The Ultimate Bali Honeymoon Guide
Okay friends – a ton of you have slid into my DM’s on instagram asking for honeymoon recommendations for Bali lately, so I figured it’s about time we write a post all about honeymooning in Bali on the blog!
If you’re still deciding where to honeymoon, I’m here to tell you to stop your search right here. When it comes to luxurious honeymoon destinations, Bali is quickly topping most of our short lists, and it’s easy to see why! It is BEAUTIFUL, exotic, relaxing, fun, and adventurous all at once — everything you could possibly want in a honeymoon. Did I mention it’s affordable? You can live like kings and queens for a week in Bali for a fraction of the price you’d spend in Europe or Bora Bora. Major win.
A honeymoon in Bali is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of trip, meaning there is something for every type of honeymooner. You can have the relaxing, beachfront vacation of your dreams in Uluwatu…. or you can wake up in a private villa or suite high above the jungle in zen Ubud. Or maybe you’re looking to blow of some wedding-stress steam in world-renowned party spots like the Gili Islands, Seminyak, and Canggu. Or maybe you guys want to get adventurous and dive with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan and hike the gorgeous coast of Nusa Penida. You can spend choose to spend your days sightseeing, adventuring, and soaking in the rich Bali culture, or you can simply lay back at a five-star resort and call it a (fantastic) day.
But – with so much to do and so many places to choose from comes a lot of questions – which is where I come in.
Let’s play a little Jetset Honeymoon Q&A…
Q: Christina – I’ve heard Bali is incredible! But there are so many different areas and it’s such a big island! What area of Bali is best for a honeymoon??
A: They’re all amazing in their own ways, so I would recommend traveling to at least 2 different areas of Bali during your trip here to get the ultimate Bali experience.
My personal favorite area of Bali is the epically stunning coast of Uluwatu, about 40 minutes from the airport. The perfect aqua-blue waters and the relaxed, off-the-map vibe is just I would want in a honeymoon. Your days will be filled with rolling waves, cold tropical drinks, and epic sunsets that light the sky on fire.
About an hour away from the airport, Ubud is just what you think of when you think of Bali – lush jungle, beautiful waterfalls, and a zen calm unlike anywhere else in the world. Ubud in my opinion is a must on any trip to Bali, and a perfect honeymoon location.
Seminyak & Canggu
About 20 to 30 minutes from the airport lies the heart of Bali’s tourism and ex-pat community – Seminyak & Canggu. Seminyak is busy and bustling, and hosts some of the best dining and nightlife on the island. Canggu (where I’m based) is a little further up the coast and has more of a hip-surfer vibe. Canggu is the land of chic sunset bars, instagram models, and avocado toast.
Just a short less-than-an-hour boat ride away from Bali, Nusa Lembongan is a perfect honeymoon destination. Nusa Lembongan is just one of the three Nusa islands (Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Cenigan), but it’s the one with the most going on and best places to stay (Nusa Penida is gorgeous and well-worth a day trip – you can read more about that here –but there just aren’t many places to stay (and it’s a lot tougher to get around, etc). Nusa Lembongan is around 8km square in size and is easily the most popular of the three islands. From Nusa Lembongan, you can dive or snorkel with manta rays (it’s known as one of the world’s best dive sites), do yoga, rent a bike, or just sit back and enjoy some cocktails and sunsets on the beach. For the best food on the island, check out The Deck, Lembongan Reef Bar, and Blue Corner Dive.
Nusa Dua is a hotbed of 5-star luxury resorts in Southern Bali. The area is known for its white-sand beaches, sprawling golf courses, and beautiful resorts, and it’s often where people end up staying when they come to Bali. It’s full of gooorgeous hotels and a great place to be based for a few relaxing resort days but I personally wouldn’t spend my whole trip here, since it’s a bit removed from the other areas of Bali.
The Gili Islands
Floating off of the coast of Indonesia are three little islands with white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise water, swaying palms, horse-drawn carraiges (yep, there are no cars or motorbikes on these islands!), and un-bali-evable sunsets. You can have a romantic, idyllic atmosphere on remote Gili Air, or take on the lively party scene on Gili T. The Gilis are your perfect blend of beaches, buzzes and bliss. They’re not easy to get to (a 2+ hour drive and then an hour boat ride), but, they’re worth it.
Q: Where should we stay in Bali for a honeymoon?!
A: If you’re anything like me, a great villa or hotel means everything on a vacation – and especially on your honeymoon! Luckily, thanks to a huge surge in tourism in the last decade, the island of Bali is blessed with some of the most incredible accommodation options in the world – at every budget. Here are some of my favorites:
*Please note that the below contain affiliate links to some of the hotels! If you choose to book one of the hotels I recommended, I would so appreciate you using these links to do so! An affiliate link basically just means that at no cost to you at all, I get a small kickback from the booking site for bringing them your business! You just need to purchase on the same device/browser you click the below links 🙂 I never, ever recommend any hotels that I don’t 100% LOVE & think you will, too! If you have any questions at all, please see my advertiser & affiliate policy page here.
$$$$$ Honeymoon hotels
With 44 astonishing private villas to choose from, and one of the world’s most spectacular infinity pools suspended high above the jungles of Ubud, the “7-star” Hanging Gardens is an absolute honeymoon dream.
$$$$ Honeymoon hotels
(around $500 a night)
It’s hard to beat the Four Seasons‘ sixty-room stunning setting – a complete sanctuary cocooned in Ubud‘s Ayung valley. In fact, it was just ranked the #1 hotel IN THE WORLD by Travel & Leisure. Each villa is adorned in dark teak and Indonesian stone and many of the villas boast a private pool and outdoor living rooms. In the restaurant, you can dine on contemporary Indonesian cuisine on a picture-perfect terrace, or sip a passion fruit martini overlooking the valley at Jati Bar. Staying here is once-in-a-lifetime – perfect for a Bali honeymoon. I definitely recommend splurging for a pool villa – the views are unmatched in all of Ubud, and you’ll have your own private infinity pool like this one!
Leopard Reversible One-piece by Watercolors by Kenny Flowers. Use the code JETSET at check out for an exclusive discount!
One of my favorite places I’ve ever stayed! The Viceroy is a jungle retreat unlike any other. Each of its luxury villas is a sanctuary that you’ll never want to leave – did I mention they all have a private infinity pool that can turn into a hot tub whenever you want it to? (HOW AMAZING IS THAT). The service is absolutely amazing and its restaurant – Cascades – is one of my favorites in all of Bali (Leave your wedding diet in America, you’re gonna want to order the coconut milk banana french toast for breakfast every morning)!
The eco-modern villas at Alila are vast and super-stylish. Each comes with a butler, swimming pool and a chic poolside cabana. You can get to a private beach but you’ll have to descend over 600 stairs to reach it – and then climb back up again – so most guests choose to hang by the beautiful 50-meter pool instead, or retreat to the yoga center and the gorgeous spa.
The Six Senses is the newest luxury resort in Uluwatu – and it is one of the most stunning. Located on its own clifftop that feels like your own end-of-the-world oasis, this is the ultimate Bali Honeymoon luxury resort. It’s also where I got engaged!! (which you can read more about here 🙂
Morabito Art Cliff in Uluwatu
This villa in Uluwatu is so beautiful, and has some of the best views on the island The villa feels like a little Santorini romance mixed with a little Miami luxe. You’ll watch the sun set over the picture-perfect Uluwatu waves and wake up to a fresh, homemade breakfast on the deck every morning.
The Legian Bali is Balinese laid-back luxury at its finest. With its understated elegance, emphasis on service, traditional Balinese design, and delicious food, the Legian is hard to beat. It’s also located right in the heart of bustling Seminyak – providing easy access to everything from fun brunches (Sea Circus Bali), to adorable shops and cafes, to an amazing nightlife (some of my favorites nearby are Motel Mexicola for dinner and drinks and La Favela for late night dancing).
Perched on a cliff 300 feet above the Indian Ocean, Karma Kandara is an amazing choice for a honeymoon. Think villas hidden among tropical gardens, a serene spa, gourmet restaurants and an awesome beach club (that you have to take a cable car to get down to). The stunning Karma Kandara has perfected the art of Bali beachfront relaxation.
If magical sunsets and incredible oceanfront views are what you’re after, the Ayana is your paradise. It is one of Bali’s most acclaimed and awarded hotels, and deserves every honor. There are 19 restaurants and bars including the famous Rock Bar; an exclusive private beach; 12 swimming pools; a world-class spa and fitness center.
353 Degrees North, Nusa Lembongan
With views of the ocean and the volcano, 353 Degrees North is a stunning clifftop villa in Nusa Lembongan, and is one of my very favorite places I’ve stayed in Bali. It is secluded, quiet, tucked away, and a wonderful choice for a honeymoon. You can read more about my experience there in this blog post on Nusa Lembongan.
$$$ Honeymoon hotels
(around $2-300 a night)
The Anantara is such a perfect place for a honeymoon. With its cascading infinity pools overlooking the Indian Ocean, its delicious oceanfront restaurant, and its increeeedible spa, it’s tough to beat this hotel, price and location.
This gorgeous modern haven in Canggu is a perfect honeymoon hotel. The contemporary white-and-grey decor and luxe vibe is hard to find in a traditionally more casual surfer paradise Canggu, but COMO does it right. From their Beach Club (full of seafood feasts and fresh-fruit-packed frozen cocktails),to their beautiful lagoon pool, to the spacious rooms, to their panoramic views of the beach and rolling waves, this is the spot I love to stay in Canggu the most.
This beautiful beach-chic beach-front villa is a gorgeous choice for a honeymoon.
Just a five-minute walk from the beach in arguably the best location in all of Nusa Lembongan, these villas may just have the best views in all of Bali, and make for a perfect honeymoon oasis.
An easy 20 minutes from the airport, the Mulia in Nusa Dua boasts a spectacular setting on a perfect white-sand beach as well as top-notch dining, a swanky spa, and stunning pools. It’s HUGE – at more than 550 rooms in the complex, so feels a bit like you’re in Dubai or Las Vegas. The exquisite dining is a huge highlight of the resort – definitelydon’t miss their world-famous Sunday Brunch.
As called out as one of the best eco-friendly places to stay in Bali by the Wall Street Journal recently, Bambu Indah is a quiet eco-lifestyle hotel tucked in Ubud defines eco-chic. Bambu Indah is the perfect choice for the yogi couple who’s looking for their zen in the jungle for a couple nights. It’s lush & green and its uniquely Ubud-calm defines serenity. Even if you don’t stay here, the restaurant is worth a brunch or lunch to check out the gorgeous hotel.
$$ Honeymoon hotels
($100-$200 a night)
These luxury townhouse villas are a great budget-friendly option for a few nights of your honeymoon! They are in a perfect location to start or end your trip in bustling Seminyak (walking distance to lots of shopping, eating, beaching and drinking!), the rooms are HUGE and really nice, and feature an outdoor shower and bath, and access to a gorgeous pool.
The Colony Hotel is insta-famous for it’s picture-perfect colonial-style courtyard pool in the heart of Seminyak. It may not be beachfront or suspended in the jungle, but it does make for a perfect home base in the Seminyak/Canggu area – where much of the nightlife, shopping, and ex-pat scenes are in Bali.
Q: If we don’t want to just sit around at a resort all day, what should we do when we get there?
A: There is SO much to do! Once you’ve nailed down the areas you’ll be staying in – revert to my Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for details on where to eat, drink, sightsee and play when you get there. For a couple quick favorites – my favorite spots for a sunset drink are La Brisa Beach Club in Canggu, La Laguna, The Lawn Canggu and Potato Head in Seminyak. My favorite beaches are Bingin Beach and Thomas Beach. And my favorite day trips are to the waterfalls & rice fields!
Q: My wedding is in the middle of Summer! Is it going to be brutally hot in Bali? What time of year is best for a Bali honeymoon?
A: The only months I usually stay away from Bali are the end of November through beginning of February. Rainy season runs through these months and it can get very, very rainy. That being said, many people visit during this time and get plenty of sunshine during their trip – you just need to be prepared for some very rainy afternoons! The dryest season runs April through October and the highest, busiest season is during the summer, so the best months in my opinion are March through May and September/October.
Q: We want to do our honeymoon in Bali, but we don’t want to break the bank. Is it really as affordable as they say?
A: Bali can be as affordable – or as luxurious- as you want it to be. To me, it’s all about being smart about where you spend your money. While there are 5-star resorts like the Four Seasons and the Hanging Gardens that aren’t exactly affordable, you can stay at luxury spots and then choose to eat at affordable spots in town (as opposed to at the resort), get cheap massages nearby instead of at the resort spa (I have some awesome recs on The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide), etc. etc. Even though some of the nicer places to stay are comparable in price to other honeymoon destinations around the world, it’s the savings in food, activities and transportation in Bali that make it the affordable destination it is.
Q: OK Christina – EVERYTHING in Bali sounds incredible. What would be your ideal 9-day honeymoon itinerary?
A: That’s such a tough one. I personally would do a combination of Uluwatu and Ubud. That way, you get the gorgeous beaches and combine it with the beautiful Bali jungle and all there is to see in Ubud (stunning waterfalls, monkey forest, the tegalalong rice fields!) If I had more flexibility on time and 2 weeks, I would do Uluwatu, Ubud, and either Nusa Lembongan or the Gili Islands (both are boat rides away, but so unique and beautiful).
Q: What else should we know about Bali?
Make sure to read up on my Biggest Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Trip to Bali blog post here! Bring cash, as many places in Bali don’t accept credit card, and you’ll need cash for transportation, cafes, etc. Always barter, with ever driver everywhere, they’ll always say a higher price than is fair. It should cost about $6-700K rupiah MAX to have a private driver for an entire day of touring around/ into the evening. Please don’t overpay for transportation rates, as it makes the entire industry change here in Bali. Many people feel like “oh that’s too cheap, I should pay more!” but that disrupts the Balinese economy. Transportation is very cheap here, and drivers currently make more of a salary than doctors, so just remember how far your money goes for locals in Bali! They make more in a day driving tourists than they would make in over a month in any other industry on the island.
Are you planning a Bali honeymoon? I’d love to hear about it in the comments or you can always find me on instagram @JetsetChristina ! Did you know I also have started doing custom Bali honeymoon itineraries and personalized trip consultations to help you guys plan your honeymoons in Bali? Contact me at JSC@jetsetchristina.com if you’re interested and I can send over my rates.
*Please note that this post contains affiliate links to some hotels! If you choose to book one of the hotels I recommended, I would so appreciate you using these links to do so! An affiliate link basically just means that at no cost to you at all, I get a small kickback from the booking site for bringing them your business! I never, ever recommend any hotels that I don’t 100% LOVE & think you will, too! If you have any questions at all, please see my advertiser & affiliate policy page here.
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& Check out my other articles on Bali!
The Ultimate Canggu Travel Guide