Since the rise of Bali’s popularity the island has become a home away from home for thousands. This is the short guide on which type of “home” is best suited to you.
On finding where to stay in Bali you have many options. The perfect place (or places) is out there for you and it’s likely only a short web surf away. There are three things to consider in your endeavor to finding the perfect lodging:
Your budget will dictate how many options you have and (to a degree) what level of comfort you can afford. Although, the locals are hospitable in nature, even budget accommodation is very comfortable. The most important and exciting part is location – choosing what part of Bali you want to stay in… for that you can refer to our other blog “Birds of a feather – Where to stay in Bali”.
Now, down to business, here is an overview of the general accommodation options you’ll find in Bali:
Guesthouses & Homestays
Known locally by the once popular term “losmen” guest houses are cheap, found everywhere and very social. Homestays are usually run by a family. This means that despite the cold (refreshing?) showers, the cracked tiles and that weird noise you keep hearing at night the owners are almost always very friendly and really try to make you feel at home. Prices range from $5 – $15aud, definitely a budget option. The rooms are often situated around a courtyard in traditional Balinese style and you’ll find this serves as a bit of a meeting ground where conversations between travelers, adventurers, surfers and yogis flow.
Similar to Guesthouses in price, usually only a small amount more expensive. The line between guesthouses and hostels is blurred. Hostels are found all over Bali with the only major difference is they usually have a bit more of a western feel to them. Bunk beds and shared dorms are common, while some do offer private rooms. You’ll frequently find small bars, pools and kitchens from which you can order meals at hostels. Hostels tend to attract more backpackers than guesthouses but as I say, it’s a blurred line. Both types of accommodation are very similar.
Bungalows come are found at all levels of accommodation – from resorts to hostels. They are probably the most varied of all your options. Bungalows are found more frequently in in areas with a bit more space (Ubud, Gili) as opposed to the densely packed metro areas in South Bali. Bungalows are small cottage like buildings with an Indonesian flavour. Basic bungalows will have a double bed and an attached bathroom – the more you pay the more you get. In upmarket resorts bungalows can include a private pool, a small kitchen and a beautiful view.
Villas are becoming an increasingly popular option in Bali and it is easy to see why. For a reasonable price you can live in luxury in many areas of Bali. You’re generally self-sufficient but when great food is just around the corner that’s it’s no problem. A great option if you’re with a group or family. It’s like having your own home while on holiday. They come in all shapes and sizes. The ease of online booking is helping to grow the popularity of villas too.
Three, four and five star hotels are dotted throughout the island. The perfect hotel to cater for your needs is definitely here in Bali. Three star hotel prices start around $30aud, some even lower. So you don’t even need to bother with one or two star places, you’d be better off in one of the lower budget accommodation options. Hotels have the added comforts of cleaners, restaurants and usually a pool. The nicer the hotel, the more facilities you’ll have at your disposal. Spas, bars and taxi services are often all included.
I’m referring here to the more high end resorts… not the beach shacks in Gili T that add the word “resort’ to their name. If you’re looking to relax on your holiday in complete comfort than resorts are for you. With everything at your fingertips, you won’t even have to leave your sun lounger for anything apart from Bali’s thousands of awesome activities. The staff are well trained and can help with booking anything you desire. Great locations, in house activities and all the amenities of four and five star hotels – often there isn’t much of a difference between the two.