a VirtualTourist member from Melbourne
My husband and I are looking at staying in Bali in July from around the 18th-29th. We are not party animals so Kuta is not really where we want to stay. What we do want though is a accommodation that is walking distance to shopping, restaurants and bars. We are probably looking at a budget of about $125 per night at the most for accommodation. Neither of us have been to Bali before so we are not sure where to start with our research. This holiday will be for our first wedding anniversary also so we want it to be special.
Unfortunately the main shopping areas are at Kuta, Denpasar, Legian, and i believe that you are not interested in these places which are all kind of cluttered together. This link above will give you an idea where the best shopping areas are, including lots of local markets. There are restaurants and bars all over the island so that is not a problem. If i was to choose an area i would go for Nusa Dua in the south as there are many good hotels and you will be away from the crazy party scene of Kuta and Legian. You did not mention if you want to be near a beach but there are some quite good beaches in the area. Hope this helps you!
We visited Bali 3 years ago (april-may). Mervellous.
First Kuta, in Boutique Hotel; nice, and shops around, but not beautiful place.
After Candidasa, in Puribagus Hotel, splendid, beautiful around, swimmimg pool, beach, etc. (but no shops)
Third in Ubud, Pertiwi Hotel, a jewel, in the city, full of shops, massage, park, etc
Prices perhaps expensive... I don't know, we arrange the trip in Yakarta with an agency (probably Panorama).
you will enjoy it! people, temples, etc. Good luck
Ubud- without a doubt.
The lovliest area of Bali
I would suggest try Sanur, which is about 20 minutes taxi from the airport. Here you will find many excellent restaurants and bars. It's very easy to arrange a taxi if you want to go to kuta or Legian for the shops. I went to Sanur 3 years ago and going back again this year. It is a world away from Kuta and Legian. Nusa Dua is a purpose built gated resort, where you go through security each time you go in and out. It's probably quieter than the rest, but is also not the "real" Bali!
There's plenty of choice of accommodation in Sanur, from larger hotels to smaller villas. There is a cycle way/ footpath along the beach. You can book tours to other parts of the island from here as well. You may also want to try a two centre holiday and try a few nights in Ubud, which is the cultural centre of Bali. I'm sure there's plenty of info on here regarding Sanur and Ubud.
Absolutely Ubud - plenty of shopping, restaurants, things to do, easy walking with many hotels right in the center of town ranging from boutique to home stays.
Additionally, Ubud is the cultural center of the country.
From here you can take day trips outwards in a more convenient fashion to explore rest of island.
I don't blame you for wanting to avoid Kuta.
Enjoy wonderful Bali and it's equally wonderful people.
We stayed in Sanur reasonably quiet but it has a beach, shops, restaurants and bus transport to other parts of the island. In terms of culture Ubud is fantastic - very, very interesting, just not on the coast.
Are you intending on staying in one spot for the eleven days, or are you happy to move? If you want to do some day trips, I would suggest a few nights in Candi Dasa - pretty relaxed, some nice hotels and restaurants, but not much of a beach. From Candi Dasa you can visit Tirta Gangga (which is a beautiful place to stay in itself), Tenganan (an orang asli village) and Pasir Putih (a lovely white sand beach a few kms from Candi Dasa).
You could then move on to Ubud where you can get your fill of shopping, great restaurants, cultural performance and day or half day trips to temples.
Have a happy anniversary
It is also a beautiful (scenically) area of Bali
Thanks everyone for your responses. It's always so hard to know where to start researching when you haven't been somewhere before. I didn't mention that hubby and I are often interested in day trips and tours. Staying in accommodation on the beach would be lovely if we can find something at a reasonable price but not essential. When I stayed in Phuket I was walking distance to the main strip but far enough away that you could either walk to the main strip or take a tuk tuk. This worked really well. When we stayed in Hawaii in Kona for our honeymoon whilst our hotel was lovely we were miles away from anything and had to drive everywhere all the time which was frustrating. We definitely don't need to be in Kuta but definitely happy to be walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops and markets in a slightly quieter area then happy to take taxi to Kuta as needed. Oh, for me, massages and pampering is a must :-)
We stayed at the Bali Hyatt it Sanur ...it was amazing and a great price..nice beach and walking distance to restaurants and little shops
Reading back over your responses again I'm starting to think that Ubud is the place to go. I know it's nowhere near a beach but that is ok for us
Not without some degree of bias, which is hopefully understandable, I cannot but wholeheartedly agree with the sage advice offered by my colleagues, lynnehamman and Homanded.
Ubud has been my 24/7 home for the past 15 years and I can’t think of a better place on this great island to park yourself during your visit to Bali. It is for no small reason that Ubud is called the cultural heart of Bali, as it is exactly that.
Within your stated budget you will find a great many places to stay in Ubud, including “central Ubud” or “downtown” as some of us call the Jalan Raya, Hanuman, Monkey Forest area. As suspicious at it might sound, there are many options, and all of them have their own specific charm and appeal.
Late July is the start of our peak tourist season. It will be busy here, and for your own peace of mind, you might want to consider booking a place in advance. Normally I suggest to friends coming over to wait until they are here and able to check out the numerous and diverse places in person, but with your arrival date you should consider advance booking at least for your first three nights.
Once you are here and looking around, you’ll certainly find some particular areas to be of much greater appeal to you than others, and you can then move on to another place to stay, or perhaps another part of Bali. The diversity here is mind blowing, and a twenty minute drive in one or another direction can leave you wondering if you have been transported to another island. With a 10 day or so visit, even I (as in love with Ubud as I am) would consider splitting my time elsewhere such as East Bali or the north central highlands and perhaps even the north and north west coast.
Congratulations (selamat) on your first anniversary together, and best wishes for a fabulous “second honeymoon.”
My family have always stayed in sanur. There are many hotels that would suit your budget. Why not divide your time between Ubud and sanur. Start in Ubud for 5 or 6 days. Then you can do day trips from there. Come back to sanur for the second half of your trip And see the southern partof the island. I can recommend the St Regis Hotels Kayaputi restaurants Sunday brunch to celebrate you anniversary. I went there last year to celebrate my 50 th birthday with my sister. It's in Nusa Dua south of sanur.
With the more reading and research I do Ubud definitely appears to be on the cards for the first part of our trip. For the second part of our trip however, I am torn between Sanur and Nusa Dua
Sanur is the oldest beach development area for tourism in Bali dating back to the 1950's and as such it has a sort of unique charm to it. The beach there is good, and the swimming is safer than in many other areas because of a long coral reef offshore. It is very popular with families so you can expect a goodly amount of kids to be around.
Nusa Dua is the high end resort location in southern Bali. There is very little of any traditional Bali there, but there are some very fine beach resorts.
Although I love Ubud, I also recommend Nusa Dua. We stayed at the Sheraton Nusa Dua a few years ago, and it was a memorable experience. The hotel has 2 pools, a gym, and its own private beach.
The hotel is beautifully furbished, and very romantic. There were scented candles in our room, and rose petals sprinkled on our bed. And all this for just a long time married couple! We were incredibly impressed. There is breakfast included, and they offer freeshuttle transport to shopping areas. On the lawns just above the beach there were massage tables under the trees, with free massage from Indonesion ladies.
I tend to “knock” Nusa Dua Lynne, and that’s only from a personal bias and opinion.
I call Nusa Dua the “Disney Land” of Bali because it’s all pretty much contrived and created out of endless land fills and development ala “western style.” Prior to the 1970’s there was practically nothing there, and most of its “Balinese culture” is imported from other areas of Bali.
There is nothing essentially wrong with that, and indeed Nusa Dua fills a huge demand for western tourists to Bali. Whenever heads of states (including Obama) visit Bali, that is where they will be situated, and Nusa Dua is Bali’s convention center which is hugely important to the overall growth in tourism.
However, for anyone serious about discovering “the real Bali” Nusa Dua is on the bottom of my list of recommendations.
Another annoying aspect (for me anyway) is that Nusa Dua, for Russian tourists, is becoming what Kuta, is for Australian tourists. Without risking a hailstorm of insulting comments, I’ll leave it at that and let the reader read between the lines. ;)
No argument re your opinion- I in fact stated that I really preferred Ubud (in an earlier reply)
However, for a special occasion (like a wedding anniversary) it would take a lot to beat the Sheraton Nusa Dua.
They give VERY special attention, and even to us- a couple married for decades............this was a wonderful experience.
You’re absolutely right Lynne with your response to “thestumps.”
Personally I’d enjoy hearing from that member what exactly there is to do in Kuta that I’ve somehow overlooked. LOL
And…Ubud is for old people?
According to this “tongue in cheek” Bali blogger, (link below), the average age of tourists to Ubud is 33. As I’m here 24/7 365 days a year and have been for the last 15 years (coincidentally, the last time “thestumps” sat foot on Bali), I’d agree with that.
As a quick follow up, this is what one can expect on any given night in Kuta, Bali these days:
Pocket Rocket. You are right about Kuta, not the place you really want to go. We just got back from our 6th trip to Bali. Sanur/Amed/Nusa Dua/Ubud. Loved them all but without a doubt Ubud is the best. We have stayed at 4 different hotels in Ubud, and this time we hit the jackpot. Pertiwi Resort and SPA, on Monkey Forest Road, right in the middle of Ubud (between the Market and the Monkey Forest. Far enough off the street that you do not hear the traffic. We paid $71 (USD) per night, that included the taxes and had a beautiful room, with balcony, with breakfast, with bottled water every day and with refrig, beautiful pool Its a huge property, its clean, really beautiful surrounding, great staff. When we go back, we definitely will stay again. Some places: Three great Museums (Neka, Arma, Blanco) some great restaurants (Cinta's - our favorite and we usually stop everyday - Mojito's for Happy Hour, best Ribs in town, great staff - its right across the street from the Pertiwi), tell them Mr. John from Florida says hello. Cafe Des Artiste - tremendous steaks, on Bisma Road. Dian, great Duck and best price for local beer, its just down a block from the Pertiwi. Green Leaf is a fairly new restaurant, we stopped in a couple of times., and liked it, they have music also at night. There is a hugh Market in Ubud, there are a large number of shops, restaurants, etc. A note, if you need to use the internet, the Information building on Monkey Forest Road is the cheapest and they are very helpful there. The Lotus Cafe, the one by the Temple has a beautiful view and behind there you can get to the Rice Fields. We have been 6 times to Bali, used the same driver/guide all 6 times. Definitely worth an email to check him out. He is a certified guide, knows all the places, speaks perfect English, is trustworthy. We use him for pick up at airport, takes to and from our hotels, and tours. He has two emails: [email] and
[email]. Highly recommend him. Have a great time.
Normally I won’t engage in arguments on this forum, but there are a number of complete inaccuracies and misconceptions being conveyed here by “Thestups” and they need to be addressed.
Firstly, Bali has changed considerably since his last visit 15 years ago, and what would have been good advice back then is often not good advice today. That is particularly true of Kuta which has undeniably fallen into the status of a running amok party town complete with prostitution, drugs, and exactly the kind of behavior accurately depicted in the videos that Lynne and I linked to in our earlier posts.
Nobody knows this better than someone like me who has been living here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the past 15 years. It’s appalling what Kuta has become, and virtually nobody aside from young party hungry college kids (or sailors looking for a break after being at sea for long spells) would even consider it for their vacation. That is the singular message that anyone can read about Kuta, Bali on any internet forum.
This isn’t opinion, rather, this is fact.
Furthermore, as for places on Bali to enjoy good food, Kuta isn’t is hardly mentioned these days. The highest rated, and hands down best restaurants in Bali (from street food to haut cuisine) are to be found in Ubud, Seminyak, Dusa Dua, Jimbaran, Sanur…or almost anywhere than Kuta. Even the Balinese avoid Kuta these days, and many of them that had businesses there have moved out. The majority of Indonesians to be found in Kuta now are not Balinese…rather they are from other areas of Indonesia. Again, that is just simple fact.
As for the hotels in Ubud being “shabby” why is it that many of the five star hotels on Bali are to be found in Ubud, including the Amandari and the The Four Seasons? To be honest, in 15 years I have never heard a comment along the lines of “the hotels in Ubud are shabby” and in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. You want shabby, check out the dumps along the gangs that run off of Jalan Legian in Kuta.
Stumps…it’s pretty simple really. I haven’t been to Silver Springs, Maryland in about 18 years. I would never presume to offer opinions about it because my thoughts and opinions would be useless beyond some historical anecdote. In other words, what I would have to say wouldn’t be relevant or meaningful to today’s traveler.
Finally, regarding your rather flippant reference to the tragic terrorist bombing in Kuta, October 12, 2002, it was 88 (not some 200) of the deceased victims that were Australians. The rest of the 202 people killed were from Indonesia, the UK and other nations, including 7 Americans. The Islamic extremist terrorists selected Paddy’s Pub and the Sari Club because both were popular with US sailors on R and R during port of call visits which ironically had been suspended almost a full year earlier.
Those visits by the US Navy were only restored in early 2011 and I know this first hand being invited (along with my wife and three boys) to visit the USS Guardian while here in Bali in May 2011:
Thank you for your clarification. I also do not like to get embroiled in these pointless back and forth arguments............but the OP should have correct information.
Lets hope that it ends now.
Pocket... just read your request for info again and maybe we didn't answer what you really wanted - where to start, research.
I use a couple of places to look for info: Virtual tourist is definitely one. The Forum has always been helpful. On hotels, I use a couple of research places: Agoda.com and Asia Rooms.com. When I find our what there prices are on Agoda and Asia Rooms, I also go direct to the hotel on line and see what they are charging. From those 3 I select a couple of hotels, I want to look into.
Once I find a hotel that looks good, thats when I look them up in Trip Advisor and Virtual Tourist.
I can't say enough about the hotel in Ubud we stayed at this time: Pertiwi Resort & SPA. Right in the center of Ubud, shops, bars and restaurants. Clean, nice rooms, good breakfast. Also the Aston Bali Beach Resort and SPA in Nusa Dua was very nice. I know it looks like I spent a lot of time on the computer looking for places, well I do, we are retired, so we shop around to find the best deals. Still the best of the best is our driver. Merta have used him all 6 trips to Bali. John
a good Place is in Nusa Dua you have a good choice of many Hotels