An air of serenity flows across the Indonesian island of Bali, stretching from the exquisite rice paddies of Ubud to the beaches of Jimbaran and Nusa Dua. There’s always somewhere new to escape to, like a charming hotel surrounded by lush jungle, a spa resort perched above postcard-worthy white sand, or a rustic villa that comes with the sound of crashing waves.
With over 26 million Australian visitors per year to HotelsCombined, we’ve put together a list of the top 7 best value Bali hotels booked by Australians to relax, along with our top things to do in the tranquil destinations of Ubud, Jimbaran, and Nusa Dua.
However, if you prefer Bali’s beach club and upmarket lounge bar scene, take a look at our 18 Best Value Hotels to Party in Bali.
Endless horizons of rice paddies and royal blue skies highlight Ubud’s beauty and spiritual freedom. Ideal for dreamers, adventurers and those with utter relaxation on their agenda, Ubud is the perfect escape from the daily rush of the real world. Cradled in the heart of Bali, Ubud is known as the country’s art and cultural centre. It’s home to numerous shops selling crafts, woodcarvings, and paintings, along with many museums and galleries. Ubud’s resorts and hotels complement this vibe with delicate environmental touches, rejuvenating wellness programs and pinch-yourself luxury.
The intimate and charming Hotel Tjampuhan seamlessly pairs modern Balinese design with the surrounding environment. Tucked away within Ubud’s lush jungles, this exquisite retreat looks like a temple but comes with the opulence of a mansion. A semi-open restaurant overlooks the garden and a gorgeous spa carved into a rock wall. The cosy guest bungalows feature a rustic design rich in bamboo while spoiling guests with a private balcony overlooking the forest.
It’s always a surprise when staying at Komaneka at Rasa Sayang to realise it’s only minutes from Ubud’s cafes and boutiques. The hotel’s jungle surrounds and tranquil vibes lull guests into the belief that they’re far away from the world. Spacious rooms feature large floor-to-ceiling windows that extend from wall to wall and overlook tropical gardens. Indulge in Mediterranean flavours at Madu Manis Restaurant or receive a luxurious massage at the Akar Wangi Spa. Guests can simply unwind for the entire day in the infinity pool or partake in one of the resort’s handicraft classes.
This private villa and mansion offer exclusive accommodation in the heart of Ubud, while still transporting guests to a glorious utopia. Although the days may revolve around spa treatments, jungle hikes and dips in the hotel’s infinity pool, don’t forget the culinary delights available. The onsite restaurant, Ubud HomeMADE Resto, supports healthy lifestyles with a menu of organic, locally-sourced, MSG-free meals.
Where and what to eat in Ubud
Ubud’s dining scene is all about healthy eating. A growing expat population of mainly young and health-conscious people has helped influenced this change. Numerous warungs (family-owned stalls) and restaurants now offer a sumptuous combination of vegetarian dishes with Indonesian and Western influences. Kismet is an interesting café-boutique concept that offers delicious organic snacks such as garlic chilli lime edamame. If visitors are looking for more authentic Balinese cuisine, head over to Ibu Oka, a legendary restaurant specialised in babi guling (suckling pig), Bali’s signature dish.
What to see for free in Ubud
Ubud is a haven for nature lovers, dominated by dense forests and rice fields right to the horizon. Active types can find numerous walking trails of varying intensity levels, which are excellent for capturing the region’s natural spoils. Visitors can also watch locals and foreigners haggling for goods at Ubud’s markets, which are Instagram-worthy places rich in colour and sounds. Visitors will also find an abundance of interesting art galleries and workshops. Alternatively, visitors can plan a visit to one of the many royal temples such as Pura Gunung Lebah or the majestic Pura Taman Saraswati.
Festivals in Ubud
Ubud’s festivals revolve around creativity, art, and health. The annual Ubud Writers & Readers Festival is a melting pot of established and aspiring writers, journalists, and authors. Usually held in September or October, it’s one of Southeast Asia’s largest literary events. Another popular event that takes place every May is TEDxUbud, a non-profit conference about everything from entrepreneurship to politics. However, Ubud’s largest festival is the BaliSpirit Festival, a celebration of dance, music, and yoga that lasts for several days starting from the end of March. Other popular yearly events include the Ubud Village Jazz Festival and the Ubud Food Festival.
Once a bustling fishing village, Jimbaran has turned into a luxury beach resort popular for its array of seafood restaurants, long stretches of beach and up-market hotels. Located 20 minutes from Kuta and Legian, Jimbaran is perfect for those looking for an exclusive holiday without giving up Bali’s sights and activities.
The multi award-winning AYANA Resort & Spa Bali is perched on a cliff above the crashing waves below, providing breathtaking vistas from every angle. The unforgettable service starts upon arrival when guests are greeted with a warm welcome of frangipanis and a refreshing drink. From there guests are shown to their five-star room, some of which include a private infinity pool and hut overlooking the ocean. A state-of-the-art fitness centre, gift shops, an award-winning spa and 10-plus dining venues including the famous Rock Bar are just a few reasons why AYANA is so popular.
Part of the 90-hectare AYANA Resort, RIMBA delivers the same five-star accommodation with a series of luxurious rooms and suites boasting panoramic views over the photogenic Jimbaran Bay. However, RIMBA’s trademark is the cluster of six multi-layered pools, which feature various slides, fountains, and streams. The new RIMBA Rooftop Spa also offers six treatment rooms and pampers travellers with a wide selection of massages and body scrubs. Guests can choose to dine in at any of the 10-plus venues at either RIMBA or AYANA.
Where and what to eat in Jimbaran
Jimbaran is undoubtedly the best place in Bali to indulge in fresh seafood. A line of quality restaurants along the beach dish up nothing short of delicious seafood dishes including grilled fish, marinated prawns and crab. Taste one of Indonesia’s most popular dishes at Nasi Jinggo Pak Alit. Nasi jinggo consists of spicy rice wrapped in banana leaves and is usually only available at night. Jimbaran Beach Club is a great beachfront bar with superb views over Jimbaran Bay. The menu covers classic and unique cocktails, along with a hearty selection of Indonesian and Western treats.
What to see for free in Jimbaran
If you love listening to stories or need some inside tips on fishing, spend some time with the locals at the Jimbaran Fish Market. Get there before sunrise for the best action. With its own natural Jacuzzi, pay a visit to Bali’s Tegal Wangi Beach, known as ‘Wedding Beach’ to the locals, where visitors will find rock pools in all shapes and sizes.
Festivals in Jimbaran
Three days prior to the Saka new year, pilgrims will walk from temples along the beaches to perform purification rites. The day is known as Melasti and although it’s celebrated around Bali, Jimbaran is one of the best places to witness the processions. Jimbaran doesn’t hold many major festivals throughout the year, but it’s still worth experiencing the smaller local ceremonies held around the beach.
Located next to Jimbaran, Nusa Dua’s name, literally meaning ‘two islands’, derives from two islets located off its eastern shores. Nusa Dua has captured the imagination of travellers with its white-sand beaches, luxury hotels, and exciting attractions. It’s also the hub for many of Bali’s sea activities such as diving, snorkelling, and surfing, while still accommodating to those more interested in beach walks or strolls through mangrove forests.
Overlooking Nusa Dua’s pristine coastline, this peaceful resort boasts gorgeous rooms with private balconies taking in the full splendour of the ocean and palm-fringed beach. Children can enjoy Balinese culture and activities at Camp Ananda, while Mum and Dad relax in the ocean-facing infinity pool or at the Ayodya Spa. Enjoy pastries and coffee at the Java Hut or dine on an exquisite meal at the Lagoona Restaurant. Indonesian, Japanese and Italian fare are also available at the resort’s other excellent dining establishments.
Set within 11 hectares of stunning tropical gardens right on the beach, Melia captures the best of Nusa Dua, while ensuring around-the-clock pampering for every guest. The resort’s distinctive architecture is simple, yet elegant with an interesting mix of traditional and contemporary Balinese design. Each room and suite delight with subtle luxuries and private balconies overlooking the gardens. There are also 10 villas in a private courtyard, each one with its own plunge pool. From spa treatments and traditional food to family-friendly activities and regular events, every day is made memorable at this iconic Nusa Dua hotel.
Star Rating: 5*
Price: A$98 – A$1319
Guest Rating: 8.9
Address: Kawasan Wisata BTDC Lot 1, Nusa Dua
Where and what to eat in Nusa Dua
Founded by Swiss-native Heinz von Holzen, the two Bumbu Bali restaurants offer terrific Balinese food such as ayam sambal matah (shredded chicken with shallot), various types of satay and Indonesian classics including ayam betutu (roasted chicken). The exclusive Arwana Restaurant provides the perfect romantic beach setting with big comfy chairs and teak wood tables while a live DJ complements the rolling waves with smooth tunes. For a relaxed beachfront BBQ, Nusa Dua Beach Grill serves tasty and affordable seafood including Western favourites and more exotic options.
What to see for free in Nusa Dua
Embark on the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience with a visit to the natural phenomenon, Suluban Cave. Located at the beach of the same name just below Uluwatu, this is one sight you won’t soon forget. It’s still possible to find untouched beaches in Bali. One incredible stretch of coast called Nyang Nyang offers the exact powdery sand, azure water, and seclusion most people dream about. Drive to Jalan Uluwatu and look for signs saying Nyang Nyang Surfing Beach.
Festivals in Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua Fiesta is an annual cultural event held in the beginning of September. This exhilarating festival is highlighted by cultural performances, live music, handicraft workshops and art exhibitions. Acclaimed national and international singers perform at the annual Bali Live Festival in December. The event attracts people from all over Indonesia and many neighbouring countries. The yearly Jazz Market by the Sea is a three-day event in Tanjung Benoa, which showcases an array of musical and culinary talent.
Where is your ideal Bali getaway?
Bali’s serene atmosphere comes in many forms. Perhaps a retreat lost amongst lush bamboo, an unforgettable view of white sand and waves, or the indulgence found at one of the island’s spas. Some travellers find relaxation when participating in a local ceremony, while others seek the solitude of rolling hills and private beaches.
Australians love their luxuries so it’s no surprise our best-value hotels in Bali are 4 or 5-star. We’ve seen our visitors look for infinity pools, nearby temples, and free breakfast inclusions. What is your personal paradise on the island of Bali?