The Ritz Carlton Nusa Dua Bali

Where To Stay in Bali – Best Hotels, Resorts, Towns, & Beaches

Bali is filled with fantastic hotels, and most visitors choose to stay in one of 7 areas located  in the southern part of the island. This is the guide to the island’s best hotels. Bali’s most popular areas to stay include Nusa Dua,  Jimbaran, a long stretch of beach connecting Kuta/Legian/and Seminyak, Canggu, Sanur, and Ubud. We begin with the Nusa Dua area, along one of Bali’s finest beaches, a curved,  shallow bay of clean, white sand with a shady waterfront path.

Luxury Laguna Resort

The beach is protected by a reef,  so the water is particularly calm and shallow for swimming when the tide is up. First up is the luxurious Laguna Resort, sprinkled with lotus-filled lagoons.  The gorgeous grounds feature 7 swimming pools, one of which includes a sandy  inland beach and large waterfall. Some guests can swim right out from their room,  suite, or villa balcony, and the resort is set on a perfectly tranquil beach. Next door, Melia Bali is covered in tropical gardens, filled with ponds,  and fountains.

Along the beachfront are a collection of shady areas to dine or  enjoy the quietly lapping waves, plus multiple giant pools to choose from.  A short walk along the beach leads to a wooded headland with trails to explore. Just past the southern headland, you’ll find the expansive Grand Hyatt, with a  giant beachfront shaded by trees. The grounds feature a vast lagoon-like network of pools,  with rock islands, water slides, and waterfalls, connected by bridges and meandering pathways. And  the main entrance area includes a series of patios and terraces for dining and relaxing.

Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali
Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali Suite Room

And the stylish Sofitel Resort, popular with families and for events,  has a more contemporary aesthetic. There’s a giant network of pools,  including many that link directly to the ground level rooms, suites, and villas. Further south along the eastern coast here is another concentration of 3 excellent hotels. All  feature grand lobby and reception areas perched on the clifftop with dramatic sweeping vistas,  connected to their extensive waterfront facilities down below by elevator.

We begin here with the Ritz Carlton, covered in lush tropical gardens visited by local monkeys,  and beautifully manicured, stretching right up to the golden sand beach.

The Ritz CArlton Nusa Dua Bali

In addition to the giant beachfront infinity pool, there’s a huge spa complex including  an enclosed greenhouse pool with different hydro-therapy stations. Directly next door is the brand new and giant Apurva Kempinski,  with it’s dramatic long staircase leading down the mountainside, past a variety of amazing pools to  the excellent sandy beach. In the middle of it all are a handful of dining options, including  a subterranean restaurant below a giant aquarium filled with tropical fish, sharks and manta rays.

And continuing along the beach, is the Hilton Bali,  another great option for families. The expansive waterfront features 4 large  interconnected swimming pools below shady palm groves, with a swim up sandy beach,  water slides, and a variety of dining options, all along a beautiful beachfront.

apurva kempinski bali

To the west of Nusa Dua is the Jimbaran area,  just south of the airport but far enough away to not be disrupted by noise. We begin here with the glorious Four Seasons, a secluded and opulent all-villa resort with  a stunning infinity pool and sweeping views out over Jimbaran Bay. Cascading down the hillside,  the resort is covered in lush landscaping, with endless private nooks to escape to. Also vast, secluded, and luxurious is Raffles Bali, nestled into a forested hilltop.

The  resort winds downhill through streams and ponds, dotted with private villas to an isolated beach,  fronted by a gorgeous infinity pool and one of the hotel’s multiple decadent restaurants.

Located closer to the action, the Intercontinental is right on popular Jimbaran Beach, just steps  from the famous seafood restaurants that line the beach each night after sunset. Spread across the  grounds are a gigantic pool that reaches right up to the waterfront, and rooms, suites, and villas  tucked between lush gardens where peacocks wander, and lily ponds are dotted with lotus blossoms. North of the airport is one continuous beach that includes the Seminyak, Legian,  and Kuta areas. Here, we’ll begin with Seminyak, at the northern end of the strip. The W Hotel is a very modern and chic affair, with bright colors, and pop culture aesthetics.

Rooms in a large arcing building all look out over a giant meandering pool studded  with palm trees, and the long sandy beach just beyond. The atmosphere is vibrant,  with a resident DJ curating an ambient soundscape focused on house and techno music. The Seminyak Beach Resort’s huge infinity pool is one of Bali’s best beachside pools.

The majority  of accommodations are arrayed around vast gardens, and dotted with gazebos to relax in. And its ideal  location places it within easy walking distance to numerous bars, restaurants, and nightlife.

And just down the road is the luxurious Oberoi with lush, mature gardens and an  enormous waterfront. All accommodations at the hotel are on the ground level and  are surprisingly secluded from one another. The resort’s villas are exceptionally private  with stone walls and pitched, thatch roofs, and laid out like a traditional Balinese village. Heading south along the coast, the next zone is the Legian Beach area.

We start with the massive and extremely family friendly five star Padma Resort,  a long established local favorite with traditional Balinese designs and furnishings.

There are multiple gigantic pools, the gardens are extensive, there are a plethora of great  activities available, and over a dozen tiers of accommodation to choose from. With a prime location directly across the street from Legian Beach, the less luxurious  but beautiful, traditionally designed Mandira Beach Resort & Spa has multiple pools. A secluded  terrace, adults only area with terrific sea views, and a huge kid friendly one with sandy beach,  a large waterfall and slides. The multistory bamboo framed restaurant has sweeping views  out over both the pool and beach. And Anantara Vacation Club is a  newish resort which is also directly across the street from the beach.

Where To Stay in Bali - Best Hotels, Resorts, Towns, & Beaches

The hotel is unique in  that it offers large, self-contained apartments ideal for longer term stays. There’s a long,  shaded quiet pool area, and lots of great restaurants to choose from in the immediate area. In the heart of downtown Kuta, the massive Hard Rock Hotel is a very popular choice for families,  with the familiar trappings of Rock and Roll fame lining the walls and giant cocktail bar. However  it’s really the enormous pools, water slides, water park, and endless activities that are the  main draw, and it’s right across from Kuta Beach, and the busy strip of shopping and restaurants. Poppies is at the other end of the spectrum, a charming and romantic oasis of serenity,  despite being surprisingly close to all of the area’s commerce and hustle.

One of the first hotels in Kuta, lush, juicy gardens filled with ponds and fountains,  surround quaint cottages featuring open-air bathrooms with sunken marble bathtubs. Heading north from there, Changgu is a hot spot  for surfing, food, music, and nightlife. Tugu Hotel is a classy, and charming hotel,  filled with antiques, old-fashioned furniture and Balinese history that’s rarely found in  most of southern Bali.

Passing a Balinese museum as you enter, the lobby features hard wood floors,  is filled with statues and carvings, and each of the hotel’s suites and villas is uniquely styled.  Tropical gardens lead to a boardwalk that winds through a massive lotus pond,  and the famous surf spots and beach sunsets of Changgu are just steps from the front door.

The ultra-modern COMO hotel is located in the heart of Changgu’s commercial area,  yet quiet and secluded. Penthouse suites have private rooftop pools,  while ground floor rooms open right onto the giant lagoon pool. Steps from this shady grove,  the exclusive COMO beach club has a gorgeous pool and excellent restaurant right on the beachfront. A bit further inland, Ecozy Dijiwa is a great value hotel, with plenty of spots  to eat and drink within a few minutes walk.

Rooms are small and comfortable,  with private gardens or plunge pools for those along the ground floor.

Moving back to the eastern coast of the island, the teeming area of Sanur is home  to many excellent hotels, connected along the beach by a long and winding waterfront  path enjoyed by locals and visitors, and the jumping off point for ferries to nearby islands. The brand new Andaz Bali Resort is an excellent mix of modern chic and traditional Balinese,  with the main entrance area designed around a village square concept.

Passing through lotus  ponds and lush, mature vegetation, there are 3 large pools to enjoy, and the delightful  restaurants and boutique shopping of Sanur are just outside the property’s main gate. Right next door, and sharing a giant and luxurious spa complex, is the Hyatt Regency.  Recently renovated, the sprawling hotel is covered by vast, botanical gardens.

Multiple  giant pools reach right up to the wide sandy beach, and an endless variety of activities  make this a popular choice for families. One of the very first hotels in Bali,  Tandjung Sari remains a charming dream of a hotel. Designed to resemble a traditional village,  moss covered paths lined with ponds filled with fish and lotus blossoms, connect private  bungalows hidden behind stone walls. All leading to a beautiful beachfront pool and multi-tiered  restaurant shaded by jungle greenery.

This is a great choice for a romantic get away.

And Segara Village, another veteran hotel that’s successfully managed to grow and evolve without  sacrificing any of its original charm. There are multiple excellent pools to choose from, with a  wide beachfront that includes 2 chic eateries and other action to enjoy. The vast grounds offer a  variety of accomodation and activities, making the resort another great choice for families. And last but not least, Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, surrounded by rice paddies  and local artisans, and not on any beachfront. Here you can find tons of great dining choices,  health retreats, cultural performances, and many hotels with stunningly gorgeous landscapes.

We begin with the famed Four Seasons, in the lush Sayan River valley, with audible  water flowing through it below. The infinity pool hovers above the river, blending seamlessly with  the surrounding jungle.

On the hillside above, the main spaceship-like building that houses 2  restaurants, the immaculate spa, and boutique hover over manicured rice paddies and coconut  groves that cover the stunning hotel grounds. Just north of central Ubud, The Viceroy  is a romantic, award-winning boutique resort. It also sits along a river valley, with the  sound of rushing water audible from below, and vast views of the surrounding emerald forest,  with a spectacular infinity pool at the center of it all.

The hotel features one of Bali’s finest  restaurants, Apettif, incorporating ingredients from the on-site spice garden and greenhouse. Alam Indah, on the edge of the Monkey Forest is an affordable treasure of a  hotel, located in a tranquil village. It’s packed with traditional charm and beauty,  featuring just 10 uniquely designed bungalows,  surrounded by enchanting gardens, above a glorious pool, ON THE RIDGE OF A ravine. And lastly, gorgeous Komaneka Bisma, surrounded by natural beauty and yet  somehow located in central Ubud. The reception area and accomodation hover over the lush valley,  where emerald pools and a luxurious spa are surrounded by rice paddy and papaya groves,  and suites and villas enjoy stunning balcony views out over the verdant landscape.

For our travel guide and lots more great hotel coverage from Bali and beyond, check  out, to plan your next trip.

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