a guide to choosing a hostel seminyak bali asian girl traveler red hat skirt white shirt holds luggage standing at hostel entrance agirlnamedclara
Money,  Travel

A Guide to Choosing a Hostel in Seminyak, Bali

Where do you prefer to stay during a holiday – hotel or hostel?

For someone who always joins a group or private tour, I’ve been staying in the hotel all my travel life. Little did I know that staying in the hostel, especially when in Seminyak, Bali could be the best option.

Therefore, this week’s blog post is about a guide to choosing a hostel, especially in Seminyak, Bali 🙂

Of course, the opinion is subjective. If you’re travelling with family, spouse or friends; appreciate privacy and have a comfortable budget – by all means, go for hotels.

There are many wonderful, romantic hotels and resorts in Bali that would paint beautiful memories of your holiday. Trust me, you won’t regret!

However, if you wish to save up and don’t mind sharing a room with random strangers plus using the communal toilet & bathroom, go for hostels.

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The female toilet at Socialista Lifestyle Hostel is clean and comfortable – Seminyak, Bali

Before I met B, I associated hostels as inexpensive, uncomfortable accommodation packed with backpackers. But when he told me that he would be outstation and wouldn’t be back until Monday, I had to improvise my Bali trip (and budget).

Okay, so I would land on Sunday night without B. What should I do?

B wanted to give me his room key through the third party but I refused for security purposes. I decided to spend one night in Seminyak so I could explore the area.

As I’m still saving for my grand 2020 trip and will be visiting Bali often to meet B, my budget becomes tighter. I remembered him sharing that he sometimes stays in the hostel when travelling, so I did my research… and was blown away.

A Comfortable Stay at Socialista Lifestyle Hostel, Seminyak, Bali

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Hostels in Bali are beautiful, comfortable and inexpensive! In fact, I was in a dilemma choosing where to stay as there were many attractive options in Seminyak.

Socialista Lifestyle Hostel has successfully made me click the ‘book now’ button with their beautiful bedrooms – decorated in cute, colourful wallpaper. Oh, by the way, this is not a paid post 🙂

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The Hemingway Room is a mixed gender bed dorm for 10 people
(photo: Socialista Lifestyle Hostel)
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The Flaubert Room is a mixed-gender bed dorm for 16 people
(photo: Socialista Lifestyle Hostel)
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My room is so cute! I love the flamingo wallpaper and the bed is comfy
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Need privacy? Roll down the partition!

There are a few rooms with different capacities for bed. You can choose to sleep in a mixed-gender or female-only room. This hostel provides locker with a padlock , separate Male/Female bathroom and free a thick, fluffy towel + body wash + shampoo + hand soap.

As for the bed, there are reading lamp, electric socket and partition for your privacy. Also, the airconditioning works great!

What I like about staying in a hostel:

  • Value for money
  • Comfortable, clean bed
  • Homey-feeling
  • Opportunity to make friends from around the world
  • Socialista Lifestyle Hostel provides therapeutic body wash, shampoo and hand soap (I really enjoyed my bath time!)

Things that are slightly uncomfortable:

  • Sleeping in a bunk bed feels a bit cramped
  • Having to carry a lot of things to the bathroom so I don’t go back and forth (tips: bring a big, light canvas bag for this)
  • When some travellers stay up late and still loud past midnight while I’m ready to sleep

Should I lock my luggage? If not, what if someone steals my stuff?
What if someone harms me when I was sleeping?
It’s Coronavirus season, am I safe sharing a room with many travellers?

I had those questions in my head. But they turned out to be me being paranoid. If you have similar questions at the back of your head, here’s what I felt during my stay in Socialista Lifestyle Hostel.

The travellers trusted each other, that nobody will steal from or harm anyone. Many left their backpack or luggage open when they’re sleeping.

But if you are paranoid, nobody will judge you for keeping your luggage locked. As for me, I kept my DSLR and small backpack in a locker & locked my luggage before I slept.

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I also like the pineapple wallpaper at the Confucio Room
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This Filipino solo traveler is waiting for her driver to pick her up

About the Coronavirus, well… I stayed in a mixed-gender room with 15 travellers and returned to Malaysia in a healthy state 🙂

As a precaution, I took multivitamin and vitamin C daily to boost my immune system. Make sure that you wash your hand often, eat and sleep well too during your holiday in Seminyak, Bali!

What You Should Do Before Choosing a Hostel

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There are many famous bars & restaurants in Seminyak such as Ku De Ta, Potato Head Beach Club and La Favela. And the shopping street? Petitenget Street may not be as hip as Kuta Street, but it’s sure fun to stroll along at night.

If you love to walk, unable to drive a car/ride a scooter and have a small budget, use Google Maps to see how far the hostel is from your desired bars/clubs/restaurants.

How many minutes will it take to walk from the hostel to X Club?
Perhaps it’s a bit far but you are fine coz you can ride a scooter?

I thought I would love the night walk from my hostel to Petitenget Street, but Socialista Lifestyle Hostel turned out to be quite far from it and the road was a bit dark.

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Renting a scooter is the best and most affordable way to explore Seminyak, Bali

Although Bali is safe, I feel uncomfortable walking alone at night (coming from a girl who walked home at 2am in Marrakech at night? Guess I’m getting old!).

If you can ride a scooter, the hostel provides scooter rental and taxi services. You can also use Grab for better transportation deals.

And sooo…. I skipped the Seminyak nightlife and planned to check out the posh Cafe del Mar the next day, as it’s just a 15 mins walk from Socialista Lifestyle Hostel.

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The ylang ylang body wash and green tea shampoo made my days xx
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The hostel also provides free mineral water

Another tip, don’t book a hostel just because it’s inexpensive. Read the hostel facilities carefully and view the photos.

Does the hostel provide air conditioning?
How many people are there in one room?
Is there an extra charge for towels and other toiletries?

Things to Do Near Petitenget Street Beside Checking Out Bars & Clubs for Budget Travellers

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When I walked to Cafe del Mar for brunch the next morning, the sky was gloomy and soon it was raining.

As it’s compulsory to spend at least IDR250,000 (around RM83 / USD21) in Cafe del Mar, I decided it won’t be worth it when the weather wasn’t cooperating.

Didn’t want to let the weather ruined my day, I went to a mini market nearby to buy bread for breakfast. After that, I went for a full body massage and hair spa (creambath). For lunch, I had ayam geprek (smashed chicken with super spicy chili).

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Ayam geprek ACK Fried Chicken. The chili is just okay.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • Bread – IDR6,000 (RM2 / USD0.50)
  • Water – nil (I bring LifeStraw, a filtered water bottle)
  • 60 mins full body massage – IDR90,000 (RM30 / USD7.50) +IDR10,000 (tips, not compulsory)
  • 45 mins hair spa (creambath) – IDR85,000 (RM28 / USD7) + IDR10,000 (tips, not compulsory)
  • Lunch at ACK Fried Chicken – IDR28,000 (RM7 / USD1.75)

Total = IDR229,000 (RM76 / USD19)

If you’re travelling to Seminyak, Bali with a small budget, skip the cafe breakfast and opt for bread in the mini market or eat in local warungs instead.

Also read – “Why You Need to Own a Filtered Water Bottle”
Also read – “Digital Detox Trip: Nature Edition in Raja Ampat, Indonesia”
Also read – “Serene Sunset and Floating Houses at Tempe Lake”

But what’s the point of travelling without enjoying food? Bali offers delicious foods that are too good to be missed. By having a simple breakfast, you can allocate the budget for a nice lunch/dinner 🙂

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Bale Udang Mang Engking is our favourite restaurant in Bali

Don’t forget to pamper yourself while in Bali! I had a really good full body massage and hair spa (creambath). Also, check out Seminyak Beach and some boutiques alongside the road.

Other things that you can do near Petitenget Street are:

  • visit Pura Petitenget
  • join a yoga class
  • surfing at Seminyak Beach
  • horse riding along the beach
  • sign up for a scuba diving school
  • visit Revolver coffee shop for the best coffee in Seminyak

This blog post is based on my first experience of staying in a hostel in Seminyak, Bali. Is there anything that you want to add to this guide to choosing a hostel? Let me know in the comment 🙂

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