Magnificent palm-fringed beaches, lush mountainsides terraced with rice fields, and active volcanos: These elements of Bali’s landscape are just the cherry on top of this incredible destination. What makes Bali unique is its location at the southern tip of Indonesia, where an amalgam of South Asian cultures converge—Indian, Malay, Japanese, and Thai, to name a few. Although it’s part of the world’s largest Muslim nation, Bali is predominantly Hindu, and therefore ancient temples abound, with spectacular vernacular architecture depicting deities, beasts, and mythical creatures. The quality of the light paints the sky with sherbet colors at sunrise and sunset, and tropical fruits like mangosteen and rambutan grow in profusion. It just doesn’t get more romantic than this.
In short, Bali gives the Garden of Eden a run for its money, but it’s the genuine, non-transactional friendliness of the locals that lends Bali its true magic. Here, we tap two Bali experts for their honeymoon insights and tips for planning an idyllic honeymoon in this island paradise.
Meet the Expert
- Ty Sinnett is a stylist and designer who splits her time between Changgu, Bali, and Chilmark, Massachusetts, where she operates The Seven Sisters Boutique. In her spare time, she helps people plan trips to Bali and knows the lay of the land like the back of her hand.
- Nathan Fluellen, the creator and host of World Wide Nate, is a lifestyle/fitness influencer and a travel blogger with a deep knowledge of Bali.
Planning Your Bali Honeymoon
As Nathan Fluellen, the creator and host of World Wide Nate, says, “There’s no bad time in Bali because there’s no stress on the island.” That being said, the dry season—from April to October—is considered the ideal time to visit, but those who don’t mind a tropical shower will find better deals from November through March. And in terms of how long to stay, U.S. travelers will lose a full day traveling to the destination, so it’s best to go for as long as possible, ideally in the 10-day-to-two-week range. Ty Sinnett—who splits her time between Changgu, Bali, and Chilmark, Massachusetts, while helping travelers plan their Bali vacations—suggests splitting time equally between the beaches and the mountains, with at least three days in each.
Here, find our top planning tips for your dreamy Bali honeymoon:
Language: Although Balinese and Indonesian are the lingua franca, English is Bali’s ‘third language” and nearly everyone speaks at least some, especially in tourist areas.
Currency: Indonesia Rupiah
When to Go: April to October for the dry season, November through March for better travel deals.
How Much Time to Spend: 10 days to two weeks.
Getting There: Plenty of international airlines offer routes from the U.S. to Bali but keep in mind that none are direct, and depending on where in the U.S. you’re coming from, you will have one to three layovers. From both JFK and Newark airports, Singapore Airlines operates one of the world’s longest (18.5 hours) non-stop flights to Singapore. From there, it’s another two-and-a-half hours to Denpasar, the capital of Bali, via regular routes on regional airlines.
Transportation: Most hotels and resorts offer airport transfers and shuttle service to off-site activities, but hiring a car and driver in Bali is inexpensive, and seeing the precariously loaded motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic is enough to dissuade anyone from driving.
Must-Pack: All the essentials for a tropical vacation: Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, light clothing, etc. Bug spray is a necessity but is provided by many hotels. Women should bring a modest, lightweight outfit and a scarf for visiting temples, where men may be required to don sarongs, but they are provided.
Places to Stay During Your Bali Honeymoon
From intimate beachside bungalows to all-inclusive style resorts, Bali is home to some of the best honeymoon hotels in Southeast Asia. Here are a few of our favorite:
Four Seasons Resort, Jimbaran Bay
This flawless reproduction of an authentic Balinese village features traditional villas with oversized plunge pools. On the property, the Sundara Beach Club, Bali’s chicest brunch spot, has a 57-meter swimming pool fronting the gentle waters of Jimbaran Bay, backed by Bali’s most iconic fishing village.
Four Seasons Sayan
This architectural marvel is tucked into the valley carved out by the sacred Ayung River in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital. Four Seasons offers the world’s only luxury hotel transfer via white-water raft between Jimbaran Bay and here, and couples who marry at one location can honeymoon at the other with their WeddingMoon package.
Ayana Estate, Jimbaran
Fluellen favors this property because of its variety: A clifftop resort with four distinct hotels and a wide array of private villas set into beautiful gardens, 14 swimming pools, 22 dining options, and access to secluded Kubu Beach, at the foot of a dramatic cliff. “You never have to leave the property,” Fluellen enthuses.
Sumberkima Hill Retreat
Sumberkima Hill Retreat, located in the heart of northwest Bali, is Sinnett’s idea of heaven. Dreamlike views from the jungle out toward one of the island’s “most pristine beaches,” the collection of villas offers the utmost in privacy and an array of “soul-altering adventures” ranging from jungle hikes to coral restoration dives.
An adults-only resort located in the breathtaking Sideman Valley, this secluded collection of 15 villas has infinity pools cantilevered out over the rice fields, in an area punctuated with natural springs and waterfalls. Sinnett says the Ananda Spa is the perfect antidote to a trek through the jungle, a tour of a local temple, or a day at the beach.
One of 2023’s most anticipated new resorts, this Banyan Tree Escape is nestled in the heart of the jungle in a tiny town 40 minutes north of Ubud. Mountain views and proximity to rivers and waterfalls are two of its many charms. The villas at this mystical retreat blur the distinction between indoors and out and utilize repurposed materials like wood salvaged from old boat yards.
The Royal Santrian, Nusa Dua
A collection of contemporary villas set on one of Bali’s most sought-after beaches, this resort strikes the perfect balance between sybaritic seclusion and access to activities. Yoga on the beach, water sports ranging from jet skis to flyboarding, and five-hour spa treatments are just a small sample of the experiences available.
Soori Bali, Tambanan
Backed by mountains, this beachfront retreat was designed by renowned architect and owner Soo Chan to enclose outdoor spaces in contemplative courtyards that capture dramatic views. The blend of sleek modernism and traditional Balinese culture creates a serene oasis, far away from day-to-day reality
Things to Do During Your Bali Honeymoon
Fluellen’s to-do list includes a visit to the iconic Gates of Heaven on Mount Lempuyang, one of the oldest and most sacred sites in Bali, and an outing to the famed Monkey Forest in Ubud (be sure to secure everything from cellphones to sunglasses, or pickpocket primates will hold them for ransom.)
The Ayung Valley is famous for its numerous giant swings (easily located by the sound of delighted squealing), while Sinnett suggests a pilgrimage to the Uluwatu Temple, a Hindu shrine perched high on a cliff, where you can witness traditional Balinese dancing.
White water rafting on the Ayung River is extremely popular, as are saltwater activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, and kayaking. An afternoon at any of Bali’s world-class spas is a must for recharging your batteries, and for romance, try a rose-petal bath, a private picnic overlooking lush hillsides, or a hike to one of the island’s beguiling waterfalls.
Can’t-Miss Experience: The cleansing ritual at any of Bali’s magnificent water temples is a cooling, contemplative way to wash away the stress of planning your wedding ceremony.
Where to Eat During Your Bali Honeymoon
Balinese cuisine is on the spicy side, with an array of sambals, or salsas, accompanying every meal, and a wide variety of exotic tropical delicacies like dragon and snake fruits. Fluellen’s top picks are Ku De Ta, an upscale beach club in Seminyak, serving everything from burgers to sushi; the Moana Fish Eatery, an open-air, thatched-roof restaurant in Badung specializing in poke and Polynesian cuisine; and Ours, in Uluwatu, which specializes in Mediterranean fare made with local ingredients and served in a sleek Scandinavian setting.
Sinnett’s favorite is Aperitif, a sophisticated, 1920s-inspired cocktail bar at the Viceroy in Ubud, featuring some of Bali’s top fine dining (think caviar, venison, and Wagyu beef). For authentic Balinese cuisine, we recommend Jala at the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay, where famed chef Surya prepares heritage dishes made using traditional methods, as well as operating the Jala Cooking Academy, which includes a tour of the Jimbaran fish market and instruction in creating a full Balinese feast.
Budgeting for a Bali Honeymoon
Most of the expenses of a Bali honeymoon are up-front: airfare, hotels, etc., and as Fluellen points out, “the cost of living is low,” so the dollar goes a long way. Even extravagances like a car and driver or dinners at the finest restaurants are a fraction of the cost as in the U.S. Tipping is not expected, but, as Sinnett advises, be sure to include an allowance for all the beautiful Balinese handcrafts you’re sure to bring home.