Below the airport is a small bulge off the main Island known as the Bukit. Full of luxury resorts, private beaches and local villages you are spoilt for choice here.
BTDC – Good for luxury resorts
The BTDC is a gated, private development which houses some of the most luxury resorts. It has a beautiful beach (but not those killer sunsets) and some high-end beach dining. To be honest, I am not a massive fan of staying away from the real Bali but for a few nights to chill out, you can’t go wrong here.
The prices are pretty steep but if you are on honeymoon or looking to literally just switch off and not explore this is a great spot.
LUXURY: THE ST REGIS
I wish I could personally afford to stay here. The food was amazing, the resort and service impeccable and my friend who got to review it was blown away beyond words. Just being in the restaurant and seeing how intimate the resort is was enough to convince me to include it.
MID-RANGE: MERCURE NUSA DUA
A great affordable option on the outskirts of the BTDC area. Marriott style luxury resort built around pools and gardens with a short walk/shuttle to a reserved beach area and the first place I stayed on my 4-year would trip.
MID-RANGE / BUDGET: THE GRAND WHIZ
Located right next to the Sofitel and minutes from the beach this resort actually can be super cheap if you look for the right deals at the right time, I’ve stayed here plenty of times at heavily discounted rates when available, though on paper the rates as standard are higher.
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Nusa Dua – Good for village life
POPULAR NUSA DUA ATTRACTIONS:
BEAUTIFUL BEACHES | SURFING & BLOWHOLE | LUXURY RESORTS
The BTDC sits within Nusa Dua but as it is outside the development I’ll give it its only place to shine. Home to one of the most ‘luxurious resort’ in the world the Mulia – it sits in contrast to the small local village of Sawangan slightly further inland I spent a couple of months calling home. There is some great surf around here near Geger Beach.
There are a few secret beaches nearby which are stunning and usually empty (drive down the dirt tracks near the Ritz).
LUXURY: THE RITZ-CARLTON
This recently opened hotel (2017) with its private beach, Bali vibes and so much greenery is the ultimate place to stay and relax whilst being close enough to plenty of activities.
LUXURY: THE MULIA
This resort is huge, and has a vast arrange of options but it is stunning and even if you aren’t a guest you should heed my following tip: For $80 you can get Sunday brunch at the Mulia with free flow food AND booze for four hours, when you know how expensive wine is in Bali it will seem like a steal! I took my parents here for Christmas Day last year and it was a real treat.
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MID-RANGE: SWISS BEL SEGARA
Located further away from the beach but thus affordable, simple rooms, great pool and a breezy vibe. Car / Bike recommended. Good coffee, used to continue to come here for work and wifi a fair bit after I moved into a home in the village.
MID-RANGE: THE NEST HOTEL
I stayed here over Christmas with my parents and it’s outside the complex just before Benoa. Good affordable prices and a nice rooftop pool with swim up bar.
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BUDGET: VILLA ANJING
This village is one of those super chilled places in the village I used to call home so you get a much more local feel. Pool and ocean views at the top of the hill. Car / Bike recommended + a love for a few dogs.
Benoa – Good for water sports
POPULAR BENOA ATTRACTIONS:
FERRIES TO ISLANDS | WATER SPORTS | SCUBA DIVING
Benoa is the stretch of sand which points back to the mainland on the map. The beach here is not the best for sunbathing or families but has plenty of water-sports options and as such the accommodation prices here are usually cheaper than the main Bukit area.
That said, the beaches here are a lot more local in feel and with the water sports going on aren’t the best sands for relaxing / cleanliness.
LUXURY: MANTRA SAKALA
This suite hotel + beach club with its lagoon pool you can roll out of bed into was perhaps one of the best hotels I have ever seen except when I stayed the pool was closed due to Algae so I checked out early although after checking back with them (Nov 18) the problem was just an opening teething issue).
MID-RANGE: IBIS STYLES
A pretty standard Ibis hotel which can usually be booked at a great price and good value given its proximity to the beach.
BUDGET: WANGSA CONDO
Apartment style accommodation down a small side street but not a long walk to the beach. Great prices and a good pool to chill in.
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Jimbaran – Good for seafood and sunset
POPULAR JIMBARAN ATTRACTIONS:
FRESH FISH MARKET | SURF NEARBY
Jimbaran bay beach looks back across the airport and has some killer sunsets. I always head down to treat myself at Sundara beach club for an amazing spice old fashioned and to catch the last rays of the day from the pool. The beach is nice and there are plenty of fresh fist restaurants to pick from plus a lot of accommodation options. Being pretty close to the airport makes this the perfect nearby stop point from the Airport if Kuta is off the radar.
LUXURY: FOUR SEASONS
Again, one I wish I could stay at but I have only used the Sundara beach club (amazing spiced old fashioneds), pools and the resort restaurants as a guest. Perfect location, great rooms but insane prices. Maybe one for your honeymoon trip…
MID-RANGE: KERATON BEACH RESORT
This resort is actually rather luxurious and I really loved how Balinese in style it is. When i stayed there I found the rooms slightly older than many of the newer hotels in Bali which is why I’m assuming the prices were lower than similar starred hotels.
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MID-RANGE: WATERMARK HOTEL & SPA
The Watermark Hotel is crazy cheap for the accommodation it offers. With a rooftop and ground level pool, top service and amazing room details including private pool villas the five-minute walk to the beach is covered with your own private shuttle. You can see more about the Watermark on my Jimbaran travel guide.
Uluwatu – Good for temples and beach clubs
POPULAR ULUWATU ATTRACTIONS:
MONKEY TEMPLE | TRADITIONAL DANCE | PRIVATE BEACH CLUBS
On the far south of the Bukit is Uluwatu – famous for its beautiful cliffside temples and monkeys. It is also home to plenty of luxury hotels, villas and surf bars. I have hung out at Finns beach club (now re-branded – Finn’s has moved) and Single Fin which are great spots to chill by day or the latter for a few evening drinks as well.
LUXURY: THE UNGASAN
These beautiful ocean views and chilled out vibes are all over Bali but here felt super special. You also have the bonus of the beach club with its crystal clear coral waters.
MID-RANGE: ULUWATU COTTAGES
An affordable option if you want ocean views from your pools – a good choice if you have a group and want to stay in a similar place but not at villa prices.
BUDGET: DI-PONDOK HOMESTAY
Simple, affordable and a good option for this area. Prices are pretty high around the Bukit but you can usually get a crazy cheap deal here.
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