If you've been convinced by all the people telling you: 'Everyone should visit Bali ONCE in their lives', go straight to our guru's list of hotel recommendations. If you're still not sure, here are some good reasons to visit, and the best places to stay in Bali to enjoy them.
Beautiful! Warm! Friendly! These are the three things people gush about Bali.
The temperate climate has a gentle humidity to it and everything is lush and green, fuelled by the rich volcanic soil. Rice paddies cut into the jungle give the views a quiet order. And sometimes it feels like there's a temple on every corner; so the smell of incense lingers.
You'll often come across flower petal offerings, or the music and dance of a traditional ceremony. Mountains loom and beaches invite - from the white sand of the Bukit Peninsula to the yellow of busy Kuta and the wild, dark sand beaches to the east.
Bali's beauty and climate has attracted some of the world's most luxurious hotel chains (and these area certainly some of the best places to stay in Bali), and with them you'll find sophisticated restaurants and bars. All with friendly, friendly service.
But traditional life retains its own strong colours, tastes and celebrations. Religious ceremonies hold up traffic when ever they need to, and it may well be that the best food you eat on the island is bought in the market.
Bali is also famous for surfing, diving and beautiful beaches. So whatever you're into there's something for everyone to experience.
Ubud is probably one of the best places to stay in Bali if you're interested in experiencing the colour of her culture. This is museum and gallery central. And a short driving distance from some of the most beautiful of the island's 20,000 temples. This used to be where the backpackers and artists came, but now there are plenty of luxurious options for food, drink and sleep as well. This is also one of the top destinations on the island to see traditional performances - the best of which are held in the old royal residence.
Secluded seaside resort offering a tranquil stay between the sea and Mount Agung, Bali's most sacred mountain. Offers a spa, restaurant, swimming pool, yoga pavilion and great bicycle rides. Also provides a shuttle bus service into the centre of town, free WiFi throughout the hotel and taichi.
Villa-resort set in tropical gardens. Each private villa has contemporary decor, with stone walls, sun decks, wooden artworks and some with private pools. Outstanding spa, outdoor pool, yoga pavilion and gardens. Superb Balinese cuisine served in villas. Intimate and luxurious.
Kab. Buleleng, Indonesia
Traditional, handmade Balinese bungalows situated on a private beach. As well as outstanding spa facilities, massages and entertainment there is a gourmet restaurant. Receive a warm Balinese welcome and make the most of the luxurious facilities and stunning tropical gardens.
Mansion hotel in coconut mangroves. Opulent rooms have antique teak floors, freestanding baths, chandeliers and silk furnishings. Full kitchen and living area shared by suites. Outdoor pool, spa, library and bar. Great south-asian cuisine, in romantic outdoor dining area. Privacy and elegance reign.
Central Java, Bali
Villas set in coffee plantation. Interiors are colonial style with enormous four poster beds, traditional Balinese wooden furniture, large verandahs and antiques. Outdoor pool, Turkish hammam, jungle gym, tennis courts, spa and Clubhouse. Superb organic Javanese menu. Luxury, authentic wellbeing.
Luxury resort offers stunning view of Balinese foothills from the comfort of infinity pool, spa and deluxe rooms. Boasts an art gallery, 24 hour in-room dining, and unique Balinese experiences organised by the staff. Built using traditional designs, it is both stylish and culturally fitting.
Colonial pavilions on the beach. Interiors are filled with mahogany four poster beds, antique Balinese furniture, luxurious bathrooms and some with private pools. Outdoor pool, spa, sauna and gym. Five superb restaurants and ballroom bar. Unique, laid back with excellent service.
The Grand Dame of Bali, a well-run, traditional resort on popular Seminyak beach. Luxurious Balinese styled villas, some with private pools. Exceptional food served in a romantic setting, and an extensive spa. The perfect beach escape.
Nusa Dua, Bali
Sensational 5* resort. Private villas host private pools, walled gardens, minimalist furniture, and gorgeous bathrooms. Additional outdoor pool, library, spa, saunas, gym and bicycles. Fantastic organic cuisine of Asian and European base. Luxurious and secluded with outstanding service.
A truly remarkable eco resort nestled amongst lush hills, over looking the Ayung River. The beautifully restored old tribal houses, ranging from rustic to chic, mix traditional Javanese furnishings with eclectic pieces from around the world. An enchanting paradise, that's almost impossible to leave!
Stunning hillside accommodation set in a tropical landscape looking out to Bali's north coast. Enjoy the private swimming pool or relax with a massage treatment. Luxurious private villas with balconies and large, air conditioned bedrooms. Forage for exotic fruit in the hotel garden.
This village of villas offers first-class hotel services such as a spa, 25 metre swimming pool and room service, whilst simultaneously allowing for true privacy in your own villa. Babysitting, an air-conditioned library and a complimentary shuttle service ensures complete comfort for guests.
Relaxation is key in this villa estate, where a 25 metre swimming pool, spa and sophisticated Indonesian architecture ensure a comfortable, luxurious stay. Located just 10 minutes walk from Seminyak Beach. Villas come with kitchenettes, free wifi and private swimming pools.
An utterly spoiling country retreat, five minutes from central Ubud. Chic and sophisticated rooms come with four poster beds, deep soaking tubs and private verandahs. A luxurious and grown up place to rejuvenate.
Elegant, romantic seclusion in a luxurious beachfront setting. Airy Balinese styled villas with gorgeous bathrooms featuring sunken baths. Direct access to one of the best beaches in Bali. Dine on the beach and sample some of the islands best seafood. Ideal for couples and families alike.
Stylish 5* resort on the beach. Interiors have parquet floors, cream furnishings, Balinese artworks and contemporary furniture. Outdoor pools, direct beach access, gym, spa, library and kids club. Excellent international dining and choice of ambient bars. Gorgeous, friendly and laid back.
Fivelements is a hotel founded on Balinese philosophy, stressing sustainability, wellness and social harmony. The 9 suites are traditionally built in bamboo with private terrace overhanging the sacred Ayung River. A must for anyone wanting to experience traditional therapies and healing.
An sustainable eco friendly super slick resort, on the perfect black beach. Villas range from one to ten bedrooms with private terraces, infinity pools, butlers and some with dining rooms. Pamper at the spa, explore the surrounding paddies and immerse yourself in local culture. Totally unique.
Bali's most secret beachfront hideaway. Just four villas set in their own private gardens and staff assigned for each. Excellent and reasonably priced organic Balinese cuisine. Wonderfully tranquil and private. Ideal for families or lovers alike.
A wonderfully opulent spa retreat in the rainforests along the Ayung river. With wooden suites and villas, fourposter beds, several infinity pools and outdoor rainwater showers. Everything here seems to have its own natural flow, simplicity meets luxury.
A stunning resort with world-class service. Individual villas are luxurious and spacious with Balinese touches in the design. Three excellent restaurants, a beautiful pool, spa and access to a powder white sand beach. Endless activities to keep all entertained. Ideal for families and lovers alike.
The contemporary design and stunning cliff-top position sets this apart from other resorts. Chic villas feature bathrooms with unbeatable views and private pools. Both the seafood restaurant and Indonesian will certainly impress. A trendy hideaway.