Holiday Accommodation Options in Bali
Taking a holiday in Bali? Information on finding the right place to stay: self-catering, bed and breakfast, hotel or youth hostel, find out more...
With over two million visitors a year, Bali is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations and has frequently been named as "the world's best island" by The International Travel Magazine. As such, Bali has a wide variety of accommodation catering to all budgets and tastes. Visitors can choose between world class international brand name resorts, designer boutique establishments, mid-range family hotels, budget backpacker accommodation and simple guesthouses or home-stays (losmen).
Holiday accommodation in Bali is extremely competitive and is generally of a very high standard. Bali enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with two seasons: the dry season between April and September, and the wet season between October and March. Bali's peak tourist seasons are during the European summer holidays, between July to September, and from Christmas to the end of January, when there are many Australian and Indonesian visitors.
During these peak seasons hotel rates are at their highest, but in the wet season, when the weather is more humid and cloudy with rainstorms, it may be possible to negotiate a more favourable rate for accommodation.
Many hotels are styled in a layout that resembles a pekarangan, or traditional family compound, where the rooms face inwards to a garden or courtyard, often with a swimming pool. They may incorporate traditional Balinese architecture and furnishings, with lush landscaped gardens, and may be decorated with Balinese paintings, wood-carvings and stonework. Luxury hotels often have spas or provide holistic therapies and treatments.
Hotels and Resorts
The Nusa Dua area in the south of the island has some of Bali's best hotels, often surrounded by tropical gardens. Nearby Jimbaran Bay has numerous quality hotels including international names such as the Four Seasons and InterContinental. The popular beach resorts of Kuta and Legian are home to all kinds of hotels, from five star luxury hotels to mid-range and budget establishments. On the lower west coast, Seminyak has some of Bali's most beautiful beaches, and provides superior accommodation, including eco-resorts and Bali's first museum boutique hotel.
Sanur, on the east coast, has many quality beach-front hotels and resorts. Inland, Ubud, being the cultural and artistic centre of Bali, has a wide variety of hotels, from prestigious resorts set in lush tropical gardens, to moderate and budget accommodation overlooking rice paddies. In the north, Lovina Beach is renowned for its black sand, while the north-west coast is relatively unspoilt, with some resorts and boutique hotels.
Mid-range hotels are often constructed in Balinese bungalow style, particularly on the beach resorts of Kuta, Legian, Sanur and Lovina. They are usually equipped with a ceiling fan and private bathroom/WC and may have a swimming pool. The upper mid-range places charge in dollars, and may offer satellite TV, air-con and hot water.
Hotels in Indonesia are rated by the Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (perhimpunan Hotel & Restoran Indonesia) (PHRI). Hotels are rated from one to five stars, with one star hotels providing basic accommodation, and five star hotels providing luxury accommodation and first class services.
Guesthouses and Inns/Home-stays
There are a number of losmens, or home-stays all over Bali, and particularly in the popular beach town of Kuta. Usually family-run, they tend to be simple, clean and comfortable, with rarely more than ten or twelve rooms, and built in the style of a Balinese home with an inner garden.
Most rooms are equipped with a fan, a private WC and cold shower, and are often excellent value for money, charging in rupiahs. In more remote areas the losmen may only provide mandi washing facilities, which involves washing by scooping and pouring water out of a tank.
Self-catering and Villa Rentals
There is a huge choice of self-catering accommodation to rent all over Bali, often available by the night, week or month, and covering a wide range of needs.
Apartments may be found in more urbanised areas, such as Denpasar or Kuta, and range from studio units sleeping two persons, to executive apartments accommodating four or more. In less populated beach or inland areas, it is more usual to find bungalows or cottages set in gardens around a swimming pool.
Thanks to a large property boom in Bali, there is a huge choice of villas available for rent, many of which are contemporary-designed, with all modern amenities. At the top end, villas may come with a chauffeur and staff, private cinema or media room, infinity pool, spa, gym facilities, guest cottage and even a full commercial kitchen for parties and functions.
Youth Hostels and Budget Accommodation
While there are no specific youth hostels in Bali, there is still a wide range of budget accommodation, and backpackers and young travellers should have no problem finding a suitable place to stay. As competition is fierce, many offer free airport pick-up or cash rebates for taxis on bookings of over two or three nights.
Camping is extremely limited in Bali, with the most established camp-site being at the Bali Barat National Park at Cekik. Although not officially forbidden, it is frowned upon and there are many alternative budget accommodation options mentioned above for backpackers. There are some travel companies that organise sightseeing trips within Bali with overnight camping stopovers.