Where to Stay in Bali – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

The most popular island in the Indonesian archipelago, Bali, the famed “Island of Gods,” is an intriguing mix of stunning landscapes, culture, history, and religion. Attracting thousands of tourists from all over the world every year, the island is a world-class surfing and diving destination and has endless religious and archaeological landmarks that are known universally for their grandeur.

Home to two extremely active volcanoes, namely Batur and Agung, Bali offers an astounding number of cafes, restaurants, beach clubs, shopping venues, and exotic palaces. The pristine beaches and the lush jungles greet visitors with plenty to see and do. While a few sections of the island are buzzing with young backpackers and a non-stop party scene, there are also tranquil beaches and jungle resorts that provide a relaxing escape into the captivating scenic beauty of Bali.

The list below details what you can expect from each neighborhood and the best accommodation options in the area, so you can choose from the best without spending too much time deciding where to stay in Bali.

Kuta

Kuta, Bali

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Kuta

The throbbing heart of Bali, Kuta is swarming with local and international travelers any time of the day. Originally a surfing paradise, the long-stretch of Kuta coastline is frequented by hundreds of visitors looking for sun, sand, and sea. Dotted with shopping venues, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs, this is essentially the most happening part of Bali. If the long stretch of Kuta’s golden beach isn’t enough, head over to Waterbom Bali – the island’s largest and the best waterpark.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially the young.
Other Highlights: Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, Dream Museum Zone Bali, Museum Pasifika, and New Kuta Green Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Amnaya Resort Kuta – Set in the heart of the bustling neighborhood of Kuta, Amnaya Resort Kuta features luxurious guestrooms with premium on-site facilities such as an outdoor swimming pool, an à-la-carte restaurant, a fully-equipped fitness center, a well-manicured garden, and a world-class spa. The property is a short walk from famous spots such as Waterbom Bali and Discovery Shopping Mall. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Novotel Bali Ngurah Rai Airport – With direct access to the Ngurah Rai Airport’s international departure and domestic arrival halls, this affluent property provides comfortable guestrooms with brilliant features. Amenities at the hotel include an outdoor pool, a 24-hour front desk, a fitness center, and a full-service spa. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Grand Inna Kuta – A stone’s throw away from the iconic Kuta Beach, Grand Inna Kuta offers spacious, air-conditioned rooms with modern facilities within a minutes’ walk from the buzzing shopping streets of Kuta. The property also features 24-hour room service, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant with a mix of Indonesian and Western menu. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Seminyak

Seminyak

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Seminyak

Arguably one of the most stylish and upscale neighborhoods in Bali, Seminyak is a glamorous beach resort area with extraordinary villas, eclectic restaurants, and high-end fashion stores. Petitenget Beach offers a more secluded atmosphere while Potato Head Beach Club, perhaps the most iconic landmark in the area, is where the young and the happening go for an exciting night out. While here, you absolutely can’t miss a walk down the famous “Eat Street” of Bali.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Nyaman Gallery, Pura Petitenget, Pura Masceti, and Double Six Beach.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Dash Hotel Seminyak – A short walk from Seminyak Beach and the popular Potato Head Beach Club, Dash Hotel Seminyak features well-appointed guestrooms decorated in bright and contemporary designs and fitted with a plethora of features. Guests can start their day with a complimentary breakfast and then call the concierge to arrange for day tours in and around the area. Afternoons can be kept for relaxing by the outdoor swimming pool or the full-service spa and wellness center. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Amadea Resort & Villas Seminyak Bali – A 10 minutes’ walk from the beach and just a few steps away from the famous “Eat Street,” this luxurious resort features opulent rooms, suites, and villas equipped with avant-garde facilities. Guests can unwind at the rooftop spa and wellness center strategically set within a tropical garden or take a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort – A luxurious retreat located at a pleasant walking distance from the popular Seminyak beach, the Courtyard by Marriott Bali Seminyak Resort features elegantly designed guestrooms and one-bedroom suites with on-site facilities such as a fully-operational fitness center, a rejuvenating spa, and a refreshing outdoor swimming pool. The in-house restaurant and pool bar takes care of all your wining and dining needs. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.

Ubud

Ubud, Rice Terraces

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Ubud, Rice Terraces

Regarded as the cultural core of Bali, Ubud is located far away from the beaches of Bali and within the island’s mountains and rice fields. Known for its art scene and rural vibe, Ubud is the backdrop for a great many authentic Balinese temples and bewildering palaces, including the most prominent Puri Saren Royal Palace and Pura Taman Saraswati Temple. However, nothing compares to the neighborhood’s grey long-tail macaque population that reside comfortably inside the Ubud Monkey Forest. Ubud Art Market, located opposite the Royal Palace, is a great place to shop for handicraft items.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Goa Gajah, Puri Lukisan Museum, Agung Rai Museum of Art, Ubud Palace, and Museum Rudana.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Ubud Wana Resort – Boasting three outdoor swimming pools, a multi-cuisine restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, and a well-established spa and wellness center, Ubud Wana Resort offers warmly decorated, modern rooms 5 minutes’ walking distance from the prominent Ubud Monkey Forest. Guests can utilize the complimentary shuttle service to central Ubud. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Alaya Resort Ubud – Set amidst the surreal rice fields and majestic landscapes of Ubud, Alaya Resort Ubud features stylish Balinese-style rooms and suites fitted with amenities such as free Wi-Fi, terrace, tea/coffee maker, and complimentary bottled beer in selected rooms. All rooms overlook the garden or the resort’s outdoor pool. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Pajar House Ubud & Villas – Located in the center of a traditional Balinese village, the lavish property features Balinese-style as well modernly decorated guestrooms and villas overlooking well-manicured gardens. Complimentary Wi-Fi and use of bicycles are available for every guest. The helpful staff can make arrangements for day trips, airport transfers, and massage services. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Canggu

Canggu

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Canggu

Famous for its surf spots, expat crowd, and a decent number of coworking spaces, Canggu is transforming itself from a quaint coastal village to an up-and-coming resort area. Berawa and Batu Bolong beaches are especially famous with pro-surfers who gather here every day to catch the biggest, baddest waves the waters have to offer. If you are going to spend a while in the neighborhood and want to network fast, hang out at one of the many popular beach clubs in the area, including Old Man’s and Finn’s Beach Club.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially surfers and digital nomads.
Other Highlights:
Splash Waterpark Bali, Pura Batu Bolong, and Taman Segara Madu Water Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Theanna Eco Villa and Spa – A short walking distance from the beach, the stunning property features well-appointed villas with designs and furnishings inspired by a combination of Balinese, Scandinavian, and Japanese styles. Guests can pamper themselves at the on-site spa and wellness center or spend their evenings chilling at the restaurant and bar. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Regali Villa Canggu – A short walk from the happening Echo Beach in Canggu, Regali Villa Canggu welcomes its guests to unwind themselves at a tropical retreat featuring an outdoor pool, a spa and wellness center, and a fully-equipped on-site restaurant. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.
  • Aston Canggu Beach Resort – A short walk from some of the most famous beaches in Bali, namely Echo Beach and Batu Bolong Beach, Aston Canggu Beach Resort features stylish guestrooms with state-of-the-art facilities and world-class hospitality. While here, enjoy a splash in the pool, unwind yourself on the sundeck, and sip a cocktail at the on-site bar, all the while taking in spectacular views of the vast ocean. Suitable for solo travelers, couples, and small families.

Jimbaran

Jimbaran

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Jimbaran

A fishing village and resort area south of Kuta, Jimbaran is appropriately the best seafood spot in all of Bali. A calmer and more exclusive alternative to the beaches of Kuta and Legian, Jimbaran offers unparalleled views of the ocean from Jimbaran Bay along with countless seafood restaurants. Padang Padang Beach is one of the most prominent surf spots in the area and is known for its steady set of barrels and wave riders during good weather.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially seafood lovers.
Other Highlights:
Pandawa Beach, Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, Kedonganan Fish Market, and Bingin Beach.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI – Within a 5 minutes’ walking distance from the beach, this remarkable property features classy guestrooms and suites with views of the ocean or the surrounding greenery. Set amidst a cliff-top tropical garden, AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI treats its guests to 12 swimming pools, Thalasso massage treatments, an 18-hole golf course, a tennis court, a fully-operational fitness center, and 19 dining facilities. Perfect for all kinds of luxury resorts.
  • Keraton Jimbaran Beach Resort – A stone’s throw away from the superb Jimbaran Bay, this plush beach resort features elegantly designed, traditional Balinese-style rooms and one-bedroom villas with private balcony or terrace. Additional amenities include an outdoor pool, multiple dining options, a full-service spa and wellness center, and a currency exchange. Great for solo travelers and couples.
  • La Joya II Biu-Biu – A pleasant walk from the nearby beach, this carefully-designed beach retreat features interiors decorated in traditional Indonesian-style with an outdoor pool overlooking the astounding ocean and surrounding greenery. An on-site restaurant serves both local and international delicacies. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Nusa Dua

Nusa Dua

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Nusa Dua

An all-inclusive beach resort town, Nusa Dua is home to a remarkable number of world-class luxury resorts and 5-star hotel properties. No matter which hotel or resort you pick, the well-planned neighborhood structure ensures that you are never too far away from the shopping venues, the plush green spaces, and the 18-hole golf course that Nusa Dua boasts. Though among the most developed resort towns, Nusa Dua still retains a cultural charm which can be witnessed at one of the many temples and museums in the area.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Pura Gegar, Pasifika Museum, Bali Collection, and Puja Mandala.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • INAYA Putri Bali – Nestled on the Nusa Dua beachfront and a 15 minutes’ gentle walk from Bali Collection, this extraordinary resort features well-appointed guestrooms, suites, and villas with premium amenities such as flat-screen TV with satellite channels, seating area, a minibar, and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries and a bathtub. Additional facilities at the resort include an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a tour desk which can help guests arrange day tours around the city. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Ayodya Resort Bali – Situated right along the glistening white sands of Nusa Dua Beach, Ayodya Resort Bali offers well-furnished guestrooms with stunning views of the surroundings. Guests can enjoy a swim at the outdoor pool or relax at the garden while accompanying kids can have fun at the playground. Fitness lovers can sweat it out at the fully-functional on-site fitness center and later get a massage at the spa. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali – Featuring lush greenery and marvelous views of the enclosing Nusa Dua Beach, this leading resort offers spacious guestrooms with 5-star hospitality and services. Guests can spend the day at any of the 5 outdoor pools or get a wellness treatment at the full-service spa on-site. Food lovers can pick from the resort’s 7 dining options, including a healthy breakfast at the in-house nutritious restaurant. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.

Legian

Legian, Bali

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Legian

The second-most popular beach in Bali, first being Kuta, Legian’s main allure is its white sandy beach and its extravagant nightlife. Though the neighborhood may feel just like Kuta on the first visit, wait until you enjoy a calm stroll along the comforting sands of Double Six Beach or an evening amidst the art shops along Jalan Legian, it’s then when you can appreciate what the area truly has to offer. Another great surfing spot, Legian is home to the famous Rip Curl School of Surf – known for its fantastic surfing lessons for beginners.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Waterbom Bali, Dream Museum Zone (DMZ) Bali, Armada Flow House, and 5GX Bali Reverse Bungy.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Padma Resort Legian – Boasting 2 stunning pools with sunken bars, multiple dining options, a soothing spa, and a departure lounge, Padma Resort Legian offers luxurious accommodation within a minutes’ walk from the nearest beach. A superb complimentary breakfast is served daily. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Camakila Legian Bali – A gentle stroll away from the soft, golden sands of Legian Beach, this swanky Bali resort features an infinity pool as well as a lagoon pool. Set comfortably between the buzzing districts of Kuta and Seminyak, the property also offers multiple wining and dining options, a fully-operational fitness center, and tour assistance. Perfect for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • Pullman Bali Legian Beach – Featuring a rooftop infinity pool with astounding views of the surrounding ocean, this posh hotel offers well-appointed units fitted with fancy amenities such as flat-screen TV, closet, minibar, and ensuite bathroom with free toiletries and bath. Premier facilities like the day spa, the fitness center, and the 2 landscaped lagoon pools make staying hear a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Great for all kinds of luxury travelers.

Sanur

Sanur

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Sanur

The oldest beach resort in Bali, Sanur has a beautiful coastal ambiance and is popular for its laid-back lifestyle. Pricey than Kuta but cheaper than Seminyak, Sanur is home to many of Bali’s first hotels and luxury beachside resorts. A former fishing village located on Bali’s eastern region, the neighborhood offers a unique combination of contemporary cafes, restaurants, and entertainment venues with a wealth of classic art and culture. Extremely popular among travelers with families and visitors from Europe, Sanur is also the epicenter of the significant Kite Festival that is held in Bali in July every year.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially families and older travelers.
Other Highlights:
Museum Le Mayeur, Bali Beach Golf Course, Bali Safari and Marine Park, and Bali Orchid Garden.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Puri Santrian – A minutes’ walk from the beach, Puri Santrian features beautifully-decorated, spacious guestrooms with facilities such as flat-screen TV, minibar, and charming views of the surrounding tropical garden. Cooking classes, snorkeling, and luxurious Balinese spa treatments can be arranged on request. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Prama Sanur Beach Bali – Set right on the golden sands of Sanur Beach, this fascinating property offers a one-of-a-kind beach retreat equipped with 2 outdoor swimming pools, a full-service spa and wellness center, a fitness center, and a large tropical garden space. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Besakih Beach Hotel – Boasting a private beach, Besakih Beach Hotel offers well-appointed guestrooms with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, cable TV, minibar, dressing room, wardrobe/closet, and a private bathroom with free toiletries. A complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Uluwatu

Uluwatu Temple

Source: ivbar / shutterstock

Uluwatu Temple

The most noteworthy neighborhood in Bukit Peninsula, Bali, Uluwatu’s biggest attraction is its namesake cliff-top temple which is surrounded by a dense tropical forest and is home to many grey long-tailed macaques. Another notable attraction in the area, the surf breaks here are considered among the best breaks of Bali’s southern shore. Come evening, the temple grounds become the ultimate spot to enjoy a traditional Kecak Fire Dance and a spellbinding sunset.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Labuan Sait Beach, Suluban Beach and Beach Caves, Garuda Wisnu Kencana, and Bingin Beach.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Villa Hari Indah – Within less than 2 kilometers of Dreamland Beach and Padang Padang Beach, Villa Hari Indah invites guests to stay at one of their well-furnished guestrooms and enjoy premium amenities such as their refreshing outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a well-stocked bar. Arrangements can be made at the front desk for snorkeling, golfing, windsurfing, and other such adventure activities. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • PinkCoco Bali – A quick walk from the exquisite Padang Padang coastline, PinkCoco Bali provides wonderfully-decorated AC and non-AC guestrooms that feature thoughtfully handpicked Asian furnishings and a private balcony overlooking the soothing scenery. Guests can start their day with a fabulous complimentary breakfast and enjoy a swim in the outdoor pool afterward. Great for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • De Sapphire Cliff Villa Uluwatu – Featuring unprecedented views of the sea, a remarkable outdoor pool, a well-manicured tropical garden, and a friendly concierge, the stylish property offers well-designed rooms and villas within a 5 minutes’ drive from Padang Padang Beach. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Lovina

Pura Beji, Lovina

Source: Dmitry V. Photo / shutterstock

Pura Beji, Lovina

Known primarily for its dolphin spotting scene. Lovina, a beach town in the north of Bali, is a great alternative to the over-crowded and swanky south beaches of Kuta, Legian, and the likes. A black-sand coastline, calmer waves, local villages, and a relaxed night scene are some of the things that quickly sum up the neighborhood. Kalibukbuk village, a small area in the heart of Lovina, is the focal point of the area with its authentic seafood restaurants and quintessential cafes.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Krisna Funtasticland, Lovina Dolphin Statue, Pondok Wisata Mumbul (Amusement Park), and Dolphin Beach.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Puri Mangga Sea View Resort and Spa – Set in a tranquil atmosphere within a close proximity to Lovina Beach, this impressive property offers its guests well-equipped villas and guestrooms with state-of-the-art facilities. A mix of Balinese and Tuscan influence can be seen throughout the property. Guests can ask the front desk to arrange for car rentals, airport transfers, laundry facilities, and babysitting services. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Lovina – A short walk from the beach, the Lovina offers exquisite suites and villas with facilities such as a plunge pool, terrace space, a well-equipped kitchen (in selected rooms), and ensuite bathroom with bathtubs. Great for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Padmasari Resort Lovina – Nestled right on the stunning Lovina beach, this classy resort features an outdoor pool with cushion loungers, modern guestrooms with traditional Balinese décor, and a multi-cuisine restaurant sporting an Indonesian, Asian, and Western dining menu. Dolphin tours and other excursions can be arranged by the hotel staff. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
Where to stay: Best Hotels in Bali, Indonesia
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Bali – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Uluwatu Temple

  • Kuta: Cocos.Bounty / shutterstock
  • Seminyak: Komar / shutterstock
  • Ubud: Monika Vlageryte / shutterstock
  • Canggu: AsiaTravel / shutterstock
  • Jimbaran: Yusnizam Yusof / shutterstock
  • Nusa Dua: Andrey Shapovalov cit / shutterstock
  • Legian: DeltaOFF / shutterstock
  • Sanur: Marius Dobilas / shutterstock
  • Uluwatu Temple: ivbar / shutterstock
  • Pura Beji, Lovina: Dmitry V. Photo / shutterstock