We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

Los Angeles
3 posts
Save Topic
Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

Hi, I am planning a trip to Bali from August 22 - September 1 and have not booked hotel reservations yet. My boyfriend and I have agreed that Jimbaran will be our first stop and then we're going to wing the rest of the trip & go where we our curiosity leads us. My boyfriend thinks it'll be fine if we get to Bali & then try to find a place in Jimbaran (we're not looking for anything too fancy, just a nice base to call home for 3 nights). I'd prefer to look for a place but it looks like the options are fairly limited in the area to resort-style places only.

My question is whether it's advisable to just book something at one of the resorts or if it's OK to just go there and find a place (is this easy to do?).

Any and all help would be appreciated!



Destination Expert
for Bali, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Tuban, Ubud
Level Contributor
13,975 posts
317 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

if this is your first trip to bali i suggest you do some research as to what areas you would like to see and visit so you make the most of your time. there is nothing worse than driving around not knowing where you are heading and what will be there. this forum has a lot of advice on the different areas of bali.

as for jimbaran there are a lot of other hotels besides the 'large' resorts. such as Taman sari villas or Puri bambu. if you do some searching for hotels in jimbaran you will come up with lots of affordable options and you can compare things such as the location of the hotel, its facilities, and compare prices between a number of hotel booking sites and the hotel itself, read reviews and most importantly you can check availability.

bali is getting busier since the bombings and so bookings are picking up. many 'good' places get booked out well in advance.

making bookings ahead of time has advantages.

* you are not wasting time and money driving around in the heat (or late at night if you have a late flight) looking for accommodation

* you often get the best prices by booking ahead as walk in rates are not as good as they used to be

* you will not get driven to hotels the drivers recommend just so they get commission.

* some homework before you go will get you a hotel in a good location.

if you research a bit on bali well in advance you will then know what sort of things you want to see and do and what areas in bali you need to visit to do these things. then you can see what the hotels are like in each of these areas.

Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
1,697 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

Ooh if you are coming in August - September I would DEFINITELY book! It is really busy here, even now and the high season (Aug/Sept) is going to be crazy busy with tourists - As Snooky wisely recommends - just do your research now AND BOOK! - and use the forum for any further tips you might need..

Treking round on the day trying to find accom might sound 'free and fun' in theory but, (especially in high season) you will pay top dollar and waste lots of precious exploring/ relaxing time!

Hope this helps!


Chengdu, China
Level Contributor
945 posts
1,542 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

I'm going to go against the flow and say it's fine to come without booking. If you are not set on staying in particular hotels and are happy to just look around when you get to each new place you will be perfectly fine. Your dates are not school holidays and don't coincide with any other major holiday so I really don't see a problem.

I only ever book in advance if I am staying in an expensive star rated hotel because it is often cheaper, or at Lebaran/Christmas.

If I think back to all my trips to Bali (and elsewhere in Indonesia) the amount of accommodation that I have booked in advance would be tiny.

You'll be fine!

Franschhoek, South...
Level Contributor
1,008 posts
27 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

We went to Bali start of May with no bookings. Kuta, Nusa Lembongan and Ubut.

We found accommodation eventually, but in each destination we wasted a good 2 hours trying to arrange the accommodation, which could have been better spent doing something else.

In Kuta, every place we went to had availability (Poppies Lane 1), so we went down a strip, looked at about 5 places and picked the best one.

Nusa Lembongan was the same deal, walk down the beach, had a look, choose.

Ubut was the only place where we actually hit several places that were full, but eventually managed there too.

If it's high season, you might just save yourself a lot of time to book something. Book at least the first night so that you have a base to work from and don't have to walk around aimlessly for hours with your baggage (the humidity and ever-increasing weight of baggage quickly wears thin and temperatures flare - not how to start what should be romantic break with SO).

Level Contributor
403 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

I have come a few times without pre-booking and that was in January. I will not do that again though. I hated the search on foot for a hotel and felt so uninformed and unable to compare hotels and the value of what I would be getting. It is so much easier to read reviews and get the full low down on each hotel online and compare prices without having to hurry and find a vacancy at the last minute, especially when it is a high tourist time.

You could try it, others will be more informed abotu what you will get this time of year, but I highly recommed pre-booking in order to get a decent room and avoiding the last minute rush that probably many others are doing to find a room. Tourism is on the rise again in Bali, I have read some say that its much more packed again.

The Hague, The...
Level Contributor
744 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

If you want to stay in a good well-known hotel... I'd suggest you book before you come.

I was in Bali last week. I still saw a few hotels with "vacancy" sign but these are the hotels that you can not find information on in the internet.

If you already have a few hotels in mind... book. Don't waste hours trying to find a hotel while you can use those hours doing something else more worthwhile. Booking a hotel in advance is not always more expensive that just walking in a hotel. Sometimes even walk-in could be more expensive.

7. Re: Advice sought: Is it OK to go without hotel reservations?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:20 pm, October 05, 2009