If you’re looking to escape to an idyllic tropical paradise for a few days, Candidasa and Amed might just be the place for you.
Situated in the east of Bali, Candidasa has been touted by some as the pearl of Bali, and it’s easy to see how it earned this reputation.
A treasure trove of Balinese temples and hidden beaches, this former fishing village has all the amenities you need for the perfect vacation…without the need to jostle with crowds.
On the other hand, Amed is the quintessence of Bali in its early days, oozing with authentic, traditional Balinese culture, just awaiting your discovery.
So where should you stay? Check out our selection of stays that may inspire you!
Note: The prices reflected below are the low season rates, and they exclude tax and service charges. Accommodation rates often change with room availability, and low or high seasons. We recommend double checking for the final prices before confirming your booking.
If you loved all the culture and peace of Ubud, but want more activities such as diving, Candidasa will better suit your taste. With emerald rice terraces inland, amazing diving spots around the coast and the Taman Ujing Waterpalace, there’s much to see and do at Candidasa.
Photo via mturkenburg, travelbyanna, katravn, chrisrauti
Ultimately, Candidasa is great for travelers who want a peaceful time, while still indulging in adventure without the overwhelming hustle of crowds and touts.1-a. Budget honeymoon: Nirwana Resort & Spa (Villas start at USD 52 per night)
Nirwana Resort & Spa is steeped in quiet ambience, being located off the main road and away from the town of Candidasa.
Such seclusion, combined with breathtaking ocean and mountain views of the Candidasa Regency, will put you in the right mood for rest and relaxation.
Enjoy a romantic moment with your loved one in the pool, and get adventurous with the easy access to the ocean.
You can snorkel, fish, dive and explore nearby islands by boat.
Where better for a quiet couple escape, on budget?
1-b. Wake up to the sound of waves: Aquaria Bali (Villas start at USD 70 a night)
Located in the seaside village of Candi Dasa, Aquaria Bali feels distinctly authentic—local fishermen ply their trade, and an hour’s drive away in Karangasem, you can explore villages, water palaces, temples and diving sites rich with coral and sea life.
You are free to snorkel, fish (and cook it yourself over an open flame on the beach), go windsurfing, parasailing, tour the temples, volcanos and paddy fields, and of course, dive.
Don’t forget to enjoy a massage (how can you not while in Bali?), sip freshly squeezed juices and swim in the chlorine-free ionised stone pool.
Aquaria Bali maintains the intimate atmosphere of its 12 villas by hosting a maximum of 24 guests at any time, so do book ahead!
1-c. Resort on a lotus pond at The Watergarden (From USD $52)
Because that’s exactly what the boutique hotel is – a huge waterlily garden.
And you’re in the middle of it.
You can lounge by your room or private pool, and take in all that lush water greenery all around you, topped with fountains and tiny streams that meander through the resort.
But that’s not all. The Watergarden boasts of its close proximity to natural beauty. It’s nestled in the seaside village of Candidasa in East Bali, close to Mount Agung, fields of rice terraces and traditional villages.
What more can you ask for?
1-d. Explore a unique local culture: Candi Beach Resort and Spa (starts at USD 78 a night)
Nestled in a grove of coconut trees, the villas at Candi Beach Resort and Spa are built in a traditional Balinese style, from locally sourced materials.
If you want another activity apart from snorkelling, you can hike to the Tenganan village.
Tenganan is a Bali Aga village, where the people are of the pre-Majapahit culture, speak a unique dialect of Balinese and follow animist religion.
You can also buy the beautiful ikat fabrics produced by the villagers themselves.
The charm of the quaint fishing village of Amed is that it’s relatively untouched, since it is one of the most recent rural areas in Bali to be developed for tourism.
Photo via vonwong
Basically, divers, and those who have always wanted to learn to dive, should come to Amed. Dive and explore the Japanese shipwreck and USS Liberty. (the epic underwater shipwreck photoshoot was done here!)
From here you can catch a boat to the exotic Gili islands too!
Amed is the quintessence of Bali in its early days, oozing with authentic, traditional Balinese culture, just awaiting your discovery.
2-a. Budget accommodation in Amed (Under USD $70)
2-a-i. Seaview villas with infinity pool: Wawa Wewe II in Amed (Rooms start at USD 23)
Wawa Wewe II, despite the strange name, is a tasteful hamlet of 10 villas tucked in a garden.
Each villa offers a sea view and an open air bathroom.
If you want to be even closer to the sea, soak in the infinity pool and watch the sun go down in the horizon.
2-a-ii. Best no-frills right on the beach stay – The Shooting Star Homestay (From USD $27)
Don’t be fooled by the name ‘Homestay’, in fact the rooms, the location, the host and everything is so much better than many of the so called hotels and resorts in Gili islands. We should have stayed here a little longer.
Located right on the beach, The Shooting Star Homestay is convenient for those who want to 1) relax, and 2) get right into watersports. The rooms are clean and equipped with effective air conditioning. For the amount they charge for the rooms, it’s definitely a steal for a beachfront accommodation. For those who want to catch a boat to Gili islands, the homestay staff can help to arrange for a fraction of the price you see in town.
2-a-iii. Soak in nature and history: Hidden Paradise Cottages (Villas start at USD 66 per night)
At Hidden Paradise, each cottage has an airy atmosphere created by high ceilings and is elegantly appointed with teak furniture.
But perhaps what lies outside the cottage is even more appealing than inside – a lush garden and an unobstructed view of the ocean.
You can even catch a glimpse of Mount Agung from your cottage!
By the beach, which is also home to a coral reef, sea gardens and fish, you’ll have a non-exhaustive list of activities to do while you’re there.
If you fancy some cultural immersion, take off to the temple of Besakih, the most holy of Hindu temples in Bali. Located 1000m high on the southern slope of Mount Agung, the temple complex is 2000 years old.
The extraordinary history is this – in 1963, active volcano Agung erupted and tragically killed 1700 people, but the temple of Besakih was spared, as the lava missed it by just a few metres!
Some say it’s proof of the gods’ existence, while others brush it off as simply luck. But regardless of what it is, it’s still an amazing experience to visit this blessed place, especially when your cottage is not far away!
2-a-iv. Snorkel into paradise: Bed & Breakfast & Bistro Aquaterrace (From USD 53)
If your main goal in Bali is to have a great snorkeling experience, and watch the glistening ocean waters from the comfort of your room, then the Bed & Breakfast & Bistro Aquaterrace is the place for you.
Located in Amed, the villa is renowned for its beautiful coral reefs, and you can actually get to the best snorkeling location (in the village of Banyuning) in just 15 minutes!
If water activities are not your thing, this unique place will still keep you occupied with its unique charm.
You can relax in the spa, on a sunbed beside the pool, or try out the special Japanese-Balinese fusion cuisine from the kitchen.
Even the bathroom window has a great view of the sea.
Photo via christinabudiutami
What else can you possibly ask for?
2-a-v. Live where the mountain meets the sea: Bedulu Resort Bali in Amed (Rooms start at USD 32)
All villas at Bedulu Resort are spun from local materials, built on a hillside and kitted out in generously-sized beds from which you can lie and watch the ocean.
The more luxurious rooms are located higher up on the hill and have access to a private garden.
When you finally pull yourself out of bed, you can enjoy the infinity pool or head out to Amed Beach (just two minutes away from your doorstep) to snorkel among the reefs.
2-b. Luxury accommodation in Amed (USD $70 and above)
2-b-i. Luxury private infinity pools overlooking the Lipah Bay – The Griya Villas and Spa (From USD $223)
Interestingly, The Griya’s Villas have been designed to blend with the contours of the lands – harmoniously transitioning between ocean and mountain views.
All villas also have a private pool with an infinity edge that overlooks the gorgeous Lipah Bay. And with the Channa Spa, Yoga and Reiki classes, along with The Griya Gym available, guests have all the resources they need to be happy and healthy.
Photo via svainio
2-b-ii. Let the scent of the sea tingle your senses at Villa Bukit Segara (From USD $157)
Take in the sound of the waves from your bedroom and be greeted by the fragrance of seawater, the moment you arise from your sleep at Villa Bukit Segara, a private luxury villa in a modern tropical style.
Each is room furnished with a whiff of the sea, and the villa can accommodate up to 10 people – perfect for that family holiday away from the city.
2-b-iii. Village in luxury: The Kampung, Amed (From USD $200)
A vision on the beaches of Amed in Northern Bali, The Kampung gives you a chance to experience living in an antique Javanese village house.
Situated right on the coastline, there are two accommodation options, Kampung Jambi and Kampung Lima.
In both, you will find all the modern luxuries, with hand-hewn wooden beams, intricate carvings, and a rustic design you’ll fall in love with, if you are conscious of style.
2-b-iv. With the beach in your backyard at Batu Tangga (From USD $207)
This villa holds stunning views of the deep blue sea from almost every window.
With Mt Lombok in the backdrop of what appears to be an endless ocean line, the view is perfect for both sunrise and sunset!
You’ll get a perfect skyline at any time of the day, with the most gorgeous views.