We’ve recently been to Bali for a week to break up our Australia road trip into two halfs. Out of our seven nights in Indonesia, we decided to spend four on the main island of Bali and three on Nusa Penida staying at the Semabu Hills Hotel, a stunningly beautiful island and hotel about 45 minutes by boat from Bali.
For our stay on Nusa Penida, we decided to test out the brand new Semabu Hills Hotel. As of April 2018, it’s actually the most luxurious hotel on the island. This is likely to change in the future though, seen as Nusa Penida is an upcoming tourism destination.
The Semabu Hills Hotel was actually one of the best value hotels we’ve ever stayed at! We only paid US$65 per night for a massive suite including a amazingly delicious breakfast every morning, and even drinks or dinner was very reasonable.
Originally, we planned to go to Nusa Penida for only one night, but we loved the island and the hotel so much that we decided to extended our stay to three nights. This is the minimum amount of time we would recommend for a trip to Nusa Penida.
Location / Getting There
First of all, you have to get to Bali. From there, get a taxi to Sanur Beach and then take a boat across to Nusa Penida. You should plan this part of your trip well, because boat prices vary greatly and the schedule can leave you stranded if you arrive too late. You’ll find everything you need to know in our guide to Nusa Penida.
The hotel is located only a very short drive (under five minutes) from the boat pier of the fast boats to Bali. On the map it looks like an easy stroll of about half an hour, but it’s uphill all the way and there’s no footpath besides the road. Your best option is to contact the hotel as soon as you know the rough arrival time of your boat (or even once you get to Nusa Penida), and they’ll come and pick you up for free.
Otherwise, your best bet is to arrange transport with one of the locals offering rides at the pier. You could also hire a scooter straight from the pier. The hotels location is very convenient, because it’s close to the boat pier and a good base to explore most of Nusa Penidas stunning landscape.
Semabu Hills Hotel Overview & Pool Area
Once you arrive, enjoy your welcome drink and then admire your first glimpse of the amazing view on the way over to your room. The infinity pool is the central element of the hotel and offers impressive panoramas of Bali’s Mount Agung towering over the sea in the distance.
We witnessed some great sunrises and sunsets from up there too!
To the left of the pool sits the restaurant and bar. They designed this area very well, with a roofed part and an open part, both offering comfortable seating. You’ve got the choice of a table inside, a table outside, a sofa inside or a bar stool with uninterrupted views outside. We spent two of our evenings just sitting here, sipping on delicious, affordable cocktails and admiring the sunset illuminating Mount Agung.
There is only one room type with the choice of King or Twin beds. Every room is basically a suite and measures 100m². That’s about three times the size of a standard hotel room. You get a balcony or patio, a huge living room, as well as a large bedroom and bathroom.
The rooms are spread out over three floors (ground floor, first and second floor). Our room was located on the ground floor, which was great because you could just walk straight out and into the pool. The rooms a bit higher up should have slightly better views though. And by the way, every room is looking out the same way, there is no room without a view!
The design is clean and modern, with comfy furniture, wooden floors and nicely appointed amenities, as you’d expect from a brand new hotel in Asia. During most of the year, you’ll find the nightly rate to be less than US$80. If you book the hotel through a portal like Booking.com you can get the best rate available.
Food & Drinks
The hotel offers all the usual amenities like restaurant, bar, poolside service, room service, minibar and so on, but it’s all the same price which is great.
The restaurant serves delicious breakfast every morning. Every staying guest has got the choice between four complimentary different western and asian breakfasts. These were all very tasty and beyond our expectations. In addition, you could also choose from their a la carte breakfast, although we struggled to finish the included breakfast each morning.
In the evening you can choose from different snacks, starters, main courses and desserts. All mains are priced at under 80.000 IDR (US$3.00 to US$6.00) which is exceptional value for such a hotel.
The bar offers cocktails all day for about 95.000 IDR (US$7.00), but in the evening they are only 45.000 IDR (US$3.30).
Activities / What to do
As you can see in our Nusa Penida Guide, there is a vast amount of things to do on Nusa Penida, with the landscape being particularly stunning. Long story short: You shouldn’t go to Nusa Penida without exploring the island.
Semabu Hills Hotel offers daily complimentary shuttle service to Crystal Bay. Crystal Bay is one of the best spots for swimming on the island and it takes about 15 minutes to get there. To see other locations, you’ll have to either self-drive a scooter, or hire a car with a driver. The hotel can assist you with this.
You can hire a scooter in good condition from the hotel for roughly US$7.50 a day, whereas a car with a driver usually costs at least US$50 per day. While a car ride is a bit more comfortable and safe, it will be slower and more expensive. Do keep in mind the roads can be in horrendous condition though, depending on where you go. It’s particularly bad on the way down to Broken Beach and Angels Billabong, but don’t let that stop you from visiting these places as they are absolutely jaw-dropping. Same goes for Kelingking Beach which is picture above, insane right?!
We had a fantastic time at Semabu Hills Hotel, from the expansive and modern suites, to the amazing infinity pool and the views from anywhere around the property, to the friendly staff and delicious, affordable food and drinks. We would certainly recommend this hotel to anyone wanting a relaxing luxurious stay whilst still sticking to a somewhat budget when travelling to Nusa Penida.
Booking Your Stay At Semabu Hills Hotel
You can check the best deals and latest rates on Booking.com.
Alternatively visit their website directly at Semabu Hills to book direct.
Don’t just take our word for it though, check out their immaculate reviews on Tripadvisor.
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Have you been to Nusa Penida or stayed at the Semabu Hills Hotel? Or is it somewhere that’s on your list now? We’d love to know in the comments below!