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Australians looking for a relaxing, sun-soaked international getaway that doesn’t break the bank need only look as far as Bali. Whether you want to join the yogis in Ubud, the surfers in Canggu, or you just want a chilled-out family holiday, this green island has plenty of wallet-friendly accommodation options.
We’ve narrowed down our list of family friendly hotels that save on dollars but over-deliver on special touches. Think surf-shack chic, space-age designs and serious jungle vibes. Standard serve-ups include air-conditioned rooms, teal-tiled pools, and organised activities for the adventurous or curious. Or luxurious extras such as real orchids in your room or a pool-served, floating Balinese breakfast elevate the hotel experience to more than just a place to lay your head.
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy everything that Bali has to offer. Thrilling culture, pristine beaches and photo-worthy rice terraces are but a few of the (free!) reasons why Bali should be your next travel destination.
Bliss Surfer | Legian
The love of surf, sand and sun hits you the moment you arrive at Bliss Surfer. With hanging surfboards in the lobby, potted greenery and bongo drums, it’s all about good times and holiday memories. The theme continues into colourful rooms dressed in surf-themed art and photography. Deluxe rooms let guests stretch out on personal wooden decks before sliding directly into the hotel’s lagoon pool.
Head down to Jalan Padma, only 15 minutes by foot, where you can hire boards or face the waves in your first surfing lesson. Return to Bombora Resto & Bar to feast on traditional Balinese dishes such as deep-fried chicken with spicy sambal and, of course, a bucket of Bintang beers.
Tired muscles from action-packed days on the board can find healing at Wave Senses Spa & Reflexology. Favourite treatments include the fragrant lissome flower bath or magic hot stone massage. You may find yourself returning daily, as massages come in significantly cheaper than what you would expect to pay at home.
Tijili | Seminyak
Tijili‘s lobby will make you want to stay in this urban street art-meets-jungle hotel. Sorbet-coloured furniture and soft ceiling lights cast an inviting glow on traditional art pieces like the striking hand-painted mural of a cockatoo. Wooden blocks on the walls resemble a giant game of Tetris. The combination creates a playful yet chilled-out vibe that upgrades the lobby into a desirable shared space.
Outside, long aqua daybeds come with free WiFi connections and built-in plug sockets to let digital nomads check in from the shade while overlooking the hotel lap pool. Or you can drop into an oversized beanbag in the hotel’s garden to top-up a photo-ready tan before Happy Hour kicks in at 3 p.m. You can even join a cocktail-making class and go home with your mojito, mai tai and sangria recipes perfected.
The Junior Suite Room’s made for relaxation. Its free-standing copper bathtub makes a bubble-filled soak a must before you head down to Kakatua Tropic Lounge. Opt for value with set menus or snack on traditional dishes like Gado-Gado salad (mixed vegetables in peanut sauce) and spicy Mie Goreng (Indonesian fried noodles). If you don’t feel up to dining out, wind down in your room with 24-hour room service.
Frii Bali Echo Beach | Canggu
‘Frii-dom’ is the mantra of Frii Bali Echo Beach hotel, encouraging you to elevate the spirit through activities like surfing, yoga, meditation and kickboxing. Hire surfboards on-site – you’ll only have to carry them five minutes to Echo Beach, renowned as one of the best surfing spots in Bali.
Drink in gleaming ocean views from the fourth-floor Seaduction Rooftop Bar & Lounge decked out in antique woods, trendy corrugated iron and jumbo bean bags. The tallest hotel in Canggu, this is the place for a nearly 360-degree view over Bali’s famous rice paddies and crashing ocean. Drool-worthy dishes like Nasi Goreng – Indonesian fried rice with a sunny-side up egg and creamy, peanutty chicken satay – tempt taste buds without a Michelin price tag.
Rooms are industrial chic with painted brick and cement walls, hanging pendant lights, more corrugated iron and bold abstract wall art. Other welcome extras include fast and free WiFi and a daily shuttle bus to Seminyak where you can explore the ocean scuba diving or appreciate local art at the Nyaman gallery.
Indira Cottage | Ubud
Seated on your private terrace or balcony overlooking calming rice paddies and an outdoor lap pool, you’d never guess you were in the heart of hippie Ubud. Only 100 metres away is the sacred Monkey Forest, home to around 700 snack-loving monkeys, where you can admire 186 species of trees. Walk 15 minutes and you’ll come across the Ubud Royal Palace, famous for its nightly performances of traditional dancing accompanied by gamelan (traditional bronze percussion instruments) orchestras.
Days at Indira Cottage start with local classics like Balinese banana pancakes and luscious pink dragonfruit, a welcome wake-up treat when you jump out of your draped four-poster bed. Hop along flagstones through gardens dripping with exotic flora and grab a sun lounger under the shade of whispering palm trees. Head to the nearby Yoga Barn for a chakra-balancing meditation class, or stop by eateries for anything from Mexican dishes to Balinese roast pig. At night, let the babbling of the natural stream that runs alongside the cottages lull you into a peaceful sleep.
Swiss Belinn Legian | Legian
Find yourself awestruck, cocktail in hand, by the Balinese sunset from the rooftop terrace at the Swiss Belinn Legian. When you wake, head back up to the roof to take a plunge in the infinity pool and build up an appetite for breakfast. Try revitalising menu items like fresh ginger and turmeric juices and eggs made to order. Later, learn the secrets of Indonesian cuisine in cooking classes that take you to local produce markets in Legian before helping you become expert in a lip-smacking three-course meal.
Foodies rejoice at BaReLo, which serves up the best of Bali and home with a menu that ranges from grilled Australian lamb chops and red snapper to slow-cooked meats in a rich coconut sauce with local vegetables. Keep your eye out for regular events at the Chadis Rooftop Bar & Pool; popular ones include the Moonlight BBQ, where you can feast on chicken satay, pork ribs and grilled seafood skewers.
Bali Spirit Hotel & Spa | Ubud
In the tranquil village of Nyuh Kuning, just a nine-minute drive from downtown Ubud, Bali Spirit Hotel & Spa is an oasis of coconut trees and terraced gardens. Perched on the edge of the Wos River, here you can swim in natural spring waters that flow straight into the on-site swimming pool.
Villas and suites are decorated in traditional Balinese style, meaning heavy wooden furniture and ornately carved artworks. Sit out on your private terrace or balcony to immerse yourself in the rainforest or unwind at River Forest Restaurant’s open-air dining with views of the river valley.
Indulge in moments of true serenity with a Mandi Lulur treatment at the hotel spa, where a full body massage is followed by a yoghurt scrub and opulent flower bath. Meditation programmes range from stress management courses to Kundalini (you might know it as The Karma Sutra). Traditional cooking classes are also available, as are morning treks through dew-laden rice fields to a local temple.
Dash Hotel | Seminyak
From the painted tuk-tuk parked in front of the lobby to the mammoth abacus behind the reception desk, feel your spirits lift before the cheerful decor at Dash Hotel. Amid the playfulness, don’t miss the signature red rabbit planted upside down beside the atrium pool.
The Shack on the hotel’s rooftop provides comfortable day beds and uncompromising views of the setting sun. Once the sun goes down, the fairy lights come on and the party kicks into gear. Rooftop events like the popular Tiki Sunset Cocktail Party bring happy hour creations like The Shack (vodka, mango puree, passion fruit and almond syrup) and a live DJ playing the latest chart-toppers for the nocturnally inclined.
On the ground floor, Mya Kitchen & Cocktails offers Southeast-Asian influenced cuisine – think fragrant Thai curries, Hong Kong-style steamed fish and traditional Balinese chicken soup. Remarkably, much of the menu sits under the $10 mark. Top off the evening with a Marshmallow Cooler made with vanilla vodka, fresh watermelon, mint and caramelised marshmallows. When it’s finally time to call it a night, urban-style rooms pair bright graffiti and neon décor with luxury elements like rain showers, kimonos and guest slippers.
Bali Dynasty Resort | Kuta
Within walking distance of Kuta’s pulsating nightlife, Bali Dynasty Resort is a rare calming oasis for families. Set within tranquil gardens thick with tropical blossoms and only a stone’s throw from the beach, the resort has plenty to keep kids of all ages busy. A 56-metre water slide will keep the adventurous busy, while teenagers will be entertained with home comforts in a den equipped with an Xbox, table football and small movie theatre.
Parents can head to the on-site Irish Pub, Gracie Kelly’s, for a cold pint of Storm Brewery ale and a game of darts. If you’re looking for a more serene way to relax, the team at Ashoka Spa are ready with a stress-busting Balinese massage to refresh mind and body.
Gather the troops for a family dinner on H20 Restaurant’s wooden deck overlooking the pool and tuck into a themed buffet dinner – think Wild West Wednesdays (ribs, burgers and buffalo chicken wings) or Aussie BBQ Saturdays for prime cuts of juicy Australian steaks, BBQ chicken and beef sausages. Finish up at Café Piazza, where from your luxurious spot on a cushioned cane sofa you can sip on a Pineapple Dream – that’s green tea, pandan and blackcurrant gelato topped with whipped cream and served in a pineapple boat.