Ahhh Bali! I LOVE Bali! And so do many, many others, too! And there’s a great reason why; Bali is great for just about anyone. Singles, Couples, Families, Digital Nomads, Luxury Hotel Go-ers, Adventurers, Budget Travellers, Sun Seekers, and The Eat, Pray, Lovers. Shall I keep going? The only people Bali isn’t great for is if they absolutely hate basking in the sun, being pampered for a reasonable price, don’t like the sounds of the ocean, or being in awe of magnificent rice terraces. If that’s you, you should probably stop reading now!
But there’s one question that I get time, and time again. Where should I stay in Bali? My answer is never simple. It usually involves a series of questions like;
- What do you like to do on vacation? Sight see? Never leave the hotel? Be pampered? A mix?
- What kind of hotels do you like to stay in? Ultra Luxury? Boutique? Budget? Some where in the middle?
- Do you have children? If so, how old? Do you like to bring them along for activities? Or, would like to do activities, but you’re afraid they won’t like this or you can’t do it with them? Great thing about Bali is nannies are readily available to care for children for the entire trip or on call. And they’re usually very affordable! Most care takers in Asia come from Indonesia or the Philippines.
If you’re the type of person that’s up for just about anything then that’s perfect, too!
Seminyak is located about 45 minutes north of Denpasar airport with traffic. Five-six years ago, Seminyak was on it’s way to the top, now it’s BOOMING! Which if you’re trying to avoid the crowds, maybe this area isn’t for you. Seminyak is still on my list of places to visit because it’s great for first time Bali goers who want some action. But to be honest it is home to some of my favourite shops, and cafes as well. Seminyak is also home to the popular beach clubs like Ku-De-Ta, Potato Head Bali, and Mrs. Sippy Bali (this place isn’t on the beach, so it’s more of a day club). When you hear beach club, it’s not like your Las Vegas, Ibiza, Mykonos clubs, it is A LOT more mellow. If you don’t want to go during the day, then I HIGHLY suggest going a least for sunset. Sunsets are quite the activity in Bali, people tend to not miss a single one.
Like I said before, I go to Seminyak for shopping. You can find loas of good brands here; local, and international. There are even little amazing knock-off stores here (if you’re into that). Seminyak is also home to a lot of those great instagrammable cafes that you see in Bali, however, you’ll find those just about anywhere in Bali. Seminyak definitely has the most!
The beach in here isn’t the nicest. So it’s probably best to try to get a villa, or hotel with a nice pool to cool off in the middle of the day.
Click Here for the most instagrammable cafes in Seminyak.
Canggu is probably my favourite areas of them all! The first time I visited Canggu was April 2018, the last time I went was April 2019, and so much has changed even in that one year! This place is what Seminyak used to be one 6-7 years ago, but maybe not even as cool. Canggu is a super chilled out place, a few beach clubs, a few luxury hotels, and a little main road you’ll find full of great little shopping boutiques, and restaurants.
Click Here for the best hotels and villas in the Canggu area.
Canggu is also known for its surfing, that’s how this area became popular. The beach itself isn great, in fact it’s a bit disappointing because you’ll come to find the beach is a bit littered. But don’t let that deter you. Canggu is an amazing little gem and definitely more of a younger hipper vibe, but that doesn’t mean families are out. Lots of families like this area because there are sprawling villas fit for 6-15 people. Which is ideal if you’ve got a crew!
You can tell Canggu is more health diven due to the amount of yoga studios, fitness studios, and healthy cafes. If you ever go to cafe in Canggu and wonder why so many people look to be at work rather than just enjoying the scene, it’s because they actually are working! There is a high concentration of digital nomads here in Canggu. They probably set up shop here in Canggu because villas and housing tend to be a bit more affordable than the rest of Bali, cafes are a plenty, wifi is decent, and the environment is a little less hectic than Bali’s counterparts. At least for now!
Uluwatu is probably the most breathtaking area of Bali. It’s located in Balis’ southernmost part. It’s know for it’s incredible cliff side views, as well as surf break just near the famous Single Finns restaurant. Single Finns is great just about any time of day the views are next to none, and great surf watching. If you’re super lucky you might even catch a very rare Dugong frolicking just below the surface just out front of Single Finn. Best to see this in the morning, sunset there will be too much glare. No one knows why the Dugong is there, but mostly likely the food is rich here and not much competition.
If you’re not able to pony up the money for the cliff side resort digs, there are plenty of cliff side day clubs to choose from here, even one beach club, too. All of these venues require a minimum to enter usually good towards food and beverage. But it’s WORTH it!
Click Here for to see a list of all the day clubs in the Uluwatu area.
Ubud is probably unlike any other place you’ve visited before in the past. It’s far from most other places in Bali with its location near the centre of the Balinese island. It’s beautifully green, has a monkey forrest near the centre of town, can see those famous awe-dropping rice terraces, and the people here are some of the friendliest people on the island. Ubud is also unique in a way that no outside companies can set up shop here in the centre of town, so you won’t see a McDonalds, Starbucks, Hungry Jacks, Jollibee, or Shell Gas! This is a law to protect and preserve the local economy. Although, you will find a Four Seasons, and a Ritz-Carlton so I’m not sure how that works? Ha! Regardless, I wouldn’t recommend staying there only because you can get the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton experience just about anywhere!
Ubud has some pretty incredible villas and boutique hotels. One of my favourites that I continue to go back to time and time again is The Udaya Resort and Spa. But just about anywhere you go to in Ubud you’ll find the true Balinese style service. So warm and welcoming.
Ubud even has a certain type of smell to it, if you’ve been before then you’ll know what I’m talking about. This smell is due to the morning incense ritual that everyone one does, but the smell is very distinct. It’s hard to explain how magical Ubud is. It’s definitely one of those places you just have to see for yourself.
Click Here for a list of all the popular activities to do in Ubud.
I feel a bit reluctant to put this area of Bali on here. Mainly because I’ve never personally visited here. And two, Bali has so much to offer it’s difficult for me to want to stay here because this doesn’t seem like the type of place I want to be at in Bali. However, I know that for a lot of people this may be the perfect place! Nusa Dua is known for it’s world class hotel resorts like; Hilton, Hyatt, Ritz- Carlton, Four Seasons and many more luxury and international hotel brands. This is the most developed resort area of Bali.
In Nusa Dua you probably won’t leave your hotel much, as I believe a lot of hotels offer all-inclusive option. Many resorts boast an awesome kids club, which is very enticing for families with small children. What makes Nusa Dua even more attractive is this place also great is because of it’s white sand beach, which generally isn’t found in most areas of Bali. Not to mention if you just need to veg out and relax and do pretty much nothing, Nusa Dua is great for that since you won’t want to leave the property much any way. Besides the fact Nusa Dua’s location is far from most other places.
Click Here for the best hotels in Nusa Dua via The Bali Bible.