From majestic mountains and volcanoes to rugged coastlines and black and white sandy beaches, it’s no surprise Bali is known as the Island of the Gods. Here, we give our top tips for travelling to this stunning paradise, and the exclusive low-down on our beautiful Bali boutique hotels…
When to visit
The best time to visit Bali is March to June, the rains arrive in November and continue through into the beginning of March. Sunny spells are to be expected during this time but during the last rainy season it was mostly raining so don’t bank on the sun during these months if that’s your main reason for visiting the island.
What to see
Located between the islands of Java and Lombok, Bali (Balikapapan) has a rich and diverse culture that’s quite unique. Predominantly Hindu, Bali’s culture is rare and unusual in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, and yet this island is home to thousands of Hindu temples. It’s worth remembering that you cannot enter temples wearing trousers or shorts so you may want to invest in a sarong and sash if you’re visiting Bali for the culture.
Plenty of travellers explore Bali by scooter, not for the faint-hearted or solo traveller though, as the roads are very busy and there are no signs of any highway code! Otherwise, use the cheap bus system, or for slightly more money, but also more comfort, use the regular tourist buses.
What to pack
Do take mosquito repellant (though all hotels have it) and most hotels have UK power sockets.
Where to stay
REVĪVŌ (‘I’ll live again’ in Latin) is a retreat that aims to soothe and restore the body and enrich the mind through a journey of spa and holistic treatments.
With just 26 adult-only luxury pavilions, each with their own private pool, it really doesn’t come much better than this.
This hidden gem is an oasis of loveliness as well as wellness. Against the backdrop of rice fields and with the sound of the nearby ocean waves, it’s easy to see why people come here year after year.
The Pari Sudha is a budget boutique hotel in Ubud, Bali with just 8 rooms. Simple, relaxing and private you can’t fault the fantastic service you’re given by the owner and his team of friendly staff. Ubud Market is just 10 minutes by car and Ngurah Rai International airport is 25.5 miles away (the property offers a free shuttle service).
This hip hideaway is a great find and perfect for honeymooners on a budget or if you’re travelling around Bali for a few weeks. The Pari Sudha has an express check-in and check-out, non-smoking rooms, free bikes and WiFi for guests. In addition to the outdoor swimming pool, it has a restaurant a garden and a shared sitting area.
Eco-friendly retreat The Menjangan (‘deer’ in Indonesian) has a magical atmosphere from waking up to the magnificent natural surroundings in the morning to the romantic candlelit evenings.
Sitting back from the road in a quiet neighbourhood close to rice fields and local temples this Chic Retreat offers guests something very different. Here, with your own private villa, complete with pool, kitchen and sitting room you really will feel at ‘home’.
A little oasis of calm with a fantastic menu of healthy, clean food and a small but perfect spa, The Amala is an authentic and exceptional wellness retreat.
This ultra modern design hotel is in the main street Jalan Kayu Aya and boasts a stunning rooftop bar and pool. It’s the hippest place to stay in town and is in of the best locations.