For most travelers, Kuta Beach will be their first destination after the short taxi ride from the airport 15 minutes away.
Kuta is tourist central complete with luxurious resorts, narrow streets and alleys and abundant budget accommodation. Poppies Gang (lane) 1 & 2 are wall-to-wall guesthouses. I can tell you from personal experience it is a good idea to write down the name and address of the guesthouse when you arrive. I’m sure I wasn’t the first traveler to go for a drink and not be able to remember if it was The Island, The Beach, The Waterfront, The Sunset, or The Sunrise guesthouse I was staying at.
The prices you will pay for accommodation in Kuta will be the most expensive on the whole island. Proximity to the beach, fancy hotels, shopping and the airport account for this, together with the fact the locals know their best chance of getting you to spend more is when you first arrive.
When you check into a guesthouse remember one key thing, everything is negotiable. You will find local merchants and guesthouse owners cheerfully asking you where you are from and how long you’ve been in Bali. This is a way of sizing you up. Tell them you’ve been in the country for six months. To get a better rate at the guesthouse, wait until the desk person is ALONE. Offer 40% of what they ask for and negotiate. Tell them you know what rooms are worth and you want a deal. As long as there are no other people around you have a chance of getting a cheaper offer.
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Usually the budget accommodation in Kuta consists of two bed bamboo cottages with a small porch. These are designed to be airy and have a fan. I found them to be perfectly comfortable and ideal for the budget traveler. You can lock these places but as usual do not leave money, passports, tickets or other valuable stuff in there when you are out.
You can pay $150 a night for a luxury suite in a major hotel but seriously which would you prefer, one night high end or 20 nights local style?