Insider Guide | Where to stay in Bali

Insider Guide | Where to stay in Bali

CNNGO recently published their Insider Guide: What to do in Bali. It was full of fantastic tips on hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and attractions from Charlene Fang. Below are their hotel recommendations with great pictures from our Instagram friends.

W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak 

The new rock star on the island, there’s no denying the high-octane glamour that comes with this beachfront property. 

It’s large by Bali standards, but exudes its own sense of cool and calm. 

A room in the main building gets you close to the action. Back from the beach are the hotel’s brilliant, and affordable, private villas and pools.

Very useful is the best of Bali AWAY spa, which remains open 24/7. That’s great news for late-night revelers in need of a foot massage after stumbling in from a night at Woo Bar – Bali’s newest hot spot. 

Equally useful is the hidden sliding door that conceals and reveals bathroom and bedroom areas, and the three-tier main swimming pool for ample lounging and photo opportunities.  

The hotel is far enough from the main array of hotels to keep the beach quiet, while further north is the even quieter Canggu beach. 

The hotel can arrange a motorbike rental for US$5 a day.

Photo by ipii

Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak
+62 361 4738106 

The Colony Hotel

There’s one big plus point about staying at The Colony Hotel: no children under the age of 16 allowed. 

Another bonus is the on-site Jari Menari massage facility. 

Not to be overlooked are the 20 rooms done up in a pretty but minimalist decor. The junior suite comes with a spacious balcony that overlooks the 16-meter pool. 

Photo courtesy of Colony Hotel Bali

Jalan Laksmana 22, Seminyak
+62 361 736160


Located on a headland in Candidasa, high heels are not recommended while staying at the Amankila, as there are plenty of stairs to navigate. 

Luckily, golf carts are readily available to transport you down to the beach club where a generous strip of black sand beach remains tout-free. 

If you’re tired of the sand and wanting to know what to do in Bali come sunset, try watching the changing color of the sky from the hotel’s signature triple-stepped swimming pool. 

Early bookers, try to get upgraded to villa 37 – reportedly the resort’s most requested villa – which enjoys the best view of the ocean. 

Photo by scottawoodward

Manggis, Bali
+62 361 341333

Anantara Resort Seminyak

Bali has a quirky local rule stating that buildings should not be higher than a palm tree. This five-story property just makes the cut. 

Sitting front and center on Seminyak beach, all 59 suites (and one penthouse) come with ocean views. 

Penthouse suites come with attached outdoor lounge space and a terrazzo bath, so you can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves. 

Photo by threeayu

Jalan Abimanyu (dhyana Pura), Seminyak
+62 361 737773

Michi Retreat 

Ubud is where artists flock, so if you’re staying here, it makes sense to put up at a property with artistic inclinations. 

Michi is a work in progress, and its creator, the septuagenarian Professor Kung, calls himself a nomad. Hence, the resort near Jukut Paku is an eclectic collection of rooms that are always changing. 

Adding another dimension to the experience are mosaic grottos that overlook a particularly spectacular stretch of the River Wos.

Photo courtesy of Michi Retreat

Jukut Paku Village, Ubud
+62 361 8987021

Harmony Hotel 

Cheap and cheerful, and located just minutes walk from Seminyak beach, this is one of the best values in Seminyak. 

The rooms are decent sized and come with Wi-Fi and a TV.  

All rooms are located around a common mosaic pool. Breakfast included.

Photo courtesy of Harmony Hotel

Jalan Drupadi 234, Seminyak
+62 361 737711

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Away from the coast, amid dense bamboo jungle and perched looking over the sacred Ayung River is this wonderful, peaceful retreat.  

Jungle wildlife and the occasional screams of rafters thrusting along the river are the only sounds to intrude upon the privacy of each villa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan.

All 42 thatched maxi-huts/villas come with an outdoor shower that overlooks the river valley and a plunge pool that releases itself endlessly into the jungle’s steamy abyss. There are also 18 suites.

You are far from the maddening crowds and if a non-beach stay is what you are looking for, your budget is well spent here.

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Sayan

Sayan, Ubud, 80571 Gianyar, Bali
+62 (361) 977577

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali

Since it relaunched in 2009 as AYANA Resort and Spa Bali, this hotel has bagged a whole slew of significant awards for its bar (see below), its accommodations and the spa. And it is clear why.

Despite the size of the place (there are over 350 rooms, suites and villas — some on the cliff with staggering sunset views) there is still a sense of privacy and space. The rooms and hotel design are very well done — well appointed without the over the top ‘luxury flourishes.’

The hotel sits high above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s south-western peninsula so it is a bit of a schlep from the busier Seminyak, Kuta, Legian stretch. Not a bad thing, but it is harder to pop away should, for some reason, you want to escape. 

The above are some of the reasons the hotel is also proving a popular wedding (and honeymoon) destination.

Photo by raniiputii

Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali 80364
+62-361 702222


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