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Perelhoneymoon Dec 3rd, 2017 02:50 PM

8 Days in Bali
Hi all, In need of recommendations for an anniversary trip to Bali. I was thinking of splitting our time - 4 days in the jungle and 4 days beach. Any recommendations are welcome. I would like nice honeymoon-style hotels. TIA

Kathie Dec 3rd, 2017 03:12 PM

I agree that splitting your time between a beach location and an inland location near Ubud makes sense. Only two areas I recommend against: Kuta, which is full of post-adolescent partiers and Nusa Due which is a sterile tourist enclave.

There are so many options of places to stay, I'd recommend that you start by looking at a good booking site like or See which places in your price range appeal to you, then come back and ask about specific properties.

marmot Dec 3rd, 2017 05:22 PM

Let us know when you plan to be in Bali (what month) and your approximate budget. For beach location, I'd suggest you look at the Petitenget neighborhood of Seminyak. There are many honeymoon appropriate places both on the beach and nearby and lots of restaurants, shops and spas.

The Ubud area is not really jungle, but the resorts along the Ayung River valley have beautiful rain forest and rice paddy views, with lots of nature and arts and culture activities in the area. Again, there are many special occasion choices, but prices vary significantly.

To start, these are some I'd recommend that you look at:
Petitenget: The Legian Seminyak, Alila Seminyak, Kata Mama, Samaya, Colony
Ubud: Como Shambhala, Alila Ubud, Samaya, Mandapa, Uma Ubud

kja Dec 3rd, 2017 10:13 PM

Although I only spent one night on a beach, I enjoyed my 8 days in Bali enormously. You might find some ideas in my trip report:

Perelhoneymoon Dec 4th, 2017 12:13 PM

Thanks all! I've been readying up on other Bali posts and have a better idea of my trip.

I'll be in Bali from June 29 - July 7, a total of 8 nights. I'm planning for the first 4 nights in Ubud and another 4 nights in a beach location. I'll split it up in two:

1. Ubud - Has anyone stayed at the Viceroy, COMO Shambhala Estate or the Chedi Club?

2. Beach Location TBD -

Marmot, I saw on another post that you had commented on the beach conditions at different times of the year. Since its the dry season, you had recommended staying on the West Coast - Jimbaran, Kuta/Legian and Seminyak/Petitenget in order to avoid the wind and trash on the beach.

From what I've read I am eliminating Kuta from my list because of its party reputation. That leaves me Jimbaran, Seminyak, or Petitenget. For the nicest looking water at the beach, which one is best?? Also - how far are these three from each other?

Is the Legian Hotel worth the price?

Also, does anyone have a scuba diving company they recommend?

marmot Dec 4th, 2017 06:25 PM

Ubud: I've stayed at the Como and visited the Chedi Club several times. I haven't been to the Viceroy.

Como Shambhala is a unique experience. The architecture, setting and ambience are phenomenally beautiful. It's focus is on wellness -- spiritual and physical -- which may or may not appeal to you. Getting in and out of the resort takes some time, so it's not the best location if you're planning to do a lot of touring in the Ubud area, but if you plan to stay put at the resort and take advantage of the programs that it offers, it's in a class to itself.

The Chedi Club is a lovely and well run property. It's set among rice paddies so it doesn't have the views that you get along the river valleys. The public areas -- restaurant, pool, spa -- are elegant, but I'm not too fond of the villas' old-style design. The location is on the outskirts of Ubud town and there's a lot to do nearby, but not as "wild" as the Ayung River area.

The Viceroy is on a different river valley, north of Ubud town. It's well known for Cascades, it's fine dining restaurant.

In addition to Como, other resorts on the Ayung River are the Samaya, Four Seasons, Kayu Manis, Amandari, Mandapa, Alila. They all have pluses and minuses, but share the same fantastic views. Como Uma Ubud, which is on the edge of Ubud town, is another good choice, more centrally located.

The Beach: Personally, I'd say the Legian is worth it, but really, all the five star resorts are very good. At the Legian, I prefer the regular rooms which all have sea views and big balconies. I don't particularly like the villas which are inland, across the road. The restaurant and pool are beautiful and the location is within walking distance or a short taxi from many of Bali's best restaurants, shops and spas, and not too far from Canggu which is currently the hippest area of Bali.

Petitenget is about 30 to 40 minutes from Jimbaran. The major difference is that the beach at Petitenget which is a continuation of Kuta/Legian is a long, wide, big wave surfing beach. Depending on the tide and swells the surf can be quite aggressive, but mostly it's swimmable. The resorts are right on the beach.

Jimbaran is a protected cove, so the water is calmer for swimming. Most of the resorts (Four Seasons, Ayana, Rimba) are built on the cliff side which makes for fabulous views, but it's a trek down to and up from the beach. I really like the concept of the Four Seasons, but the beach is just so-so.

Bali doesn't have the turquoise crystal clear waters that you'd find in Thailand or tourist brochures. The ocean, especially on the west coast, is more forceful and dynamic. The east coast -- Sanur, Nusa Dua -- is calmer and shallower. Sanur is more laid back and less luxury focused. Nusa Dua has some super luxe resorts, but it's somewhat isolated from the rest of Bali.

I can't recommend any specific scuba operator. There are several good sites, north coast, east coast and the islands off the southeast, but getting there and back from Ubud or Seminyak would take up most of a day.

Perelhoneymoon Dec 6th, 2017 12:46 PM

Thank you for all the detail Marmot. This is more than helpful.

Do you know if the water is typically calm in Nusa Dua in July?

Perelhoneymoon Dec 6th, 2017 12:50 PM

Kathie and kja, can you weigh in on my last post? TIA

kawh Dec 6th, 2017 04:16 PM

Just returned from Bali. Not exactly sure what you mean by "honeymoon style" but I'm thinking you mean romantic and Balinese style.

We absolutely adored Alam Shanti for several reasons. Service is just so pleasant and perfect. Romantic and huge rooms with outdoor lounging areas. A 20 minute walk ingo Ubud through the Monkey Forest... or their courtesy driver will shuttle you in and out as you need. THE MOST delicious breakfasts served on your balcony as you order it. We loved our room, Dewi (it's very popular, so need to book with some notice) but for an anniversary, could spend a little more and get a room with a private pool and nice view of the little creek/river.

You might consider a 30=40 minute trip by Mola-Mola Fast boat from Sanur to the island of Nusa Penida. It is just an amazing island with less tourism (and less infrastructure.. roads are sometimes very poor and not a lot of great restaurants.)

We stayed at Kubu Ganesh and it is slightly rustic, but has amazing views of the water and the volcano! A very romantic setting. The host has a wonderful cook and you can have dinner there with other guests or on your front porch. This island has MUCH to explore and some views to rival the Irish Coastline! Some of the best snorkeling I have ever seen.

So very many choices... just choose a spot and then hire a driver to take you anywhere you want to go!

Assume the volcano will have calmed down by then... but we got stuck there a week ago and could not fly out for several days. I highly recommend you get an airline ticket that has connected flights; don't fly different airlines to Singapore, then Denpasar unless they are connected. Many people had to buy new tickets home because they were stuck in DPS and the flight was not connected to their main flight home.

Kathie Dec 6th, 2017 05:09 PM

Sorry, I can't help with water conditions in Nusa Dua. I've visited places there, But had such a negative reaction to the "tourist en enclave feel to it that I have not been back.

kja Dec 6th, 2017 05:19 PM

I can't help with that either -- sorry!

marmot Dec 6th, 2017 07:19 PM

Because of the offshore reefs, both Nusa Dua and Sanur have calm waters all year long. At low tide the water is very shallow, but otherwise it's a good swimming beach.

Nusa Dua was developed as a resort enclave and consequently that's what you get: dozens of beautifully landscaped resorts lined up along a long sandy beach. The beaches erode toward Benoa to the north, and toward the south, where Nusa Dua meets the Bukit, the resorts are mostly cliffside. As you continue along the southern tip of Bali and up the west coast the Bukit continues into Jimbaran, again, with mostly cliffside properties.

There are many super luxe and medium luxe resorts in Nusa Dua and the Bukit, so if you envision luxuriating, then it's a great place for pampering and relaxation.

If, on the other hand, you want to balance the seclusion of your resort with a lively neighborhood with restaurants, clubs, shops, spas or sunset on the beach, then don't choose Nusa Dua or Sanur.

My observation is that the worst of both worlds is getting bored with the beautiful isolation and spending hours driving to Petitenget or Canggu for dinner, clubbing or shopping.

Perelhoneymoon Dec 11th, 2017 12:24 PM

Thanks, all! You have definitely helped me narrow down my best option to Seminyak.I'm not looking to be closed-in at a tourist/resort enclave.

Which hotels do you recommend in the Seminyak area that are a bit less expensive than The Legian and The Oberoi. For the dates I will be in Bali, the The Legian is $500 per night and the Oberoi is $400 per night. I would like to spend closer to $300 a night.

Perelhoneymoon Dec 11th, 2017 01:36 PM

Here are some of the properties that I was interested in (all located in Seminyak):

1. The Elysian
2. Anantara Seminyak
3. The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa
4. Alila Seminyak

Comments/opinions are welcome - Marmot, Kja, Kathie

kja Dec 11th, 2017 04:31 PM

Sorry, I didn't stay in Seminyak.

marmot Dec 11th, 2017 05:16 PM

Of those 4 I’d go with the Elysian or the Alila. I don’t like the design or the location of the Anantara and the Seminyak Beach is kind of a hodge podge of motelish rooms and badly situated villas.

The Elysian is quite intimate and the villas are lovely It’s an older property and I haven’t been inside for many years so I can’t vouch for the maintenance. It’s about a 10 minute walk to the beach at the southern edge of Petitenget. A pleasant quiet neighborhood.

The Alila is by contrast much bigger. The restaurants and public places are well designed and it’s right on Petitenget beach. A terrific ocean view and sunset location friom the beach bar, the pools, restaurant or your own balcony.

Both are walkable to restaurants shopping spas along the beach and in Seminyak and Petitenget.

sartoric Dec 11th, 2017 05:58 PM

Husband and I stayed at The Elysian for a week in Nov 2012. We loved the villa and especially the private pool in a lush tropical setting. Staff were professional and warm, the food beautifully presented and delicious. I still get their e news, and it appears they’ve maintained their high standards.

Perelhoneymoon Feb 20th, 2018 09:54 AM

So far, this is what I have narrowed down:

1. Ubud - 4 nights at Viceroy
2. Seminyak - 2 nights at Alila

3. I have 2 more nights, and I'm still not sure where to go with them. Canggu? Nusa Dua? Nusa Lemongan?


Kathie Feb 20th, 2018 11:46 AM

Why move for the last two nights? It just takes away from your experience of Bai by requiring that you pack up, move, unpack, taking up precious hours that could otherwise be prime honeymoon time relaxing together. I'd just add the two nights to the Alila.

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