Broome is one of the most isolated coastal towns in Australia. It’s also the gateway to Western Australia’s fascinating Kimberley Region. But the question is where to stay in Broome? Here’s what we found.
Broome has an intriguing history, and has an incredible mix of cultures. There is a strong Aboriginal connection to this wilderness town for starters. But there are also clear Japanese links, with pearl divers from Japan came and settled here.
And the classic scene of those camels on the beach gives an almost Middle Eastern feel to the place.
The Bali Hai Resort and Spa, with its traditional Indonesian gardens and buildings, compliments this medley of cultures well.
The best thing about this hotel is that you really do feel like you could be on a tropical island miles from anyone. The rooms are so private and so self-contained, if you really wanted to, you wouldn’t have to go out or see anyone else. Even when you’re walking around the grounds, you rarely see guests and staff are discreet.
The rooms themselves have the modest luxury just like what you find in Bali. Lots of carved wood, terracotta tiling and space.
When we were looking at where to stay in Broome, we found that – thanks to the mining boom and the sheer isolation of the town – that everything was quite expensive here.
The cheapest accommodation in Broome is always going to be in the hotel in town. But the rooms are above a very noisy pub, which, if you’re looking for quiet and romance, will probably spoil your time here.
There are camping and caravan park options too, but for the price, you might as well have a proper hotel room.
Bali Hai Resort and Spa sits right in the middle price wise, but we thought there’s better value here than most hotels in Broome.
Made up to look and feel like a traditional Balinese garden, the Bali Hai really impressed us. The open-air bathroom, typical of Bali and the tropics, was a treat. I even had a moment when I asked Mrs Romance if it was safe to drink the water here!
Of course it is – all tap water in Australia is safe to drink. But it felt like we were so far from home here.
The grounds are lush and full of plants. There are swimming pools everywhere and the whole place smells amazing.
We were very impressed with the service at the Bali Hai. Reception was incredibly helpful, and moved mountains to try and get us on a last-minute camel ride.
We were welcomed with a smile and hello every time we passed reception or any of the staff walking by.
Bali Hai is not near town. There are frequent shuttle buses you can catch into Broome itself, but I wouldn’t try walking into town. It’s too far. The bus stops about 10 metres up the road from the hotel’s doors.
You are, however, a very short walk to the famous and incredibly beautiful Cable Beach, which is somehow more of a draw than the town anyway! There’s also a little store on the corner and a bottle shop one street over.
Our room was big and well furnished. There’s a fully equipped kitchen too, so self-catering or a romantic night in is definitely a thing to do at the Bali Hai.
The outdoor bathroom and shower is a real novelty, but don’t worry, the bugs stay out and it’s still very private.
Food in Broome is quite expensive. Freight costs and the town’s isolation bring the costs up. And we found that high prices don’t necessarily guarantee high quality.
We also found that venues close quite early here too.
The Bali Hai Café inside the resort is ok. There’s a good range of cuisine – from southeast Asian to modern Australian food. But there are more options outside the resort.
The fish and chips from the corner store are good, but as I mentioned, these guys close pretty early.
The food at Matso’s Brewery is great – and even better with some of their beer!
We were very happy with our stay in the Bali Hai Resort and Spa. We were only here a few days before we headed off to explore the Kimberley with National Geographic.
However, the time we spent here was made even better with our choice of accommodation.
Our top tip:
If you know when you’re going to Broome and you really want to ride a camel on Cable Beach at sunset, call up and book in advance. The sunset rides book up fast.
And go for the red camel company (the camels have red saddles). There are a few companies, but we heard it from a local that the red one is the best.
Have you been to Broome? Where did you stay? Would you ride a camel on Cable Beach if you could? Tell us in the comments!