First things first: select dates between the off-peak season between March to July, or from September to October. You won’t find anything to complain about when the sun is just warm enough, summer crowds have yet to arrive or have just left the island, and villa rates have lessened. The only thing you need to really decide is which part of Bali to stay at. Here’s getting you inspired and excited for that.
#1 Seminyak: Coffee, Cafes, and Clubs
Where: The Oberoi Bali, designed by renowned Australian architect Peter Muller. Just a sunset stroll from Seminyak Beach, each villa has a different floral theme and specially-commissioned Balinese artwork. It’s everything you picture a stay in Bali to encompass, and probably more when you see it with your own eyes.
Why: The hip, urban vibe, which you can enjoy six times a day using The Oberoi’s free shuttle service. Seminyak is Bali’s coolest area with an abundance of high-end shopping, Instagram-worthy cafes and bars like Motel Mexicola and La Plancha. With the right crowd, nights in Seminyak are absolutely unforgettable.
#2 Gianyar: Ubud, But Not Quite
Where: The Royal Purnama, a new adults-only beachfront boutique resort. Most appealing of all (besides the free shuttle service to Sanur and Ubud) is the glittering black crystal sands of Pantai Purnama. On the other side of the resort, you’ll see local market gardens.
Why: It’s the closest you get to Ubud, which enjoys the views of rice paddy fields instead of beaches. Gianyar is a half hour’s drive away and gives you the best of beach-lounging and Ubud’s spiritual ambiance. Gianyar itself has its fair share of culture with a handful of museums, the Sukawati Art Market and most popular of all; the Bali Safari and Marine Park.
#3 Nusa Dua: Bali’s Most Luxurious Address
Where: Samabe Bali Suites for this very reason: their ‘All-Inclusive’ concept that comes with round-the-clock butler service and dining, as well as daily cocktails. And if you need a little help being romantic — because sunsets and long walks on the beach are part and parcel — the resort has a ‘Director of Romance’.
Why: Nusa Dua is Seminyak’s older, more sophisticated sister. The area is a haven of fine-dining and expensive guarded villas (surely worth the expense!), and spas. Nusa Dua definitely knows how to have fun, though — there’s also surfing and diving action at the beaches, and the Mother Temple Besakih is a must-see for all travellers.
#4 Canggu: The Surf Station
Where: Villa Taman Ahimsa, designed to resemble boat hulls and seashells. We can’t be the only ones enthralled by the thought of stargazing with the villa’s telescope. If you’re not much of a night owl, there are bicycles and canoes made available for guests.
Why: Canggu is a good spot to stay in if you plan on surfing for a bit, as well as at Kuta just 10 km away. Besides its famed breaks, the area is perhaps more known for Tanah Lot, Bali’s most famous temple. We think of Canggu as the home of exotic surfers and hipster cafes where you’ll see lots of travel-for-work sorts. It’s Kuta, only much, much better.
#5 Sanur: Where Life Moves Slowly
Where: Villa Pushpapuri, a classic Balinese villa from top to floor. Villa Pushpapuri is set along the secluded Pabean Beach in all its white sand and crystal waters glory. The villa offers a great vantage point of the pounding surf, the mystical Mount Agung and the island of Nusa Penida.
Why: A little less snooze-fest, a little more sleepy-town. Sanur is a fishing village on the quieter side of Bali, a far cry from the party-centric Seminyak. The beach has shallow waters protected by a reef and breakwaters, ideal for families with young children. And it’s a culture trip with a visit to the Pura Blanjong temple; built from coral and showcasing inscriptions that date back to the 10th century.