If you’ve flown into Bali for a quick beach retreat without wanting to travel too far out, there are four popular beach life options to choose from – Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, Kuta and Jimbaran. Although eating and drinking in Bali is very cheap (think delicious belly filling meals for $2 USD), a simple tripadvisor peruse will tell you that finding an affordable beachside resort is difficult.
Here is an account of my perfect beach resort day in Jimbaran for under $26 USD.
I stayed at a cosy, clean and cheap homestay in Jimbaran called Mutiara Homestay which will set you back about $8 a night. It is very much where the locals live so the beach is not close but there are some great street food spots in the area.
After a mandatory holiday sleep-in, I ordered a Go-Jek motorbike taxi to take me to the Intercontinental which is right on Jimbaran Beach. Go-Jek is like uber for motorbikes which are the primary mode of transport here in Bali and key when you want to beat traffic – it also works out to be half the price of an uber. Super easy to use – just download the app and off you go! Go-Jek also does pick-up and deliveries so you can ask them to buy your lunch and drop it off to your place, or do your grocery shopping, etc – I wish we had this service back in Auckland! My Go-Jek cost me $1.50 for a 15min ride to the resort.
A couple of years ago, most Bali resorts allowed non-hotel guests to use the pool and facilities for a fee – these days, with Bali tourism booming, most hotels have stopped this service. However, the Intercontinental doesn’t disappoint – I paid $20 to use their pool and a daybed for the whole day. The service was excellent – fresh fruit on sticks, fresh towels, security of belongings and they even have a swim up bar. They also had a Balinese cultural show on during the day that was wonderful to watch.
The Jimbaran beach access from Intercontinental is pristine and uncrowded. It was a really hot day so I alternated between the warm pool water and the cooler ocean water often with a quick outdoor shower rinse at the resort.
Lunch is expensive at the resort itself so I skipped down to the beach and along to the collection of beachfront restaurants – after demolishing a delicious chicken fried noodle at JWB for $2, I went back to the resort to spend the afternoon reading, swimming and lounging. Pure bliss!
At the end of the day, I packed up my things and went down to the beach for a sunset swim followed by $0.50 chilli butter grilled corn.
I had the best day, reaping the luxuries of a 5-star resort with a fraction of the price!
Daybed, pool and facilities access at Intercontinental = $20
Lunch at JWB = $2
Motorbike taxi to and from Intercontinental = $3 ($1.50 one way)
Sunset snack = $0.50
Total cost for the day = approx. $25.50 USD