Okay, let’s be honest. When we travel, we usually look for the cheapest room on Airbnb because we don’t really need that huge master bedroom, a hot shower, and access to a pool with rainforest view. Or do we?
If you want to take a break from your low budget travels and live like a king or queen in the best resorts in Bali for a couple of days, check out the 5 accommodations featured in this blog post. Scroll further down to read about my experiences with Airbnb and Agoda in Bali if you’re more interested in low budget travels! At the bottom of this blog post, you will find a short section about how to get collaborations with hotels in Bali (the hotels listed here were collaborations we enquired about).
Hotels and resorts in Bali
Due to the spike in tourists and the increased money inflow, many luxury resorts and hotels have popped up in recent months. As some of them even comply international standards, you can now find an accommodation suitable for every purse size. This accommodation guide will help you get an overview of some of the luxury hotels and cozy resorts we visited during our 1-month stay in Bali.
You will also get an honest review of each of the accommodations so you can decide which of them best suits your needs. I sincerely hope you will enjoy your stay in Bali and find a place that feels like a second home! We left pieces of our hearts in some of the places…
Jungle Room Bali
This quiet jungle resort is located very close to the city center of Canggu (although Canggu doesn’t really have a center, it’s actually made up by 2 main streets and several side streets). It’s a peaceful place to unwind and enjoy the tropical weather. Breakfast and pool usage is included in your stay. Unfortunately, mosquitos are as well, so make sure to bring a repellent with you! What we enjoyed most were nature sounds at night. We could hear geckos and crickets all night because part of the room we stayed in was open. Jungle Room Bali* truly deserves its name.
The breakfast is complimentary and consists of a cup of tea and an a la carte meal. You can pick between sweet and savoury foods. The fruits were very tasty but I wasn’t a big fan of the chunky cashew granola. We enjoyed our breakfast by the pool in a relaxed atmosphere. However, we didn’t connect with any other guests. People at Jungle Room seem to tend to stay for themselves. The Balinese staff treated us rather formally. Jungle Room is located north of Canggu. You need to get a scooter to get around in Canggu, anywhere you stay, so the location didn’t matter that much to us.
Accommodation type: Resort
Overall rating: 8/10
Our favorite accommodation clearly was The Chillhouse.* We loved it so much that we happily returned to this place at the end of our Bali trip. The Chillhouse is a yoga, surf and lifestyle retreat that offers tropical vibes, 2 daily yoga sessions, 2 pools, amazing organic food and stylish rooms. Our room was called “Indah” and it came with a little outside area and an outdoor bathroom. The complimentary 1-hour massage was one of the best I’ve although some other people said it was too strong for them.
Their newly opened restaurant “Cassava” offers some of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever tried. If you decide to stay at The Chillhouse, please try the black rice flour pancake “Egg Hopper” in the vegan version, the vegan Nasi Campur from the lunch menu and the “Avo Great Day” with scrambled tofu and extra sides. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
What we loved most about this place were the people. Both staff and visitors were all super-friendly, which made it feel like home. When we returned to The Chillhouse at the end of our Bali stay, it felt as if we were coming home. I want to give special thanks to the Austrian owner Alex who helped us in so many ways that I will be forever grateful. He is one of the most inspiring people I met during my stay, which explains why The Chillhouse has such a beautiful family vibe. If I ever return to Bali, I would love to stay there a third time!
Accommodation type: Retreat
Overall rating: 10/10
Breakfast: 12/10 just kidding haha it was excellent so definitely 10/10!
This luxury resort* is located north of Ubud’s city center. The hotel offers a free shuttle to the city center. However, the shuttle only leaves at fixed times, which in my opinion were not frequent enough. The large pool offers loungers standing in the water and a beautiful rainforest view. Our room was spacious, clean and bright. The stone bathtub had a gorgeous view but the rose petals would have cost 350k so we ended up not using it at all.
Breakfast is included but we considered it rather disappointing. The portions were tiny and the fruit we were served was not perfectly ripe. The staff was very friendly and helped us take our breakfast to the pool. The treatment was rather informal and anonymous. We never really felt “at home” at The Udaya. Perhaps that was due to our short stay but despite the beautiful facilities we could never quite settle.
The complimentary 15-minute massage was, frankly said, a joke. We were treated in the lobby area while other people were walking by. Before and after the massage, the staff asked us to book one of their expensive treatments. We felt as if we were lured into the spa just to be talked into paying more money. There are 2 free morning yoga sessions per week.
Accommodation type: Resort & Spa
Overall rating: 6/10
We shared some special moments with the staff at The Ark* because we stayed there during Nyepi. This Balinese holiday is the equivalent to Western New Years Eve but it’s much more magical. During Nyepi, you are not allowed to leave the house, use fire (no cooking), or make any noise. Moreover, the whole island is shut off the Internet for 24 hours. This means we had to stay in the Ark for 24 hours without the Internet. The time passed much faster than expected as we engaged in conversations and card games. Not the card games you’d think, though! In the living room area stands a book-shelf with lots of spiritual books and cards. You can use those cards to receive spiritual guidance either by yourself or with someone helping you. Thank you Suzie for doing these “card games” with us and for interpreting the outcome! In the afternoon, we did a meditation and in the evening we watched the stars. It was my first time ever seeing the milky way and also my first time to realize how much artificial light pollutes the sky.
At the Ark, you will stay in a beautiful little bungalow or apartment with a double bed. The geckos 🦎 sitting on the ceiling will take care of the mosquitos for you. You’ll have access to the shala and the yoga equipment provided there and the small pool with a rice terrace & palm tree view. Every morning you can join the breakfast, which takes place at the large wooden table in the kitchen area. As much fruit as you can eat, oatmeal, avocado-chocolate pudding, turmeric tonic, tea, and granola are part of the breakfast. If you want to make your own meals throughout the day, you can use the kitchen anytime. I enjoyed making durian nicecream with the Vitamix blender.
To get to the city center, you have to rent a scooter. Walking would take about 20-30 minutes. The Ark is located a little off-grid, which makes it very peaceful and quiet. In the small street that leads to the resort, you can find small shops, laundry, taxi service and scooter rental.
Accommodation type: Retreat
Overall rating: 9/10
Visesa Ubud Resort
Visesa* was probably one of the most luxurious accommodations I have ever stayed in. We had our own little apartment with a private entrance, a private pool, and an outdoor bathroom. At our arrival, the bathtub was filled with red roses – what a pleasant surprise! However, I don’t know they only prepared the bathtub for us to take pictures (because it was blogger collaboration) or if they always do that for customers who book this apartment. You’ll have to find out for yourself!
The staff was always very friendly and helpful and the breakfast buffet was a dream. Before our massage treatment, we met a healer who could diagnose problem areas in our bodies – pretty magical! Actually, our whole stay at Visesa felt like a dream. The only negative points to mention would be the distance from Ubud center and the high prices for activities offered at the hotel (yoga was ridiculously expensive for instance). Luckily, the hotel offers an hourly shuttle to the center and back. Problem solved! Also, the gym is free and the view on the rice fields offer the perfect scenery for a pretty epic workout. Floating breakfast is available on request.
On the Visesa property, there are two restaurants where you can have dinner. The more luxurious one, Padi Fine Dining, is fully pescetarian. We enjoyed a fantastic 7-course menu there, fully vegan on our request. It was a very special experience we are extremely grateful for. If you’re interested in meat-free gourmet food, Padi Fine Dining is the place to go.
Accommodation type: Resort / hotel
Overall rating: 9/10
Airbnb & Agoda
You can find most accomodations on Airbnb or Agoda. Whenever we didn’t have a collaboration, we looked for cheap (but beautiful and clean) places on these Internet platforms. Some accommodations only cost about 8€ per night. The first week I stayed in such a place. It was a homestay in Canggu named “OK Bali”, which I really enjoyed. It was super basic with room service every 3 days and a semi-functional kitchen but the guests and staff were very friendly.
However, Airbnb’s can become quite expensive in the checkout area due to the service fee. Therefore, I recommend checking out Agoda. This platform offers daily specials such as hotels discounted 70% or more. You can make some excellent deals there. We booked our hotel in Munduk – “Karang Sari” – via Agoda and paid only 12€ per night for a double room.
We also found that some accomodations have cheaper prices on booking platforms than on their own website so definitely compare prices before you book anything! If you haven’t registered at Airbnb yet but would like to get 30€ free credit, make sure to register HERE.
Collaborations with hotels
Just like regular companies, hotels need promotion to spread the word of mouth. Therefore, many places love to collaborate with bloggers on a “service for service” base. In other words, if you have a substantial amount of followers on your social media channels or a successful website, you can stay for free in exchange for promotion on your channels. Usually, no financial transactions are conducted – which means no taxes for both parties 😉.
If you want to collaborate with a hotel, the best way to approach them is via Instagram DM (if Instagram is your preferred social media channel) or email. Most of the bigger resorts have already done hundreds of collaborations so they will send you an offer right away. It is then up to you to negotiate or accept the offer and communicate the preferred date and length of stay. Some hotels will ask you to make an offer, so here’s what I usually suggest:
- Daily Instagram posts (2 posts if you stay for 2 nights)
- Daily Instagram stories
- High-resolution images (usually I just send the ones I took for Instagram)
- Feature in a blog post or vlog
Collaborating with hotels is a lot of fun because sometimes you get to know the owners, which can yield additional perks. And since we would have taken pictures for Instagram anyway, it wasn’t too much additional work. Nevertheless, be aware that you have to plan some time in the hotel for taking pictures. Finding the perfect Instagram setting usually involves more work than most people would expect. Considering that most companies pay for sponsored posts to get exposure on Instagram, I think the accommodations get a pretty decent deal.
If you have any questions about Instagram or how to earn money with your profile, send me an email at [email protected] I offer private Skype coaching sessions where I answer all your questions and share my knowledge and experience with you.
Read more about my Bali experience here.
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