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Thursday, February 19, 2009



Nusa Dua & Tanjung Benoa & the Bukit (Southern peninsula)
Bali's southern peninsula is where you find today most of the island's international 4- and 5-star Bali Hotels and Resorts - set in Nusa Dua's manicured and not very Balinese garden environment. Nice beach with shallow water, no high waves. All kinds of water sports, 18-hole golf course. Nusa Dua Galleria center with a variety of rather expensive restaurants, shops, and department stores. Some more reasonably priced restaurants are located in adjacent Tanjung Benoa and Bualu village. No night life to speak of. About 12 km/7.5 miles from the airport.
An increasing number of private villas is being built on the Bukit, the hill South of the airport. Many of these offer spectacular views of the sea, Kuta, Denpasar, Sanur and Bali's mountains. The climate is much cooler and much more dry – even if it rains in most parts of Bali you can expect sunny days here.
Recommended Accommodation: Aston Bali Resort 5*, Ayodya Resort 5*, Grand Mirage Resort 5*, Inna Putri Bali 5*, Nikko Bali Hotel 5*, The Bale 4*, St. Regis Bali Resort 5*, and an increasing number of beautiful, fully staffed Private Villas.

Jimbaran Beach (West coast, South of the airport)
Probably Bali's best beach with decent hotels and accommodation: nearly white sand, waves not too high for swimming, wind surfing, and sailing (no motorized water sports activities); not too many tourists, and no beach vendors (yet). A few up-market hotels and resorts, and a fast increasing number of unpretentious but good seafood restaurants right on the water front. Highly recommended for watching Bali's famous sunsets. Located just a few miles south of the airport.
Recommended Accommodation: Bali Inter-Continental Resort 5*, Four Seasons Resort 5*, Ritz Carlton 5*, Bvlgari Bali 5*,

Tuban, Kuta (West coast, North of the airport)
An increasingly busy area with many hotels and resorts of all categories right on or near the beach (powerful waves, strong currents). Many restaurants and shops along the main road. Located between Kuta and Bali's international airport.
Recommended Accommodation: Discovery Kartika Plaza 5*, Ramada Bintang Bali 5*.

Kuta Beach & Legian (West coast, South Bali)
Crowded beach (many vendors, masseuses, beach boys, etc, high waves, strong currents) lined by numerous hotels and resorts, mostly in the 2- to 4-star categories. In early 2000 the beach road from the Hard Rock Resort to the Bali Intan Hotel has been extended to the "DOUBLE SIX" disco, and many hotels such as the Legian Beach, Bali Mandira, Bali Padma, Jayakarta Hotel and others have lost their direct beach access and a large part of their garden.
Kuta and Legian (grown into one township during the past decade and spreading further north every month) are the centers of Bali's night life with a great number of restaurants, pubs, open bars, discos, and all kinds of super markets, department stores, and shops selling casual wear and beach fashions, antiques, handicrafts and souvenirs. Daily traffic jams and many, sometimes quite insistent hawkers have made this very untypical and rather ugly part of Bali a nightmare for many visitors.
Recommended if you are looking for action, excitement, or just for a night out, but certainly not for a family vacation or romantic honeymoon.
Recommended Accommodation: Bali Padma Hotel 5*, Hard Rock 5*, Inna Kuta Beach 4*, Mercure Bali 4*.

Seminyak to Batubelig and Tanah Lot (West coast, South Bali)
Until recently this used to be a rather rural, mostly residential area, stretching a few miles north from Legian. Good, off-white, sandy beach with powerful waves and some strong currents, and getting less crowded the further you move to the North. Fast increasing number of hotels and villas, good but reasonably priced restaurants and Bali's most interesting pubs and discos as well as shops selling casual wear, furniture, antiques, decorative items and handicrafts.
Recommended for visitors who wish to be somewhat away from the tourist crowds but appreciate easy access to the restaurants and shops of Seminyak, Legian, and Kuta. Access to other parts of the island is equally good as you don't have to pass through crowded Kuta. Between Seminyak and Batubelig, and in the beautiful, still rural area stretching further North to Canggu and up to Tanah Lot you'll also find some of Bali's most attractive vacation villas.
Recommended Accommodation: Resor Seminyak 5*, Sofitel Seminyak 5*, The Legian 5*, The Samaya Bali, The Oberoi 5*, Le Meridien 5*, and a good choice of fully staffed Private Vacation Villas.

Sanur Beach (East coast, South Bali)
This is where you'd find 25 years ago all of Bali's international standard hotels although the beach was never outstanding. Today the beach has further deteriorated, and Sanur has become rather quiet compared to Kuta and Nusa Dua but is still popular with old-time visitors and some foreign residents.
Recommended Accommodation: Bali Hyatt 5*, Inna Grand Bali Beach 5*, Inna Shindu Beach 3*, Sanur Paradise Plaza 4*, and some Private Vacation Villas.

Ubud and Surroundings, Central Bali
The town of Ubud is to Bali what Jogyakarta is to Java - culturally speaking. Ubud is where most accomplished painters, dancers, musicians, carvers and weavers live and work, and there are a number of very good museums and art galleries. Because of its location at the base of the mountains (about 19 miles or 30 kilometers north of Denpasar) temperatures are slightly lower than in the lowlands, and year-round rain showers help to grow lush tropical vegetation.
The town itself has developed rapidly during the past decade, and today the main roads are lined with art shops, handicraft and souvenir shops, as well as many restaurants and cafes. Until late afternoon tourist groups and other day-visitors are roaming shops and eateries. After sunset, Ubud becomes more quiet.
Accommodation ranges from very cheap, very basic "losmens", quite expensive but equally basic "losmens", to some of Bali's best-known and most expensive boutique hotels and beautiful private villas. Most of these are located in Sayan a few miles away overlooking the picturesque Ayung river valley.
Recommended Accommodation: Alila Ubud 4*, Four Seasons Sayan 5*, Kori Ubud Resort & Spa 1*, The Viceroy Bali, and a few very attractive Private Vacation Villas.

Candidasa & Lovina, East & North Bali
These two tourist centers in the East and North of Bali have become popular meeting places for all those visitors wanting to get away from the tourists. Both offer a number of often quite simple but adequate hotels and restaurants. Beaches around Candi Dasa, however, have kind of disappeared during the last decade after most coral reefs in the area were destroyed, and many visitors do not like the black sand covering most beaches in the North of Bali.
Recommended Accommodation: Kubu Bali, Mimpi Resort Tulamben 5*, Puri Bagus Candidasa 5*, Mimpi Resort Menjangan 5*, Sol Inn Lovina 5*.

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