Plan the perfect Balinese escape with the island’s most memorable hotels, including eco-friendly beachside resorts, jungle-wrapped yoga escapes and high-design cliff-top hideaways. By Lee Cobaj and Toby Skinner
he accommodation options in Bali span the full spectrum. If you’ve got cash to splash there are plenty of five-star resorts with lavish facilities and all-villa hideaways, or if you want something more low-key you can expect surfer-friendly hangouts on the beach and art-stuffed boutique hotels hidden behind stone walls.
Most of the action takes place along the island’s south coast, rolling from the hostels and surf shacks of Kuta, to Seminyak’s silver sands, luxury hotels and entertainment districts, and onwards to hipster-ish Canggu — no longer up-and-coming but firmly on the map. Further south, there’s the Bukit Peninsular; home to down-to-earth Jimbaran Bay, Nusa Dua’s fortress of five-star resorts and Uluwatu’s cliffside design hotels.
Unmissable Ubud is the island’s spiritual heart and the hotels here, whether budget or blow-the-budget, tend to tap into nature, wellness and the island’s rich cultural traditions. Bali’s notorious traffic can make the west and north feel inaccessible but those willing to bear the long drives will be richly rewarded with untouched scenery and friendly locally run hotels.
Hotel Tugu, Canggu
Best for stylish stays
Over the last three years Canggu exploded onto the scene as Bali’s most fashionable beachside destination, with its winning combination of lively beach clubs, trendy design stores and too-cool-for-school bars and restaurants. The antithesis of the big brand hotel, the fantastical family-owned Hotel Tugu is perfectly located. Pebble paths and wooden walkways lead between lotus flower ponds to grand pavilions adorned with intricately whittled teak pillars, beautiful antiques, unusual artefacts and jewel-toned fabrics. In the evening, there are beach barbecues, jugs of pinot grigio and lychee fruit punch and Balinese dance performances to enjoy.
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