The inscription found in Banjong Temple, Sanur dated on 913 AD mentions the king Sri Kesari Warmadewa and "Walidwipa". Wali is the variation of " Bali " and dwipa means island. And the name of Sanur is pronounced as sah and noor which means the passion to visit a place.
Sanur stretches for about 5 kms along an east-facing coastline, with the lust and green landscaped ground of resorts fronting right into the white sandy beach.
Sanur is one of the few remaining brahman kuasa villages in Bali controlled by members of the priestly caste – and boasts among its charms some of the handsomest processions on the island, Bali's only all female keris dance, the island's oldest stone inscription, and the hotel world's most beautiful tropical garden.
After initial European visitors began arriving in the 1920s, Sanur attracted a number of European artists who established homes here — among them Belgian Le Mayeur, Swiss Theo Meier, and Mexican Miguel Covarrubias. Sanur also attracted Walter Spies and Beryl De Zootes who collaborated and recorded their discoveries in Dance & Drama in Bali.
The Sindhu Beach Hotel and the Narmada Hotel, built in the 1950s, were Sanur's first flirtation with large-scale tourism. Early travelers were delighted with the secluded seaside village, and Sanur began to attract a steady flow of international elite. The Hotel Bali Beach was built towards the end of the Soekarno era, with war compensation funds from the Japanese. The construction of this luxurious building, Bali's first ever high-rise, attracted both positive and negative attention: Local sightseers came to Sanur on holiday to view the symbol of Bali's entrance into the world of modernity, while travelers expressed their regret at this blot on the traditional village landscape.
Balinese traditional architecture and decor derived from local arts and crafts became more popular. The Tandjung Sari Hotel and La Taverna set this trend to some extent. Favored by the early jetsetters of the 1960s, these became the haunt of celebrities, artists, and musicians. By the end of the decade, tourism was booming.
Until the arrival of the first Qantas Boeing 747 in 1979, the island remained for most a distant and magical tropical dream-world. Sanur became a focus for a new international set of expatriates and artists seeking their own piece of paradise and Donald's house was an integral part of the expatriate social scene. The fame and notoriety of his Villa Batu Jimbar, built in 1975.
Nowadays, many hotels is built consist of number of resorts such as Mercure, Paradis Plaza,Hyatt, and many more.
Sanur is also welknown as Morning of the world, became as the branding of the Sanur Village.