Bali Hotels › Kuta Hotels
Updated: August 30, 2023
My Favorite Hotels in Bali
• Best Kuta Hotel: Hard Rock
• Best Legian Hotel: Padma Resort
• Best Seminyak Hotel: W Bali
• Best Jimbaran Hotel: Four Seasons
• Best Nusa Dua Hotel: St. Regis
• Best Ubud Hotel: Four Seasons Sayan
• Best New Hotel: Raffles Bali
Best Areas to Stay in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak
Most visitors to the area stay and rarely venture far from the 10km stretch of beach divided into several areas (from south to north): Tuban (closest to the airport), Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Petitenget. Later, we have recommended hotels in the northern part of Tuban which is also known as Southern Kuta, but not hotels close to the airport and too far from Kuta to walk.
A malarial swamp ‘discovered’ by Australian surfers in the 1960s, Kuta is now overwhelmingly the most popular tourist region on the island. Busy, and not remotely indicative of the ‘real Bali’, Kuta offers endless places to eat, drink, shop, and stay, as well as legendary surf and sunsets. Stretching south of Kuta as far as the airport and sometimes referred to as Southern Kuta, Tuban provides more space for resorts and malls, but the beach can disappear in places, especially during high tide.
A little farther north of Kuta, Legian also has a glorious beach and seemingly unlimited shopping around the narrow backstreets. However, Legian does have more space and fewer cars, so it’s ideal for families – and many resorts cater very well for those traveling with children. Further up the coast at the more sophisticated Seminyak shops are called boutiques, restaurants become bistros, and the backstreets are packed with luxurious villas not found in the southern beaches. Seminyak includes Petitenget, which has more of a village feel, but the downside is that the sand in this area is gray and less appealing.
To ‘avoid all the tourists’, expats continue to move north to Batu Belig, which still retains a beachside vibe reminiscent of Kuta circa 1975, and inland to trendy Canggu. However, the layout of roads ensures that access to these two areas is not easy and other infrastructure has not caught up with the accelerating construction.
The Best Places to Stay in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak
• Best Luxury Hotels in Kuta, Legian, & Seminyak
Sheraton Kuta Resort • Bali Mandira Beach Resort & Spa • The Legian • Legian Beach Hotel • Pullman Legian Beach • The Stones • Double-Six Seminyak • Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa • W Bali Seminyak
• Best Boutique Hotels in Kuta, Legian, & Seminyak
AlamKulkul • Amnaya Resort Kuta • Kuta Seaview • Niksoma Boutique Beach Resort • Anantara Seminyak Resort • Poppies Hotel • Ossotel • The Colony Hotel
• Best Midrange & Cheap Hotels in Kuta, Legian, & Seminyak
Kuta Beach • Febri’s Hotel & Spa • Akmani Legian • Mercure Legian • Three Brothers Bungalows • Puri Cendana Resort • Seminyak Square Hotel • Sorga Cottages • Pondok Sari Kuta • AB Hotel Kuta • Yan’s House Hotel • Adys Inn • Amerta Seminyak
Best Areas to Stay in Kuta-Seminyak
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Sightseeing: Petitenget
The Balinese had no interest in this beachside region until tourism quickly developed from the 1960s, so few temples or other cultural sights were built, and there are virtually no Bali-style attractions among all the malls, hotels, and nightclubs. Although now part of the greater Seminyak, Petitenget offers more of a village vibe, evidenced by the revered temple and occasional rice-fields somehow surviving the unrestrained construction of villas. Unlike traffic-clogged sections of Kuta and Legian, Petitenget is comparatively accessible for day tours of the central highlands and for quick trips at sunset to the amazing cliff-side temple at Tanah Lot.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Clubs and Bars: Kuta Backstreets
Around the invisible border between Kuta and Legian is a cluster of multi-level nightclubs extremely popular with the younger crowds of foreign tourists. With DJs playing techno and house music for those who can tell the difference, these clubs rarely get going until after 10pm. The major road, Jalan Legian, is also packed with low-key bars offering tempting happy hours and competitively-priced menus. The backstreets of Kuta are obviously handy for nightlife – a major attraction for some – and the abundance of other amenities, but some hotels will be noisy from music at night and traffic during the day.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Live Music: Seminyak (around Seminyak Square)
Most nightclubs around the ‘border’ between Kuta and Legian (see above) and the chic beach-clubs along Seminyak Beach offer some of Asia’s trendiest DJs. In contrast, classy bars and bistros along the backstreets of Seminyak provide sophisticated live music in a relaxed atmosphere. Bands playing R&B, jazz, and rock/pop can be found along the streets more conveniently located around Seminyak Square, but it’s often a matter of luck to know who is playing and where.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Food & Restaurants: Seminyak Beach
The quality and value of eateries and the deliciousness of Balinese and Indonesian food are even more reasons why so many flock to Bali. Dining at places along noisy main streets is considerably less appealing than anywhere along the beach at Seminyak. World-class restaurants offering extended menus and internationally-trained chefs are dotted along a pedestrian-only path facing the sea, including Chez Gado Gado and La Lucciola. A string of more affordable and laidback cafés just up from the Double-Six resort are uniquely positioned on the beach. Each afternoon, these cafés also scatter beanbags along the sand for the magical combination of sunsets and cocktails, often enhanced by live music.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for the Beach: Kuta Beach
Kuta is one of the best-known beaches in Southeast Asia. The sand stretches several kilometres down to Southern Kuta (Tuban) where the beach can disappear at high tide and north to Seminyak where the sand soon turns a less inviting gray. At Kuta, the golden sands are dotted with makeshift stalls selling cold drinks and offering surfboard rentals and repairs (and lessons). The waves – and the number of surfers attracted to them – can make swimming potentially dangerous, however, so always swim between the flags where lifeguards operate. And, of course, there is no end to the number of places to eat, drink, and stay along the beachside road and, especially, the backstreets nearby.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Surfing: Legian Beach
Legian offers the same sort of waves and amenities like surfboard rentals and repairs (and lessons) as Kuta, just to the south. Legian is better for surfing, however, because there are fewer swimmers and beach-lovers than Kuta, while parts of Seminyak (to the north) can be isolated and the sand is less appealing. Several resorts and beach-clubs along Legian Beach face the sea and vehicle-free path alongside it and the backstreets are crammed with other facilities. More experienced surfers may head to specialized areas along the southern peninsula, about 25kms away, such as Padang Padang and Ulu Watu.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Swimming: Legian Beach
Waves along this part of the coast are more suitable for surfing than swimming – with the exception of Southern Kuta (Tuban), where the beach can disappear at high tide. Inexperienced swimmers may find the size of the waves and number of surfers disconcerting – and everyone should swim between the flags where lifeguards operate. Legian Beach is less crowded than Kuta Beach and the sand is mostly white, whereas it turns a less inviting gray in Seminyak to the north. Many of the resorts facing Legian Beach cater exceptionally well for families, and all face the quiet, vehicle-free path rather than a noisy beachside road.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Outdoor Activities: Southern Kuta (Tuban)
The waves along Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak are not favorable for any water-sports other than surfing. Parasailing, jet-skiing, and other sea-based activities can be easily organised at other regions in southern Bali, namely Sanur, Nusa Dua, and, especially, Tanjung Benoa – and all three places are easily accessible by taxi from Southern Kuta via a tollway. An abundance of other outdoor fun, such as mountain-biking, rafting, and hiking, are mostly in central Bali. Hotel transfers for these are normally included in organized tours and with comparatively easier access to hotels in Southern Kuta along one main road, less time will probably be spent in traffic.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Families: Southern Kuta (Tuban)
The crowds, traffic, and noise can be overwhelming around the beach and narrow backstreets of Kuta, Legian, and, to a lesser degree, Seminyak – especially for those travelling with children. However, most amenities in Southern Kuta are based along, or just off, a single main road. In this area, spacious resorts among vast gardens and facing the sea cater very well for families and are within walking distance of two impressive shopping malls. Other advantages are proximity to the airport and ease of travelling around southern Bali by taxi via a nearby tollway. The bad news is that parts of the beach are less appealing and the sand can disappear at high tide, but the magnificent beach at Kuta is still nearby.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Serenity: Legian Beach
With so many tourists and locals in such a compact area the crowds, traffic, and noise can affect some holidaymakers. Some quickly move to more sedate areas in the countryside like Ubud or to beaches along the east coast, such as Padangbai. Kuta is always crowded, and parts of Seminyak are quiet but isolated, while other sections are dominated by noisy beach-clubs. For the greatest possibility of serenity stay at Legian Beach, where resorts are spacious, allowing more tranquillity and privacy, and many face a vehicle-free path alongside the beach.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Vibe & Culture: Petitenget
Balinese have always regarded the interior, especially around the sacred volcanoes, as far more important spiritually than the coastlines of sand, swamp, and cliffs. Virtually no cultural attractions or villages existed along this coastline before Kuta developed for tourism in the 1960s, so Bali’s unique culture, history, and religion is restricted to the very occasional temple. (One in Kuta is alongside a McDonald’s.) Now swallowed by the sprawl of Seminyak, Petitenget retains some semblance of tradition; in parts, locals outnumber tourists and the Masceti Temple is revered enough to host festivals and ceremonies.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Walking & Cycling: Along the Coast
Walking around Kuta, Legian, and, to a lesser degree, Seminyak is mostly just about getting from A to B and rarely enjoyable. The traffic along the main roads and crowds around the backstreets are made even worse by footpaths that are non-existent or used to park motorbikes. Thankfully, a path along the beach stretches about 7kms from near the airport to the southern edge of Seminyak. A few shops in the backstreets of Legian and Seminyak, and some resorts in Seminyak near the sea, rent bicycles, but cycling (and walking) is not nearly as popular as imagined or easy to arrange.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Malls: Kuta Beach
The two excellent shopping malls – Lippo and Discovery – facing the beach at Southern Kuta (Tuban) have recently been outshined by the magnificent Beachwalk Shopping Center conveniently midway along the beachside road at Kuta. The quality and range of places to eat, drink, and, especially, shop is world-class, and it’s pleasingly spacious, airy, and not overbuilt. With a cinema, games arcade, and child-minding center, some tourists, especially those with children, stay all day – particularly when it’s too hot or wet outside.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Markets: Kuta Backstreets
As the region continues to develop even further there is minimal space and desire for the sort of markets found in genuine villages across Bali. Yet, incredibly, along a section of Jalan Pantai Kuta (the beachside road) after it heads inland all sorts of fresh produce is sprawled across the footpaths and onto the road. Starting from before dawn, the market is a glimpse of traditional village life among all the hedonism, but most visitors wouldn’t know because it’s all over by about 8am. The Kuta Art Market is misnamed: it offers row after row of stalls selling little more than Bintang Beer singlets and phallic-shaped bottle-openers.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Boutiques: Seminyak (around Seminak Square)
Seminyak is clearly more sophisticated than Kuta and Legian. Shops lining the meandering roads leading to the beaches are often called ‘boutiques’ and many sell far more interesting items than ‘I Love Bali’ caps and pirated DVDs. A range of quality products are sold, including Balinese lace, silk sarongs, hand-made jewellery, and tailor-made shirts. The finest choice is in the compact area that includes Seminyak Square, a small but delightful shopping center, and the backstreets surrounding it.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Transport: Kuta Backstreets
The Kuta/Legian/Seminyak area is larger than most visitors imagine, and getting around generally involves a lot of walking. To more distant facilities within this region and to other areas of southern Bali, such as Sanur and Nusa Dua, simply catch a taxi. Every second vehicle around Kuta seems to be a taxi, and all are metered, air-conditioned, and almost without exception operated by polite, English-speaking drivers. To other regions elsewhere in Bali, such as Ubud, Lovina, and Padangbai, tourist shuttlebuses are cheap and frequent. The only company offering services throughout Bali is Perama, which has an office on Jalan Legian (the main road through Kuta), while Kura-Kura also runs services between Kuta and Ubud, Nusa Dua, and Sanur.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for the Airport: Southern Kuta (Tuban)
One major attraction for many visitors staying anywhere along this part of the coast is simply its proximity to the airport, thereby avoiding lengthy and tiring transfers by road or boat before and after flights. Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak may appear close to the airport, but traffic congestion often lengthens travel times by taxi. Southern Kuta is only about 10 minutes by taxi at any time along a road that flows comparatively well, and the best area for overnight stays between connections to, for example, Jakarta or Lombok.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for First-Timers: Petitenget
As explained earlier, the crowds, noise, traffic, and street-side hawkers can even be tiring for regular visitors anywhere in this part of Bali. Some tourists are unaware and either head as soon as possible to smaller and quieter areas like Ubud or even to another Indonesian island or Asian country. Now part of Seminyak’s urban sprawl, Petitenget retains a village-style feel, where a revered temple used for ceremonies faces the ocean and is positioned alongside a creek. Streets in this area are far less congested than Kuta and Legian, and the overall pace is considerably less hectic.
• Best Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak for Romantic Holidays: All over Seminyak
One of the most romantic things to do on Bali is simply watch the fiery sunsets. Several classy bistro/bars facing Seminyak Beach offer intimate tables, an extensive wine list, and live music, while more laidback cafés on the sand provide beanbags for cocktails and sunset-watching. Throughout Seminyak, many opulent resorts and cozy boutique-style hotels offer special rooms and package deals for honeymooners. Also, the backstreets are scattered with villas – most individually-owned (ie not part of a large resort), many featuring a private pool, and several surrounded by rice-fields.
• Safest Area in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak: Petitenget
Bali is quite probably safer than the places tourists come from. Most possible dangers are self-inflicted, eg taking drugs and excessive drinking. The other major potential hazards are occasional accidents between vehicles and pedestrians – so always be cautious when walking – and infrequent physical assaults among hard-drinking tourists, often around the nightclubs of Kuta and Legian. The safest area is among the backstreets of Petitenget (now part of Seminyak), a more traditional area where locals often outnumber tourists.
The Best Areas in Kuta for First-Time Visitors
1. Kuta Beach
Kuta Beach is world-famous for a reason: it offers blue water, white sand, and crimson sunsets that are best enjoyed while sipping beers from a makeshift stall on the sand. The waves are popular among surfers – and rentals, repairs, and lessons are readily available – so it’s not always ideal for swimming, especially for children and the inexperienced. Unlike Legian, Seminyak, and Southern Kuta, a busy road alongside Kuta Beach separates the few luxury resorts and boutique hotels facing the sea from the sand, but they are all very handy to the world-class Beachwalk Shopping Center. A seemingly unlimited supply of cheaper hotels, as well as competitively-priced restaurants, bars, and shops, are crammed among the backstreets of Kuta (see below).
• Best Hotels near Kuta Beach: AlamKulkul • Sheraton Kuta Resort • Pullman Legian Beach • The Stones • Coast Boutique Apartments • Kuta Seaview • Hard Rock Hotel • Grand Inna Kuta • Mercure Kuta Bali
2. Kuta Backstreets
Because of the high rates charged by the comparatively few hotels and resorts facing the sea, most tourists staying in Kuta choose hotels along the backstreets. There seems no end to the number of places to eat, drink, and shop along the overcrowded, meandering lanes – especially Poppies Lane I and Poppies Lane II, which both stretch between the beachside road and main shopping street (Jalan Legian). The extraordinary choice of accommodation ranges from family-run homestays built during the 1960s to midrange hotels new and old, but very rarely the sort of villas common in Seminyak and the large family-friendly resorts found at Legian and Tuban. This area is also very handy for nightclubs and transport by taxi and tourist shuttlebus, and there’s even an early-morning produce market along the footpaths. Rates are generally competitive, but standards vary enormously, and note: anywhere on or near Jalan Legian will be noisy.
• Best Hotels in Kuta Backstreets: The Magani Hotel and Spa • Grand Barong Resort • Four Points by Sheraton Bali • Kuta Puri Bungalows • Poppies Hotel • Kuta Beach • Sorga Cottages
3. Southern Kuta (Tuban)
The area south of Kuta between where the beachside road heads inland and the airport is officially called Tuban, but the section closer to Kuta is often more conveniently labelled ‘Southern Kuta’. Similar to Legian (but unlike Kuta), this area offers spacious family-friendly resorts that face the sea and are distant from the main road, while well-priced midrange options can be found along the tranquil backstreets. The advantages of staying here are that most hotels are within walking distance of Kuta and two major malls, Lippo and Discovery; the backstreets, especially in the south, are more like a village than a tourist enclave; access via a tollway to other areas of southern Bali is easier; and it’s very close to the airport, yet unaffected by plane noise. The downside is that the beach disappears in places or is unappealingly gray. And note: hotels too far from the beach and/or Kuta will feel isolated.
• Best Hotels in Tuban: Bali Dynasty Resort • Bali Garden Beach Resort • Amnaya Resort Kuta • SOL by Meliá Kuta Bali • Royal Regantris Kuta • Jepun Bali Hotel • Nyaman Bali • Febri’s Hotel & Spa • AB Hotel Kuta • Yan’s House Hotel