- Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran has everything from low to super high budget accommodations and a fairly attractive beach / bay. Famed for its beach restaurants, most of the seafood coming from well out to sea and Java. Still retaining some authenticity, it is very convenient for the airport.
Pluses: Indian Ocean breezes, fantastic sunsets and a laid back atmosphere generally free from the lad / red-neck culture that afflicts Kuta the other side of the airport. Some genuinely good value high quality accommodations.
Minuses: Cheating often dangerously so fish restaurants (putting lead in fish where you pay by weight is common, so is switching from the fish you chose to something a little older), aircraft noise, no worthwhile shopping, everything spread out, not much to do.
Again, a former backpacker destination but now with a good range of middle range hotels and villas. Not the best beach in the world and suffers enormously from dirt, aggressive beach hawkers and a thriving child sex industry; Lovina is an official pedophile black spot although foreign tourist family groups need fear nothing for their children, just the local residents. Lovina has a single central area for shops and bars which can get a bit busy and boisterous, but nothing like Kuta. Outside the center, the line of hotel after hotel along the beach can provide for a very enjoyable and relaxing beach holiday where the hotels have got together with the local villagers to keep the beaches clean and the hawkers polite and gentle going.
Pluses: Generally good value and an excellent base to explore the unspoiled areas of Northern Bali. Some excellent low cost restaurant options including some serving very authentic Balinese and Indonesian dishes, often with local artists performing traditional dances. Generally a good range of facilities and much for for your money, mostly ending up in Balinese pockets.
Minuses: Very annoying people on an insipid beach. Some sections suffer from mosque noise. Long drive from the airport.
Near Menjangan National Park on the North Western coast of bali, Pemuteran is a small village with a limited number of hotels generally adjacent to each other on one section of the bay. Ideal for those who simply want to relax on the beach without being pestered by anyone, for those who want worthwhile off beach snorkeling and those who want a very relaxed holiday amongst everyday traditional and genuinely friendly Balinese.
Pluses: One of the very few beaches in Bali where you can relax and / or snorkel; very safe shallow waters. You walk along the beach at night to whichever restaurant you fancy; the distant fishing boats with their kerosene lamps make an excellent backdrop. Very slow pace of life, very tranquil.
Minuses: No shopping, no bar scene. People who like crowds will not like Pemuteran.