Whether you’re here to climb Mount Batur, practice yoga in Ubud or scuba dive in the Gili Islands, these are the best bed and breakfasts in Bali for an authentic Indonesian experience.
If you’re looking for a down-to-earth experience in Bali, book one of the endlessly hospitable B&Bs and guesthouses on the island. Not only will it give you the chance to explore Bali’s burgeoning food scene at night, but you’ll have the chance to get to know the locals – and perhaps learn to speak some Bahasa Indonesia. Here’s our rundown of the top bed and breakfast accommodation on the Island of the Gods.
This inn’s name is a nod to the elephant-headed god of beginnings, Ganesha. It is centrally located in Ubud, slap-bang in the middle of a rice field. An idyllic setting from the crack of dawn until dusk draws in, it has a pretty pond and stream that add to the instant Zen atmosphere. Slump into your dreamy four-poster after a long day’s market browsing or motorbiking around Ubud.
Airport pick-ups, cooking, arranging Ajun River rafting and ferry rides to the Gili Islands – real Balinese hospitality is on offer at Putu and Wayan’s four-room B&B. Balconies overlook a lush garden, and the neighbours – often popping over from the Monkey Forest for a rummage through Putu’s fruit trees – are a charming sight. Be sure to stroll the rice fields for a mindful feed at nearby farm Sari Organik.
Echoland Bed & Breakfast offers a more contemporary take on Bali’s smart simplicity, with a spot-lit pool, greenery-draped terrace and chic lodgings splashed with turquoise. Echoland is named after the black sands of Batu Mejan, a great base for those learning to surf on Echo Beach, as it’s better known to travellers. Those looking to relieve backpack ache can enjoy a traditional Balinese massage in gorgeous surrounds.
The romance of green jungle hills, a riverside soundtrack, gently swaying giant palms and prerequisite infinity pool, mean DD’s eight wooden bungalows are sought after among visitors to Tegallalang’s rice field district – as well as by the colourful local lizards, birds and butterflies. Overindulge in Indonesian cuisine at the in-house warung (café). You’ll quickly work it off getting up the hill-set steps to bed.
Less of a resort, and more of a living village in Tanjung Benoa on Bali’s southern tip, Rumah’s team is in touch with its community and active in turtle conservation. Look forward to self-contained villas decked out with marble, teakwood and private pools for languid floating. After a breakfast of croissants baked on site, enroll in a culinary masterclass in the cookery school, or visit Nusa Dua’s manicured gardens and spas.
Arana Garden is about the detail – the type of digs where they take time to fashion towels into elegant kissing swans. Kick off your morning itinerary with typical warung fare before exploring Ubud’s Peliatan district. Make your way to Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets for 7,000 artefacts from Indonesia and beyond, plus tropical gardens and amphitheatre.
In Taman Kaja village, where much time can be passed just admiring the coconut trees that grow abundantly, Nyomam Sandi houses 11 old-school rooms. These are fashioned from local bamboo, wood and red brick, and flecked with tropical artworks. Part the sliding doors and step straight out to a pretty pool just beyond your room; the rest of the day is yours to explore nearby Ubud.
Basic in Bali – for the most part – means a level of classic style, functionality and beauty with al fresco huts surrounded by lush vegetation, characteristic of the country. Made Arsa, a couple of kilometres from central Ubud and a five-minute amble from meditation hub Yoga Barn, offers a taste of the simple life. Be sure to join a soothing gong bath before going about your day.
Get to know the more rural parts of Bali by joining a sunrise trekking trip to Mount Batur. Alternatively, spend a day underwater exploring off Amed to the northeast – and return to Ubud for an evening among the town’s happy hubbub. There are five rooms at this attractive homestay, where curls of carved wooden doorways complement focal-point furnishings that you can ship back home.