzzi, and private beach area. Plus, comparatively inexpensive things, like bicycle rental, meals at the poolside restaurant, and breakfast buffet. The variety of accommodations includes one pool villa with four bedrooms, and the rest of the rooms are neat, unfussy, and not nearly as costly as others in Nusa Dua. Within a three-minute stroll is a glorious beach (use the path alongside the Sofitel) and all the facilities (including water sports) at Tanjung Benoa. All these factors make the Grand Whiz understandably popular with budget-conscious families.
TANJUNG BENOA – THE BEST HOTELS
The 7 Best Places to Stay in Tanjung Benoa
Pictured above: The beachfront pool at the Conrad Hotel in Tanjung Benoa.
Tanjung Benoa is the entire ‘thumb’ that protrudes northwards from the Bukit Peninsula and is located directly north of Nusa Dua. It is about 6 kilometers of long straight coastline with constant white sandy beach – almost no shade but plenty of stalls and cafés to sit at. Tanjung Benoa is a more affordable option than Nusa Dua, and has a good range of mid-range to top-end hotels, with several places catering well to families (but very little in the budget range). The area is the center of water sports on the island and the best place to arrange jet skiing, parasailing, or banana-boat rides. Worth exploring is the likable village of Benoa at the northern tip of the peninsula, which has the usual market, streets of local shops, and a mosque, Chinese temple, and Balinese Hindu temple within 200 meters of each other. The beach at the village is a good place to organize water sports at cheaper prices, as this is where most Indonesian tourists go. No waves for surfing but very calm for swimming (though you do have to watch out for jet skis).
Vast, modern, luxurious, and convenient – also ideal for families.
Spread over a gigantic area, the Conrad features three massive wings: one with suites and villas (some with a private pool) and the second packed with rooms. The extraordinary variety of accommodations is ultra-modern and immensely comfortable, with superb views of the gardens and pools from a balcony or patio. Suites on the top two floors are more likely to offer genuine ocean views, while ground-level ones have direct access to a pool. The extensive gardens and the main lagoon-style pool lined with swaying palms feature “islands” and a sandy “beach.” The beach out front is wide and immaculately groomed, where thatched umbrellas provide shade. The Conrad caters well to families. The kids club offers a range of activities for the whole clan, and almost all accommodations can comfortably fit a family of four. Nearby are shops, cafés, and water sports kiosks.
2. Grand Mirage
Two resorts: one with massive gardens and sea views, the other solely for families.
This resort is divided into two sections about 100 meters apart and accessible by a golf cart along the beachside path. One part has vast grounds with seemingly endless lawns and ponds. All types of accommodation here are spacious and feature an elegant design. Most rooms offer genuine ocean views. The main pool has a swim-up bar. And there is also an adults-only Infinity pool. The other part of the resort is appropriately called Family Paradise. Uniquely designed for those with children, everything is bright and cheerful and packed with facilities for youngsters. There are five types of rooms for families, including the alluring Kids Suites and Girls Suites. All-inclusive packages include meals and drinks, water sports, and traditional performances at the amphitheater. The beach is clean and distant from jet skis.
Unimaginable luxury and unrivaled seclusion.
Almost in another world from the traffic and tourists along the main road, this boutique resort offers just 22 exquisite villas among manicured gardens. Every villa ticks every box: spacious, luxurious, private, secluded, and indulgent (with butler service). They all feature a marble bathroom, a large private pool, and refined furnishings rarely seen anywhere in Bali. The deep-blue main pool has infinity edges that seemingly blend into the sky. The Royal Santrian grounds are small, so guests don’t need carts to get around, and the staff offers personalized service, yet it’s large enough for a boutique and spa. Out in front, along the powdery-white beach, water sports are available at a quiet distance. The resort is well-positioned in southern Tanjung Benoa and just 1 kilometer north of Nusa Dua, so that guests can enjoy a range of facilities within walking (or cycling) distance.
4. Holiday Inn
Compact, great-value, convenient, and fabulous for families.
This comfortable and comparatively low-key resort is reasonably close to Nusa Dua, offering a wide range of cafés, shops, beaches, and water sports. There are 14 types of rooms, and some suites offer ocean views or direct access to a pool from the patio. The spacious Family Adventure Suites and Kids Adventure Suites provide a second bedroom with colorful walls and many playthings. Around the four inviting pools are a swim-up bar, jacuzzi, and children’s area with a waterslide. The bright and well-supervised kids club offers a range of activities. Families can enjoy bike riding, cooking classes, snorkeling, and the extensive game room. Families return year after year because often, the rate allows children under 12 to stay and eat for free.
5. The Nest
Cute, charming, convenient, and top value.
This boutique hotel is as adorable as it sounds. A little hip, compact, and quite modern, everything about The Nest is simple, unassuming, and functional compared to the massive resorts nearby. It only offers four types of rooms and suites, each spacious and comfortable with a balcony. Especially appealing is the rooftop area, where an infinity pool shares space with a restaurant and bar with an intriguing design and interesting menu. From the rooftop, views extend across wetlands that few tourists even know exist. The Nest is small, so staff is attentive, and rates are competitive, but it’s still large enough to offer a fitness center. The hotel is conveniently located along the invisible border between Tanjung Benoa (renowned for water sports) and Nusa Dua (with divine beaches). Facilities in both areas are easy to reach on foot or by bike along the main roads or beachside path.
Compact, good-value, family-friendly, lovely gardens, and terrific location.
This resort is instantly likable, with staff dressed in Balinese clothes and corridors lined with traditional sculptures. It’s also comparatively small, so it’s easy to get around the grounds that are packed with tropical plants. All rooms and suites are spacious and elegantly furnished. Some offer distant ocean views, others have bunk beds for families, and a few on the rooftop overlook the sea. The lagoon-shaped pool with a swim-up bar is shady and beachside. The youngsters will relish the Cening Kids Club and its educational activities. Halfway along Tanjung Benoa, a low-key but likable tourist area, a decent range of facilities are within walking distance.
Family-friendly, functional, and convenient – with all-inclusive rates.
This impressive five-star resort offers rooms and suites vibrantly decorated with a pleasant nautical theme. The beautifully landscaped gardens are packed with ponds and fountains, and the lagoon-shaped pool provides plenty of shade. The enticing beach has a cordoned-off swimming area along the scenic bay. Although there is no kids club, the game room, pool, beach, bicycle rental, and package deals make it ideal for families, especially teenagers. And the two-level Sol Family Suites have two of everything: bedrooms, balconies, and bathrooms. Near the invisible border between Tanjung Benoa and Nusa Dua, guests can enjoy a wide range of cafés, shops, and water sports. Both areas are easily accessible by foot or bicycle along a lovely beachside path. The “all-inclusive” rates include drinks, buffet meals, and (depending on the package) entertainment and activities.
UBUD – THE BEST HOTELS
The 16 Best Places to Stay in Ubud
Pictured above: Komaneka at Bisma near 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 hotels have jaw-dropping settings. I highly recommend 2 to 4 days in Ubud.
Unimaginable luxury in a dramatic, riverside setting.
A short path from the main road connects to a footbridge floating above a yawning valley to the spaceship-like lobby suspended in mid-air. The split-level suites, with separate living and dining areas, face the river and ravine smothered with trees. The villas with a private pool are hidden behind high walls – sacrificing views for seclusion. All types of accommodation are spacious, luxurious, and immaculately furnished. They feature modern touches like an espresso machine and sunken bathtub, a wide balcony or patio, and abundant windows to maximize the views. The massive infinity pool provides some of the finest views anywhere in Ubud that seems to blend into the forest. The Four Seasons also offers many creative tours and activities for children and a kids club (quite rare for Ubud). It’s a 20-minute ride to central Ubud by resort shuttle bus.
Romantic, award-winning haven in a spectacular setting.
This very sophisticated, family-run boutique resort offers truly personalized service, with over 170 staff serving just 40 villas and suites. All villas, with one or two bedrooms, are perched along a hillside offering uninterrupted views of the rice fields, forest, and valley. They are spacious and feature a subtle Balinese design, a marble bathroom, and an espresso machine. The standout feature in each is the large private pool, which is uniquely heated. The newer suites are more modest but still luxurious. The main infinity pool is divine and blends into the unspoiled hillside across the river. Adding to the appeal are the elegant Cascades bistro and world-class five-star Apéritif Restaurant. Both use ingredients from the spice garden and greenhouse on the grounds. With few shops or cafés within walking distance, the Viceroy is isolated but only a short ride to downtown Ubud via the free resort shuttle bus.
Unparalleled luxury amid downtown Ubud.
Facing a pristine forest spread across a vast ravine, this resort feels remote but is, remarkably, only a short stroll from all the shops and cafés along Monkey Forest Road. Both pools are divine, lined with palm trees, and surrounded by rice fields that appear to blend seamlessly into the environment. A five-kilometer jogging track (including a boardwalk) meanders among the untouched wilderness. The opulent suites feature modern decor and a 180-degree view of the forest, ravine, and terraced rice fields from balconies with a swinging chair. Even the bathtubs provide incredible vistas. The secluded villas, with up to three bedrooms, are even more luxurious and have a private pool and charming kitchen and dining area. Adding further to the appeal is the world-class spa and range of available activities. The Komaneka is along Jalan Bisma, a quiet street with plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop nearby.
4. Alam Indah
The reason why so many come to Ubud – traditional, serene, charismatic, and affordable.
Alam Indah Means “beautiful nature” in Indonesian. This enchanting boutique hotel feels wonderfully isolated, with only the sounds of trickling fountains and happy birds within. Close enough to the Monkey Forest sanctuary to hear and see some of the macaques, this group of ten bungalows, first built in 1995, is perched along the edge of a ravine, with a creek 100 meters below. Each bungalow is bright, airy, and individually designed in a traditional way. They feature delightful Balinese-style furniture, a huge bathroom, and numerous windows providing jungle views and valley breezes. Telephones and TVs are deliberately not offered. One cobblestone path meanders past ancient banyan trees to the sizeable pool. The hotel is in the tranquil village of Nyuhkuning, an extension of Ubud, once famed for woodcarving but now packed with cafés. The hotel offers competitive rates, which include breakfast.
Individually designed villas in a pristine valley — ideal for honeymooners and families.
This sophisticated and luxurious resort offers a rare range of villas laid out like a Balinese village in a genuine rural setting. The extensive landscaped gardens are sprinkled with palms, gazebos, fountains, and statues. The heavenly Infinity pool, perched alongside a ravine, features a classic swim-up bar. The chalets and villas, with up to three bedrooms, overlook rice fields, lagoons, gardens, or the valley. Every type of accommodation is traditionally designed and very elegantly furnished, and some villas also have a private pool, personal butler service, and club lounge access. Although actively promoting “romantic getaways,” the Kamandalu also caters nicely to families. The range of activities for youngsters and the whole clan are more engaging than at most resorts in Ubud. There’s also a playroom and children’s pool. The resort is a little isolated, although some tourist facilities are opening up along the main road 200 meters away, and it’s only a 10-minute ride to downtown Ubud via the free shuttle bus.
Luxurious pool villas in serene and convenient location — perfect for couples.
This luxurious resort provides one of the finest locations in central Ubud. The Tejaprana is beautifully hidden 200 meters from the southern edge of Jalan Bisma, a surprisingly quiet street beside rice fields. It’s only a five-minute walk to all the facilities along Monkey Forest Road but within a peaceful, unspoiled rural setting. The enormous and exquisite villas, some with two bedrooms, are secluded among rice fields and along a dramatic ravine smothered with jungle. Each villa features elegant furnishings, a large pool in private gardens, and an outdoor bathtub. The main pool, with its infinity edges facing the untouched jungle, is one of the finest in central Bali. The resort oozes a romantic and intimate vibe but also caters to families.
Luxurious, spacious, tranquil, and central — yet with rice fields on the grounds.
This deceptively large boutique hotel offers substantial rooms with charming Balinese decor. Rooms further from the busy road feature a free-standing bathtub, a long desk, and plenty of luggage space. The bamboo-lined balconies or patios are wide enough for a table and chairs and overlook the pool, lush gardens, or rice fields within the hotel grounds. The two lagoon-shaped pools are shady and peaceful, and the on-site restaurants are trendy. Remarkably, all this space, charm, and tranquility are at the junction of Ubud’s major thoroughfares: Monkey Forest Road (packed with shops and bars) and the more upmarket Jalan Hanoman street (lined with boutiques and restaurants). Book ahead because guests continue to return year after year.
8. Bisma Eight
Fashionable, elegant, and serene — and in the finest part of Ubud.
Past the lobby scattered with fascinating sculptures, a narrow path lined with palm trees and bamboo plants leads to the 38 suites. They are large and modern and feature all the luxuries needed, including a Japanese soaking tub. Most rooms are dark due to the natural wood design of this award-winning boutique hotel, but the low-level lighting and warm colors add to the intimacy and charm. A standout feature is the rooftop, where the infinity pool, restaurant and bar, and chill-out area (also used for yoga) share extensive views of a ravine and jungle. The hotel is on Jalan Bisma street, where rice fields still flourish just one block from all the facilities along Monkey Forest Road. (Bisma Eight’s ultra-swish villa complex is 500 meters south down the street.)
Petite, tranquil, and charismatic, with exquisite suites and pool villas.
The traditional style and open-air lobby with its ornate furniture and eye-catching boutique is indicative of this loveable resort. A path lined with palm trees leads to the suites, each with a huge bed and a balcony offering views of a forest. The villas have one or two bedrooms and a private pool. All are particularly secluded, surprisingly spacious, lovingly furnished with Balinese crafts, and decorated with warm colors. The infinity pool overlooks a dramatic ravine smothered with trees, and the edges seem to blend into the sky. Adding to the appeal are the rooftop restaurant and bar with live music and a range of activities, some free, including hiking and cooking. The Goya is quietly located along Jalan Bisma, a surprisingly underdeveloped street with facilities nearby and some rice fields. Moreover, all the shops and cafés along Monkey Forest Road are within a 15-minute walk. (Ask staff about the shortcut.)
Luxurious pool villas in a serene and convenient location — perfect for couples.
This sumptuous resort provides one of the top locations in central Ubud. Peacefully nestled within an unspoiled rural setting, yet only a five-minute walk to all the facilities along Monkey Forest Road. The enormous and exquisite villas, some with two bedrooms, are secluded among rice fields and set along a dramatic ravine covered in jungle. Each villa features elegant furnishings, a large pool in private gardens, and an outdoor bathtub. With its infinity edges facing the untouched jungle, the main pool is one of the finest in central Bali. The resort oozes a romantic and intimate vibe and is perfect for a romantic getaway, but it also caters to families. The Tejaprana is beautifully hidden 200 meters from the southern edge of Jalan Bisma, a surprisingly quiet street with pockets of rice fields.
11. Royal Kamuela
Tranquil and very classy boutique resort in a central location.
The brochure states that the Royal Kamuela is exclusive, private, and luxurious. It offers a limited number of suites and villas scattered across either side of a creek within grounds that stretch between Monkey Forest Road (crowded with shops and cafés) and peaceful Jalan Bisma street (where rice fields still flourish). Villas are secluded among gardens dotted with Balinese carvings and shady palms, and guests can enjoy personal butler service and a private pool large enough for four. The decor is modern, with a few subtle Balinese touches. Adding to the appeal are the delightful open-layout living, kitchen, dining area, and a sunken bathtub large enough for a couple. The newer suites in the two-level buildings facing the bright-blue pool are spacious and elegantly furnished. Guests return year after year for the convenient location, personal service, and rates which aren’t as high as probably expected.
12. Wana Bucu
Romantic, intimate, and secluded — perfect for a romantic getaway.
Eight villas, almost exclusively designed for couples (with another four to be built later), are lovely for a honeymoon. Each is individually named, isolated among striking rock sculptures, and accessible along a mossy path. Everything is just oh-so-romantic with a huge marble bathroom, four-poster bed, extensive private gardens, and exquisite outdoor, but covered, bathtub. The private infinity pools are large, with lounge chairs in the water and a colorful couch for cuddling. Guests rave about the staff, who are attentive while also allowing absolute privacy. These villas are along a quiet, surprisingly underdeveloped street with several tempting eateries nearby and only a 15-minute walk to Monkey Forest Road, which is packed with facilities. (Ask management about the shortcut.)
13. Murni’s Houses
Gorgeous boutique hotel oozing charm and tradition; also tranquil yet convenient.
This hotel is still owned and operated by the lady who set up the stylish Murni’s Warung restaurant, which has been operating nearby since 1973. The hotel is becoming increasingly modernized, there is now a small pool, but it still retains the sort of old-world charm slowly being replaced across Ubud by concrete villas. It only offers 12 rooms, suites, bungalows, and apartments (large enough for a large family). All are individually designed, and some are in a new building with a genuine rarity in Ubud: an elevator. Also within the mossy grounds are a charming café, adorable boutique, award-winning spa, and many places to unwind and hear the birds sing. The hotel is in a likable (and elevated) suburban area about a 15-minute walk from all the facilities along Monkey Forest Road. A path from the nearby Abangan Warung café leads to the back of Jalan Bisma street, where it’s quieter and remarkably has thriving rice fields.
14. Nick’s Pension
Old-style, mid-priced option that’s convenient yet serene.
One of Ubud’s oldest hotels, Nick’s still offers so much charm and tranquility at pleasing prices. Boasting a prime location in downtown Ubud, bungalows face fertile rice fields alongside a quiet suburban street or overlook a creek with a quaint bridge and genuine temple. The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from many shops and cafés along Monkey Forest Road. It only offers three types of rooms, including the “Suite Family,” ideal for those with young children. All accommodations are bright, airy, traditionally designed, and modestly furnished – with nothing trendy or unnecessary added. The substantial balconies or patios overlook lush gardens where mossy paths meander past Balinese statues and lead to the sizeable pool alongside the pleasant café.
New and adorable boutique hotel in a prime location – and terrific value.
So cute and instantly loveable, the Adiwana only offers 21 rooms and suites clustered around the sparkling pool with a bridge, spouts, and abundant frangipani trees. The rooms or suites are considerably larger than expected, despite the limited space throughout, and feature a terrace or balcony perfect for relaxing and chatting with other guests. With wall art, wooden partitions, and a stand-alone bathtub, the furnishings and decor are as enchanting as the hotel overall. Guests are attracted by three important factors: (1) staff are attentive and personable, (2) the location along Monkey Forest Road, with all sorts of cafés, bars, and shops nearby, and (3) value for money, as the number of neighboring rivals keeps rates competitive. Book ahead now that the secret is out.
16. ARTOTEL Haniman
Lovable, quirky, and affordable in an area with a village vibe.
The ARTOTEL is part of a prospering chain of funky, compact boutique hotels offering loads of personality. The studios face the busy road, with blinds to shut out the light and noise. Those rooms at the back overlook the untouched forest. The rooms are decorated with art, the outside walls are painted with murals, and the staff is energetic. Adding further to the appeal are the swanky Flock restaurant next door, free yoga classes, and a lovely little pool. The ARTOTEL, named after Jalan Hanoman, a street now rivaling Seminyak for its chic boutiques and hip restaurants, is a five-minute walk away. The hotel is within a likable area with a genuine village feel, as most facilities within 100 meters are for locals, not tourists.
SANUR – THE BEST HOTELS
The 14 Best Places to Stay in Sanur
Pictured above: The brand new Andaz Hotel on Sanur Beach.
A quieter alternative to Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. A lovely beach, though narrow in spots, and calm waters protected by a reef make Sanur popular with families. Nightlife is restrained, but there are still plenty of places to get a late-night drink with lots of restaurants and shopping.
Still exudes serenity, tradition, charm, and even romance – all in a top-notch location.
Built way back in 1962, the “Cape of Flowers” is one of the very first hotels in Bali. Designed to resemble a traditional village, all the buildings are low-level, and mossy paths meander around ponds of goldfish and bowls of lotus flowers. With all rooms at least 100 meters from the main road, it’s peaceful but still within a brief stroll of many cafés and shops (and the four-level mall and entertainment complex to be opened nearby in late 2023 called Icon Bali). Bungalows are separate and secluded behind lofty stone walls and feature an elegant, individual design that marries traditional four-poster beds with modern sunken baths. The two-level viewing area with a reading room overlooks the beachside path, perfect for cycling, the beachfront pool, and the immaculately-raked sand. Worth the splurge, especially for a romantic vacation, so book ahead. And breakfast is included.
New, outstanding for families, and some of the most magnificent gardens imaginable.
Built on a massive property that lay remarkably undeveloped in central Sanur for decades, the Andaz has resisted the urge to overbuild. The design of the buildings and three lovely pools are modern but with delightful Balinese touches. Probably half the grounds are lawns and gardens as fine as any city botanical garden. The Andaz also offers some of the finest facilities for families outside Nusa Dua. The kids club is vibrant and spacious, with many activities offered to all guests. All accommodations feature a substantial balcony or patio overlooking the lush gardens, while some suites provide ocean views and others have direct access to a pool. The villas are secluded and contain fine furnishings. The beach is wide and clean, with water sports available. And, incredibly, all of this is in downtown Sanur, with plenty of facilities within a short walk.
Newly-renovated with world-class facilities and unimaginably vast gardens.
After major and much-needed renovations in recent years, the Hyatt is firmly back as one of Bali’s premier resorts. The grounds are massive enough for guests to need maps, and with so many ponds, plants, trees, and lawns, it truly resembles a city botanical garden. The vast array of rooms and suites all feature a sizable balcony or patio, and many are large enough for a king-sized bed. There are plenty of accommodation options for families, including a children’s pool, playground, and spacious Camp Hyatt kids club. Everyone enjoys the immaculately maintained beach, the three superb pools, and the range of water sports. Remarkably, all of this is in downtown Sanur,with many places to eat, drink, and shop along the main road and beachside path, perfect for walking, jogging, and cycling.
Enchanting resort with a traditional feel, excellent position, and impressive facilities for families.
Still delighting tourists for 65 years, the Segara continues to modernize without sacrificing charm, especially around the sprawling gardens packed with ponds and fountains. The Deluxe Rooms are compact and comfortable, with Balinese touches with a broad patio or balcony overlooking bright-green grass or one of the three pools. More appealing are the bungalows concealed behind tropical plants at the back of the property and those in the adults-only Segara Club section. The main pool features a stunning design and is only meters from the pristine beach. The resort caters well to families, with a kids club, adventure playground, tennis court, and so much to explore around the vast grounds. Plenty of facilities are spread along the main road, but most guests prefer to eat or drink at cafés along the beachside path, which is ideal for walking and cycling.
5. Maya Sanur
Opulence, luxury, and first-class facilities in an ultra-modern resort.
The entrance of the Maya resembles a temple from Central America, but most guests are probably more impressed with the splendid location and excellent facilities. All rooms and suites are spacious, feature contemporary decor, and have names like “Wonderful Garden View” and “Impressive Nest Suite.” Some ground-level rooms provide direct access to the Lagoon Pool from a wooden patio, and others offer a private pool. The Heavenly Ocean View Pool Suites are, indeed, heavenly. There are four pools, including one for children, and the young ones are well catered for at the colorful Cheeky Monkeys kids club. Moreover, the beach is wonderfully maintained, and the infinity beach pool is quite divine. There are plenty of inviting places to eat and shop along the main road, and a few cafés are along the delightful beachside path, ideal for walking and cycling.
Serene, distinctive, captivating, and oh-so-easy to love.
The Klumpu is unique: a loveable cluster of bungalows (villas), each designed like a traditional lumbung rice barn but with teak furniture, a marble floor, and a kitchenette inside. All feature a substantial patio, where an excellent breakfast can be served while admiring the lush gardens and sparkling-blue, lagoon-style pool. The whole place is very peaceful with an attentive staff. Other attractions are the quiet location within the backstreets of Sanur, the large parking area, and the free bicycle rental. Sanur is ideal for cycling. The sign is easy to spot, about 200 meters down a lane shared with cars from the main road through downtown Sanur. The secret is out: the Klumpu is understandably popular, so book ahead.
Exquisite design, serene setting, and stylish pool — so much to love.
The Sudamala combines a boutique hotel’s quaintness with a large resort’s top-class facilities. The design is almost colonial and compact without feeling overbuilt or cramped. Rooms (suites) are in two-level buildings, mostly facing the extensive lawns, and the two-bedroom villas are secluded behind lofty walls and chunky gates. The pool is substantial and peacefully set in the back of the property, where guests can hear birdlife. The Sudamala is small, with a personal and attentive staff but large enough to offer a spa, boutique, cocktail lounge, library, and gallery promoting local artists. The hotel is in a less active part of southern Sanur and is within a short stroll of numerous cafés, bars, the beach, and water sports.
Vast, modern resort with superb facilities recently upgraded.
This gigantic resort was bought and rebranded (formerly the Fairmont) in recent years and was undergoing massive renovations and reconstruction in mid-2022. The suites and secluded villas, with up to three bedrooms, will be remodeled, but the raised infinity pool promises to be as divine as ever. The facilities, especially for families, such as the kids club, children’s pool, playground, and waterslides, will be even more impressive. The top-notch location won’t change, with the curved beach just meters away and so many facilities in both directions along the main road. More places to eat and drink are peppered along the beachside path, which stretches through Sanur, and is ideal for walking, jogging, and cycling. Water sports are also easy to arrange along the calm waters nearby.
Enormous, modern, and peaceful, with something for everyone.
This fantastic resort was one of the first of its kind in Sanur and, unlike most others, seems to get better with age. Among the compact, manicured grounds, several wings of rooms offer a traditional design or colonial-style features. Rooms have been recently renovated and are now more contemporary in decor, but they haven’t lost any of their appeal. Those in the exclusive Santrian Club are the height of luxury, with a four-poster bed, walk-in closet, and garden-style bathroom. Each of the three pools is dazzling, especially at the Santrian Club. Numerous cabanas face the calm perfectly groomed beach, and water sports are easy to arrange nearby. The resort is in a quieter and more upmarket part of southern Sanur, with plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop within walking distance. The beachside path is perfect for walking and cycling.
Massive, family-friendly, and with terrific facilities.
Undergoing significant renovations during mid-2022, the Prama is not as flashy as rival resorts but offers fantastic facilities across large grounds. The enclosed lobby opens to the elegantly designed gardens and expansive lawns scattered with swaying palms. The beach is wide, virtually private, immaculately groomed, and packed with cabanas and lounge chairs. The main sparkling-blue pool is gigantic with a classic swim-up bar. All rooms and suites have been tastefully renovated but are still spacious and functional. Families return year after year for the colorful and cheery kids club, children’s pool with waterslides, tennis and basketball court, water sports, and beachside path ideal for walking and cycling. Other guests like the arcade of boutiques and charming beachside restaurants all within the resort grounds in a quieter part of Sanur.
11. Griya Santrian
Contemporary yet traditional, and with convenience and value rarely offered elsewhere.
The stylish and family-owned Griya Santrian has been promoting local artists and offering considerable comfort, service, and value to guests year after year. Quietly distant from the main road but still amid Sanur’s finest shops and cafés. Tropical gardens and billiard-table lawns surround the clusters of modern low-level buildings. Rooms feature pleasant decor and face the pools or gardens from a balcony or patio. Suites are even more spacious and have colorful art, a four-poster bed, and a sunken bath. The three pools (one with a bar) are shady, and the powdery-white beach is immaculately groomed.
Central, quiet, and compact, with unusual colonial-style design.
The Akaya is quite striking. The white handrails and extended outdoor corridors are reminiscent of an inn from Singapore in the 1930s. The rooms are nicely furnished and feature a private terrace. They are spread across two levels facing inwards over the pool lined with frangipani trees and distant from traffic noise. The bright-blue pool contrasts nicely with the white paint, and a chill-out area upstairs with potted plants and wicker chairs overlooks the pool and road. There is also a renowned dive shop in front and the attached café serving healthy meals and drinks. Akaya is located in a quieter part of central Sanur, 250 meters from the beach, surrounded by places to eat, drink, and shop.
Cute, quirky, great value, and excellent location.
Part of a blossoming chain of boutique hotels spread across Bali, the ARTOTEL is unashamedly compact, trendy, and just bursting with personality. The sculpture out front, contemporary Indonesian art in the lobby, and the wooden staircase are part of the charm. The rooms, facilities, and service are top-notch, and the rooftop infinity pool and attached bar are divine. The tiny balconies don’t have views, but the location is quiet in downtown Sanur. Plenty of facilities are within walking distance, and the dead-end street outside leads to the beach with lots of water sports options 200 meters away. And with rates less than expected, ARTOTEL checks so many boxes.
14. Holiday Inn
Nicely located, competitively priced, and with everything expected.
The Holiday Inn provides convenience, service, style, comfort, value, and all the facilities needed. Located almost at the end of a quiet dead-end street to a beach (100m away) where all sorts of water sports can be arranged. A decent array of classy cafés and shops are also within a short stroll along the main road or beachside path, which stretches the length of Sanur. The hotel is reasonably small, the staff is personable and attentive, and all rooms are spacious and functional. The rates are attractive, often lower than expected, and geared toward families. Facilities include a gym, spa, café, and rooftop pool.
CANDIDASA – THE BEST HOTELS
The 8 Best Places to Stay in Candidasa
Picture above: The pool and gardens at Ganesh Lodge.
On the east side of Bali, the small seaside town of Candidasa, a former fishing village, provides a laidback mix of culture and the beach. The area around the three islands off the coast offers excellent diving, snorkeling, and boat trips. On the main road, there are restaurants, shops, and hotels. It’s a great area to stay and explore the east side, and close to historic Tenganan Village, one of the oldest in Bali.
Cute, convenient, and quiet – and such good value.
This petite resort boasts a perfect location: just off the main road and, therefore, peaceful but within a one-minute stroll of Candidasa’s finest facilities. Most of the 12 rooms are in a small row along a terrace facing the pool. Other rooms (one with two bedrooms) front a small cove of sand. All rooms are airy, colorful, and furnished with little extras, like a water cooler. Guests are encouraged to relax, chat, and explore, so some rooms don’t have a TV. Frangipani trees shade the pool, and a tiny saltwater pool overlooks the sea. Guests return year after year for the superb service, excellent restaurant, and competitive rates – and breakfast is included. The resort is eco-conscious, and guests are encouraged to follow suit. Ideal for couples.
Stylish design, excellent service, and views.
The overwhelming attraction of this adorable boutique resort is the wow setting. Quietly located in the most serene part of Candidasa (which is very laidback anyway), it directly faces the sea dotted with tiny islands and a beach lined with traditional fishing boats. The Genggong offers old-style bungalows and modern rooms with a living area in a three-level building. Rare in this region, all accommodations provide sublime ocean views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and extra-wide balcony or patio (although better on the upper floors). Adding further to the appeal are the divine pool, billiard-table lawns peppered with palms, charming beachfront restaurant, and outstanding service. Moreover, boat trips and snorkeling are easy to arrange, and all rates include breakfast.
3. Ganesh Lodge
Adorable, tranquil, nicely located, and oh-so different.
The statue of Ganesha (the Hindu elephant-headed god) laced with garlands at the entrance sets the tone for this gorgeous boutique hotel. It is so loveably different from anything else in the region. Clustered around a bright-blue pool (with a waterfall), rooms have a sitting area, marble floor, and contemporary art. Thatched gazebos pepper the garden where guests relax for hours, the classy café has a French influence, and the shop sells wonderful arts and crafts. Adding even further to the appeal are the friendly staff and peaceful location — almost at the end of a quiet road in eastern Candidasa, about 700 meters from the main road. The Ganesh Lodge is understandably popular, so book ahead.
Modern, unique, and quiet — yet convenient.
This boutique hotel offers something unique: just seven nicely-spaced cottages facing the expansive gardens. The cottages are compact but lovingly furnished, including a very comfortable bed. One is actually a “room” designed for a family, and another is a “villa” with a private pool. Little else is offered except a large pool lined with thatched cabanas, a stylish restaurant, and a pool table near the reception desk. While other hotels have to be a little isolated to offer a peaceful setting, this one is distant from the traffic noise yet along the main road with the finest facilities in Candidasa nearby. A side entrance leads to a pretty lagoon and tiny sandy beach where boat trips can be arranged.
Likeable, inexpensive, quiet, and along the beach.
Considerably more impressive than it looks outside, this hotel is far from the traffic noise. Villas and bungalows are in two adjoining properties with lush gardens. Spread around a bright-blue pool, the Bayside Bungalows are endearingly old-fashioned. Bayshore Villas offer a superb range of villas, residences, and suites — some with a private pool, others with several bedrooms. The hotel is small, and the staff is attentive, but it’s large enough to provide a spa, gym, and boutique. The other major selling points are the excellent rates and beachfront restaurant. The hotel faces the sea, but (like most of Candidasa), the sand is dark gray. It’s in the western end of Candidasa – walkable to eateries offering competitively-priced meals and handy to the adorable and historic village of Tenganan (4km) that predates Hinduism in Bali.
6. Dasa Warna
Charming and old-style, with simple bungalows, lush gardens, and great rates.
The Dasa Warna provides the sort of old-fashioned setting and accommodation slowly disappearing in Candidasa (and mostly gone in Seminyak). The unfussy bungalows spread across some of the finest gardens in Candidasa, and (unlike other hotels nearby) it’s distant from the traffic noise. The Bungalows also offer privacy and seclusion not possible at similar hotels, and there’s plenty of space to relax at the pool and adjacent café. A few bungalows can fit three or four people comfortably. What’s more, rates are very competitive. The entrance at the western end of Candidasa is about 200 meters from the (gray sand) beach and an easy stroll to eateries offering competitively-priced meals. Dasa Warna is also handy to the adorable and historic village of Tenganan (4km), which predates Hinduism in Bali.
Serene and spacious, with heavenly pool and plenty for families.
Although very large and quite modern, the Ramayana (formally Rama) manages to feel compact and remain personable. While a breakwater offers sheltered swimming, the lack of beach is compensated by one of the most photogenic pools in Bali. The gardens are enormous, and the immaculate lawns, swaying palms, and trickling fountains are a haven for abundant birdlife. The facilities, especially the spa and gym in a glass-fronted building, are among the finest in eastern Bali. The Deluxe (standard) rooms are spacious and feature Balinese photos and carvings, and the cottages are secluded, some with perfect ocean views. Several activities are offered (many for free), such as snorkeling, yoga, and traditional painting. The Ramayana is a peaceful 200 meters from the main road, but the walk to central Candidasa (1.5km) is not that pleasant, so take advantage of the resort’s shuttle bus.
8. Puri Bagus
Old-style, quiet, and inexpensive — great for yoga, diving, and families with older children.
Although it could use an update, the hotel is serenely located and a delightful stroll (1.5km) to most facilities in Candidasa. (There is a free hotel shuttle bus.) Cottages are spread around the gardens, ensuring privacy, and many offer genuine ocean views. But what sets the Puri Bagus apart are the yoga retreats and the onsite international-standard dive center that arranges diving and snorkeling trips and training. Other activities include cooking classes, cycling to a traditional village, mountain hiking, and a boat trip to a “secret” beach. Special multi-day package deals are available for those who want to focus on diving or yoga or to immerse themselves in Balinese art and culture.
CANGGU – THE BEST HOTELS
The 7 Best Places to Stay in Canggu
Picture above: The COMO Beach Club at COMO.
Canggu is a coastal village on the western side of Bali and just up the coast from Seminyak. The dark-sand beaches provide surf and sunsets as legendary as Kuta, but the area is more remote and less touristy. It’s filled with lush green rice fields, surfing, shops, restaurants, music, and nightlife.
Much to love — it’s historic, fascinating, and convenient.
The Tugu oozes the sort of class, charm, and history not seen in Canggu and rarely found elsewhere in southern Bali. The lobby sets the tone with its hardwood floors, massive Hindu statue, and intricate carvings. The flourishing gardens include an extensive boardwalk and numerous fountains and ponds. Uniquely, the hotel also houses many antiques and relics in various rooms, including a 300-year-old temple. (Best appreciated with a guided tour.) All the suites and the two villas (both with a private pool) are designed and decorated with gorgeous old-fashioned but functional furniture. The location is also superb: barely 100 meters from the beach and in the most likable area of Canggu that’s packed with stylish restaurants and boutiques. Better still are the café and bars perched on the sand a one-minute walk away, perfect for watching Canggu’s famous sunsets and surf.
2. Ecozy Dijiwa
Compact, great value, and, yes, oh-so-cozy.
Part of a flourishing chain of boutique hotels across Bali, the Ecozy is along a thriving section of Canggu. It’s about 1km from the beach, famed for its sunsets and surfing, and surrounded by places to eat and drink. The rooms are surprisingly well-insulated from traffic noise and well-equipped with everything a traveler needs, including a comfortable bed. All rooms are the same inside, but those on the ground floor have a back patio leading to a private garden or a private plunge pool. Other attractions are the sparkling main pool, free parking, butler service (with some rooms), friendly and helpful staff, and the adorable Blou Café (with substantial discounts for guests).
Large and sophisticated, with divine pools and a prime location in pulsating Canggu.
The design of the COMO is ultra-modern but not overly chic or pretentious. It fronts a gray rocky beach (typical of this part of Canggu), and the location is quiet and secluded, yet so convenient to the sea and all the beachside café and bars. The COMO offers a range of luxurious rooms, suites, and residences, and most on the ground floor have direct access to the Lagoon Pool, surrounded by lounge chairs and shady trees. The ultimate in luxury are the three-bedroom COMO Penthouses, each with a rooftop pool and a private butler. The second pool, only meters from the beach, is one of the finest in Canggu and part of the exclusive COMO Beach Club. All the other facilities are excellent, such as the kids club and wellness center that includes yoga and Pilates. What’s more, rates include an extensive buffet breakfast.
4. The Palms
Lovely, hidden gem that’s serene, safe, and sociable.
The Palms offers a limited number of compact rooms in a secluded and private little space seemingly a world away from the buzzing part of Canggu along the main street. It’s just the place where guests soon become friends with other guests and with the personable staff. Rooms are functional, cozy, and decorated with fascinating art, and the gardens are laid out with the namesake trees. Some rooms also have a large patio area. There’s a two-level, covered patio alongside the pool with chairs, sofas, and beanbags for chatting and chilling. Also offered are the sort of daybeds found at four-star resorts and a communal kitchen, pool table, and ping pong table. The Palms is quietly located about 150 meters down a surprisingly undeveloped lane and about 2 kilometers from the beach.
Convenient, quaint, and quiet tropical oasis.
The family-run CalmTree is an adorable collection of wooden bungalows (more like huts) with thatched roofs clustered around the main pool and gardens. These bungalows are rustic, with walls made of rattan, hanging lamps, wooden windows, an open-air bathroom, and a large balcony. There is air-conditioning but no TVs. Some have two floors designed for families, and at the back of the property are more modern rooms with a private pool. All rooms include an a la carte breakfast. The Staff is attentive and can arrange tours and bicycle rentals. The CalmTree is quietly located 100 meters down a road in a busy part of Canggu and a 15-minute walk to the beach.
Terrific location and great value with four-star facilities at three-star rates.
The Aston is located in a booming area of Canggu. This unfussy hotel doesn’t pretend to be (nor charge like) a five-star resort but still offers a gym, spa, and room service. The main feature is the rooftop pool with a restaurant, bar, and swinging chairs. Rooms are spacious and stylish, and balconies face each other across the meandering lagoon. Those at ground level offer the most privacy. It’s only 150 meters from the sea, and cafés and bars, perfect for watching Canggu’s renowned surf and sunsets. There is also a dead-end street outside the hotel lined with places to eat, drink, and shop.
Functional, convenient, quiet, and great value — what’s not to like?
It may not look like much outside, but the Eastin is understandably popular. The breezy lobby and friendly staff set the tone by providing what guests need and nothing more. There’s a large pool lined with colorful beanbags, a poolside restaurant and bar, and a fitness center. The rooms and suites (some with two bedrooms) are larger than expected and brightly decorated. It’s located along a quiet dead-end street, about 200 meters from the beach and the cafés and bars along the sand. And also a few minutes’ walk to streets packed with upmarket cafés, bars, and shops.
NUSA LEMBONGAN – THE BEST HOTELS
The 10 Best Places to Stay on Nusa Lembongan
Picture above: The Beach Club on Mushroom Bay at Hai Tide Beach Resort.
A gorgeous island southeast of Bali that’s only a 30 to 45-minute speedboat ride from Sanur. It’s one of three Nusa Islands and is linked by a yellow bridge to Nusa Ceningan island and by boat to Nusa Penida. Lembongan is small with white-sand beaches and reefs that are great for diving. Things to do include cycling, walking, snorkeling, surfing, boating, and swimming in Mushroom Bay. There are also beautiful views of the active volcano Gunung Agung on Bali.
Sumptuous villas in an idyllic location along the street and beach.
This luxury resort is along a narrow block on Jungutbatu street between the white sandy beach and the port. They Offer only spacious villas secluded behind tall walls and quietly distanced from the road. Each features a private tropical garden and patio. Villas with two bedrooms have a private pool. The two main pools are fabulous, and the beach out front is shady, clean, and free from boats (ensuring perfect views of the ocean and sunset.) The resort is particularly romantic due to the owner’s French influence.
Stylish and convenient — and very suitable for families.
Named after the 300-year-old tree out front, the Tamarind boutique resort is conveniently located at the southern end of Jungutbatu village. The luxurious villas are lovingly furnished, surprisingly large, and pleasingly quiet. Many rooms have balcony views of the sea, beach, and village. The resort sits along a steep section of land, with plenty of steps, especially to the rooftop infinity pool (for those staying in special villas). This pool offers a swim-up bar and unrivaled views. Another pool is alongside the restaurant, and a third is designed for children. Families can book villas with two or three bedrooms, a spacious living area, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a private rooftop. Management prides itself on their world-class service to guests – from booking to pick up at the speedboat terminal (300 meters away) and for various tours and activities across the island.
3. Hai Tide
Huge resort with a perfect location and magnificent facilities — and fab for families.
The Hai Tide spans a massive area dominating Mushroom Bay, the nicest (and safest) beach on Nusa Lembongan. With entrances along the beach and access road, the resort arguably boasts the finest location on the island. The range of accommodations includes garden villas, two-level bungalows designed like lumbung rice barns, and other villas with a kitchen, two bedrooms, and a private pool. What’s more, the gardens are lush, the three pools are gorgeous, and the restaurant is classy. Guests can also lounge at the Beach Club. Hai Tide is easily the finest resort on the island for families. The kids club is modest (but free), and all sorts of activities are available for no cost. The bay out front is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat trips are easy to arrange. Added attractions are the direct speedboats from Bali (30 minutes) and complimentary breakfast is included in all rates.
Cliff-top views and Crusoe-Esque beach, yet still walkable to the main village.
Cascading down a hillside, these villas boast some of the island’s finest sea views. The villas are spacious and modern but with subtle Balinese touches. All come with a wide balcony. There’s a pool at the street-level lobby and another with a café and bar up higher. But it’s all about Song Lambung beach, 200 meters away (sometimes called Coconut Beach or Selambung Beach). This divine cove of white sand is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water sports. The beach is also delightfully undeveloped: only two other hotels share the same road, and only two cafes are on the sand. A boardwalk links Song Lambung beach with Jungutbatu village (10 minutes) via a cluster of classy restaurants and bars. Note: the steps at the hotel are steep.
Spacious grounds, lovely pool, quiet location, and terrific for families.
Named after what is now known as Mushroom Bay, this locally-owned boutique resort offers a range of rooms, huts, and bungalows (not really villas). All are individually designed, and some are so large they seem sparsely furnished, but this does allow plenty of space for luggage, surfboards, etc. With some bungalows attached by connecting doors, the resort is also well set up for families — particularly those with older children, who would relish the space, and nearby facilities. All villas face the pool, which seems to sparkle all day and is particularly shady from the frangipani trees. And the location is excellent: serenely set back from the access road and 200 meters from the beach, which is curved, powdery-white, and superb for swimming and snorkeling. Within a two-minute walk are plenty of cafes, water sports shops, and the spot for direct speedboats to and from Bali.
Location, location, location — perfect cove of white sand and walkable to the village.
Only three hotels share Song Lambung beach (sometimes called Coconut Beach or Selambung Beach). This one offers a delightful collection of wooden bungalows that have avoided modernization. Inside, they are all comfortable, and the pool is lovely and shady. But it’s all about the bleached-white sand about 200 meters away, which is cleaner than Jungutbatu, quieter than Mushroom Bay, and safer than Dream Beach. This adorable cove is small, curved, and ideal for swimming, snorkeling, boat trips, surfing, and other water sports. With only two places to eat and drink on the sand, the beach is pleasingly undeveloped. The huts and bungalows are layered up a steep hillside, so there are plenty of steps. The hotel is easily connected to Jungutbatu village (10 minutes) via a path and boardwalk that skirts around the cliffs through restaurants and bars.
Traditionally-designed cottages in tropical oasis at likable village.
This popular boutique hotel offers a limited number of Balinese-style cottages facing a garden bursting with tropical plants. Each cottage is tastefully designed, with a thatched roof, wooden floor, and a large veranda perfect for chatting with neighbors. Some are better than others, but the detached two-story Suites (with a living area on a lower level) that are bright, airy, and packed with Balinese arts and crafts. The pool and café suffer a little from traffic noise, but the rooms are quiet and separated by shrubs. Tigerlillys is also conveniently located along the main street of Jungutbatu village (with speedboats to and from Bali), 200 meters from the beach, and within a two-minute walk of the island’s finest cafés and bars.
Facing a stunning but remote beach, it’s traditional, rustic, and – yes – dreamy.
Perched on a cliff at a breezy southwestern point on Nusa Lembongan, these wooden huts feature a traditional design, although some are more modern as renovations and upgrades continue. They are all comfortable, with a thatched roof, balcony or porch, an outdoor bathroom, and facing the ocean or sandy gardens. The huts with two levels contain two bedrooms and are designed for families. The two infinity pools blend seamlessly into the horizon. The restaurant and bar share the same panoramas of the powdery-white bay. But note: the water is too dangerous for swimming or snorkeling. Ask the hotel about the shuttle bus service to Mushroom Bay (the island’s safest beach) and the main village of Jungutbatu, with the speedboat port going to and from Bali.
Delightful cabins in beachfront location at dreamy beach.
Sharing the exquisite cove of Dream Beach (which is unsafe for swimming) with the namesake resort, D’byas is smaller, quieter, and less trendy than its neighbor. D’byas offers a cluster of wooden huts with a traditional design and modern conveniences. Most huts face each other across a garden rather than toward the sea. The infinity pool, adorable café with wooden furniture, and colorful beanbags spread across the sand, add to the laidback tropical feel. The main draw is, of course, the setting. At the island’s southern tip, the bay in front is postcard-perfect — curved and small, with white sand, rocky edges, and navy-blue water.
Spacious and chic pool villas in ideal location.
Although part of a lively beach club, villas are quietly hidden behind well-secured doors at the back of the property in Jungutbatu, the main area on Nusa Lembongan. Accessible by cart along a village-style path lined with tropical plants, each villa has one or two bedrooms and a striking dark-wood design. Most also boast a decent-sized private pool surrounded by a deck. At the beach club, the main infinity pool and lounge chairs are meters from the turquoise sea. The resort entrance is along the main street, with the island’s best facilities, and about 1.5 kilometers from the informal port for speedboats to and from Bali. The beach club is popular and noisy, but it’s easy to find more space and serenity elsewhere along the clean, sandy beach.
NORTHERN BALI – THE BEST HOTELS
The 7 Best Places to Stay in Northern Bali
Picture above: The beachfront at the Adi Assri Beach Resort & Spa.
The north is more laidback and quiet than southern Bali. Lovina has a long coastline and three main villages: Anturan, Banyualit, and Kalibukbuk. The beach, though not great for swimming, is lovely to walk along and offers fabulous sea views, breezes, and sunsets. The beach town is known for diving & snorkeling but is also great for walking and cycling among the back roads close to the green mountains. Nearby are Brahmavihara-Arama (Bali’s largest Buddhist monastery), the Banjar Hot Springs, and Pura Beji temple (one of the oldest temples in Bali).
Spacious resort with traditional design and lush tropical setting.
With an extensive beachfront and a stunning mountain backdrop, this resort boasts one of the most expansive grounds on Bali. The one- and two-bedroom villas, each with a private pool, open-air kitchen, lounge, dining area, and charming gardens, are somewhat private. Still, the Balinese-style design and modern furnishings are impossible to fault. The suites are more secluded in a two-story block and feature a kitchenette. The beach is typically grey but immaculately maintained, and the vast gardens are peppered with Balinese-style statues and fountains. The massive pools are framed by palms and face the coastline. The resort is 300 meters from the main road, with a limited selection of cafés and shops nearby.
2. The Lovina
Luxury, tranquility and convenience, and ideal for families.
This resort sits in a massive block facing the sea and 300 meters from the main road. The suites open out to the main pool but are a bit dark inside, while the secluded villas feature a massive kitchen, dining, and lounge area, a sizable private pool, and sea views. The palm-choked gardens are spacious, and the two beachfront pools are very enticing. It caters particularly well to families, offering free activities to guests, such as yoga and dance lessons. The Lovina is a 10-minute stroll along the road or beach (or on a free shuttle bus) from Kalibukbuk, with the region’s best selection of shops and cafés.
Convenient and unpretentious mid-priced option that welcomes families.
First built in 1953 but extensively renovated and expanded since, and still retains some genuine charm. The rooms are distant from the traffic, and many face the sea. While the gardens are delightful, and the decent-sized pool would never feel crowded with guests. The standard rooms only offer fans, but the more comfortable and secluded cottages feature air conditioning, traditional rattan furniture, and balconies. The family-sized bungalows are bright, spacious, and an excellent value. The beach is typically grey but unusually clean, shady, and picturesque, with swaying palms. The hotel is only 200 meters from Lovina’s best selection of shops and cafés in Kalibukbuk.
4. Adi Assri
Delightful tropical setting and traditional design with mountain backdrop.
Stone paths flanked by palms and bougainvillea meander through gardens so extensive that even staff can get disoriented. The villas are semi-detached but secluded and feature a private pool, but none of the accommodations offers real sea views. The deluxe rooms are spacious, with an open-air bathroom, tasteful Balinese decor, and a large balcony overlooking the gardens. The three main pools are so enticing that guests ignore the typically grey and gritty beach. The resort is located along the busy road, with its modest selection of shops and cafés, but well sheltered from traffic noise.
5. Villa Teman
Luxury villas – new, secluded and convenient.
Probably the nicest of its kind in Kalibukbuk (which has the best selection of shops and cafés in Lovina), these villas are located along a quiet country lane used more by cows than tourists. Each of the three sparkling-new villas is bright and airy and offers absolute privacy and seclusion behind high walls. They feature a gorgeous open-air (but undercover) living, kitchen, and dining area and two separate bedrooms, both overlooking a private pool large enough for five people. Little touches, like a modest library in the lobby and umbrellas for guests, are part of the personal service often not found in large resorts.
6. Lilin Lovina
Cluster of villas—chic, convenient and popular.
These one- and two-bedroom villas are cozy and secluded behind rather stark grey walls. Each features a private pool, while many also face the sea, and the decor is fashionable and tasteful. The gardens and beach can be noisy from the traffic, but the villas are sheltered from the noise. Although the sand is typically grey and gritty, the views, especially from the café facing the sea and main pool, are superb. Lilin is located where the main road almost touches the sea. It is barely 700 meters along the road or beach from Lovina’s best range of shops and cafés at Kalibukbuk and a short stroll to the classy Spice Beach Club.
Luxury without extravagance in an irresistible setting.
One in a chain of luxury resorts across the island and designed like a Balinese village, but none of the accommodations face the sea. The Deluxe Cottages look over open rice fields or dense foliage, offering limited privacy. They are attractively designed with Balinese-style carved doors, a thatched roof, and tiled balcony, but a little dark inside. The Superior Rooms are designed like an old-fashioned homestay, with rooms facing a shared but partitioned veranda. The beach is typically grey, but the seaside pool is sizable and inviting. The resort is 150 meters from the main road, with its traffic, and within a 10-minute stroll of Lovina’s best selection of shops and cafés at Kalibukbuk.
Bali Hotels with Private Swimming Pools and Plunge Pools
Picture above: A private pool along the river at the Four Seasons Sayan.
Hotels that offer suites, villas, and rooms with private pools are common in Bali. They’re a wonderful experience and highly recommended if they fit within your budget.
Bali Hotels with Private Pools (alphabetical by town)