Bali is for many reasons one of the most visited islands in the world. Also, it is cataloged as the most beautiful of Indonesia. Bali’s charm is not a point of discussion; surrounded by majestic seas and astonishing beaches all over it, Bali has plenty of treasures that make the visit worthy and unforgettable.
Even though Bali is the favorite destination of millions of travelers all over the world, there are some that still are not convinced with this paradisiac island. As any other popular destination, it has lovers, that say out loud how wonderful this place is, and haters that have absolutely nothing pretty to say about Bali. The impression you get from Bali will depend, of course, on the type of location you are expecting to find.
The truth is that this beautiful island is blessed with a great variety of natural wonders, rich culture, friendly population, lots of ancient temples, unique art, and low-cost lifestyle. However, some people may say that the Tourism Rush developed in Bali Island have made this place lose part of its charm.
No matter good or bad comments you may hear about Indonesia’s gem, Bali is undoubtedly a place that must be visited, at least once in a lifetime. Now, we'll show you the best and worst places to stay there.
Best places to stay in Bali
Let’s be clear! The main idea of this text is not to convince you or to try to change your mind and opinions; we must admit that every person has a different criterion to consider something good or bad. Yet, what we intend is to help you before you choose by showing you everyplace in the most honest way.
If you are looking for an all-inclusive hotel with all the commodities, Nusa Dua is absolutely the place for you. This famous beach is the area where the largest amount of five-star resorts are; a private beach, spas, meals made by international chefs are some of the features you will find in Nusa Dua. It is said that in this rich zone is where celebrities and millionaires stay when visiting the amazing Bali. However, you don’t need to be either famous nor a millionaire to do so, yet a higher budget is required.
This gorgeous place is very often chosen by families and couples because of the serene environment; everything in this place emanates relax, crowds are rarely seen and staff will please all your desires. As every resort has its own part of the beach, it makes it more private and secure as well.
In this spot, paddle boarding is a great idea. Also, hotels offer services on the beach, such as beach umbrellas, restaurants, massages, and cocktails to guarantee you have an unforgettable stay.
This prestigious area is located in northern Kuta Beach. Seminyak beach is renowned for the great amount of luxury and comfort you can find in the zone. Even though it is so near from crazy Kuta Beach, Seminyak is a calm place; relax and serenity reign in this bay. In here, an enormous diversity of high-class restaurants, fancy cafés and bars, chic fashion boutiques and five-star resorts are easily found.
This area can be described as the best one to stay in Bali without quitting comfort; it also means this place would require a bigger budget from the visitors. On the other hand, not everything is about elaborated villas; Seminyak beach is famous among the neighbors, it is also one of the cleanest ones on the island, which means a lot for tourists given the fact that Bali has gained recognition as a dirty place, always full of trash.
The coast is a combination of sheer blue water and sand in different tonalities: from shiny gold to dark and volcanic. The natural enchant of Seminyak also includes the various activities you can enjoy by staying there: sunrises and sunsets are absolutely breathtaking, aquatic sports are often practiced in this bay; on land, like horseback riding around the coast and when the sun goes out: have a dinner in a prestigious restaurant and then why not go dancing in a private club? All these reasons and many more, make this place a good one to stay.
This 3 km approximately bay has very good rates among travelers. Despite the fact it can get a bit crowded during the day, it is way calmer than the famous Kuta Beach. This zone is popular for several reasons: it is perfect for partying like Kuta but with a less hassle vibe; contains an astonishing beach, the flawless spot to get suntanned; good quality hotels with front views of the bay, extravagant nightlife without getting too wild, and many other facts make this place a must one.
Another excellent feature about Legian beach is the good prices for equally good services; in there, you can book in a very good hotel with lower rates in comparison with other zones like Seminyak and Nusa Dua. Legian has an incredible beach, loved by surfers who spend the day in the strong and steady waves, while non-surfers enjoy the sun lying in the sand and diving from time to time in the warm turquoise water.
This fantastic beach is located in a very convenient part, staying here will allow you to move to any other area easily. To sum up, Legian combines the opportunity to enjoy all its beauty smoothly and let you move freely to the neighboring areas.
In case you are looking for a place that combines the real lifestyle of the island without the annoyance of multitudes, Sanur is the perfect spot. Located on the isthmus, this little beach is part of a fishermen village; it means you would get to know how the Balinese used to be before tourism. However, locals will treat you as you deserve.
The serenity of this beach is unbelievable, including sea and land! First, you have the powdery sand, flawless to lie and perfect for building sandcastles; then, a majestic coral reef and breakwaters make this bay so serene. Sanur beach is one of the most favorite spots for families with children because the little ones can splash in the water without any concern.
Good places to stay can be found, not luxury speaking yet, well-done services. Different activities can be practiced in here, from windsurfing to snorkeling in the coral reef, joining local fishermen on their duty and trying to catch a fish by yourself is a fun idea too. On land, walking and biking paths will lead you all around the bay to catch awe-inspiring views.
A gorgeous place with a very convenient location; right in the isthmus between the peninsula and mainland, Jimbaran combines best of worlds: luxury resorts, not in the same quantity as in Nusa Dua or Seminyak yet there are some with majestic views from every suite, and local hostels perfect to get along with the community with all basic services guaranteed for any option you pick.
Jimbaran is known because of very good reasons: despite the fact that it is less than 30 minutes away from crowded Kuta; the difference is so big you will forget you are so close to chaos; many transportation options are available to take you from there and vice versa. Also, the very best seafood on the island is found here in Jimbaran; actually, if you decide not to stay here, having dinner at least once in this beach is a total must.
This bay is a safe place to stay, not too big yet not congested. It has both locals and international stores to do your shopping. The beach has calm and warm water to dive in and golden soft sand to enjoy a drink and sunbathe.
By the way, talking about the sun, watching the sunset on this beach is something you definitely have to do. Locals use to say that Jimbaran is a place that forces people to relax, all the environment help you to let your concerns aside; maybe, this is why newlyweds couples pick it as the honeymoon destination.
Worst places to stay in Bali
Once again, it is necessary to say that most things are absolutely subjective; opinions can and will differ from one person to another. However, these places are categorized by many travelers as the worst to stay in Bali for reasons that are going to be explained below.
It is, without any doubt, the most popular beach area on the entire island. Nevertheless, it is not the most loved one. Kuta Beach is the main focus of visitors; it carries with some facts that may make your vacation a little bit unpleasant. For example, Kuta concentrates the majority of hotels, restaurants, bars, and stores on the island; it means that tons of travelers converge here every day making traffic so heavy to handle. When picking a place to eat or get a drink, the waiting time is long too. Also, as a consequence of tourist crowds, the beach and the streets are often littered with rubbish.
If what you are looking for is a calm place, without noisy bars and drunken visitors, Kuta is not the most suitable place for you. It does not mean you have to avoid this area; Kuta is by far an iconic zone of Bali that has to be visited, yet you can get to know it without staying there.
Not all is bad in here; this place still is beautiful, perfect for surfing in the blue-green water which is a reason why Australian surfers love to visit Bali and socialize with travelers all around the world but, it has lost an important part of its essence product of the tourism industry.
This city is very far from being a tourist paradise; the only acceptable reason to stay there is based on the proximity to the airport of the island, in case your flight departs too early in the morning or arrives late night to go straight to a popular area. Nevertheless, even this reason can be solved with a few more minutes of travel to another place for safety and comfort.
Denpasar is the political capital city of Bali island, it is a big, industrial and noisy city; not designed for tourism purposes. Traffic in Denpasar is heavy, even locals hate it; the city is very polluted and full of trash everywhere. As it is not a place frequented by foreigners, it has few attractions to offer apart from a local market and a street full of gold sales.
There is no beach around Denpasar either so, by staying here you will not feel the tropical sense of the island. Given the fact that this city receives few little tourists, it can be dangerous for the ones that dare to spend the night there; remember that a foreigner carries money and some pickpockets may get interested in it.
Sadly, this part of the island is in a very bad condition for several aspects; locals have used natural elements such as coral reefs and sand as materials for building houses and stores, this has left the beach in a very poor situation for visitors. The beach is rocky and not sandy anymore which makes it tough to walk in. Moreover, the act of swimming here is hard and risky. The combination of rocks, broken coral pieces, and the strong tide is far from being the best.
A possible reason for the carelessness in this area is caused by the lower tourism that visits this part of the island in comparison with the southern zone of Bali. Even though in Candidasa Beach resorts and hotels exist, the quality is not the best one; the status of the installations are neglected; services are poorly done and hygiene is not always guaranteed. Travelers may get ill due to the lack of hygiene in the meal preparation and cleaning of the rooms.
This stunning beach is a well-saved gem of this island yet it has dark secrets too. What happens with Lovina starts with its remote location which makes getting there a duty task, even using google maps would be hard, given the fact that roads are not urban at all and getting stuck into dead-end roads is very common.
If you are still planning to go there; once you arrive you will notice that this beach of 10 km long combines many small villages, with the main attractions, focused on the village of Kalibubuk. This area is not well developed yet; tourism industry has not touched the area which can be great for people who think that it may help to truly know the island.
However, it will mean that basic services are not optimal. It is advised to not use ice in any kind of beverage as it may get you sick. Same happens with food, visitors have manifested getting stomach problems after eating local food in Lovina. This zone of the island has decreased its popularity as a consequence of the many cases of tropical illness such as malaria that tourists avoid for sure.
Let’s be honest, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this place! Ok, having said that, here are the reasons why not to stay there. This little island is the pure definition of paradise, the struggle is that a ferry boat will be required to get there; it means that if you want to go to any other place in Bali, another ferry ticket back to the mainland is necessary.
Nusa Lembongan is an astonishing must in your journey through Bali. However, staying there can be difficult for your transportation a bit. Anyway, there are two interesting options to solve any problem you may struggle:
1. Choose a fast boat from Bali to Nusa Lembongan very early in the morning, so you can spend the entire day of Lembongan's wonders and come back to the mainland at the end of the day.
2. Book Nusa Lembongan as your last destination right before leaving Bali Island. By doing this, you can spend all the time you want there without worrying about how to go somewhere else.
Last pieces of advice
Bali has fairly gained the popularity it has, we cannot discuss the majesty of this paradise. Even though people fall in love with this island daily and keep considering it as a gem for vacations, there are some that don’t agree with this premise. However, travelers will always talk, especially on the internet to express their opinions.
In case you are planning to visit Bali as your next destination, reading about it can solve many doubts you may have but, you definitely should not believe every opinion whether good or bad you read about any place; maybe someone likes something you don’t and vice versa.
To sum up, Bali will always stay a wonderful option on everyone’s list, never doubt it! Here, in Baliferry we will be more than pleased to be a part of your memories.