Where to stay in Bali

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 25.04.2024

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.

Overview of where to stay in Bali 

Whether you’re a diver, backpacker, or have come in search of cultural or spiritual experiences, our guide to where to stay in Bali will help you decide where to base yourself, and which option beat suits your needs and budget.

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.

Bali rice terraces

Wondering where to stay in Bali? Take you pick from rural retreats, yoga retreats and blissful beach villas © Shutterstock

1. Canggu — best for laidback hipsters 

Bali’s most fashionable district is a semi-rural region replete with cool bars, elegant boutique hotels and organic cafés. 

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

    Where to stay in Canggu  

  • Best for budget travellers: Serenity Guesthouse is an easy-going place with ramshackle charm, homely rooms and a backpackers’ annexe. They have bikes for rent and horse-riding can be arranged. 
  • Best for all-out luxury: Hotel Tugu Bali evokes Indonesian tradition like nowhere else. You stay in a polished teak house, beautifully furnished with antiques, and many have private plunge pools.
  • Best for surfers and yogis: The Chillhouse offers surfing, massage and yoga packages. 500m from the beach, bikes are available, and you can stay in rooms, bungalows or a treetop loft.

Find more places to stay in Canggu.

Bali coast near Canggu © Shutterstock

Bali's coast near Canggu © Shutterstock

2. Kuta — best for party animals and surfers

Young, fun and undeniably brash, Kuta, is the original Balinese mass resort area, and popular with budget travellers, surfers and party-seekers. 

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.

  • Best for budget travellersH-Ostel Kuta Square is close to vibrant nightlife, and shopping and 200m from the beach. All dorms are a/c and bunks are equipped with charging sockets, reading lights and lockers.
  • Best for tranquil charm: Poppies Cottages offer a genuinely warm welcome, with twenty charming, traditionally styled thatched cottages set in a tropical garden, and many repeat visitors. 
  • Best for families: MAMAKA by Ovolo is a few steps away from Kuta Beach and 500 m from Beachwalk Mall, MAMAKA by Ovolo provides accommodation with a restaurant, free private parking, a rooftop pool with beach views and a 24-hour fitness centre.. 

Browse more accommodation in Kuta.

Umbrellas at Kuta Beach © Chris Howey / Shutterstock

Kuta Beach is bright, breezy and often brash © Chris Howey / Shutterstock

3. Uluwatu — best for epic icons and surfing

There are two main reasons visitors rate Uluwatu, both of them pretty darn epic. 

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.  

    Where to stay in Uluwatu 

  • Best for luxury and views: located on a cliff, Alila Villas Uluwatu has stunning villas, and an infinity pool that's graced the cover of many a glossy magazine. 
  • Best for good value: The Gong is a long-running, family-run budget guest house with twelve clean rooms (including bunks) and a pool. 

Find more places to stay in Uluwatu.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu, Bali © Shutterstock

Wondering where to stay in Bali for epic views and surf? Look no further than near Pura Luhur, Uluwatu © Shutterstock

 4. Seminyak — best for foodies

After being favoured by the jet set and hipsters up until around 2005, over-development and an increasingly Kuta-esque sprawl led to Seminyak experiencing something of an exodus.  

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.

    Where to stay in Seminyak

  • Best for stylish big-spenders: W Bali-Seminyak is a playful, glamourous resort city for hipsters, with 159 well-appointed rooms and 79 garden villas with private pools.  
  • Best for familiesBlue-Zea Resort by Double-Six is a good-quality resort hotel near the beach. Tasteful modern rooms gather around a split-level lagoon-style pool. 
  • Best for budget travellersInada Losmen has a dozen basic rooms with private bathrooms, and friendly vibes. 

Browse more accommodation in Seminyak.

Enjoying sunset on beach of Seminyak © Shutterstock

Seminyak sunsets are a thing to behold © Shutterstock

5. Sanur — best for laidback lounging

An appealingly low-key destination behind 5km of fine beach, Sanur boasts a relaxed, hustle-free atmosphere. 

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.  

    Where to stay in Sanur 

  • Best for art-lovers: a quirky little place dedicated to contemporary art, the Artotel Sanur has a rooftop pool, and each room is uniquely artistic.
  • Best for families: Inna Sindhu Beach Hotel & Resort is right on the beach, with two-storey Balinese-décor accommodation and a kids' swimming pool.
  • Best for serenitySudamala Resort has a private area on one of Sanur's quieter beaches, Mertasari (a few minutes away by leisurely stroll), plus a spa and daily yoga.

Find more places to stay in Sanur.

Traditional fishing boats on a beach in Sanur on Bali © Shutterstock

Fishing boats in Sanur, Bali © Shutterstock

6. Nusa Dua — best for high-end holidays 

Some 14km southeast of Kuta, Nusa Dua — Bali’s most carefully designed high-end beach resort — luxuriates along a coastal stretch of reclaimed mangrove swamp. 

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.   

    Where to stay in Nusa Dua 

  • Best for families: Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort is a landmark resort with contemporary style, three restaurants, two bars, a gorgeous pool, fine spa and a kids’ club.  
  • Best for luxury: uncluttered lines, pale cream stone and dark wood give Conrad Bali enormous style.  
  • Best for beauty on a budget: Pondok Agung Bed & Breakfast, a treasure on Banoa's quieter end, boasts Balinese-style cottages and rooms in a lovely garden.

Explore more accommodation in Nusa Dua.

Nusa Dua, Bali © Daniel-James Clarke / Shutterstock

Nusa Dua, Bali © Daniel-James Clarke / Shutterstock

7. Ubud — best for culture and yoga 

With an abundance of temples, museums and craft studios, Ubud is also one of Asia’s leading yoga centres, and great place to kick-start health kicks, as suggested in our travel tips for Bali.

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.  

    Where to stay in Ubud 

  • Best for serenity: away from the bustle of central Ubud and close to nature, Aruna Villa has two a/c villas with pool views and excellent service. 
  • Best for immersive eco-travel: Tegal Sari is an ecologically conscious, solar-powered place, with tasteful rooms, massage facilities and opportunities for cookery classes, day-treks and village visits.  
  • Best for yoga chic: at Wapa di Ume Ubud, each room has a rice paddy view. There’s also a pool, spa, restaurant, and free daily yoga class. 

Discover more places to stay in Ubud.

Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati Temple in Ubud, Bali island, Indonesia © Pelikh Alexey/Shutterstock

Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati Temple in Ubud, Bali island, Indonesia © Pelikh Alexey/Shutterstock

8. Lovina — best for low-key immersion

Northern Bali’s primary beach, Lovina remains a low-rise, low-key sort of place, especially when compared to its southern counterparts. 

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. 

    Where to stay in Lovina 

  • Best for luxury: The Damai Lovina combines elegance and luxury in a tranquil hillside location. 4km inland, there are butler-serviced villas, plus a spa, and spectacularly sited pool.  
  • Best for good-value in a great location: Frangipani Beach Hotel offers boutique hotel style and service at good-value prices, with all the rooms set round a lawn and pool.  
  • Best for resort-life convenience: Lovina Beach Hotel has 66 villas and suites, nine plunge pools, two main pools, a kids club, restaurant, beach bar, spa and fitness studio.

Browse more accommodation in Lovina.


Watching dolphins is one of the best things to do in Lovina © Shutterstock

 9. Amed — best for snorkelling and chilling  

The fishing village of Amed is a great base if you’re looking to combine chilling out with some mighty fine water activities. 

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.

    Where to stay in Amed

  • Best for beachside beauty: At the Life in Amed Beach Hotel, all the bungalows have antique-style furniture and extra beds in the loft, with decent snorkelling on your doorstep.
  • Best for organic living: Meditasi Bungalows & Villas is a lovely isolated place with a social vibe, daily yoga classes, eight bamboo bungalows, four luxury rooms, and organic restaurant.
  • Best for low-cost lovelinessEka Purnama Cottages is an excellent budget choice, especially for snorkellers — you can practically see reef fish from the verandas of its bamboo bungalows

Explore more accommodation in Amed.

View of Agung volcano from the ocean,  Amed, Karangasem Regency, Bali, Indonesia © Shutterstock

Agung volcano viewed from Amed, Bali © Shutterstock

Ready to book your trip to Bali? You might want to get yourself a copy of The Rough Guide to Bali and Lombok

Alternatively, for more inspiration, browse our customisable Bali itineraries, or talk to our local experts to start curating your dream trip.

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 25.04.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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