Explore the Indian Ocean’s best surf spots near Uluwatu, visit Ubud’s yoga studios or hike the famous volcano, Mount Batur, at sunrise. Make the most of Asia’s Island of the Gods, on a budget by booking one of these cheap hotels in Bali.
Bali is a dream tropical destination, whether the focus is on wellbeing, dancing at cliff-top clubs or exploring the island’s storied culture. Many flock to the predominantly Hindu island for its abundance of yoga retreats, others to surf the consistent waves. With so many rich experiences to choose from, save your pennies for funding as many activities as possible, rather than splashing on luxury hotel rooms. In Bali, even the most basic of digs can be incredibly beautiful.
Whether it’s water blessings at the bamboo-built womb or art installations demonstrating the effects of marine pollution through countless flip flops collected from Balinese shores, Potato Head is not your average beach club. With its swim-up bar, sunset amphitheatre shows and eateries serving tropical delicacies, you can spend all day on the terrace, before retiring to your terracotta suite at night. Mid-century inspired interiors and vintage Indonesian books can be found inside, along with house-infused spirits from the in-room bar.
In pursuit of self-care, Ubud visitors might opt for a spa stay amid the rice paddies of northern Ubud. Here, a villa break, complete with obligatory floating breakfast presented in a wicker tray in the private pool, can be punctuated with heavenly stone massages and reflexology treatments. Swim laps in the pool before curling up in your private garden with a book.
There are definitely worse scenes to wake up to than bountiful fields, and sipping your morning tea among tall palm trees. At the Cahaya hotel, comprising one-bed villas, the uncluttered vista of blue sky and endless rice paddies makes clearing the mind all the easier. Find a shady spot under a pavilion-like pendhapa and kick back with some breakfast before an afternoon massage.
At Agung Raka, which occupies a huge 12-acre (5ha) corner of Mas village, you can exercise your artistic side. Paint wooden eggs with watercolours or swing by Agung Rai Museum of Art, the Gajah Mas Gallery or Ubud Market to glean inspiration from handcrafted silk scarves, woven bags, baskets and kites. The hotel’s elegant rooms offer bright garden views, while daily activity options include Balinese dance and dinner in the Javanese joglo-style Padi restaurant.
Japanese day beds, faded textiles and ceramics contribute to the stylish ambience of these decidedly more chic than shabby designer villas. Start the day right with an invigorating al fresco shower or a little tub time before a swim or spa session – it’s all about affordable luxury here. Did we mention the butler services?
Psychedelic hues, live music and local artistry combine at this groovy boutique hotel, aimed squarely at aficionados of the unconventional. Inspired by bohemian philosophers, dine on good food and enjoy deep conversations with fellow travellers at the hotel café. When you’ve had your fill of the sun terrace and swimming pool, visit the Hindu temples of Ubud or the nature reserve that the town’s long-tailed macaque monkeys call home.
Trendy, stylish and altogether congruous with the fashionable boutiques of Seminyak, this Mesari Beach-front abode is made up of 289 rooms, suites and pool villas. There’s a buzz about Hotel Indigo, whether it’s the acoustic jazz or soul-spinning DJ set. Carnivores: don’t check out before tasting the must-try babi guling (woodfire-roasted suckling pig stuffed with Balinese herbs and spices).
With one arm dangling over the side of the edgeless pool, the other clutching a cocktail, you can gaze out at the volcanoes on the misty blue-grey horizon from Carlos House. A two-acre (1ha) hilltop property overlooking Padang Padang and encircled by uninhabited green valley, the breezy surf cottages are perfect for those chasing the waves or basking on white sands.