Embellish Bali Guide

Embellish, Bali Travel Guide

" Once you visit Bali it becomes an addiction "

The following is purely based on my own experiences over the years. Of course everyone has different expectations and standards when they travel. I am by no means a fussy traveller so please keep that in mind. When I’m working I go for cheap and cheerful and then sometimes mix it up with some nice villas or hotels here and there. The hotels I will list are a mixture of standards. I’ve had great experiences at all of them and stayed many times. When it comes to Bali there are so many options for accommodation so I recommend doing your own research. I tend to book through Airbnb, Agoda or Booking.com

I recommend you definitely read the reviews, not just the first ones, definitely delve in further.

Upon Arrival...

Arriving in Bali is always a buzz. Usually the airport is crazy busy so expect an hour or two to get through customs. Sometimes the queues are very long. Baggage collection can also take an incredibly long time depending on how many planes have just arrived. If you’re on a NZ passport you’ll be required to purchase a tourist visa. This can be done at the airport or online prior to arrival. I tend to just do it at the airport. There is also an online arrival form to fill out. This can be done on your phone or on computers provided at the airport when you go through to the baggage area. One really important thing to remember is to keep your boarding pass with you as this is a MUST for going through customs.

 Please refer to your booking airline or travel agent for visa requirements surrounding length of stay, especially if you are staying longer than 30 days. 


Many hotels provided courtesy transfers but if not expect to pay around $30 - $35 to get to Kuta/Legian or Seminyak. Not sure what the price is to other locations. It pays to have something organised before you land as it can be quite daunting when you arrive. I can also recommend a fantastic driver whose name is Gede. I’ve used him for many years and he is such a lovely guy. He can not only deliver you from the airport to your hotel he can also take you on days tours to wherever you wish.

Getting Around

GEDE - feel free to use my driver - Whatsapp +62 812 3658 922

GO JEK - This gives you a lot of freedom. Download the app on your phone and you can order a scooter or car to pick you up pretty much in any busy tourist location. Expect to wait about 5-10 minutes. It’s super cheap and easy to use.

BLUE TAXI’S - Go Jek has kind of taken over these however if you do decide to use one always make sure to ask them if they have a meter, if they’re not willing to put it on do not get in the car.

Getting Cash

Unless you don't mind the hefty credit card fee's I strongly advise getting cash out before you travel. There's many great cash currency exchange facilities in the popular tourist areas. If you’re not sure, ask other tourists who they recommend. If you’re in Seminyak there’s a good one across the road from the Bintang supermarket. There’s also cash flow machines in most places. When using these I suggest you hide your pin entry by using your hand. Another thing to remember is in Bali the cash comes out first and then your card. Many tourists have left their cards in the machine including myself.


Fortunately Bali now has many 24 hour medical facilities in all the tourist areas and many pharmacies which have everything you need. When you purchase insurance if you plan to hop on a scooter make sure you purchase the additional excess to cover an accident.


Whilst in Bali I either use roaming on my phone if I’m not there for too long. For a longer stay I purchase a local SIM card which can be purchased at most Mini Mart stores. Most hotels and restaurants have free Wifi.

Spa Treatments

A rather lovely side to visiting Bali is to experience spa treatments/massages. Spas are everywhere. Expect to pay around $12 - $20 an hour for a balinese massage. Hotel spas tend to be more expensive. All spa’s offer the same services as in NZ but of course a lot cheaper. So indulge and spoil yourself !

Eating Out

We all fear getting Bali Belly but to be honest you can be as careful as possible and still get it. Eat just as you do at home. Obviously don't eat food that looks like it's been sitting around forever. It's ok to eat salads, have ice in your drink. Just make sure you wash your hands regularly as a precaution. Another tip to avoid a sore tummy is to make sure you never use the tap water to brush your teeth. All hotels provide bottled water. There's so many amazing restaurants and cafes in Bali so just enjoy the experience and put your worries aside.


There’s two parts to Seminyak, the older quarter which I tend to stay in for work and then the more swanky area near Seminyak Square. Both are great but I’ve always felt more comfortable in the older part so can only recommend hotels in this area.

Hotels in Seminyak

PURI CENDANA - Budget, 200 metres to the beach. Traditional Balinese decor. Basic but comfortable. Rooms tend to be a bit dark. Lovely pool. Good little restaurant. Lovely staff and clean. Usually includes breakfast. The best masseuse ever works beside the pool. This was the hotel Embellish grew from.

GRANDMAS- Budget, Very small rooms, 200 metres to the beach. Usually includes breakfast. If you’re on a budget and you’re not worried about a fancy hotel this is great value for money and in a great spot close to the beach. Lovely staff and clean.

PING HOTEL- Budget, 500 metres to the beach. Nothing flash but comfortable. Slightly larger rooms than Grandma’s. Lovely pool and staff.

HORISON - Great location for shopping, 400 metres to the beach. Decent size rooms. Good pool. Value for money.

THE HAVEN - My go too for work. 3-4 stars. Great pools. 400 metres to the beach. Good size rooms. Huge apartments. Fabulous all you can eat buffet breakfast. Good for shopping. Good for families. A very popular hotel so pays to book in advance.

Other Seminkyak hotels I haven't stayed in but are in good locations in the older area...

The Grand Mercure, Hotel Indigo, Courtyard Bali, Kusuma Hotel, Sun City Hotel, The Breeze, Blue-Zea Resort

Things I can reccomend to do in Seminyak

Kim Soo, Ku Te Da, Seminyak Square Markets, Sunset drinks down at the beach and Beachwalk Shopping Centre.


I haven’t stayed in Legian for many years but I did stay at the Melasti Beach Resort once. I’ve noticed that it’s still a very popular resort when I go for my walk in the morning. It’s in a great beachfront location in Legian. The Padma Hotel is also in an excellent location on the beach.


THEANNA RESORT & VILLAS - 5 Star resort with huge apartments/villas. Most have private pools. A 10-15 minute walk to the main part of town but you have everything you need close by. Amazing service and super clean.

VASSANI STAY - Stunning rooms, beautiful pool. Right in the centre of everything. 10 min walk to the beach. The only issue is the rooms can be quite noisy from traffic. Great restaurants and cafes super close by.

THINGS I CAN RECOMMEND TO VISIT IN CANGGU - Spring Spa, Penny Lane Restaurant, Canteen Cafe, Como Resort for Sunset drinks, Electric Eel Restaurant, The Lawn. MonSieur Spoon, Love Anchor Market, Crate Cafe, Shady Shack Cafe.

Bingin - Surf Beach

Bingin is located by Uluwatu. An hour's drive from Seminyak. It’s a popular surf beach. Access to the beach is via many steps down the cliff. If you end up staying at a property down the cliff make sure you travel light. Be prepared for sore legs. There’s some beautiful villa’s on the cliff. Two of them I’ve put links for. They were stunning!

VILLA DOWN CLIFF https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/51498920?source_impression_id=p3_1709596008_BxHkFwt0nYTpA3dz

VILLA DOWN CLIFF https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/48528801?source_impression_id=p3_1709596062_1s8VgbQAoniQoVDi

MICKS PLACE (now called MATA RESORT) This is where we got married. It is absolutely incredible. 5 Star. Adults Only. On the cliff overlooking the surf. Villas are super tasteful with a real natural/coastal vibe. I highly recommend it. However you need to book way in advance. It's heaven !!!!

MU BALI Again another beautiful resort on the cliff. Has a slightly French inspired vibe. Each villa is quite different. Beautiful food. Great for families. Must book way in advance as it’s super popular. Great pool and view.

KEMBANG KUNING - Has always been our go to. It’s budget with basic rooms, has air conditioning but unless they've upgraded since I've stayed there they have cold showers. But the spot is incredible on the cliff overlooking the surf. Unfortunately we used to pay around $60 a night and now it’s way more expensive. Great infinity pool. Basic food available. Short walk to the beach down the stairs.

BINGIN SARI - Budget. Great little basic rooms surrounding a common pool. 10 minute walk to the beach. Comfortable. No ocean view. Easy walking distance to cafes etc.


I’ve only stayed in Ubud once. I’m usually only there for a day sourcing so unfortunately I can’t recommend any accommodation.  


This is another area I haven’t been too. It’s a surfing location and the resort Komune has been highly recommended by many.  

So I hope that makes planning your Bali adventure a little easier. There's many other areas to this diverse country but the above ones I know best.

I wish you a happy holiday and trust me once you've visited Bali it becomes an addiction. You'll get home and be planning your next visit.

Rachelle x