Indonesia’s tropical island of Bali is a bucket-list destination- that much is for certain.
A Hindu island in a largely Muslim country, people holiday in Bali for serenity. With soaring mountains, lush jungle, sweeping cliffside vistas, and endless things to do and see, it’s easy to understand why it’s a dreamy place to visit.
When I lived in Bali, I stayed in budget Airbnbs, for the most part.
On three occasions though, I treated myself to luxurious stays at gorgeous properties.
For me, staying at these places was a bit easier than it may be if you’re coming to Bali on fixed dates. I was able to afford stays at these stunning properties, in part, because I waited and watched for last minute price drops.
There are definitely luxer places to stay around the island, but these three caught my attention for different reasons- from conservation efforts to infinity pool views, to unique property offerings.
And, each one took me to a different, yet equally gorgeous part of Bali.
Three Luxe, Affordable Hotels For Your Bali Getaway
MUNDUK MODING PLANTATION (Munduk)
Munduk, a part of Bali that instantly visually cues flowing waterfalls, green rice terraces, mountainous peaks, holy temples, and sweeping vistas at every turn.
More than just an infinity pool with epic views, Munduk Moding is the only boutique hotel in Bali located on a working coffee plantation. The hotel produces its own speciality coffee, which it sends guests home with, and the eco-efforts don’t stop there.
Situated 1,000 metres above sea level, the hotel also harvests its own spices, fruit and vegetables.
Founded by a Dutch family, who fell in love with the region, the plantation was created to protect the area’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.
I left Munduk Moding wishing I had a few more days to spend there. There’s no question anyone would find the gorgeous property inviting.
But with a staff so warm and inviting, and a roster of guest activities that changes daily, it’s easy to imagine spending a few days, if not a full week at the property feeling fully entertained and relaxed.
During my stay, I joined a plantation walk, coffee roasting and tasting, and a seriously zen yoga class.
Every afternoon, there’s tea and coffee with homemade Balinese cakes by the pool, and at night, it’s not unusual for a movie to be screened.
If you want to see more of the Munduk region, they also can help coordinate a driver to talk you around for the day, or you can use their hotel shuttle to visit key locations.
In addition to daily activities and a stunning pool, the hotel also boasts a beautiful jacuzzi, bamboo spa, functional fitness centre, tennis court, horse riding arrangements and sky lounge.
During my stay, I was also pleasantly surprised by the onsite cafe, and restaurant, MiMPi. Serving food with fresh ingredients from the hotel’s vegetable gardens, it’s delicious, and reasonably priced for luxury accommodation.
Best yet, the hotel is part of a partnership, the Munduk foundation, to preserve the region’s natural environment, in unison with the local community.
And, the villas themselves certainly don’t leave anything to be desired.
I stayed in the most affordable option- a double, and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. The bed, is huge and comfortable with a mosquito net to protect you if you decide to sleep with the doors open to breathe in that fresh, mountain air.
Munduk Moding is the perfect place to treat yourself to a luxurious stay for a fraction of what it’d cost to do so in other countries or destinations around the world.
Generally, Double rooms are available from $170 (£126) in low season; and from $199 (£148) in high. Breakfast is included in your stay.
When I stayed, I booked last minute- only a few days before my stay and scored a great deal. Less than £110 for a one night stay at the start of Bali’s high season. Be sure to scour booking sites, like Agoda and Booking.com for discounts.
PATAL KIKIAN VILLAS (Sideman)
Home to some of the most beautiful sights on the island, East Bali remains relatively untrodden. In comparison, at least, to the more frequently visited Ubud, Canggu, Kuta, Seminyak and Nusa Dua.
There are so many incredible things to do in East Bali, but many visitors overlook it. This means a lot of the attractions are less crowded than temples, waterfalls or beaches you’ll find elsewhere.
And, if you’re looking for somewhere to ogle Mount Agung, Bali’s largest active volcano, I can’t recommend Patal Kikian Villas enough.
We spent one night there to cap off my three months in Indonesia, and it was incredible.
The suites were massive, made from natural materials and beyond comfortable. We loved the outdoor shower, and of course, the the whole reason to stay at Patal is the epic infinity pool view.
The views of Sideman and Mount Agung were just incredible. The best way to end a stay in Bali.
We booked last minute, and scored a deal of £80 per night for one of their last rooms. Our rate included breakfast for two, plus welcome massages. A stay also includes a session with the hotel photographer at the infinity pool (cue Instagram madness), but we decided to pass on this offer since we were so short on time and just wanted to relax.
If we were forced to find fault, we’d note disappointment with the dinner and breakfast menus. Both were too Western for our liking- would have much preferred Indonesian or Asian-inspired options. But, for what it was, the food was good.
Only regret was we didn’t spend more time at this beautiful property. With how much there is to do in the area, it’s an incredible place to get a bit off the well-trodden tourist path and see a stunning, peaceful part of Bali.
BISMA 8 (UBUD)
When you think of Bali, chances are you envision gorgeous temples, sweeping rice terraces, thundering waterfalls, fresh smoothie bowls, swinging monkeys, yogis twisting into different shapes, or streams of incense floating in the air.
In a nutshell, the mental image people have of Bali is straight up Ubud.
Surrounded by lush jungle and sweeping rice paddies, there’s no shortage of ace hotels in Ubud to choose from.
I actually hadn’t planned on staying in any of Ubud’s posh hotels- I planned on living in my Airbnb my entire stay. And then, in between Airbnb bookings, I realise I messed up my dates and had a free night about a week before the error.
Sure, I probably could have adjusted an Airbnb stay, but instead, I decided to see if I could find a good deal on one of the hotels in Ubud with an infamous infinity pool.
The best part about being flexible with timing to book?
I found the deal for Bisma 8 the morning I needed a place to stay- they’d slashed day of rates.
Normally, Bisma 8 charges upwards of $175-220 per room (for a basic suite like mine), I managed to get mine for just over $110 all up.
Bisma 8, a boutique hotel, is set right within the heart of Ubud, which also made it attractive to me.
If you’re staying in Ubud and not planning on renting a scooter, it’s walkable to things around the monkey forest.
But, if you’re like me, you won’t even want to leave the property.
Bisma’s natural beauty with rustic materials and contemporary architecture, nestled in the jungle, make it an absolute haven for relaxation.
Room interiors are the perfect mix of Scandi style and Japanese minimalism right down to the giant onsen tubs in each bathroom.
The tub was a real highlight of my stay- it takes a while to fill up, because of its size, but is worth the wait. The bath salts the hotel provides smell divine, and soaking in the tub, while reading a book was the best way to cap off what had already been an incredible day.
I couldn’t get enough of the soft, plush bed linens, and loved the pops of design touches present throughout the space.
Curling up on a coach in a room that was bigger than any apartment I’ve ever lived in felt like a literal dream.
Good spots to workout in Southeast Asia can be tough to come by, which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by Bisma’s small, but functional and modern workout space. It helped the tunes they were playing were punchy and upbeat as well.
Many of Ubud’s hotels have infinity pools, so it’s hard to stand out from the competition, but Bisma manages to do just that with a heated pool, comfy daybeds and gorgeous flowers scattered about.
The adjacent pool pavilion has a great drink menu and fresh coconuts, complete with those quintessential jungle views.
When it came to meals, I had no motivation to leave the hotel.
From a coffee shop on the ground floor of the hotel to the rooftop restaurant, dining options were beautifully curated.
I enjoyed the coffee shop so much, I visited it a few times- the smoothies and speciality coffee drinks were perfectly prepped. And, I was delighted to find a tempeh ‘buddha bowl’, packed with vegetables, on the menu.
Open to the elements, Bisma’s rooftop restaurant, Cooper Kitchen & Bar is a dining destination worthy of a visit even if you’re not staying on property.
Many of the ingredients on the menu come from the hotel’s organic farm, a sustainability win.
On the afternoon and evening menu, you’ll find a blend of Indonesian classics and more Asian contemporary dishes.
And, breakfast is no less wonderful, although the menu is more hipster brunch inspired.
I only had breakfast on the rooftop, but I seriously enjoyed the array of fresh juices, and my avocado toast with fresh fruit salad and hashbrowns.
All too soon, my stay at Bisma was over and it was time to go back to the budget Airbnb life.
Staying at Bisma felt like a glimpse into how people properly holiday. Coming back to rooms that gorgeous after a day of exploring- sign me up.
Have you ever been to Bali? Would you stay in any of these hotels?
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