Best Beaches & Beach Resorts in Bali

Bali Hotels › Best Bali Beaches
Updated: February 10, 2024

My Favorite Hotels in Bali

• Ubud: Four SeasonsViceroy
• Nusa Dua: St. Regis
• Jimbaran: Four Seasons
• Seminyak: W Bali
• Legian: Padma
• Kuta: Hard Rock
• Sanur: Tandjung Sari
• For couples: Poppies
• For families: Hard RockPadma

See Also

Best beach and beach hotel in Bali.

The St. Regis on the fantastic Nusa Dua beach is one of the best beach resorts on Bali.

The 14 Best Bali Beaches

Bali Hotel Maps

Beach hotels in Bali.

Balangan Beach, on the southwest side of the Bukit Peninsula.

Bali’s best beaches are known for white sand, surfing, and sunsets. Most are in the south: around Kuta, Jimbaran, Padang Padang, the Bukit Peninsula, or nearby islands, such as Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Beaches elsewhere are either rocky (e.g., Amed in eastern Bali) or have gray sand (e.g., Lovina in the north and Canggu in the south). Southwest coast beaches between the airport and Canggu are lively and crowded, including Tuban, Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. Jimbaran, Song Lambung (on Nusa Lembongan island), and Pasir Putih (in eastern Bali) are quieter and virtually empty until mid-morning.


The surf is a major attraction and ideal along the southern coasts, where renting surfboards and arranging lessons is easy. More remote surfing spots like Medewi (on the lower west coast) remain difficult to reach, while popular surf spots such as Padang Padang (south of Jimbaran) are no longer “secret” and are now quite developed.


Another draw is the legendary sunsets visible anywhere along the west coast. Watch the fiery red sun plunge into turquoise waters while sipping a beer on Kuta beach, eating seafood at a table in the sand while listening to wandering musicians at Jimbaran Beach, or from an infinity pool at a beach club on Nusa Lembongan Island.


It’s always hot in the coastal areas, so swimming is excellent year round, but the best beach weather in Bali is usually between April and early November. Bali is a year-round destination, but busier when Australian schools are closed (particularly mid-December to late January) and during major European holidays (mid-July to end of August).

1. Song Lambung (Nusa Lembongan Island)

Song Lambung beach on Nusa Lembongan Island.
Also known as Selambung Beach or Coconut Beach, this picturesque cove is a haven of tranquility with its abundant shade, pristine white sand, and calm, blue waters. Its charm is further enhanced by its relatively undeveloped state due to its small size and the challenging access via a steep, remote, and potholed road. However, a new path and boardwalk have made the beach more accessible. Starting from the southern edge of Jungutbatu, the island’s main village, the path winds around the cliffs, passing by upscale hotels, restaurants, and bars, and leads to the beach in about 10 minutes. There are only two eateries on the beach.

Recommended Hotels: Lembongan Cliff Villas (cliff-top Song Lambung beach views, two pools) • Song Lambung Beach Huts (wooden bungalows, meters from Song Lambung beach) • Aqua Nusa (luxury villas, ocean views, near Song Lambung beach) • Lembongan Island Beach Villas (luxury villas, ocean views, near Song Lambung beach)

2. Mushroom Bay (Nusa Lembongan Island)

Mushroom Bay on Nusa Lembongan island.
The tranquil and nearly vehicle-free island of Nusa Lembongan is a tropical paradise. It’s about 30 minutes by speedboat from the main island of Bali. While many of its beaches are swampy, unsafe for swimming, or inaccessible to most travelers, Mushroom Bay stands out as a beautiful, sheltered cove with white sand and calm waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The area remains relatively undeveloped and wonderfully laid-back due to its narrow access road and hilly landscape. However, most low-star hotels and modest cafés don’t face the sea. The bay is primarily accessible by rented motorbike on the island or by direct speedboat services from Bali.

Recommended Hotels: Hai Tide Beach Resort (best resort, family-friendly, beachfront bungalows and ​​beach club) • Alam Nusa (cozy, romantic bungalows, meters from the beach) • Sanghyang Bay Villas (best boutique hotel, huts, quiet, meters from the beach) • MolaMola House (best mid-range hotel, beachfront huts)

3. Pasir Putih

Beach hotels in Pasir Putih.
Pasir Putih, or “White Sand,” is a remarkably undeveloped area of fishing huts nestled among coconut groves. A few thatched stalls offer drinks, basic meals, and lounge chairs. The soft sand is perfect for sunbathing, and the tranquil waters flanked by rocky outcrops are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. (Equipment is available for rent at beachside stalls.) However, access can be challenging: charter a car with a driver, take a public minibus to Bugbug village and walk along the delightful 2km path, or access it by chartered boat from Candidasa or Padangbai. Currently, there are no places to stay at or near Pasir Putih, so the closest accommodations are in Candidasa (8km.)

Recommended Hotels: Genggong (best hotel, bungalows facing the sea in Candidasa) • Forty Eight Resort (best romantic hotel, quiet, seven cottages in Candidasa) • Aquaria Eco Resort (best boutique, quiet, great value, facing the sea in Candidasa) • Ramayana (best family hotel, stunning pool) • Ganesh Lodge (best mid-priced hotel, boutique)

4. Dream Beach (Nusa Lembongan Island)

Dream Beach Nusa Lembongan Island.
This glorious beach is perched on the southwestern tip of Nusa Lembongan island, about 30 minutes from the main island of Bali. It is postcard perfect: small and curved, with rocky outcrops along both sides and sand the color and texture of talcum powder. While certainly “dreamy” to look at, the sea is scary to swim in. Despite the dangerous rips and waves, some tourists venture into the water, but usually not too far. Due to its rough waters, there is no snorkeling or water sports. Access is also difficult. The island has no public transport or cars, and the beach can only be reached by rented motorbike or a more pricey, chartered boat.

Recommended Hotels: D’byas (wooden huts, beachfront) • Dream Beach Huts (rustic cliff-side wooden huts, family friendly)

5. Crystal Bay

Beach hotels in Nusa Penida.
With its blue-green water, sloping palms, offshore rocky islets, and hilly backdrop, this sheltered cove is nearly perfect and, so far, remains astonishingly undeveloped. Crystal Bay’s idyllic nature is largely due to its isolation: it’s located on Nusa Penida island, an hour’s speedboat ride from the main island of Bali. And then only accessible by chartered vehicle or rented motorbike. With only a few laid-back bungalows nearby and a handful of thatched-roof cafés on the sand, the reefs are popular with scuba divers and snorkelers who mostly arrive by boat from more developed regions on the main island of Bali. The area is more populated by grazing cattle than tourists, adding to its serene and untouched charm.

Recommended Hotels: The Tinsi (bungalows, 5 minute-walk to the bay) • Penida Bay Village (bungalows in gardens)) • Crystal Bay Bungalows (bungalows, gorgeous setting)

6. Jimbaran

Beach hotels in Jimbaran, Bali.
Despite its proximity to the airport and the comparative chaos of Kuta, Jimbaran remains underdeveloped. The curved bay with white sand and calm, sometimes empty waters is perfect for walking, swimming, and relaxing. There’s even some surf at the southern end for those looking for a bit of adventure. Jimbaran offers a more modest range of accommodations, eateries, and shops than Sanur or Legian. But it’s a genuine village with an ancient temple and sprawling produce and fish markets that no longer exist in other tourist regions. As more resorts and apartments open up, many with a firm focus on families, Jimbaran is becoming an ideal base for exploring southern Bali. And even if staying elsewhere, it’s definitely worth visiting. Having dinner at a table on the sand during sunset will likely be a highlight of any trip to Bali.

Recommended Hotels: Four Seasons Jimbaran (best resort, luxury pool villas, seclusion, views of beach and village) • Jimbaran Puri (romantic, cottages, beachfront) • Balquisse Heritage Hotel (best boutique, former coconut plantation) • Mövenpick (best family resort, large, attached mall) • Raffles (best resort with pool villas, romantic) • The Open House (best mid-priced hotel, close to the beach)

Sunset at Jimbaran Beach in Bali.

Eating fresh delicious seafood as the sun sets at one of the beach restaurants in Jimbaran is a highlight of a Bali visit.

7. Padang Padang

Beach hotels in Padang Padang, Bali.
The “secret” is truly out. Once a “hidden” beach, mostly known among hardy surfers, Padang Padang has recently exploded. Roads have improved, and boutique hotels and trendy restaurants are popping up. Not long ago, direct access to this perfect cove of white sand was only possible down winding, rickety steps. Now it’s much easier and safer to reach and, therefore, increasingly popular, especially with day-trippers. Waves are distant, so swimming is safe, and youngsters happily splash around in the saltwater pools left in the sand by the outgoing tides.

Recommended Hotels: Radisson Blu (best resort, huge, modern, family-friendly, in the countryside about 1.5km from the beach) • Suarga Padang Padang (best romantic hotel, enchanting, overlooking the sea, meters from the beach) • PinkCoco Uluwatu (best boutique hotel, relaxed, almost everything is painted pink, 200 meters from the beach) • Anantara Uluwatu (best resort with pool villas, luxury, 500 meters from the beach)

8. Nusa Dua

Beach hotels in Nusa Dua, Bali.
Some of the finest options for a romantic getaway and a family holiday are at Nusa Dua, a unique gated complex of luxury resorts with massive gardens, several pools, and fabulous facilities for those traveling with children. Nusa Dua offers a truly relaxing holiday: the streets are wide and clean, plenty of greenery, and minimal traffic. Beaches have shade, white sand, and calm, shallow waters ideal for swimming and water sports. Adding further to the appeal is cycling along the beachside path stretching Nusa Dua’s length and Tanjung Benoa to the north (see later). Nusa Dua is also just a quick trip by taxi from all the attractions in southern Bali, such as the malls of Kuta and sunset dinners at Jimbaran.

Recommended Hotels: Meliá (best resort, luxury, beachfront, world-class gardens) • Amarterra Villas (best romantic and boutique resort, beachfront, luxurious villas) • Grand Hyatt (best family resort, world-class facilities, beachfront, kids club) • St. Regis (best resort with pool villas, exceptional facilities, beachfront) • Grand Whiz (best mid-priced hotel, compact, beachfront)

9. Tanjung Benoa

Tanjung Benoa beach on Bali.
More affordable and stimulating than Nusa Dua just to the south, Tanjung Benoa occupies a thumb-shaped peninsula in southern Bali with a fascinating village at the northern tip. The white sandy beach is extensive, and the water is relatively calm. Swimming and sunbathing can be less pleasant in some parts. This is because Tanjung Benoa is the main center on Bali for water sports including parasailing, jet-skiing, paddle-boarding, and “banana boat rides.” Along the one main road through Tanjung Benoa are a wide range of resorts (many terrific for families) and mid-priced hotels not possible in upmarket Nusa Dua. No shortage of places to eat and drink, but far fewer shops than at Kuta or Seminyak.

Recommended Hotels: Conrad (best resort, massive, luxury, beachfront, family-friendly) • Royal Santrian (best romantic resort, seclusion, luxury pool villas, beachfront) • The Nest (best boutique resort, in Tanjung Benoa, great value) • Grand Mirage (best family resort, two resorts in one) • Frangipani Homestay (best mid-priced hotel, family-run, quiet)

10. Seminyak

Great beach in Bali.
Offering the same sort of surf and sunsets as Kuta and Legian to the south, Seminyak is generally more sophisticated, and the array of shops, cafés, and hotels are more stylish. With less traffic congestion and crowds, Seminyak is popular with families. Some rice fields are still visible even though there is lots of development. The sand becomes increasingly gray and uninviting in the northern part of Seminyak (which incorporates the village of Petitenget). But beachside cafés spread beanbags across the sand for the magical combination of sunsets and cocktails, often with live music.

Recommended Hotels: The Oberoi (best resort, family-friendly) • W Bali (best romantic resort, luxury, sea views, beachside pool) • Colony (best boutique hotel, colonial-era design) • Avani (best resort with pool villas, luxury, seclusion) • Tijili (best mid-priced hotel, compact, quiet)

11. Padangbai

Padangbai beach.
Along the east coast, about 1.5 hour’s drive from the airport, Padangbai has an adorable village vibe and the port for speedboats to the Gili Islands and nonstop ferries to neighboring Lombok. It’s a perfect base for exploring the rugged east coast. Fishing boats line the scenic bay along the (mostly) vehicle-free main street that’s more suitable for strolling and sitting. But only 10-12 minutes away on foot are two lovable alternatives: Blue Lagoon Beach, up a steep path from the end of the main street, and Bias Tugel, an undeveloped and picturesque cove to the south. There’s a limited number of places to eat, drink, and stay, but that’s why some prefer Padangbai to the southern beaches.

Recommended Hotels: Bloo Lagoon Eco Village (best resort, romantic, eco-friendly, exceptional sea views) • OK Divers Resort & Spa (best boutique hotel, colonial design, faces the beach) • Pondok Mimba (best family resort, laidback, great value, bungalows and villas) • Celagi Inn (best mid-priced hotel, quiet, breakfast on the rooftop)

12. Legian

Legian beach on Bali.
Squeezed between the malls and clubs of brassy Kuta and the restaurants and boutiques of classy Seminyak, the lanes and streets meandering around Legian are crammed with shops, cafés, bars, and hotels, but the pace is less hectic. As an extension of Kuta, the sand at Legian Beach is white, and the sea is wavy. The water is often more suitable for surfing than swimming, with board rental and lessons readily available. One advantage is that Legian Beach has less traffic noise, and many resorts directly face the sea without a busy road in between. Most resorts also boast surprisingly large gardens, and many are justifiably popular with families.

Recommended Hotels: Padma (best resort, massive, convenient, family friendly) • Anantara Vacation Club (best apartments, huge, ideal for families and extended stays) • Niksoma (best resort for a romantic holiday, compact, charming, convenient) • The Bandha (best boutique resort, luxury, beachfront) • Legian Beach Hotel (best family resort,vast, convenient, family-friendly, beachfront) • The Stones (best resort with pool villas, luxury, beachfront) • Three Brothers Bungalows (best mid-priced hotel, charming, serene, oasis in the middle of Legian)

13. Kuta

Beach hotels in Kuta, Bali.
Love or loathe the decadence, crowded malls, and noisy nightclubs, Kuta is renowned across the world for a good reason: the beach is wide and sandy, and it offers glorious sunsets, as well as surfboard rental, lounge chairs, and drink stalls. The choice of places to eat, drink, stay, and shop around the backstreets is mind-boggling, but only a few hotels face the sea – and these also overlook a busy beachside road. The area between the Kuta Art Market (being rebuilt in 2022) and airport is called Tuban (also known as South Kuta). In Tuban are numerous family-friendly resorts, massive seafood restaurants, and, further south, village-like backstreets with more facilities for locals than tourists.

Recommended Hotels: Hard Rock (best resort, huge, in downtown Kuta meters from the beach) • ANVAYA (best resort for a romantic holiday, stylish, beachfront) • Poppies (best boutique resort, charm, serenity, in the midst of chaotic Kuta) • Bali Dynasty (best family resort, great location) • Sheraton (best resort with pool villas, views of Kuta beach, above Beachwalk Shopping Center) • Amnaya (best mid-priced hotel, vibrant, convenient)

14. Sanur

Sanur beach on Bali
With negligible nightlife and zero surf, Sanur is far quieter than Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak. Many hotels and cafés face the sea along which a delightful beachside path stretches the entire length of Sanur and is so enjoyable for walking and cycling. Protected by a distant reef, the water is shallow, calm, and decent enough for a limited array of water-sports. Numerous breakwaters help maintain the curved, sandy beaches, but they are unappealing at low tide. With temples and a market among village-like backstreets, Sanur is an ideal base for exploring southern Bali. (However, serenity in the northern part will be shattered when the four-level mall and entertainment complex called Icon Bali is completed by late 2023.)

Recommended Hotels: Andaz (best resort, convenient, family-friendly, gardens, beachfront) • Tandjung Sari (best resort for a romantic holiday, serenity, charm, beachfront) • Sudamala (best boutique resort, colonial-style design, peaceful) • Hyatt Regency (best family resort, world-class facilities, beachfront, gardens) • InterContinental (best resort with pool villas, family-friendly, location) • Klumpu (best mid-priced hotel, traditional bungalows designed like lumbung rice barn, tropical gardens)

A map of the best beaches in Bali.
Hotels on Map: 1.The Oberoi • 2.Padma • 3.Hard Rock • 4.Four Seasons at Jimbaran • 5.Radisson Blu • 6.Andaz • 7.Conrad • 8.Meliá • 9.Lembongan Cliff Villas • 10.Hai Tide • 11.Dream Beach Huts • 12.The Tinsi • 13.Bloo Lagoon Eco Village • 14.Genggong

Other Great Bali Beaches

Canggu – 30 minutes north of Kuta

Bali beach during sunset.

Tuban – 5 minutes south of Kuta

Beach hotels in Tuban, Bali.

Balangan – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Beach hotels in Balangan, Bali.

Bingin – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Beach hotels near Bingin, Bali.

Dreamland Beach – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Beach hotels near Dreamland, Bali.

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan – 30 minute boat ride from Sanur

Dream Beach Nusa Lembongan – Bali's Best Beaches

The 24 Best Beach Hotels in Bali

Beach hotel in Jimbaran, Bali.

The wonderful InterContinental Resort on beautiful Jimbaran Beach – a quiet location but still a short drive to airport and Kuta shopping and nightlife.

Read More

Get All New Content

My Travel Newsletter

  1. Best Swimming Beach for Kids / Best Beach for Learning How to Surf

    I am planning our trip to Bali for July. Everywhere looks amazing and we’re super excited. The one difficulty that we have as a family is that we have two young children (ages 3 and 4) and two older children (ages 12 and 14). We want a beach with calm water for the young ones and the older ones are very keen on learning how to surf. I’m guessing that these can not be found at the same beach. We are willing to split our beach time between 2 towns, what do you think would be the two best towns for us to stay at.

    Thank you,

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      You’re right, calm water (for young kids) and decent sized waves (for learning how to surf) can not be found at the same beach. The closest to that scenario would be Sanur which has calm water protected by the reef and good surf out beyond the reef – but Sanur is not a great place to learn to surf and the waves are pretty quiet in July. As you suggest, I would split your time. Half in Nusa Dua or Sanur (both have calm water, Nusa Dua has a nicer beach but not much around it, Sanur is a nicer town with a friendly atmosphere and good restaurants). And the other half in the Kuta area where there are good waves for beginners and lots of surf shops that rent boards and offer lessons.

  2. Sanur in August with Kids

    We’re coming to Bali in August. Based on the suggestions of friends we are going to spend the majority of our time in Sanur. I just have a small nagging feeling that it will be too slow for our tastes. Are there good restaurants in Sanur and places to go for a drink that aren’t completely dead?

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      Sanur has plenty of places to eat, drink, and have a good time. If you’re looking for nightlife and dance clubs then yes, it will be too slow. But if you just want some fun and active places to hang out then there are plenty.

  3. Bali Beaches in January

    Can you tell me if Seminyak or Jimbaran are good for swimming into the ocean in mid January?
    I will come to Bali in 10th of January for 6 days and don’t know which area should I choose.
    I’m looking for nice beach for day time and some action in late evening (I am not affraid to take taxis for 5-10 minutes).
    I will not stay all days at the beach because I want to book 2 or 3 day time trips for seeing as much as I can from Bali.


    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      Bali is hot all year around – the only difference is that there is a definite wet season from about late October to March. So, swimming is good at any time of the year. However, note that Seminyak is an extension of the world-famous Kuta beach, which is very popular with surfers, so in Seminyak there are plenty of big waves close to the shore and plenty of surfers trying to catch them.

      In contrast, Jimbaran is free of surf and, therefore, surfers. Parts of the beach in Jimbaran are lined with jukung fishing boats and from about 3pm much of the sand becomes crowded with makeshift cafes (this is part of the appeal of Jimbaran) offering seafood dinners at sunset, but the water is calm for swimming and the sand more pure white than on Seminyak, where sitting on a beanbag at sunset with a cocktail is also a highlight.

      It is important to choose your base carefully, depending on your exact needs. Jimbaran has no ‘action’ at night, except the charming sunset dinners, while Seminyak is only 5-10 minutes by taxi from the multi-storey nightclubs of Kuta/Legian, and Seminyak itself also offers an interesting array of cafes and bars featuring live sophisticated acoustic, jazz, and pop music – but little hip-hop or dance/electronic. So, Seminyak would probably suit your needs, and it’s easy enough to charter a car with a driver from your hotel in Seminyak (or Jimbaran) for day-trips around the island. Otherwise, also base yourself for a couple of days in Ubud, the cultural and spiritual heartland of the island.

  4. Best Beaches for Toddler on Bali

    We will be in Bali from 18-29 of December with our 2-year old and would like a nice beach vacation. Which beaches do you recommend best for a toddler at this time of year? I was thinking maybe Sanur and Nusa Dua or Sanur and Jimbaran? Or maybe something else? Thank you!

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      It is always important to choose the right base for your visit – especially if you’re a first-time visitor; even more so with a child. For this reason, some beach resort areas would not be recommended: Kuta/Legian/Seminyak would be too noisy and busy (particularly at that time of the year); Lovina or Candidasa would involve 3-4 hours of windy and traffic-clogged roads in a minibus; and other regions would also involve uncomfortable travel (eg the Gili Islands) or lack facilities (eg Pemuteran).

      So, yes, the best three regions to base yourself would be Sanur, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. The pros and cons for your situation …
      1) Sanur – calm, shallow sea; more space than other regions to walk around; great range of accommodation; paths for walking and cycling away from the main roads; a few family-friendly hotels
      2) Jimbaran – quieter and less visited of the three options, but less range of accommodation; shallow and calm sea, except to the south where waves are high enough for basic surf lessons; minimal accommodation really caters for families
      3) Nusa Dua – expensive as all accommodation is 4-5 star resorts; plenty of space and greenery; comparatively very little traffic and other hassles; almost all resorts have a kid’s club but few cater for under 5 year-olds, but all have child-minding services; calm, shallow sea created by breakwaters and cordons, but can be noisy with jet skis

      If you’re staying for 11-12 nights and using two different bases, then Sanur and Nusa Dua (if you can afford upmarket resorts) would be the ideal combination. If Nusa Dua is out of your range, then consider spending your entire holiday based in Sanur.

      As you most probably know, this is one of the busiest weeks of the year, so you should book your accommodation immediately.

  5. Best Bali Beach in May


    My husband and I are traveling to Bali for the first time in May this year for 5 days. We would like to stay on/close to the beach, but do not want to be far removed from everything else. While we are not huge party-goers, but it might be nice to have a little nightlife as an option. We are also open to both hotels and villas. Which areas would you recommend?


    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      Every resort region in Bali is slightly and, often, significantly, different in terms of facilities, location and types of tourists it attracts. If you know what you want – and, perhaps more importantly, don’t want – it’s easy enough to narrow down your options and choose the most suitable base. In your case, this is Seminyak.

      For first-time visitors, the crowds, noise, traffic and hawkers at Kuta and, to a lesser degree, Legian, can be overwhelming. Places like Ubud are ideal for cultural experiences and day-tripping to the countryside, but are not on the beach, while other beach regions like Sanur and Nusa Dua have little or no nightlife. And with only 5 days you won’t want to spend valuable time travelling to more remote areas like Lovina or the Gili Islands.

      Seminyak is only 20-30 minutes by taxi from the airport, and only 10 mins from the malls and clubs of Kuta. It is also a good base to daytrip by chartered car with a driver to the remarkable temple at Tanah Lot and the cultural wonders of Ubud. Seminyak offers sophisticated shopping, rather than tacky souvenir stalls, and live music in quaint cafés rather than multi-storey nightclubs offering electronic music. And it boasts the legendary beaches and sunsets for which Bali is renowned, although the sand is greyish.

      Seminyak has quite a few villas, which are popular with large groups and families because of the space they provide, and with those seeking seclusion behind walls. Villas are usually more expensive than hotels, especially for short stays, and offer extras like a fully-equipped kitchen that guests rarely use. And most villas are located along remote roads, perhaps 20+ minutes’ walk from the beach and any selection of shops/cafés, and nowhere near any taxis.

      You are probably better off staying at a hotel, and Seminyak has plenty to choose from in all price ranges. Here are three different recommendations:
      1) Breezes Bali Resort – about 200m from the beach, it’s comfortable, convenient and mid-priced, along a quietish street with plenty of shops/cafés
      2) Royal Beach Seminyak – facing an expansive beach, it’s charming and traditional (not another ugly mega-resort), with plenty of shops/cafés within walking distance
      3) Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort – smaller and more affordable and convenient than other modern resorts nearby, it’s at the end of a road lined with classy bistros/boutiques and faces the beach

  6. Honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia


    I need your help!
    I intend to spend 5 days from my honeymoon next April in Bali and I am lost between all the different areas of Bali and don’t know what to choose.
    I prefer place close to beach, not crowded, and at the same time has a private pool (whether a villa or a room) also private and not isolated from restaurants and cafes.
    I don’t care so much about nightlife but I would like to have daylight activities.
    Sally Soliman

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      With only 5 days, you won’t have time to explore much of Bali, and you won’t want to spend too much time travelling between the airport and your hotel. So, your best base is probably Nusa Dua, which is about 25 minutes from the airport. It is a secure, gated complex of 4-5 star resorts that doesn’t have any of the hassles common in Kuta/Legian/Seminyak, eg traffic, noise, crowds, hawkers etc. (If hotels in Nusa Dua are too expensive, try Tanjung Benoa, only a few kilometres to the north.)

      Almost all resorts in Nusa Dua face glorious beaches, often empty of other tourists, and most offer private pool villas that are secluded but still only 100m or so from a variety of cafés and bars inside the hotel complex. Otherwise, the free hourly shuttle bus takes guests to the delightful outdoor Bali Collection Mall, with plenty of places to shop, eat and drink. Nusa Dua has very little nightlife, but is an ideal place to organize daytrips to experience the wonders of Bali, and every resort also offers fun activities for guests, such as snorkeling, tennis, cooking classes, jet skiing etc.

      Most resorts cater for honeymooners, with special honeymoon suites and romantic activities (eg candlelit dinners on the beach). Particularly recommended are The Grand Hyatt Bali, with secluded pool villas and an extensive beach, all within walking distance of the Bali Collection Mall; and the extraordinary St Regis, with perfect beachside pool villas, as well as unlimited luxury, traditional and charm.

  7. Best Places to go in Bali in April

    Hi there
    We are visiting Bali for the first time in April and was wondering what places would be best to spend our 10 nights. We were thinking of heading up to Ubud and then to the East Coast (Amed, Candidasa) then over to the Gilis for a couple of nights and finishing around Bingin/ Ulawatu. What are your thoughts? We love to swim and dive, but would like a good mix of culture and beach. Also love food and the occasional night out.
    What would you suggest?
    Leigh Darrington

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      Bali is small, but travelling around can take longer than often anticipated by visitors because of traffic (especially in the south), mountainous roads (mainly in the central highlands) and minibus transfers and waiting around harbors if going to the islands. For example, from the airport to Amed could easily take 4 hours, and Ubud to the Gili Islands 3-4 hours.

      With only 10 days, don’t be tempted to base yourself in more than three places: one place for cultural and landscapes; another for nightlife and shopping; and a third for beaches and relaxing. So, perhaps consider basing yourself in
      1) Ubud – the obvious and natural base for Bali’s unique culture, and for day-tripping to extraordinary places like the rock sculptures at Gunung Kawi; the sacred springs and temple at Tirta Empul; and the amazing crater views and lake at Gunung Batur.
      2) Seminyak – for sophisticated nightlife, shopping and eating, with legendary sunsets on the beach
      3) Gili Islands – ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving and relaxing (with no vehicles or traffic), and a village vibe if staying on Gili Air

      Bingin and Ulu Watu are overwhelmingly surf beaches, with little or no sand. They are also remote and not easy to reach. You could day trip by taxi from Seminyak (allow an hour one-way) or stay in one of the handful of surfer homestays nearby. There is nothing else to do there but surf, surf, and, well, surf – except for the lovely temple, of course, at Ulu Watu – so you would be better off relishing the sand, surf, sunsets and sea at Seminyak and the Gilis.

  8. Jimbaran, Ubud, and Sanur


    Bali will be the first stop of our honeymoon, and we are planning on spending two nights in Jimbaran, four in Ubud and four in Sanur. We are stopping first in Jimbaran to beat the jet lag and take advantage of staying at the hotel that houses Rock Bar to watch the sunset there. Do you think this is wise or should we just go directly to Ubud? Our flight arrives at midnight. We want culture, food and beach time, no shopping and no partying.

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      Jimbaran Beach is a short drive from the airport and a perfect stop to start your trip. But Ayana is not on the Jimbaran beach but around a headland a bit and it’s a good 30 minute drive from the airport to the resort. Ubud would be about 80 minutes as there shouldn’t be any traffic (which can be terrible up to Ubud through the day). Staying at Ayana is a great choice but if the goal is to get to Ubud then just go straight there. If you truly want something close to the airport after your flight then go with the Intercontinental Jimbaran or the Belmond.

  9. Kid-Friendly Beaches in Bali

    Hi, I am thinking about staying at Pekutatan, Pulukan, or Tanah Lot, but I cannot really find any information about how kids-friendly the beaches are at those 3 places? The kids are 10 and 14, and we just want to splash and swim a little.

    We are also thinking about staying at either Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, or Tanjung Benoa – but how are the beaches at those 3 places?

    Thank you

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      One of the many highlights of a trip to Bali would be a visit to the revered and scenic Tanah Lot temple, but this is not a tourist region for accommodation. Other than a neighboring resort with golf course, and a few homestays along the road to the temple, there are very few places to stay and eat, and almost nowhere to shop. And the area is remote, with no taxis anywhere close, and the coastline is mostly cliffs with no beach.

      Pekutatan and Pulukan are more or less the same place, further up the coast. This area is even more isolated, with almost nowhere to stay or eat outside the nearby village of Medewi, which caters almost exclusively for surfers. The beaches along the coast north-west of the main tourist region, which stops at Seminyak, are grey, rocky and for surfing, not swimming. So, none of the three places you mentioned are suitable for children.

      The beach along the main tourist strip of Tuban-Kuta-Legian-Seminyak is also popular for surfing, and suitable for strong swimmers, but with plenty of surfers and strong waves, it doesn’t sound suitable for your children. So, the three other beaches you mentioned are far better options.

      Jimbaran is a gorgeous curved bay of white sands and calm waters that is remarkably quiet and undeveloped in places, despite being so close to the airport and to Kuta, about 10 minutes away by taxi. Jimbaran has the added advantage of offering seafood cafés on the sand at sunset with fireworks and wandering musicians – a definite highlight of your trip. And Jimbaran still retains a village vibe, with a sprawling produce market, an ancient temple and a fascinating fish market.

      Nusa Dua is a gated complex of four- and five-star hotels. Most face a perfect beach, with clean sand and calm waters, and many cater very well for families, with a kids’ club, splash pool for children, and plenty of activities to keep the young ones occupied and engaged. While the beaches are public, all accommodation is upmarket and pricey.

      Tanjung Benoa is a more affordable alternative to neighboring Nusa Dua. The beach is good, but not as idyllic as Nusa Dua or Jimbaran, but very crowded and noisy in parts because Tanjung Benoa is the epicenter for watersports on Bali. Jet-skis and parasailers are everywhere, which spoils the chance of peaceful walks and safe splash time for the young ones.

      To sum up, Jimbaran suits your needs regarding the beach, and a few hotels there are family-friendly, while the beach and hotel facilities are even better at Nusa Dua if your budget can stretch that far. And avoid anywhere up the coast from Seminyak.

  10. Best Bali Beach to Snorkel

    What’s the best area for snorkeling directly from the beach?

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      The best places for snorkeling in Bali directly from a beach that has accommodation and tourist facilities are Padangbai; Amed; Tulamben; and Nusa Lembongan island.

      Even better snorkeling directly from remote beaches with limited or no facilities for tourists, include Crystal Beach on Nusa Penida island; and Pasir Putih (near Candidasa).

      Normally, we would recommend the Gili Islands (along the coast of neighbouring Lombok but easily accessible from Bali), where it’s even possible to see turtles and manta rays while sitting on the beach! However, all three islands were recently devastated by earthquakes. Many hotels and restaurants have been damaged, but authorities hope that things will return to some sort of normality by November.

  11. Honeymoon Luxury Resort in Bali

    I am planning a honeymoon and I would like to stay at a luxury resort or villa in Bali. I love white sand beaches with palm trees that are surrounded by lush greenery. I also would like the water to be bright blue. Do any of the Bali beaches have reefs near the edges? I am wondering if that makes swimming difficult or if it makes the water look less blue. Can you recommend any beaches/accommodations in Bali that would fit my preferences? I would love to feel like I am in a lush, luxurious, tropical paradise. So I am wondering if there are any beach-front accommodations that also have the “jungle paradise” type of feel that Ubud seems to have. I would possibly be open to staying at 2 different places if you can’t get both a beautiful beach experience and a lush jungle experience at the same place. What do you recommend?

    1. Bali Dave The Bali Expert

      There are plenty of luxury resorts and villas across Bali, and no shortage of palm trees and beaches with blue water. No beaches really have reefs of any note just offshore, and the reefs don’t affect the color of the water or interfere with swimming.

      Bali is certainly a tropical island paradise, but also densely populated, and extremely busy with tourists. Therefore, perfect beaches with luxury resorts are in areas that are very built-up, and lack anything like lush jungles or forests anywhere nearby.

      More remote beaches, like Pemuteran, have resorts with forest-clad mountainous backgrounds, but the sand is grey. Amed offers a spectacular volcano setting, but the beaches are very rocky. And the only white-sand beach with a forest (not jungle) backdrop is Padangbai, but it doesn’t offer any luxury resorts.

      Being in the highlands, the outskirts of Ubud are surrounded by forest (and rice-fields). This is not African-style jungle, but the highlands are certainly packed with palm trees and tropical plants.

      As you suggest, it’s best to separate your honeymoon into 2 parts.
      1) Stay at a luxury resort or villa beside a prime beach of blue waters and white sands. Assuming you want somewhere quiet, look at
      Nusa Dua, a secure enclave of luxury resorts, without the traffic, noise, and street-sellers of most other regions. Ideal places to consider include The Laguna or St Regis resorts.
      Jimbaran beach, which has the very romantic Four Seasons and the delightful Belmond Jimbaran Puri hotels.
      2) Barely an hour from Jimbaran or Nusa Dua, Ubud is less developed and more tropical, but, of course, there’s no beach. Luxurious, romantic, and convenient resorts in Ubud include
      ARMA Museum Resort & Villas – iconic, and part of a museum complex with beautiful gardens
      Tjampuhan Hotel – historic and facing a ravine packed with tropical forest
      Komaneka at Bisma – so sumptuous and secluded, but also central
      Alam Indah – not a resort, but small and Balinese-style, it’s right on the edge of Monkey Forest and would be perfect.
      Otherwise, you may consider somewhere quieter and more tropical like Fiji or Vanuatu?

Leave a Reply

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