Medewi is for those that want a quieter surf trip or a visit to what I like to call the “real Bali”. It’s less crowded streets will give you quiet relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular places in Bali such as Kuta or Canggu.
Unless you’re a hardcore partier and need that scene around you, I would recommend a visit up to Medewi for anyone who wants to experience Bali in a more peaceful way. Plus, it’s close to places like Mangangan Island for some of the best snorkeling on Bali and close to Java to visit one of two active volcanos in the world that shows blue fire at night with a volcano sunrise hike – as well as several other things to keep you busy while you are there including: surfing for all levels, waterfalls, hilltop restaurant with incredible views and cheap prices, beachside restaurants with local food for $1 per meal, relaxing scooter rides up into the forest, releasing baby turtles and so much more.
This post is about where you can stay while in Medewi, Bali as there really aren’t as many choices as other places but you want to make sure your stay is worth your while up there. It’s about a 2-hour drive northwest from Canggu and about 3 hours from the Airport to give you an idea of its whereabouts.
The next five places I will mention are each for a different budget, they cover 5-star luxury travel to decent enough rooms on the beach for a tight budget traveler – and I stayed at all of them, so this isn’t a random review of a place I had never been.
Without further ado:
Kelapa Retreat and Spa
I actually wrote a full review on this 5-star resort that you can read here, but to sum it up, Kelapa is a place where yes, they offer a ton of tours and thing to do during the day, but the facility is so peaceful and welcoming, you will want to stay there all day long and just relax. This is my most “expensive” recommendation on the list. This is a 5-star resort and you will feel the luxury the moment you walk up to the front desk with the plumeria flowers leading the way, without having to empty your pockets too much.
A large beach view room comes between $130-160 USD per night and includes the best breakfast I have yet at an “ included” breakfast. If you are looking to relax your face off with maybe a day tour in between, this is your place. You are guaranteed to enjoy your time here.
Although easy to rent a scooter or get a taxi from the front desk, it is a little further from the point of Medewi and any other restaurants – but as I said, you won’t mind spending the majority of your time here with their two infinity pools and free boogie boards for use as well as amazing spa on-site and yoga classes twice per day.
Bombora has more of a hip chic feel and maybe more of a “popular” place to stay. It’s right on the point and has one of the best, if not the best, infinity pools in Medewi along with a restaurant/bar that overlooks the pool and ocean. The standard room – the cheapest rooms – reside on floor 1 and for about $100 USD per night, with no view, and a smaller room, you can upgrade to a top-level room which seemed to have a sea view and a large patio with a couch bed looking thing (from the beach you can see them, I didn’t actually stay in the top-level room). They have some nice touches like a medicine ball and yoga mat in each room and a foam roller, as well as a really nice included breakfast in the morning. I also wrote a full review on Bombora if you are interested in hearing more.
Aga Living is family-owned by a very friendly Hindu/Muslim family. The man who runs it, Aga, is one of the kindest (and busiest) men I have met in Bali. He not only runs the hotel but builds furniture made of some of the finest woods and ships it to the US and famous people such as George Clooney and many others have Agas pieces in their homes. Aga loves to talk about the famous people he met but not in a boisterous way by any means. He’s very interesting to talk to and will help you with anything you need.
His hotel is a few steps from the beach and close to the point where you can walk with your surfboard every morning. For $40 a night you get a large, very clean room that has a sea view and a great patio. He also owns the property next door that has more cabins to stay and it has a nice pool and also a nice top patio with good wifi so if you happen to be able to take your work with you, you can have the best office in Medewi for an afternoon. His staff on site is a married couple and they are always smiling and always ready to help you make your stay the best they can – the staff and owners of this place will definitely make you feel like you have made some local friends in town and they will welcome you with open arms if you are to return (I’ve already stayed here twice).
His hotel also comes with a really nice breakfast, coffee, and fruit plate every single morning. If you want to hear more about this hotel I also gave a full review of this place as well.
This is more of an Airbnb house where each room is rented out – however, each room is large and includes it’s own kitchen – it’s more of an apartment and you could stay here longer term I think if you really wanted to and for about $30 USD per night it is a steal. Nothing blocks it from the beach but a field which you can walk just a few steps to the beach and it has a nice big pool that is shared with all the guests. There is also a rooftop setting where you can also work remotely if you are lucky enough to do so for another great office in Medewi. This place has a stone oven to be able to make pizzas and also a projector to watch movies on a big screen on that rooftop as well – great for a group setting. They also have motor scooters that you can use – I don’t even think they charge for this service here but if I am wrong on that the scooter rental wouldn’t be much. I had my own scooter so I didn’t need this but I heard him mention there was a scooter for use.
Breakfast is not included here but they did have surfboards that you could use and a nice shared pool as well.
Kelapa Surf Camp
Not to be confused with Kelapa Retreat, Kepala surf camp is an ultimate budget-friendly place to stay, right next door to one of the better places to eat in Medewi called Nal’s Kitchen. It’s a 2-minute scooter ride to the beach or a 6-minute ride to the point. They have surfboards for you to rent if you want to try surfing and includes an outdoor kitchen. The rooms are clean and standard and always a fun environment here – a younger crowd. For $15 per night, you get a clean room, close to the beach, and excellent staff. The guy who runs the place – Tony – He is very welcoming and friendly and willing to take you on any tour that you want for a fraction of the price of a “real” tour you might find online. He took me to mount Ijen to see the blue fire deep inside an active volcano which I had never even heard of before. Great guy and a great place to stay. Breakfast was not included here but like I mentioned, Nal’s Kitchen right next door is a great place for a healthy meal with cheap prices. You can also head down to the beach by foot and catch a great cheap and local made meal beachside.
Out of all of these places – Aga Living is my top recommendation for a stay in Medewi if you want a nice breakfast and a nice, comfortable, clean room, amazing shower and comfortable bed with a view. Kelapa Surf camp is my recommendation for the tight budget traveler and Kelapa retreat would be my top recommendation for that ultimate relaxing vacation. I would definitely suggest visiting Bombora for a meal or drink at sunset if you don’t happen to be staying there. You really can’t go wrong with any of these places – they all offer something different and won’t disappoint.