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Beautiful Bali is a magnet for all sorts of vacationers: backpackers who love immersing themselves in new cultures, surfers seeking clear waters and big waves, nature enthusiasts of all kinds, spiritual seekers looking for their Zen, sunbathers, foodies, hikers, music lovers and combinations of all of the above. The diversity that this Indonesian island offers is also reflected in its lodging options. Beachfront villas, swanky yoga retreats and backpacker hostels galore are just the beginning of what Bali has to offer, so no matter what your plans, there’s a perfect option for you.
Best Overall: Amori Villas
With the amenities of a luxury resort, the personalized service of a boutique hotel and the privacy of a retreat, this tiny, exquisite property offers visitors an unforgettable and truly Balian experience. Tucked away in the mountains outside Ubud, Amori Villas offers seven individual villas decorated in traditional Balinese style and outfitted with modern amenities. Each villa offers air conditioning, pillowtop King-sized beds, indoor-outdoor marble bathrooms (choose one with a terrazzo bath for the ultimate in bathtime luxury), as well as individual butler service.
Gourmet meals are prepared on site, and include both Western and local menu options. Fill your day with private yoga classes, treatments at the full-service spa, cooking demonstrations, a walk to a nearby traditional village, a dip in the gorgeous infinity pool, a meditation session on a terrace, a guided bird or butterfly walk, or a trip into bustling Ubud for shopping, museums and sightseeing. While the services on offer are extensive and top-quality, Amori Villas’ finest offering is in its staff, which makes every guest feel like a treasured part of the family, and gives visitors a real taste of the hospitality and friendliness that has made Bali famous worldwide.
Best Budget: Legong Keraton Beach Hotel
The Legong Keraton Beach Hotel offers simple, clean, surprisingly chic lodgings right on Canggu Beach, one of North Kuta’s prettiest beaches. Rooms are large and sparsely furnished in a modern style, so there’s plenty of space to stretch out (and room to stow a surfboard). Nearly all rooms offer a sea view. If the beach doesn’t appeal for swimming, take a swim in the hotel’s large and beautiful swimming pool.
A simple hot breakfast is included with your room, and an on-site restaurant offers food throughout the day, but the hotel’s location in a bustling stretch of restaurants, spas, temples and shops means you’ll almost certainly have more fun exploring some of the off-site offerings for food and entertainment.
Best Boutique: Luxe Villas Bali
Get away from it all at this glamorous boutique resort nestled into stretches of rice paddies just five minutes from Ubud. Choose a loft, suite, or multi-bedroom villa, all with expansive views of the surrounding tropical trees, the fields beyond (rice paddies are surprisingly gorgeous), as well as the lush green mountains in the distance. Rooms are individually appointed with dark wood furniture, sleek appliances and brightly-colored local art, both traditional and contemporary. Each room has a spa-style bathroom complete with locally made organic toiletries and a soaking tub deep enough for two, and amenities also include private outdoor showers, luxurious King-sized pillow-topped beds with 450-thread-count cotton jacquard sheets, as well as modern technology such as high-speed Wi-Fi, LED TVs and Bluetooth stereo systems. Rooms are large and comfortable enough that it’s easy to take advantage of the resort’s à la carte private in-room spa services, yoga lessons and sound therapy sessions.
Fine dining is a highlight at Luxe, with a renowned on-site restaurant offering lunch, dinner and an extensive complimentary hot breakfast. High tea is served each afternoon, and you’ll find a fresh fruit bowl in your room daily. Wine lovers, take note: Luxe’s wine list is huge and diverse; one of the best you’ll find in the region.
Best for Families: Novotel Bali Nusa Dua
Novotel is known as a family-friendly chain, but the Novotel Bali Nusa Dua is a cut above the rest. When they’re not splashing around in the massive, kid-friendly on-site pools, kids can enjoy activities such as snorkeling lessons, Balinese costume and dress up parades, kite making and flying and cooking classes in the designated Kids’ Club. While they’re off having a blast in the care of trained professionals, parents can lounge on the beach, indulge in treatments at the full-service spa, dine at any of the resort’s four restaurants or play a round of golf at the adjacent 18-hole Bali National Golf Club.
The Novotel Bali Nusa Dua is a large resort, with many sizes and styles of rooms available, but families should consider the cheerful, sun-filled two-bedroom apartment suites, which come with both a kitchenette for convenience and a private plunge pool for cooling off. The giant soaking tubs in the fully modern bathrooms make bath time almost as much fun as pool time, and in the morning, an ample breakfast buffet gets everyone fueled up to do it all again.
Best for Romance: Jamahal Private Resort and Spa
Honeymooners will swoon for this ultra-romantic villa-style resort, with its linen-swathed four-poster beds, private plunge pools, fully private indoor-outdoor bathrooms complete with tubs for two (filled with flower petals upon your arrival), decadent full-service spa and private beach (reachable by free shuttle). Rather than a central restaurant, Jamahal serves gourmet, organic, locally sourced cuisine in your room for three meals a day, so if you choose, you and your sweetie can just lock yourselves away from the outer world and enjoy paradise together.
Best Luxury: Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Mandapa offers guests a true luxury getaway, with the impeccable design and service that the Ritz-Carlton brand has long been famous for. Get comfortable in a massive, 2000-square-meter villa, complete with a private Balinese garden, a swimming pool, a full marble bathroom with soaking tub and rain shower, living and sleeping areas decorated in a glamorous upscale Balinese style, as well as all the tech you could possibly need.
Dining options include both casual café-style eateries as well as Kubu, a fine dining restaurant combining Balinese and European cuisine. The on-site spa offers not only a thorough menu of massage and skin treatment options but alternative therapies like Reiki, as well as unique local traditions such as fire blessing ceremonies and sessions with Vedic astrologers. Though Mandapa is full-service, guests will almost certainly want to take the shuttle into fascinating Ubud to do a bit of exploration.
Best for Singles: Hard Rock Hotel Bali
The Hard Rock Hotel Bali is a great resort choice for all types of travelers, from business to family and beyond, but it’s a particularly great pick for younger vacationers who enjoy music and nightlife, as live music is a daily event here and the décor is largely music-focused. Not only is live music available at the resort itself, the Hard Rock Hotel Bali is located in Kuta, Bali’s favorite party town, so fantastic nightlife is within reach.
Rooms at the Hard Rock Hotel Bali are spacious and decorated in a fully contemporary style (if you’re looking for Balinese traditional, this isn’t the place to go), and extensive amenities are available on-site, including a full-service spa, several dining options, an enormous pool complex, a rock-climbing wall, a large gym, and, of course, a famous Hard Rock shop.
Best Health and Wellness Retreat: Fivelements Bali Retreat
Every aspect of Fivelements is carefully designed for perfect relaxation and physical and spiritual healing. You might start your day with a decadent but nourishing raw vegan breakfast, then head to the spa for a deep tissue massage and a chakra realignment. After a healthy lunch, you can head to a guided meditation session and then a private yoga class. Take a quick nap in your decadent private suite, decked out with Balinese songket textiles and local art and antiques, then enjoy a plant-based dinner in the thatch-roofed Sakti dining room, followed by an evening Balinese dance demonstration. End the evening with a dip in your outdoor bathtub, hewn from a giant stone boulder, listening to the chirping of birds and the rushing of the sacred Ayung River, then retreat to your comfy bed to rest up for another day of active healing. Bali is known as a place of healing, and Fivelements takes it to a whole new level.
Best Hostel: The Farm Hostel
It’s easy to spend a near fortune staying at one of Bali’s decadent properties, but it’s also quite possible to visit this beautiful island on a backpacker’s budget. The Farm is located just outside of Canggu, among the rice fields and banana trees. It’s a quick bike or scooter ride into town, but visitors can also simply enjoy settling into the comfortable, retreat-like setting.
Female-only and mixed dorms are available, all with air conditioning, comfortable beds with private reading lights and dedicated international outlets, as well as ensuite bathrooms. Private outdoor showers are surprisingly luxurious, and with two pools, lounge areas, landscaped grounds and an on-site cafe, there are plenty of places to relax and make new friends.