Bali, Indonesia

Hotels in Bali, Indonesia

It is said that the gods reside in the Himalayas, but vacation in Indonesia; Bali to be exact. If travelers only have the best things to say about the smallest of Indonesian province and island, it is because of its native physical attributes, cultural wealth and strategic location in a chain of volcanic lands that brings it right on the path of friendly waves from the Indian Ocean and within ferry distance to similarly well-endowed destinations among more than 17,000.

Things to Do in Bali

“Eat, Pray, Love” gave rise to a new breed of tourists heading straight to the nearest ninth generation seer and healer in Ubud. The more pragmatic ones make pilgrimage to the 15th century Tanah Lot Temple and 11th century Uluwatu Temple to the island’s south. The directional Hindu temples, meant to protect Bali from evil spirits, cling to rocky outcrops and limestone precipice, and put you in front of the most soul-stirring sunsets if not help you attain dramatic spiritual transformation.

There’s an ocean of exclusive beach resorts in Bali in the island’s south so you can be gently stretched and stroked afterwards in a garden setting like in Bali Garden Beach Resort, or in a beach view balcony of Hard Rock Hotel Bali in Kuta.

As the first to put Bali on the backpackers’ map in the 1970s, Kuta is the island’s center of mass tourism, with sun seekers and wave chasers colonizing Bali beach resorts from April to October when the climate is at its best and the breaks friendliest. Score Bali accommodation deals when you book rooms outside of the season, but anytime is a good time to visit, except during Nyepi or the Balinese Silent New Year taking place anytime between mid-March to early April. If you didn’t specifically come for peace and quiet and are itching to shake it all off, hop east to the nearest party island of stunning Trawangan, one of Lombok’s three Gilis.

Long fins and oxygen mask will get you farther, in Nusa Penida’s less-frequented Crystal Bay to the island’s southeast. If you came with huge appetite, Jimbaran will stuff you with enormous fresh prawns marinated in lime and garlic. The expensive restaurants of Seminyak will tempt you with the best eats, but “babi guling” or roast suckling pig marinated in spices for hours will whet your appetite for more aromatic dishes. You are in the land where spices changed the world after all. Tuck yourself into one of Denpasar’s cafes, and enjoy your share.

Where to Stay in Bali

Hotels in Bali range from the “tired” and tested to lavish sanctuaries tucked in the terraced rice fields of Ubud. Ubud is not only at the center of the island, it is also the island’s center for the arts, culture and spirituality. Watch a seventh-generation artisan fashion wood into a “barong” animated wooden mask, or a Legong dancer flick her wrists with methodical precision to the sound of “gamelan.” Summon your patience and allow the “subak” water system in the rice terraces of Jatiluwih teach you the Balinese philosophy of Tri Hita Karana to achieve harmony within yourself, with nature, and with the divine.

If you are wondering where to stay in Bali, the best hotels in Bali, Indonesia are overlooking dramatic limestone gorges carved by the Ayung and Wos Rivers of Ubud, or facing the post-sunset pink of the Indian Ocean in upscale Seminyak to the south. Kuta overflows with budget accommodation in Bali, so if you came with nothing but a surfboard and string bikini, you are in the right place.