A trip to Kintamani is 3 hours, one way from Kuta. Some people like to do that on day trip, but others prefer to stay in the area and have a chance to relax, look around and try to escape the mad tourist rush during the day.
Penelokan, the crater-rim village to the south of Kintamani has a decent hotel, the Lakeview Hotel (0366) 51394. Rooms overlook the crater, and the hotel has decent rooms, with hot water. Mid-range pricing.
I don’t personally care for the Penelokan / Kintamani villages. If you look at a physical map of Bali, you’ll see a line of mountains going east-west across the central northern part of the island. Stroms come in from the south and clouds always form on the southern side of the mountains. Penelokan and Kintamani, being the top corner where the clouds tend to hang. If you go through Kintamani and round the northern rim of the Batur crater, you’ll be amazed. The north coast is immediately in view and the skies clear.
Down in the Batur crater there are 2 main villages to stay, Kedisan, to the right as you reach the crater floor, and Toya Bungkah to the left.
Choices of accommodation inside Batur Crater:
•Awangga – located in Toya Bungkah, next to the large Puri Bening Hyato hotel. This place is a simple guest house.
•Nyoman Mawar – located in Toya Bungkah on the main road. Simpe rooms, cold water. (0366) 51166
•Nyoman Mawar II – located close to the lake in Toya Bungkah. Nice view of the lake with cold water. Simple rooms. (0366)52508
•Pualam – located just off of the main road in Toya Bungkah, close to the hot springs. Clean simple rooms. (0366) 52024
•Tirta Yatra – Located very lcose to the lakeside in Toya Bungkah, next to Volcano Breeze Cafe. Cheap, not so nice rooms.
•Laguna – Located on the main road in Toya Bungkah. Simple decewnt rooms.
Better quality rooms:
•Arlina’s – Located on the southern edge of Toya Bungkah, next to the main road. Hot water and verandahs for lake view. (0366) 51165
•Lakeside Cottages – located next to the lake in northern Toya Bungkah. Different priced rooms. TV, hot water, spacious cottages available. (0366)52149
•Puri Bening Hyato – located in northern Toya Bungkah just south of the main road. Not the greatest bargain by all accounts. Has a selection of room type, hot water available. (0366) 51234
•Putra Mulya – simple cheap rooms (0366) 51754
•Losmen Semadi – simple rooms, okay view of the lake. (0366)51819
•Hotel Segara – has variety of rooms. Top rooms have TV, hot water. (0366) 51136
•Hotel Surya – Decent place, not too expensive. top rooms have hot water, good view of lake. (0366) 51378
Whenever a Balinese place offers TV, you should ask if it is cable, or just local TV. Staying in one of these cheap simple places isn’t the worst thing in the world, though you wouldn’t stay there more than a couple of nights.
In my opinion, after a one night in Lake Batur, or even on the first day you visit, a better option of a place to stay will be Ubud. If you look at a map, Ubud is a straight shot from Kintamani. You can be there in 1 hour 20 minutes. Another option, would be to take the 13km, scenic road, down the coast at Bondalem. You do this by heading past Kintamani and hanging a sharp right at Dausa. At the coast are a couple of lovely places to stay including Poincianna, just south of Tejakula. Doing that sets you up for the next day. You could head north along the coast to Lovina, or south along the coast to Tulamben and Amed.
If driving all the way back to Ubud, after a day exploring Kintamani / Batur crater, is too far, you can try the Blue Yogi Cafe in Tegallalang, which has 2 nice cottages. Be sure to call if you need the rooms (0361) 901368.