Padangbay is a small seaside town, roughly two hours East from Kuta. It is mainly known as the port that has a daily ferry connection to Lombok, but actually for those sticking around a little longer because they missed the boat, it has more to offer than one would expect. To get there, the easiest way is to take one of the daily Perama busses from Kuta for Rp. 25,000. The Perama office is also your best bet to get useful information about activities and attractions in the neighbourhood.
Once arriving in Padangbay, the easiest way to find accommodation is to walk across the parking lot of the harbor and head for the beach. A sandy path stretches along the quite scenic beach lined with small wooden colorfully painted boats. On the left, several good lodging options are available, for example Kerti Beach Inn (0361-41391), that provides wooden two story bungalows for a mere 60.000 including a delicious breakfast served on your doorstep each morning. Rooms come with fans and mosquito nets that are quite necessary.
Other similar options are the next door Made's Homestay (0361-41441) and the breezy Padang Beach Homestays (0361-41516). More up-market options include the Hotel Puri Rai (0361-41385) with rooms starting at a negotiable Rp. 200,000 and unlike other places has a swimming pool. There are plenty of other options inside the village, but since the beach front accommodation is far more scenic, it's only worth considering these is everything is fully booked, which is frankly not that often.
For food there's no need to venture out far, as most of the beach front warungs serve delicious fresh fish, that tastes even better with the picturesque sea view. Right in front of Kerti Beach Inn, a row of similarly enchanting small beach warungs line up such as Dewi, Manggala and Pantai ayu.
As far as nightlife goes, Padangbay is pretty limited although the Babylon reggae bar at the Eastern side of the main beach has a lively atmosphere and Omang Omang cafĂ© has a quirky dĂ©cor. Since Padangbay is a relatively small seaside resort, it is likely that you'll end up bumping into the same people over and over again, so friends are made easily, and the laidback atmosphere only adds to that.