This is Indonesia's only beachfront Holiday Inn, and although it's armed with the reliability of the brand, it offers a very different feel from the chain's standard properties. A 193-room resort hidden away at the quieter end of South Kuta-Tuban Beach, HIRB holds down a well-kept, secret stretch of Kuta Bay. Although close to all Kuta's action and Bali's airport runway (fortunately, with little sound impact), the beach is beautifully calm and cove-like, with local fishing communities as neighbors, their pretty jukung fishing boats laid out on the beach in front. The resort's low-rise traditional-style building holds surprisingly modern and stylish interiors in sprawling beachfront gardens and guestrooms—all with private balconies with daybeds. Modern comforts run from power showers to iPod docks.

HIRB prides itself on friendly service and comfort. The orientation is toward families, what with the large kids' pool adjoining the whopping, center-stage main pool, the all-day resort activities, the excellent kids' and teenagers' clubs (some of Bali's best), and a clever Resort Hub with a minimart, a library with a computer corner, and other services all clustered together. Among the 13 good value accommodation categories of rooms and suites (some disabled-friendly), families will like the Studios with bunk beds and the large Family Suites with a connecting pirate-themed kids' room—reasons why HIRB has won several international "best family resort" awards. The stand-alone bar/restaurant Envy is comprised of a vast deck space alongside Tuban's sands, perfect for sunset martinis and reasonably priced alfresco dinners under the stars.