Kuta Beach

Hotels in Kuta, Indonesia

Since the discovery of its surf-friendly shores in the 1970s, Kuta in the south has been Bali's all-night beach party scene, one of the three ‘Ks’ of the 1980s’ backpacker route that included Kathmandu of Nepal and Khao San Road of Bangkok. Today, Kuta remains one of the top surf spots in Southeast Asia and, with overflowing cheap hotels in Kuta, Bali’s undisputed center of mass tourism.

Where to Stay in Kuta

Kuta was the first to put Bali on the travelers’ map, thanks to its five kilometers of broad sandy beach and the Indian Ocean crashing to coral-free shores in beginner-friendly waves. Swimmable in some spots, Kuta’s beach is best approached with caution; watch out for flags that indicate strong undertows.

When deciding where to stay in Kuta, Bali the overwhelming majority of resorts in Kuta are beachfront, but because of continual growth despite the tragic events of 2002, hotels in Kutabali have likewise sprouted in awkward locations that contribute to congestion. If you’d like a modicum of peace and quiet but still want to be within earshot of raucous parties, opt to stay in Kuta beach hotels in Legian, a sub-district 15 minutes north. Kuta Lagoon Resort is here, along with a broad selection of other mid-market accommodation. Prices are still within reasonable, and Padma Beach is no less gorgeous, has better surf breaks, and fewer crowds. Sunsets are equally dramatic too!

The best hotels in Kuta are immediately north of Legian in Seminyak, once a backwater and now preens with about a hundred 5 star hotels in Kuta and a couple hundred more four-star accommodation.

Seminyak’s nightlife has nothing of the drunken bikini scene of Kuta proper, and even surfing is more on the hobbyist side, but the shopping, dining and pampering are the best in Indonesia. Many couples come for special ceremonies near the low-key Petitenget Temple; it has spectacular beachside setting and affords a view of legendary sunsets.

Bali’s Directional Temples are a short drive from hotels in Kuta, Indonesia

When in Kuta, it’s impossible to suffer from beach fatigue – at five kilometers and then some, activities in, on and underwater are endless – but if you want to get spiritual and escape the worldliness that has invaded south Bali, the 16th century offshore Tanah Lot Temple and the cultural heart of the island that is Ubud are less than an hour northwest and north, respectively.

At low tide, wade your way to the rock outcropping where the temple is perched. The few villas found in the vicinity don’t rival the kind of plush accommodation in Kuta, but know that an overnight stay is an option if you want to experience mystical sunsets and not pay exorbitant taxi fares back to Kuta proper.

Less than an hour south of Kuta beach resorts awaits an equally spiritual experience without the swarm of touts chasing tourists with odd souvenirs. Bukit Peninsula, Bali’s southernmost tip, is a more serene lookout point to witness the sun dip from the grounds of the cliff-hanging Uluwatu Temple, another of Bali’s directional temples that are thought to protect the island from evil spirits. Big waves crash at the foot of vertical limestone cliffs, and outside of really advanced surfers, many come to renew their vows, watch the “kecak” or monkey dance performance of the locals at night, or simply genuinely commune with the divine.