It’s one of the most popular spots for a holiday, from honeymooning to a family break. With so much on offer, we sum up our pick of the best things to do in Bali.
Eat: Insta-worthy food
Bali’s foodie scene is on the up and the order of the day is a dish that looks as good as it tastes. Make sure you pause for long enough to take a picture before you tuck in…
Kynd Community: No influencer worth their salt would go to Bali and not visit the pastel-pretty haven that is Kynd. This plant-based pitstop offers fresh detox juices, delicious coffee, gourmet toast, waffles and more. Its customised smoothie bowls are the big draw and come complete with fruit carved into sweet messages such as ‘Love’ and ‘Bali’.
Mad Pops: If you’re looking to cool down with a sweet treat, an ice cream from Mad Pops is the answer. Its low-sugar, vegan popsicles include flavours such as Blackberry Toasted Coconut Crunch and Double Chocolate Brownie and are pretty as a picture. Don’t miss out on the rainbow swirl ice cream, which is guaranteed to brighten up any Instagram feed.
Motel Mexicola: This fiery Mexican joint has to be one of the most photographed venues in Bali. Enjoy delicious dishes such as tacos and quesadillas in a quirky setting covered in colourful wall art. Make sure you take plenty of pictures… and leave room for the churros!
Drink: With a view
Get that holiday feeling with a cool drink enjoyed alongside a spectacular view. Here is our pick of the best rooftop bars in Bali.
The Rooftop Sunset Bar at Double-Six hotel, Seminyak: Located 15 metres above sea level, this is one of Bali’s largest rooftop bars. Enjoy twists on classic cocktails including peach and vanilla, lychee and apple and coconut mojitos, as well as casual light bites and pizzas.
The Sky Bar at The Mulia hotel, Nusa Dua: The stunning view is just one reason to visit the Sky Bar at The Mulia. Go along for live music on Sundays, try the tapas if you’re feeling hungry or pop in for happy hour (4-7pm) to get great offers on select drinks.
The 18th Rooftop Bar at The Trans Resort, Seminyak: Arguably Bali’s chicest rooftop bar, the sleek seating and signature cocktails make this a must-visit for anyone in Seminyak. The Espresso Martini and Cosmopolitan are particularly good, while hungry travellers can try the delicious array of tapas on offer.
Stay: In Balinese style
Mulia Resort, Nusa Dua: Mulia Resort has been awarded some of the world’s most prestigious accolades, including #1 resort hotel in Indonesia, #3 resort hotel in Asia, #7 hotel in the world at the prestigious 2019 by Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards – and it’s not hard to see why. Defining luxury and exclusivity, Mulia Resort shines brightly on the Nusa Dua beachfront and is the perfect place to unwind in paradise while enjoying the resort’s five pristine swimming pools including an oceanfront swim-up bar, four restaurants featuring local and international cuisine, five bars including a nightclub, and of course, a magnificent white sand beach.
The Ritz-Carlton Bali: The lavish Ritz-Carlton Bali beachfront retreat will take your breath away the minute you walk into the resort’s dramatic clifftop lobby, which grants 180-degree vistas of the entire resort, 12 hectares of surrounding rainforest, private white-sand beach and the sparkling Indian Ocean beyond. Enjoy an ocean-facing split-level infinity pool, luxurious spa, six restaurant and bar venues, 24-hour business centre, concierge service, a gorgeous glass-walled chapel, fully equipped fitness centre, fun-filled kid’s club complete with waterslide and more.
Padma Resort Ubud: Ubud is renowned for its verdant rainforest scenery and there’s no finer place to admire its beauty than from this jewel of a resort, hidden in an untouched river valley amongst bamboo forest. Pass through an enchanting glass top tunnel to arrive at what is arguably one of Bali’s most breathtaking infinity pools, whose glittering waters spill into a seemingly endless abyss of lush palms and greenery. Find your zen with blissful treatments at the spa and yoga sessions at sunrise and sunset and indulge the soul with tantalizing cuisine at The Puhu Restaurant & Lounge, where spectacular vistas across the rainforest and rice paddies await.
Samabe Bali Suites and Villas: This is an award-winning escape for those who want five-star luxury and tranquility alongside all the added lavish extras. Taking luxury to new heights, the indulgent, clifftop, all suite and villa property perches itself on the coral coast of Nusa Dua. Think: 24-hour butler service so you don’t have to lift a finger and a private stretch of white sands and azure waters to enjoy.
The Jineng Villas Seminyak: Enjoy the exclusive sanctuary of your own private pool villa and unwind amid tropical seclusion in the ultimate hideaway, just a stone’s throw from the heart of Seminyak. Slide open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors and step out into your walled, tropical garden before cooling off in your spacious private pool. We warn you, once you arrive, you may never want to leave.
The Payogan Villa Resort and Spa: Nestled in between two majestic rivers, you’ll find seven-hectares of vibrant hinterland in a timeless landscape that Ubud is so famous for. Welcome to the five-star Payogan Villa Resort & Spa: a serene sanctuary from the outside world. Enter a world of private villa exclusivity in the lush palm-fringed foliage and trickling streams of Ubud and find a tropical hideaway with all the five-star amenities you could imagine.
Meliá Bali: Nestled on the shores of Bali’s popular Nusa Dua amongst 10.7 hectares of lush tropical gardens, this five-star haven comes complete with a huge 1,500 sqm lagoon-style swimming pool, five eateries serving cuisine from Japanese teppanyaki to seafood and Asian specialties, a serene spa, a fitness centre, a beautiful arrival and departure lounge and more – all in a fabulous beachfront location less than half an hour from Bali’s international airport and just a short walk from the Bali Collection shopping mall.
Soori: Get a true feel for Bali when staying at Soori. Its stunning villas and residences are crafted from local materials and are designed, owned and operated by renowned architect Soo K. Chan and his wife Ling Fu. Its restaurants use fresh produce from local farms, while the spa focuses on holistic treatments and massages. Perfect for travellers seeking a tranquil oasis in Bali.
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah: The 20 suites and villas at The Chedi are all unique, filled with different pieces of art and boasting features such as private pools and personal butlers. Start your day with morning yoga and finish it with sunset cocktails overlooking the rice paddies. Don’t leave without trying the hotel’s one-of-a-kind hot air balloon experience, which offers stunning birds-eye views of Ubud.
Play: On a one-day tour
It often feels as though there’s just not enough time to squeeze everything into your trip. That’s why you need the help of a local guide, who can take you to all the best spots in Bali with efficiency.
Tour Bali Driver’s Full-Day Traditional Village Sightseeing Trip: If your time in Bali is limited, this is the tour for you. A knowledgeable guide will spend the full day taking you through some of the most spectacular sites the island has to offer, including the Kintamani Volcano, Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, local villages and a stop-off for lunch. With an overall five-star rating out of almost 300 reviews on TripAdvisor, you know you’ll be in safe hands.
Seminyak Driver Bali’s Swing Volcano Tour: This is a particularly good option for Bali first-timers who want to get an overall feel for the island and its culture. Start by witnessing a traditional Balinese dance, then move on to attractions including the famous Ubud forest swing, a coffee plantation and the Batur Volcano. The day ends with a fun walk through Ubud’s Monkey Forest.
Hire Bali Driver’s Private Uluwatu Temple Day Trip: This relaxing day tour covers some of the best beaches in Bali, starting off with Pandawa, where you can canoe, swim or sunbathe to your heart’s content. You’ll also visit Padang Padang, which set the scene for the Eat, Pray, Love movie. Finish up with a performance of the traditional Kecak Fire Dance at the Uluwatu Temple.