Bali Places to Stay
Bali Places to Stay
Kuta Beach & Legian (West coast, South Bali)
Busiest beach (many vendors, masseuses, beach boys, etc, high waves, currents, great for trying out surfing, still good for swimming) lined by numerous hotels and resorts, mostly in the 2- to 4-star categories. Although this is the tourism centre of Bali, as you can see on the picture below, this beach is so huge and wide that it feels not too crowded even if it is crowded. Enjyoing the sunset with a cool drink wile watching the locals and tourists play soccer or catching the last waved before it’s dark, is still something one should not miss when coming to Bali
Kuta and Legian (grown into one township during the past decade and spreading further north every month) are the centers of Bali’s night life with a great number of restaurants, pubs, open bars, discos, and all kinds of super markets, department stores, and shops selling casual wear and beach fashions, antiques, handicrafts and souvenirs. Daily traffic jams and many, sometimes quite insistent hawkers have made this very untypical and rather ugly part of Bali a nightmare for many visitors.
Recommended if you are looking for action, excitement, or just for a night out, but certainly not for a family vacation or romantic honeymoon.
Seminyak to Batubelig, Kerobokan, Umalas and Tanah Lot (West coast, South Bali)
This used to be a rather rural, mostly residential area, stretching a few miles north from Legian. Good, off-white, sandy beach with powerful waves and some strong currents, and getting less crowded the further you move to the North. Fast increasing number of hotels and villas, great but reasonably priced restaurants and Bali’s most interesting clubs, pubs and discos as well as shops selling casual wear, fashion, designer stuff in any form and shape, furniture, antiques, decorative items and handicrafts…. .
Recommended for visitors who wish to be somewhat away from the loud party crowds but appreciate easy access to Legian, and Kuta. Access to other parts of the island is equally good as you don’t have to pass through crowded Kuta. Between Seminyak and Batubelig, and in the beautiful, still rural area stretching further North to Canggu and up to Tanah Lot you’ll also find some of Bali’s most attractive vacation villas, serene ricefield settings and surfcamps.
Ubud and Surroundings, Central Bali
The town of Ubud is to Bali what Jogyakarta is to Java – culturally speaking. Ubud is where most accomplished painters, dancers, musicians, carvers and weavers live and work, and there are a number of very good museums and art galleries. Because of its location at the base of the mountains (about 19 miles or 30 kilometers north of Denpasar) temperatures are slightly lower than in the lowlands, and year-round rain showers help to grow lush tropical vegetation.
The town itself has developed rapidly, and today the main roads are lined with art shops, handicraft and souvenir shops, as well as many restaurants and cafés. Until late afternoon tourist groups and other day-visitors are roaming shops and eateries. Ubud is also the centre of what one could call “Green Bali”. You can find great vegan, vegetarian and even raw food restaurants, more and more restaurants bann plastic straws, no plastic bags in the shops. There are yoga schools, meditation centres, psychic readings, raw chocolate courses and people who seek alternative healing will find what they are looking for. Detox smoothies, green juices and organic food are found on many menues nowadays, and visitors and business owners are more environmentally cautious here. After sunset, the shops start to close and Ubud becomes more quiet.
Tourists like to come here to watch at night the unique and world famous Balinese Dance performances – not all are excellent, but it would be difficult to leave Bali without having been to a show at least once.
Ubud is also a great place to start day trips to visit temples, the zoo and bird park, hot springs… .
Accommodation ranges from very cheap, very basic "losmens", quite expensive but equally basic "losmens", to some of Bali’s best-known and most expensive boutique hotels and beautiful private villas. Most of these are located in Sayan a few miles away overlooking the picturesque Ayung river valley.
Jimbaran Beach (West coast, South of the airport)
Probably Bali’s best beach with decent hotels and accommodation: nearly white sand, waves not too high for swimming, wind surfing, and sailing (no motorized water sports activities); not too many tourists,. A few up-market hotels and resorts, and a fast increasing number of unpretentious but good seafood restaurants right on the water front. Highly recommended for watching Bali’s famous sunsets, eating delicious seafood and relaxing. Located just a few miles south of the airport.
Nusa Dua & Tanjung Benoa & the Bukit (Southern peninsula)
Bali’s southern peninsula is where you find today most of the island’s international 4- and 5-star Bali Hotels and Resorts – set in Nusa Dua’s manicured and not very Balinese garden environment. Nice beach with shallow water, no high waves. All kinds of water sports, 18-hole golf course. Nusa Dua Galleria center with a variety of rather expensive restaurants, shops, and department stores. Some more reasonably priced restaurants are located in adjacent Tanjung Benoa and Bualu village. No night life to speak of. About 12 km/7.5 miles from the airport.
An increasing number of private villas is being built on the Bukit, the hill South of the airport. Many of these offer spectacular views of the sea, Kuta, Denpasar, Sanur and Bali’s mountains. The climate is much cooler and much more dry – even if it rains in most parts of Bali you can expect sunny days here.
Tuban, (Kuta, West coast, North of the airport)
The most busy area with many hotels and resorts of all categories right on or near the beach (powerful waves, at times strong currents, . Many restaurants and shops along the main road. Located between Kuta and Bali’s international airport.
Sanur Beach (East coast, South Bali)
This is where you’d find 35 years ago all of Bali’s international standard hotels although the beach was never outstanding. Today the beach is clean and they have managed to build small marinas, to protect the sand from washing away, as it happened in Candi Dasa. Sanur is rather quiet compared to Kuta and Nusa Dua but is still popular with old-time visitors and some foreign residents. Beautiful hotels such as the infamous Tandjung Sari Hotel enchant their guests with stand alone bungalows, lush Balinese gardens and an atmpsohere that gets close to the Westerner’s Bali Dream that emerged during the 60ies and 70ies.
Candidasa & Lovina, East & North Bali
These two tourist centers in the East and North of Bali have become popular meeting places for all those visitors wanting to get away from the tourists. Both offer a number of often quite simple but adequate hotels and restaurants. Beaches around Candi Dasa, however, have kind of disappeared during the last decade after most coral reefs in the area were destroyed, and many visitors do not like the black sand covering most beaches in the North of Bali.