When I decided to travel South-East Asia following graduation I knew I had to add Bali to the list. The only issue, I didn’t actually know anything about Bali other than it was beautiful. I didn’t know how large the island was, I didn’t know whether it was cheap or expensive, I didn’t know what there was to do there. Quite frankly I didn’t know much.
Fortunately for you, I just wrapped up a 1.5 week journey around several parts of the island. I’m no expert but I’d say I got a pretty good feeling for what the different regions offer in terms of accommodations & activities.
When you’re picking where to stay in Bali you have to first decide what you want to do while your there & what type of accommodation you’d like to stay in. Theirs a variety of sleeping options from hostels all the way up to luxury villas & everything in between. The following are my interpretations of the regions I stayed:
Jimbaran is widely regarded as the upscale area in Bali. Known to several high end hotel brands & luxury boutique villas. I was fortunate enough to stay in one of the luxury villas at the Jamahal. Having partnered up with the property I was able to stay free of charge & experience all the amenities usually enjoyed predominantly by honeymooners. Within the first couple of hours it was quite obvious to me why so many people choose this place for their honeymoon. Within 2 hours of arriving I had settled into my villa with my own private pool, then I was off for a massage. I opted for the traditional Balinese massage which was followed up with Chamomile tea being delivered to my room. After another dip in the pool I took an outdoor shower & called in my dinner order. Within 30 minutes I had my dinner arrive directly to my villa where they set up quite the romantic setting, to bad I was alone this time. I had an excellent appetizer, followed by a main course 15 minutes later & dessert just 15 minutes after that. I put in my request for breakfast the next morning & hit the hay. Now I could go on & on about my experience at the Jamahal but it’s probably best you just experience it for yourself. The property was beautiful, the service was top notch & the food was delicious. All in all I’d say to stick with the trend, come here if you’re looking for a romantic getaway.
Kuta is widely regarded as the party area. I had heard all about the partying prior to arriving here but to be quite honest that wasn’t what I was searching for. I wound up booking a nice hotel close to the beach for $21 a night, it wasn’t glamorous by any means but it got me near the action & gave me a nice comfortable room to come back to. In this area you can find lots of cheap hotels & even hostels. Of course the luxury exists here, as it does all over the island but it does give you options.
Everyone that had warned me about Kuta being a crazy party town, instead recommended I make my way to Ubud as soon as possible. For this leg of the trip I wound up booking a private room in an AirBnB villa complex for $30 a night. I believe their was 7 rooms in total on the property that they rent out separately to use the shared pool area. My accommodation was nice & secluded enough from downtown Ubud that I didn’t have to hear the crazy night life. The area itself was very cool, I was constantly busy during my time here. I was able to visit the Royal Palace, Tegalalang Rice Terraces, Monkey forest, watch a traditional Kecak dance show & even hike Mt. Batur for sunrise. Ubud had ALOT to do for those adventure seekers.
If you have enough time I’d say it makes sense to spend some amount of time in all of these regions. Especially considering the close proximity to the airport that Jimbaran & Kuta share. Theirs thousands of different places to stay in Bali so don’t be overwhelmed when making your decision. My best advice is to book an area for a couple of days because you can always extend your stay if you fall in love.
Have you been to Bali before yourself? I’d love to hear what you thought of it, where you stayed, what you liked & disliked.