Bali seems to be the one place that inhabits space in everyone’s traveling daydreams. Maybe it’s the laidback vibe of the beaches adjacent to incredible surf breaks that itch the wanderlust bug inside all of us. It could also be its reputation as a spiritual center, a place where travelers come to disconnect from the stress of home and grow into a better version of themselves.
No matter what you plan to do during your stay in Bali, your experience will feel like a breath of fresh air. In the past, Bali was a mecca for backpackers. But nowadays, Bali has really stepped up its game on the other end of the spectrum. Luxury tents, better known as “glamping tents”, and private pool villas are becoming a staple of visiting Bali. It’s a wild misconception to think that budget travelers can’t afford some of the awesome glamping resorts that Bali offers. Glamping Bali should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
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What to expect in Bali
How to get to Bali
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, but most airlines have flights that go to Ngurah Rai International Airport, the only airport on Bali. The airport is located outside of Kuta, and a taxi into the city costs 80,000 RP. If you plan to take a taxi to Ubud, you will want to budget 300,000 RP for your ride. Some glamping resorts, like Sandat Glamping Tents and Menjangan Dynasty Resorts offer an airport shuttle.
The official language of the island is Indonesian, but it definitely won’t be the only language that you hear. At most tourist hot-spots, you will find that hospitality workers speak English to communicate with the huge tourist population that visits every year. There is also a pretty massive Australian expat community to encounter, making English even more widely spoken in Bali. If you are planning to travel to more remote areas of the island, you will hear Balinese spoken as well.
The Indonesian Rupiah is used all around the island. There are plenty of ATMs where you can take out money on your international credit or debit card. There is also currency exchanges located on places throughout the island. Once you have money, you will want to ensure that you have simple bills for things like taxis, meals at local restaurants, and stops by corner stores. It’s easiest to break big bills at supermarkets or places that appear to be catered to tourists.
You don’t need to worry about tipping in Bali, unless you think that your service was exceptional and worthy of a few thousand Rupiah. At most places, you will see that a service charge has been added to your bill.
Bali is just south of the equator, so the temperature stays the same year round. The temperature hovers around 33 degrees Celsius and doesn’t get much lower than 24 degrees celsius. Needless to say, the weather on Bali is one reason you’ll never want to leave. What does fluctuate, however, is the rainfall. The rainy season is from November until April, which means you should try and plan your visit during the months of April to October. That being said, the rain doesn’t make Bali miserable. It is just a bit more humid and it will rain for a few hours each day.
What to Eat in Bali
The food in Bali is fresh and full of flavor. You can expect to eat a lot of delicious fruits and vegetables at every meal. At restaurants, you will find that most meals consist of meat, vegetables, and rice. Lawar is one of the most popular dishes and is pork or chicken spiced with coconut, chili, and garlic. Vegetarians and vegans will be happy to hear that there are plenty of different options available for your diet.
How to get around Bali
The best way to get around the island is to rent a scooter. This option is available all over the island, is light on the budget, and is a thrill in and of itself. If you don’t feel comfortable driving on the roads, the Perama bus is a well-developed form of public transportation. Once you are in a town, feel free to use Uber or a taxi to get around.
Top 10 glamping spots in Bali
Glamping is hands down the best way to experience Bali. You will be able to have an intimate experience with nature without worrying about getting eaten alive by mosquitos or sleeping on a thin pad on the ground. This new trend is quickly encompassing all different styles of shelters, from traditional style yurts to modern tent structures. There are even transparent bubbles that you can stay in and enjoy your own private beach. Glamping is a new trend that’s here to stay, and you should definitely make Bali your next place to do it. Here are ten great spots that I recommend you check out before booking your accommodations for Bali.
Sandat Glamping Tents
Sandat Glamping Tents was the first place to offer hotel tents on the island of Bali. Once “glamping” became an actual term, they were already providing the experience to thousands of guests a year. Sandat is located just 3 kilometers outside of Ubud, the capital of Bali. This allows guests to visit a bunch of different Bali attractions, and also be near one of the central transportation hubs on the island. You can go into town to take a yoga or meditation class, but the resort actually offers them on the property as well. Sandat offers 8 different types of accommodations, the most luxurious being private pool villas. Visit and you’ll see why it’s the pinnacle of Bali’s glamping scene.
Menjangan Dynasty Resort
One thing that Menjangan Dynasty Resort has that Sandat doesn’t is a beachside location. This resort is located on one of the white sand beaches of Banyuwedang, a great place to snorkel and scuba dive. The resort offers this experience to its guests along with other fun activities like mountain biking, trekking, and bird-watching. The remote location of this resort is what makes it special. Guests really feel a disconnect with the “real word”, and glamping really allows them that experience. There are 4 different types of glamping “rooms” available here. The most luxurious room is definitely “The Residence”. This place rests on the top of a cliff, and there is an infinity cool that guests have all to themselves. If you really want to unwind, Menjangan Dynasty Resort if where you should go.
Escape Nomade is located in the awe-inspiring rice fields outside of Ubud. This place is not your average hotel. In fact, the property is more well known for the experiences it offers to travelers. You can enjoy high tea, a picnic lunch, or a luxury dinner inside one of their incredible tents. What really makes Escape special is their hotel tents. These bad boys are shipped all over the globe to populate glamping resorts all around the world. When you visit, it’s not hard to see why Escape Nomade is one of the coolest glamping resorts near Ubud.
Sang Giri Mountain Tent Resort
Although San Giri is located in Bali, their tents have a distinct African feel. What’s really stellar about this place is its location in the mountains of Jatiluwih, a UNESCO world heritage site. These mountains are part of a dense rainforest and some of the best hiking on the island of Bali. In fact, the resort helps its guests find different trails to explore on foot or bike. There are 3 deluxe tents and 5 grand deluxe tents, all of which have their own private terrace and in-tent restroom. San Giri is different from Sandat Bali and Dynasty Resort because of the different packages that they offer. It’s easy to book a 3 or 4-night stay here, and you’ll even receive a bit of a discount on your accommodation.
Firefly is another glamping resort near Ubud. Even though it’s near the large city, this place is secluded. In fact, you’ll have to walk from the main road to the property itself. Don’t worry though, Firefly Cottages has an incredible staff who will come greet you and assist you in carrying your stuff. What’s really special about this place is the treehouse accommodation. You’ll have a peaceful view over rice fields and an astonishing view of the stars each night. This place has rooms that start at 169,000 RP a night, making it one of the more affordable glamping resorts on the island.
Many of the different places on this list consider themselves to be “eco-friendly”, but no place is greener than Sebatu Sanctuary. It’s actually fully compliant with the Green Globe Standard, one of the highest accreditations for green hotels around the world. They also grow coffee on the property and you can do a tour of the fields if interested in learning more about the harvest process. Staying at Sebatu is unique because it’s located just outside of a rural Bali village. The village is famous for having a supposedly curative waterfall that locals flock to. Sebatu really offers all that a glamping resort on Bali should offer. If you really want to connect with nature, this is the place for you.
Fivelements Puri Ahimsa
The Fivelements is far more of a place for people who really want to connect with themselves. In fact, this place offers wellness retreats to its clients year-round. With focuses on detoxification, regeneration, and transformation, you are guaranteed to leave this place a bit more energetic than when you entered. You can attribute that to their retreat sessions or also to the incredible food that is served here. This place is true Bali, serving local dishes and also fusing traditional spirituality into its philosophy. This glamping resort isn’t solely for those who want to attend a retreat though. It’s also a great place for honeymoons or weddings. Whatever you are looking for in a vacation, Fivelements can attend to.
Bali Dynasty Resort
Dynasty Resort is for those travelers who want to be able to step in and out of the wildness of Bali. It’s located in South Kuta, but the resort is very secluded from the outside streets, allowing guests to still relax within the confines of a city. This glamping resort is ideal for travelers who are bringing their whole family with. There is plenty of entertainment for little ones, which makes it easy for you to really relax. The glamping in this resort isn’t as serene as others, but they still have accommodations where you can feel connected to the natural world. It’s located right on the beach too!
Capella is another glamping resort near Ubud, except it really favors those who want to spend more money. However, your money goes pretty far here, as most rooms have luxury tents and private pool villas. You can also plan to meet with one of their Capella personal assistants, who will help you plan out an itinerary for your entire stay in Bali. This makes it easy to see all of the sights in Ubud or take yoga and meditation classes. Capella really offers it all, so if you want to just stay on the resort all week, you can totally do so.
The Bubble Hotel is the boldest design of all the glamping tents offered on the island of Bali. The word bubble is really perfect in describing these rooms because that’s what they are, giant bubbles on a secluded beach. If you really want a romantic getaway, this place is for you. You will fall asleep not just with the sound of the ocean, but the view of it as well. Glamping is already a memorable experience, but the Bubble Hotel takes it one step further. You can even order your own campfire next to your bubble!
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