When I visited Bali, I specifically dreamt of seeking out a hotel with an unforgettable view. Many places I looked into in Bali were either too pricey or too remote for my taste, though, because I was traveling solo and wanted to stay relatively close to the action so I could get around easily. But during my one week in Bali, I decided to make the trek out to Nusa Penida for a night. And, it ended up being here, on Nusa Penida Island, that I found the view of my dreams, at a price point that was so affordable it was impossible to say no!
Imagine vivid, cinematic sunrises and sunsets. Evening skies uncluttered by light pollution. And nothing but the sound of birds and the occasional muezzin call to prayer off in the distance to lull you into total, complete relaxation.
I could not believe this little oasis of a hotel in Nusa Penida cost me less than $40 USD a night (some rooms even ring in at $15 – $25!). Here is what you need to know about Sunrise Penida Hill Hotel.
Just 30 minutes off the southeastern coast of Bali by ferry, the 3 Nusa islands are well-loved by travelers as a popular day trip for remote beaches, a slower pace, and great diving. Nusa Ceningan is the smallest, Nusa Lebongan is the most popular, and Nusa Penida is officially the ‘least popular’ but I think it’s safe to say that is rapidly changing with the attention Nusa Penida is getting on social media.
To get here, you’ll need to take a 30-40 minute ferry from Sanur, a harbor located in east Bali. Once on Nusa Penida, you can rent a car or a scooter if you want to get around the island on your own. However, keep in mind that Nusa Penida has lots of windy roads, many of which aren’t well-maintained or dance along steep drop-offs that might make it difficult for you to navigate. If you aren’t sure, you can always get a guide or a driver to show you around!
For guests of Sunrise Penida Hill, you can get picked up directly at the harbor by either a car (if you’re part of a group) or on a scooter if you’re by yourself. This was actually the best part for me, because I had a suitcase, a backpack, and a duffel bag and my ride was determined to balance all of my belongings on the scooter sandwiched between him and myself. After several minutes and some tetris-ing assistance from some other kind locals, we were off to the races!
What most people won’t tell you is that, once you do arrive at Nusa Penida, it costs 25K IDR just to enter the island. Your hotel transportation won’t cover this for you, so it’s best to have 25K IDR easily accessible on you so you can pay this toll quickly and be on your way.
The Sunrise Penida Hill Hotel Property
Sunrise Penida Hill is situated, as you might expect, at the top of a hill overlooking a forest of lush greenery. You can even see as far as the ocean, which is part of how this hotel got its name (sunrises and sunsets here are the main attraction). However, because of its location, you won’t be walking-distance to restaurants, shops or the beach. So this is definitely more of a place to stay if you want to relax and chill away from the crowds.
The property itself is small, with only a handful of rooms. What really sets this place apart is its incredible pool terrace. On a clear day, you can even see Nusa Lebongan and Nusa Ceningan!
Onsite, there is a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a small selection of beer and wine. Breakfast is included with your stay, but I also recommend eating dinner here at least once during your stay to catch the sunset and enjoy the night sky. The nasi goreng (fried rice with a fried egg on top) is perfect, and by this point in my trip I was seriously craving fries so I got a side of those too. Washed off with a Bintang, Indonesia’s popular pale lager, I had no complaints about this meal at all!
While the hotel is small and family-operated, it isn’t lacking in amenities to make your stay easy. You can rent a scooter, car, or bike from the hotel if you want to get around on your own. They’ll also help with your ferry transfers, airport transfers, and organize private tours for you on request. If you’re not driving yourself, you’ll want to organize one of these tours each day you’re on the island so that you can explore everything Nusa Penida has to offer. If you’re staying for several days, you can even book tours through the hotel for Bali, Lembongan, Lombok, and Java.
There are only 9 total rooms onsite at Sunrise Penida Hill. 4 of them are ‘Superior Double Rooms’ that are situated on the same level as the reception desk and the restaurant. These are basic rooms with their own small patio, a double bed, and an ensuite bathroom. The remaining 5 rooms are bungalows that feature a pool/mountain view. The bungalows are stunning and will only cost you $10-$20 more per night. However, if you’re traveling solo or just trying to stick to a strict budget, staying in the basic rooms is perfectly fine. Either way, you have access to the pool which is the most important part!
All rooms have decently reliable wifi, air conditioning, and hot water for showering, as well.
Tips To Know Before You Go
1. TRANSPORTATION: Sunrise Penida Hill isn’t the most walkable location. You can access the beach within 15-20 minutes (Gamat Bay), but there is so much more to see in Nusa Penida that you’re going to need some wheels. You can rent a car or a scooter at the harbor when you arrive, or you can also rent directly from the hotel. The staff at Nusa Penida Hill can help to arrange airport transfers, tours, and ferries as well if needed.
2. TAKING THE FERRY TO AND FROM BALI: You’ll most likely want to take the ferry from Sanur, as it’s the most convenient port with the largest number of operators to choose from. The fast boats here will take you anywhere from 40 – 50 minutes, and each operator has a different daily schedule which will help you pick and choose who to go with. When planning your trip, keep in mind that the latest boats usually depart Nusa Penida to return to Sanur no later than 4 or 5:30 in the afternoon. If you miss one of these, you’ll be spending another night on Nusa Penida!
3. WHAT TO DO IN THE AREA:
- East Nusa Penida: Atuh Beach, Diamond Beach, Rumah Pohon Treehouse, Thousand Island Viewpoint, Teletubbies Viewpoint
Ready to pack your bags? Book your stay at the Sunrise Penida Hill Hotel here.
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