Although Bali has been in the news recently for negative reasons, it is still a fantastic destination for either weddings or honeymoons. Bali is a magnificent region both for its sheer geographic beauty and the engaging and friendly spirit of its locals. The majority of Balinese are warm and welcoming to tourists and with the prices there still being so reasonable, it will always remain an attractive possibility for anything marriage related. Most of the 5 star resorts in Bali offer amazing wedding packages that are easily organised, and a good travel agent can help with the other arrangements and finer details. And whether choosing a hotel or a villa, the entire island offers immense honeymoon potential.
The numerous areas of Bali are vastly different and it’s important to pick a location that would be right for you. Each experience will be extremely varied depending on where you stay and what sort of budget you have but luckily your dollar will stretch further here than most other destinations worldwide. Being a tropical region, the dry season offers much better weather opportunities so consider a visit between April and November for the best the seasons have to offer. All Australians need a visa for Bali but this can be obtained easily on arrival for a fee of $35 USD though when flying with Garuda Indonesia, they offer an on board visa service which makes your path through Bali’s major airport a lot easier. Being a third world destination, travel insurance will be vital.
KUTA AND LEGIAN
The epicentre of Bali and maybe with somewhat of a bad name thanks to TV shows like 'What Really Happens In Bali', the areas of Kuta and Legian are very popular for location alone. Situated on the most central of Bali beaches, a stay here will ensure you are surrounded by numerous inexpensive options for nightlife, shopping, and eating, and there will be plenty of other drunken Aussies there to share the experience with you. In all honesty, these areas are more attractive for families, cheap and cheerful holiday makers, and also for schoolies, so for a honeymoon or wedding I’d probably be looking a little further a field, although the Hard Rock Hotel can be a hoot for younger guests. If you did want to be close to the action however but still have a hidden oasis then we'd recommend staying at Karlamanda Villas in Tuban (just nextdoor to Kuta). A few minutes walk to the beach and Discovery Shopping Mall. The Australian owners are delightful and will make your stay simply amazing.
Seminyak is like the Paddington of Bali, a more boutique destination with great shopping and amazing restaurants. Seminyak is still very central but much more upmarket with prices to match, but it really does showcase the best that Bali has to offer. With amazing beachside bars like Potato Head and Ku De Ta and delicious places to eat like La Favela, Mama San, and Gado Gado, Seminyak is the perfect location for a spectacular wedding or relaxing honeymoon. The W Retreat and Spa is a breathtaking resort right on Seminyak Beach that offers unparalleled luxury and amenities with the recently completed Double Six Luxury Hotel being the newest addition to Bali’s 5 star scene.
JIMBARAN BAY AND ULUWATU
For a much quieter experience on some wonderfully peaceful white sand, Jimbaran Bay or Uluwatu could be an extraordinary choice. Jimbaran is well know for freshly cooked seafood on the amazing beachfront while watching the sunset and listening to live music, while Uluwatu is a surfing mecca of rugged cliff top beauty, a small slice of hipster Bondi right in the heart of Bali. The Ayana Resort and Spa in Jimbaran is well know for its wedding packages and is also famous for Rock Bar, dramatically perched on the cliff tops and one of the most suburb locations you will ever sip a cocktail. For Uluwatu, the Banyan Tree offers the utmost in style and luxury while Padang Padang Beach and Dreamland Beach offer some of the best surf breaks to be found in the world.
NUSA DUA AND TANJUNG BENOA
To get away from the thousands of other Australians that are in Bali at the same time as you, these south-eastern Bali locales could offer a scenic change. Known for crystal clear waters, beachside tranquillity, and some of the best 5 star resorts and recreational water activities, ND and TB still remain somewhat undiscovered. A hotel hop along the peninsula is a great way to spend a day, experiencing the different takes in food, culture, and recreation. The St Regis in Nusa Dua is one of the best resorts Bali has to offer while The Conrad in Tanjung Benoa is one of the best rated wedding destination hotels on Trip Advisor. Don’t miss Sunday brunch at The Mulia, you will be deliciously overwhelmed.
If the beach is not your style, consider Ubud to have your own Eat, Pray, Love experience. Ubud is a tranquil mountain destination, a lush environment of scenic rice fields, plunging valleys, beautiful temples and palaces and charming arts and craft communities. Ubud truly is a location where you can unwind in the heart of Mother Nature at her most serene. Its cooler temperatures make shopping a dream and yoga and meditation lovers will find numerous opportunities to unwind. The Viceroy Bali could be your go to resort for the ultimate in privacy and seclusion and don’t forget a visit to the famed monkey forrest.
Don’t be limited by the mainstays of the Bali tourism industry, further a field you will find some beautifully undiscovered gems away from the tourist hordes. The vibrant coast lines of Bali offer some amazing well kept secrets. Lovina along the northern coast has some great black sand beaches and is well known for diving and dolphin spotting. Candidasa was once a tranquil fishing village but is now springing up to be heard as Bali’s newest resort destination. The Gili Islands have no cars or motorbikes allowing you to truly get away from it all as you soak up the adventure of the main beachfront strip by bicycle. For couples wanting to party on their honeymoon, this is the spot. Horse drawn carts wander the main strip of the island and visitors pack to the Gili Hostel bar for drinks as the sun goes down. And Lembongan Island has become a fantastic adventure destination aimed at the backpacker crowd or private honeymooners. We highly recommend you stay at the stunning and very private Villa Chantique in Lembongan. They are beautifully designed and have spectacular panoramic ocean views and private pool that can be screened for couples who want total honeymoon privacy.
So don’t be put off by what you watch on A Current Affair or hear on the news. Bali is as rich and varied a destination as there is. The prices are sublimely attractive. The people are overwhelmingly friendly. The resorts, the food, the shopping, the nightlife, the sights, everything combines magnificently to provide an amazing destination, rich in opportunity for a breathtaking wedding experience or the ultimate in honeymoon relaxation.
Safe and happy travels.
Read more about our travel expert Caleb van Schmal and his incredible experience here.
If you'd like Caleb's help planning your own honeymoon, just drop us a line and he will make it simply unforgettable!
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Images: Winart, Karlamanda Villas, Potato Head, The W Hotel, Ayana Hotel, Banyan Tree Resort, The Mulia Resort, St Regis, The Conrad in Tanjung Benoa, Viceroy Bali, All My Heart & Soul Wordpress, Big Bubble Diving, Villa Chantique, Hotel Lombak.