I and my travel partner will be in Bali for 10 days over the New Year. Currently, we are thinking of staying in Pedang Bai, Lombok, and Gilis Air. We would be choosing either private room hostel accommodations or guest houses. We can't decide how long to stay in the various locations as this is our first time to Bali. Anyone know if it would be ok to choose accommodations once we get there? Or is it best to book ahead?
Definitely book in advance its peak season here between 24th DecAnd 5th Jan. Outside of that you are fine. Get the specials on line now as it willl
Get more expensive closer to the date
Thank-you very much for your input, Bruco. Do you have any recommendations for reputable hostels or guest houses in Ubud or Pedang Bai?
I suggest you give the hostels a miss, you would be better checking on one of the hotel booking sites and search under the price you want to pay. you can get some really neat little hotels . there are quite a lot of Backpacker accommodations too. Depending where you are based the exchange rate here makes everything so affordable.
Enjoy. Its hard not to here.
In Ubud - try Esty's Homestay (I paid in July 300,00 rp night , may be a bit less during your visit which is low seaseon) Air/Con, New construction,Very clean, central location, walk to everything. Includes bfst. Ubud is a nice central spot to do daily excursions. You can set up anything you like through the homestay.(day trips, bike tours, rafting, cooking classes, jewelry making, the list is endless.) If you are a first timer, i would suggest you book a few nites here to get started. You could spend a week in Ubud using it as a home base to see other parts of the island. Try doing an EARLY morning rice field trek (gets hot during afternoon) along "Ridge Walk", stop at Sari Organic along the path for a bite and a cool drink. There is soooo much to do and see in Bali. You can only get a small taste of the island in 10 days.
Book a Fast Boat from Ubud to Gili if you decide to go. You can arrange through the homestay. DO NOT DO NOT !!! return from Gili the day off your return flight home. Give yourself at least one day leeway, preferrably 2days. Boats can get stuck there for days if winds are high. I was stuck there an extra day in July and we had to return on the SLOOOWWW ferry which was a nightmare. Many tourists were freaking out they were missing flights. Some had to fly out of Lombok to get back in time.
In Gili Air-- Orong Villages. A/C , On the beach. Beautiful sunrises steps from rooms, VERY short walk to great sunset views. Good snorkling off beach. Scuba diving if u are interested. Also bfst incl. (600,000rp) Gili air is so small you can walk the whole island in a couple hrs. You are never far from anything wherever you stay. 3-4 days is nice and relaxing. If you are looking for the party scene, Gili T is your island.
I have never had any trouble finding places to stay anywhere in Bali. Gili Air on the other hand is small and is limited. So you may want to book ahead there. But, I would suggest you spend your time in Bali. There is so much to see and do. If you try to squeeze in Gili you may be rushing around too much. Save that when you return for your visit of a month or more.
Thank-you so much for these very informative replies! This is very helpful.
Also, can anyone recommend the best hotel booking site for Bali?
Agoda is great for Asia - I always find the cheapest prices and most reviews