After securing a spot on the tourist map back in the 1930s, Bali has blossomed into a destination that draws a huge range of traveller types. As a result, accommodation options around this Indonesian jewel are equally as diverse. So, it stands to reason that before choosing where to stay, you’ll want to know what to expect from different areas and options, which is where our guide to where to stay in Bali comes in.
In general, Bali boasts a high standard of accommodation. It’s a place where even the most basic budget options are pretty inviting.
Where you choose to stay in Bali, and the kind of accommodation you go for, will invariably be dictated by your budget.
If you’re counting the pennies, you could consider the losmen option – while the term means homestay, it’s also applied to hostels.
In the market for mid-range accommodation? Moderately-priced boutique hotels are one of the things Bali does best. Usually small and intimate places, these often offer stunning views, elegant furnishings and top-notch food.
At the other end of the scale, Bali is no stranger to luxury hotels. We’re talking sweeping grounds, palatial suites and private plunge pools.
Travelling with a large group or family? Bali’s villa options are varied, and often include the services of a cook and housekeeper.
Whatever your budget, and whatever you hope to take from your trip, our run-down of where to stay in Bali has every option covered.
Travel tip: to take the hassle out of planning and booking, check-out our customisable Bali itineraries.
In terms of landscape, Canggu offers a wonderful blend of wild surf beaches and paddy field scenery.
All that considered, Canggu draws creative types looking for laidback experiences.
In terms of accommodation, Canggu isn’t short of stylish hotels and uber-luxurious villas, with plenty of pilates studios and hipster barber shops to keep you trim (and trimmed).
If you’ve come for peace, be assured that all the action is well dissipated. With bars, cafes, hotels (and barber shops) scattered among rice fields and behind beaches, the Canggu area retains a neo-rustic feel, with no urban sprawl.
RoughGuides Tip: make sure to read about the best tours in Bali
Find more places to stay in Canggu.
The beach is what first drew travellers here, and that still remains the case. Though often crowded, the fine biscuit-coloured sand covers a long stretch. And, as a result of its awe-inspiring sunsets, Kuta beach made it into our run-down of the best beaches in Indonesia.
The two main lanes, Poppies 1 and 2, and the winding alleys around and between them, are the main accommodation hubs, with a mix of options for different budgets.
To escape the crowds and find quieter places to stay, head south, where Kuta Beach officially becomes Tuban (often called South Kuta).
This area is often the choice of families or older couples, many of whom stay in resort hotels with direct access to the beach.
Travel tip: the best time of year for surfing off Kuta is during the dry season (April–Oct). At other times, surfers head east to Sanur and Nusa Dua.
Browse more accommodation in Kuta.
First up, the Uluwatu surf breaks that wrap around the cliffs on the Bukit’s tip are legendary. There are five left-handers, all consistent and surfable from two to fifteen feet. Bear in mind, this is no place for novice surfers.
Secondly, Uluwatu is home to one of Bali’s holiest temples and most iconic sights. Namely, Pura Luhur Uluwatu.
Superbly sited on the edge of a sheer promontory that juts above the foaming surf at the island’s tip, Pura Luhur is one of the best temples in Bali.
If you haven’t come to surf, the views over the serrated coastline are stunning, and a favourite spot at sunset.
Given these main reasons for visiting, it’ll come as no purpose that accommodation in Uluwatu is geared towards villas with epic views and bungalows within reach of those incredible breaks.
Find more places to stay in Uluwatu.
As a result, today Seminyak is a more mainstream resort area, though it still boasts lots of indie boutiques, galleries and eateries of the quality that first made it popular.
Most restaurants are found along Jalan Kayu Aya, and at the northern end of Jalan Petitenget.
Meanwhile, Seminyak’s Jalan Camplung Tanduk is the area’s centre for gay nightlife.
In terms of accommodation, Seminyak mainly offers mid- to high-end hotels and resorts, and a smattering of family-run budget options.
Browse more accommodation in Seminyak.
While it’s true Sanur is somewhat lacking in clubbing and all-night partying venues (some nickname the place “Snore”), for many visitors that’s a wonderful thing.
With calm shallow water, it’s also a safe spot for the kids, with two surf breaks and some so-so diving if you want to get more active.
As for accommodation, there are beds to suit every budget in Sanur, and few duds. The quality is generally high and you get more space and better facilities for your rupiah or dollar here than in Kuta– Legian–Seminyak.
Find more places to stay in Sanur.
A manicured, gated enclave, Nusa Dua was purpose-built to indulge upmarket tourists while simultaneously protecting local communities from the impact of mass tourism.
It’s fair to say that most visitors come here for the beach — a long ribbon of mostly pale gold sand.
Halfway down the shoreline, the land blossoms out into two little clumps, or “islands” (Nusa Dua means “Two Islands”), with a temple standing on each one.
Here, fancy resorts dominate accommodation options — think modern design, multiple pools and loads of on-site activities — with a few b&b options on the fringes.
Explore more accommodation in Nusa Dua.
Into yoga? You’ll love our customisable Bali Yoga Retreat trip.
In addition, being set among lush rice paddies, Ubud offers lots of rewarding opportunities for visitors to explore Bali’s beautiful landscapes.
When it comes to deciding where to stay, Ubud has a vast array of accommodation options.
Choose from family homestays in traditional compounds, or mid-range hotels with pools and artistic panache.
If you’re in the market for splashing out, Ubud’s upscale accommodation is truly luxurious, and often come with river or rice paddy views.
Discover more places to stay in Ubud.
While its dark sand might not be most people’s vision of a dream tropical beach, Lovina has a decidedly Balinese, non-international feel, which ensures its enjoyably mellow vibe.
In short, Lovina is a great place to get off the beaten path in Bali and immerse yourself in Balinese culture.
Spread along 8km of grey-sand beach, it encompasses seven merged villages, with Kalibukbuk at its heart. Here you’ll find the bulk of Lovina’s accommodation, restaurants and facilities.
East of Kalibukbuk, the Banyualit side road runs down to the sea. Quiet and green, with banana palms dotted between the small hotels, this area is favoured by long-stay visitors and older tourists from northern Europe.
Meanwhile, Anturan, 2.2km east of Kalibukbuk, has more of a backpacker vibe, with most places to stay located on or near the village beach.
Browse more accommodation in Lovina.
The village is located along the 15km coastline from Culik to Aas in the east of Bali, with the entire stretch also known as Amed.
For first-time snorkellers, the coastline offers incredible easy-access reefs. These include Pyramid Reef, which is located just offshore at Congkang.
Together with neighbouring Jemuluk, the Congkang area offers a decent spread of accommodation and useful tourist facilities, such as restaurants and dive shops.
Taling of which, Amed is also a pretty great place for divers, with its Japanese Shipwreck dive site also an option for non-divers — parts of it are visible from the surface.
Explore more accommodation in Amed.