Do you ever feel extremely overwhelmed with options when it comes to finding the right place to stay when you’re arranging your holiday? Since I’ve had the responsibility to do these things by myself I always think this is the hardest thing for me to do, where to stay? I’ve spent just over 3 weeks in Bali and purposely booked various types of accommodation so I could experience a bit of everything in each location and not just head for everything 5*. I didn’t have a budget for Bali but I wanted to be realistic and relatable to those who are on all kinds of trips around the world not just holidays.
I thought I would give you my opinion on each area I visited in Bali in chronological order, I hope you’ll get an idea of what kind of thing to expect or more so have an understanding of how to plan your trip in Bali.
Along the south coast of Bali you’ll find Canggu. I personally think this is a great place to start/end your trip. Canggu is forever evolving with its recent increase in tourism over the last few years so you’ll find yourself amongst an immense variety of places to eat, drink, relax or party. You won’t be disappointed. The area has something to offer for everyone of all ages so this isn’t a place to be missed. The location is great here so you’ll be able to reach other areas of Bali without any hassle too.
1. Kano Villas – Canggu
A beautifully designed boutique hotel in the heart of Canggu.
Kano had very recently opened so there weren’t many photos or reviews to go by but it looked beautiful and was just the kind of thing I was looking for to start my travels in Bali. My first impressions exceeded my expectations and instantly regretted only booking 2 nights here.
I had a double room with a private bathroom and it was certainly spacious enough for 2 of us. Our room felt like something out of an interior design magazine and I absolutely live for this.
Everything about Bali was reflected into the design of this room which created a lot of style and comfort. From the polished concrete walls, amazing photographs on display, wooden furniture, the naked wardrobe, wicker baskets and vases (obsessed with the oversized mirror) To the incredible colours that complimented each other, Kano Villas really has nailed a beautiful place to unwind and relax.
The swimming pool and outdoor lounge area was great for the amount of guests it could hold, it’s a very intimate place so you feel extremely valued by the amazing staff rather than feeling like ‘another guest’ in a resort.
Let me tell you now, if the place isn’t perfect enough already you get spoilt with the most amazing breakfast every morning (Even at the end of my trip this still has to be one of my favourites) you usually have one or the other but here you had a bit of everything,
Kano Villas is a fantastic value for money and I wouldn’t think twice about coming to stay here again, you’ll have everything you need right here. Sold? Don’t miss out, it really is a gem and I wouldn’t want you skip this little treasure. This is a place for young adults +
2. The Farm Hostel – Canggu
I’m here to be honest so I’ll start with the fact I am SO over hostels, they’re just not for me, I’ve not enjoyed them at any stage of my travels and I probably never will, sooo i’m done, however I will say that The Farm Hostel is pretty unique in comparison to all the other hostels I’ve stayed in, you probably wont find one like it else where.
Again this is in another great location tucked away from the main streets of Canggu. You can hire peds on-site which I would highly recommend to get about around here. You’ll find a beautifully designed space which is great for a social environment.
This is a great place to stay if you’re on a budget, backpacking, with friends or a solo traveller. It has everything you need and would want if you fall into the groups above.
The Farm Hostel has a number of rooms with sleep up to 8 people – bunk bed style. As I was saying it’s incredibly different to any other hostel, even though you’re sharing your room you still have the option for a bit of privacy when you’re inside your bed.
You have a spacious single bed with your own curtain to divide yourself away, you have your own light, plug socket and shelf space above your bed. There are lockers big enough for all of your cases and even yourself if you really wanted a bit of extra privacy…(just a joke)
The outside area is perfect as you have 2 medium-sized pools and plenty of seating around them. The atmosphere was perfect when I stayed but this always depends on the type of people who are staying there at the time. You have a restaurant/bar available to you all day with a pretty decent menu to choose from.
Just my luck I caught a case of the ‘Bali Belly’ whilst I was staying here so I really spent half the time in bed or in the bathroom. I didn’t make use of the accommodation to it’s fullest and that’s quite annoying as it’s what you’re there for
* FYI – I didn’t eat anything bad here it was from a restaurant down the strip so don’t worry *
For me Ubud stole a little bit of my heart, it had a lot of character and more of an up market quality. It’s most certainly a place to relax and unwind amongst many beautiful spas. I’ve always been told by friends that have visited that I would love it because of its spiritual sense and they’re not wrong at all. Ubud is surrounded by rainforests and incredible rice terraces which is great for mindfulness.
If you’re coming away for a relaxing holiday or a cultural trip this isn’t a place to be missed.
3. The Alena Resort – Ubud
A luxury resort 10 minutes away from the heart of Ubud Town. Tucked away amongst rice terraces you’ll find this beautiful spot (You have shuttle included in the price to get there and back). I spent 3 nights here which just wasn’t enough for me as I had a jam-packed itinerary planned whilst in Ubud (at least when I return I’ll be able to take advantage of the accommodation a little more)
The Alena resort was perfect and Is perfect for anyone; couples, friends or families. Not if you’re coming on a hen/stag party of course, this is simply a little retreat and for pure relaxation.
The room was just heavenly, a HUGE comfortable bed, TV, mini fridge, your very own gown and slippers and possibly a little bit of everything you’d need during your stay. It was the bathroom I was in love with, A large window separated the room and the bathroom you could open and close the blinds to reveal each side. A bath tub big enough for me and him and then some… the detail and decor instantly gave it a ‘spa’ feel and I just couldn’t get enough of it.
The resorts facilities were spot on, the restaurant and the food selection was superb. Breakfast is included in the price of the booking but it was just too good to be true – I loved it all! We actually ate here quite a lot during our stay and only ate out of the resort a few times.
I also had a foot massage and full body scrub and mask treatment whilst being here in their spa and my goodness was it worth every penny? Yes.
The swimming pool area was lovely and tranquil as it backed onto beautiful gardens and rainforests. You had the opportunity to participate in morning yoga up on a risen platform more towards the rainforest – I did this one morning and it was really bloody lovely.
The staff at Alena were so charming and charismatic, they were willing to help you with anything you needed and made our stay extremely wonderful.
I would absolutely recommend staying here whilst in Ubud as it stands it’s a fantastic value for money and it’s in the best location for everything you may need/want to do.
Don’t go to Gili T they said, it’s trashy, dirty, old and no that much to do…someone even said it’s a shit party island. Well they’re so wrong so don’t listen. Admittedly the poverty on this island seems to be more significant than Bali itself, it is on the scruffy side but it’s not the end of the world, you have to see through all of this as there’s a lot of construction work going on after the damages caused from recent earthquakes in Lombok. It really did destroy the island but don’t be scared of this.
The Gili island has had a serious decrease in tourism since this is happened and that’s no good for them as they’re relying on us to recover it again.
I LOVED Gili T, I didn’t ‘party’ once, I relaxed, explored, snorkeled and enjoyed some fantastic meals and evenings listening to live singers drinking cocktails with my bestfriend – it was pure bliss.
4. Ocean Soul Guest House
I believe this was the cheapest of the bookings during my stay in Bali and it was just one of my favourites. It was very standard but just so cute and admirable. Just 2 Hut houses next to one another you have an intimate and private stay in a great location in Gili T.
You’re surrounded by inspirational quotes/signs and handmade decorations, plants and beautiful trees and flowers. You have seating outside your room including a cosy hammock which is a great touch.
The 2 guys running this place are just brilliant, they’re extremely accommodating and helpful, we hired 2 matching bikes with little baskets so we could explore the island quicker (you only have the option of pedal bikes & horse and carriage on the island and I just refused to pay to go in a horse and carriage) it’s really not necessary. You could also hire a go-pro and snorkels if you wanted to go to the beach and check out turtle bay or other parts to see what’s bellow the crystal blue water (Loved this)
The room was fully air-conditioned which is needed over in Gili T as it just felt 10x hotter over there, it was spacious and suitable for us both. The shower/toilet is literally outside as you can see via the photo – I loved exposed bathrooms and you find these a lot out here in Bali.
Ocean Soul is my ‘Must’ whilst in Gili T, if you’re with a partner or a couple of friends (4 people could get both huts, this would be fun with friends) I mean if you’re looking for something luxurious then this isn’t the place for you but there really is nothing wrong with it here, you even have a breakfast included in the mornings – I loved the Banana pancakes.
An island south-east of Bali, I’ll forever know this to be palm tree heaven. Windy roads leading to scenic destinations, pretty exhausting and not that developed as a touristy place just yet but I can see it progressing over the years to come. There’s plenty of things to see whilst you’re here but it all depends on how much you actually want to do as it’s quite long-winded unless you book with a tour. You can do day trips over here but it’s quite a nice place to spend a few days – It’s probably the most been there done it, won’t do it again kind of thing but it was pretty incredible to explore, so if you have time don’t give it a miss, other wise consider focusing on other locations if you’re on a tight time frame.
5. Krisna Guest House
Another guesthouse which was recommended to me by someone I recently met, I don’t really know many people that have actually gone to Nusa Pendia so didn’t really have much to go by when choosing somewhere to stay so I instantly booked here once it was recommended to me. We originally booked the standard room but instantly upgraded to the deluxe room when we arrived because there’s a bit of a difference. Just pay the little extra.
Great for couples and friends – Only if you’re backpacking or budgeting.
This was an OK stay, it’s nothing special but does the job and gives you a place to rest your head.
The deluxe room was very comfortable, the bed was big enough for 2 people but certainly on a smaller scale of a ‘double bed’. There was a desk and great air conditioning. We had a separate private bathroom which was again standard but you get what you pay for in guesthouses.
Overall the room stay was nice, outside the room you have your own little porch with a table and chairs – this was great whilst the sun was going down.
The pool area was also a really nice touch as guesthouses don’t usually have them but it was nice to have a swim and lovely to relax around in the daytime and evenings.
Krisna has a small restaurant on-site, we ate here a few times and it was actually really nice plus it was SOOOOO cheap – Our breakfast was also very tasty which was included in the price (Banana pancakes everyday)
As I said you get what you pay for, this is a standard place so you’re not to expect anything luxurious. It was great for us as a couple, we upgraded to the better room and it was fine. Because we were exploring all day we didn’t feel the need to book anywhere nice as we wouldn’t appreciate anything nicer or make most of the facilities.
Located south of Bali, Ulu – Lands end is the home of the popular landmark Uluwatu temple. A little gem that I didn’t expect too much from but ended up really loving. An incredible place to find good food and places to drink, party or unwind at the popular beach clubs or sunset spots or hop on a bike to explore the beaches…other than that there’s not too much to do but it’s just enough to enjoy when you’re on holiday.
Maybe a couple of days here in the middle or towards the end of your trip is just what’s needed.
6. Gravity Hotel
A quality bit of perfection. This really was the best of Bali, I loved every second of my stay and will praise it for as long as I can. Another boutique beauty with another intimate stay as a valued guest. It’s dreamy for couples and would be/was a lovely romantic get away – also great for a group of friends or even a relaxing holiday with your family (mum and daughter / dad and son kind of thing)
It really is as beautiful as the photos looked, for some reason it’s just not what I expected it was much better. This is now a well known boutique hotel and the internet has nothing but love for it so how could we have not stayed here?
Even though it’s a stones throw away from incredible food locations and a short bike ride away from other must-do spots it still offers a tranquil trendy feel tucked away from a bog standard street. What you see is what you get, a desirable place to relax and sip on some tasty cocktails.
Breakfast is included with the room price and can be ordered through WhatsApp every morning where you can choose to have it in the room, by the pool or in the dining area overlooking the hotels beauty and a distant sea view. There’s no time you’re expected for breakfast which is a winner, wake up at 2pm? You’re still allowed to order – what a catch.
There were 2 x pools and 2 x bars, one at the higher end of the hotel and the other down the bottom where you follow the stepping stones. I spent all of the time up in the main pool area anyway but you do have the option of the 2.
We stayed in room number 12, A superior double bungalow. I didn’t get enough photos to do it justice but it was a lovely Indonesian boohoo style room, everything just felt eco and natural. You have everything you need in one place – a tasty mini fridge selection, tv (with surround sound) desk space, a wonderful cosy bed and a dreamy bathroom.
The bathroom was practically outside (again) this is the BEST! You can see in the photos that the shower is a bamboo tube, pretty cool right? It really was a beautiful space uniquely designed with plenty of room.
I believe each room has its very own style so not every one is the same, I’d of loved to known what the others were like (I’ll see on my next visit). Our room was cleaned everyday, beds were made and the netting was adjusted of an evening if we weren’t in and all of our blinds were closed ready for when we did come back.
The level of service from all of the staff members was just exceptional, they were so friendly and accommodating and the owner even checked up on us everyday and chatted to us which was really special.
The ‘high end’ part of Bali is where you’ll find amazing shopping facilities, classy beach clubs and luxury resorts and spas. There’s a lot to do here so add Seminyak to your list. This was my last stop and I think that was a great choice. The roads are pretty hectic and everything seems a little more rushed here but it is jam packed with tourists. There’s something for everyone whatever that may be, it’s all here. Lastly, being the foodie I am I ate in some pretty decent spots yet again so that’s always a winner for me.
7. Balissimo Appartments
Brand spanking new apartments a little out of the way from the ‘really good stuff’ but only an 8-10 min drive away (Probably costing £3 if that so no bother at all) still in a great location regardless. I present to you Balissimo, adorable studio apartments that make you start dreaming about that London studio lifestyle – Minus the sunshine and poolside.
I really loved this place and was happy to spend my final 4 nights here. It was a stylish space providing a lot of comfort. I favoured the attention to detail and quirky decorations to give the room some charm and character. I stayed in room 1.2 on the lower ground, directly opposite the pool, perfection.
As they’re apartments you don’t get a breakfast included but you are provided with tea and coffee, bowls and cutlery to DIY or whatever. You are also provided with a stove and pots and pans if you’re wanting to cook for yourself during the day/night.
The bathroom/shower was also great, towels were changed everyday and you were given mineral water and toiletries to use which was a nice little touch.
As per this is certainly recommended to anyone as it’s your very own space, me and my partner enjoyed the privacy after being looked after most of the trip in the hotels and guest houses (not to sound ungrateful), we liked to get up and do our own thing on our own time so an apartment is a great option to go with at some point during your Bali holiday.
That’s a wrap for where I stayed. I honestly loved every place in it’s own way so that’s exactly why I wanted to share it all with you the way I have. They fulfil different purposes so if I’ve not said what you’re looking for then it’s probably not the right area/place to stay for you. There are tonnes of incredible places to rest your head in Bali and believe me it’s not easy deciding what to go for but I hope I’ve inspired you to at least pick one of them because they’re all very special.
I would certainly go back to Seminyak, Canggu & Ubud and Uluwatu if I was to go again and maybe possibly Gili T but test out a more luxury resort, however I feel as though I’ve done whats needed there. One thing to keep in mind is that all of the above locations aren’t really that far so if you have only a week – 10 days here you can probably have day trips to another location and do what you want there. I loved the route I chose it flowed really well and each location captured great moments for me.
I didn’t want to include prices to this as they do fluctuate and differ throughout the year. I mostly book through booking.com where I’ve become a frequent traveller so get great discounts and secret deals on so many places (top traveller tip) other wise I’d recommend booking directly with some of the places as it does work out cheaper and you won’t get charged for booking fee’s etc. I roughly estimated the price all together for my accomodation totalling to be around £550pp. I was pretty pleased with the outcome considering I was there for almost a month – Always look about and make sure you get as much for your money as possible.
What do you look for when booking a room?
Shuttle service (if not central)
On-site hire (Bikes, snorkelling etc)
Bar/restaurant – sometimes this is just convenient
So this is the Best of Bali – Part 1
I have a chain of Bali posts pending but this is the first to come of the 4. I will be sharing my top tips/personal experiences to hopefully help/influence your decision with where you want to visit and what you want to do so keep your eyes peeled.
Things you must do/See
Where to Eat/drink
Visiting Bali – All you need to know
All my Love, Becky x