Uncover Your Perfect Bali Destination

23 February 2015

Each region of Bali has its own personality. This often gets overlooked by travellers who believe Bali is purely a party, surfing or beach destination. Not at all. Bali changes with the borders, from the luxurious resorts in Jimbaran to the backpacker-friendly Kuta.

Where you stay in Bali often depends on two aspects: how much moolah you're travelling with and what kind of holiday you're looking for.

To make the right decision, it's best to investigate exactly what each location has to offer.

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Exclusive Nusa Dua

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The standard of accommodation in Nusa Dua is up there with the highest in Bali. However, this guaranteed quality of living comes with a significantly higher price tag than other areas (visit during low season for better deals).

One upside to the exclusivity of Nusa Dua is you won't encounter the boisterous young travellers who populate Kuta and Seminyak, making this a great spot for families, couples and those who want to relax.

Expect the type of resorts that have enough facilities to keep you occupied for most of your stay, such as kids' clubs, private beaches, active sports, fine dining and in-house entertainment.

 Uluwatu Temple in Nusa Dua (Getty)

If your ideal holiday moment is stretching out under the palm-frond roof of a beachfront cabana with a cocktail in hand and barely any noise save for the crashing of waves, it's worth spending that bit extra to stay in Nusa Dua.

Venturing out, Nusa Dua is as calm and casual as its accommodation. The main beach, Geger Beach, is less crowded than others in Bali, and the most popular activities are snorkelling and diving. There's culture to be found, as well, in the form of Uluwatu Temple, which sits on a cliff top facing out into the ocean and a world-famous surfing break.
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Party In Kuta

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As one of Bali's most popular tourist destinations, Kuta caters to the masses with hundreds of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly backpacker hostels to 5-star beachfront resorts.

Despite the luxuries you can find, Kuta remains a predominantly party-centric destination, known to be often overcrowded by young, rambunctious travellers. As such, the town is full of bars and clubs that feed the late-night atmosphere, predominantly along Poppies Lane 1 and 2 and Legian Street.

 Surfers along Kuta Beach (Getty)

During the day, most people flock to the beach, where surfing is a popular pastime, or hunt for bargains through the many markets and shopping centres.

Kuta's location is one of its highlights and staying in the town will place you close to a lot of Bali's attractions, such as Ubud's sacred monkey forest and Tanah Lot Temple.

If you're up for interesting day trips, late-night shenanigans and cheap accommodation, Kuta is a great base.


Keep the entire family entertained in Bali. 7 Enriching Bali Adventures For Families

Remember to pack your board. Top 7 Places To Surf In Bali


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Culture & Comfort In Ubud

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Although it neighbours Kuta, Ubud offers a completely different experience to Bali's late-night capital. Instead of bustling shops and rowdy backpackers, you're greeted with unspoilt nature and a strong connection to Indonesian culture.

This is reflected in Ubud's accommodation, which mainly consists of award-winning hotels and resorts tucked away in private tropical forest. This is the kind of place where the artificial noise dissipates and you start to hear Bali's nature and native wildlife.

Everything moves a little slower in Ubud and you will, too, while lounging by lagoon-style pools, receiving day spa treatments and dining on the exotic food served up by local chefs.

 Utopia amongst the trees in Ubud (Getty)

Ubud isn't exclusive to those who can afford world-class resorts. There are also cheaper family-run inns that can house you in comfort for the duration of your stay.

The most rewarding experiences are had by those who step outside to see Ubud's natural and cultural sights. From the various temples and the Goa Gajeh elephant cave, to the Monkey Forest Walk, there's plenty of insight into Bali to be found.

While you may not expect it, shopping will be waiting for all who enter Ubud and it's hard not to get caught up in the local arts and crafts. These beautifully created items come at little cost and provide cherished keepsakes.
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Seminyak Takes A Little From Here And There

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Upmarket and fashionable; laid-back and peaceful; luxurious: everyone walks away from Seminyak with a slightly different perspective of Bali's amalgamation district.

In the town's centre is a vast assortment of designer stores, bars and art galleries that are somewhat unexpected in what would otherwise be a sleepy beach town. This is where most of the action exists, but if you're not all for it, you can duck down to the beachfront where calm waters and vibrant sunsets await.

Seminyak used to mainly cater to upmarket travellers and although the luxurious beachfront villas for thousands of dollars a night still exist, you can also find affordable mid-range hotels slightly off the beach.

 Romantic lighting along Seminyak's beachfront - perfect for a sunset stroll (Getty)

You'll notice almost immediately from the market stalls, tour operators and late-night venues that Seminyak is still a tourist town. If sightseeing is your jam, you'll find plenty of opportunities to do so here (not quite as much as in Kuta).

However, if you check into one of the beachfront resorts and spend your days at the resort pool or being pampered in day spas and your nights at fine-dining restaurants, you may walk away seeing Seminyak as the most luxurious and peaceful place in Bali.

Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.