Where to eat, drink and play in Bali’s Capital of Cool …
Thanks to an abundance of hip hangouts, chic boutiques, cool bars, beach clubs, swanky accommodation options and some of the island’s best restaurants, Seminyak manages to retain its charm as one of Bali’s best places to stay and play – for at least a few days of shopping, sipping and savouring. Say yes to Seminyak, and you’re guaranteed a good time.
Seminyak is a fine-dining hub, and one of the island’s original establishments is La Lucciola, which beckons us back with its enchanting setting and modern Mediterranean-style fare. Some of my most memorable (and romantic!) meals have been had right here, at a table under the open-air, soaring thatched-roof pavilion, enjoying delectable dishes served with the cooling breeze from the ocean beyond. La Looch – as it’s affectionately known among longtime Bali lovers – really does have that special something – it’s classic, unadulterated Bali at its best. email@example.com
Then there are the new kids on the block, like Bikini, which is putting a fresh spin on stylish fine dining. From the creators of popular Seminyak cafe Sisterfields (sisterfields.com) – our go-to brunch destination before a spot of shopping – and badass burger haunt BO$$ MAN (bossmanbali.com), Bikini is a playfully decadent offering, where inventive food is served up with a sexy twist. ulookhotinbikini.com
Team Seminyak’s famous foodie style with some playtime at the hip Australian-led hangout Motel Mexicola, where the 1960s Acapulcoesque decor (think crucifixes, cacti and lurid Cantina style) sets the scene for a modern take on Mexican street food. The vibe is electrifying late in the night when the endless rounds of Bali’s best margaritas kick in and the music starts pumping. So much fun! motelmexicola.info
Stroll along the sands of Seminyak Beach and find the perfect perch to take in the magical sunset that blesses this corner of the island every evening. Drink it all in with a sundowner on the deck at Breeze, the chic beachfront restaurant and bar at Samaya Seminyak. thesamayabali.com
Or, for a sunset washed down with beats and bliss, keep walking to find the so-cool-it-hurts W Bali, one of Seminyak’s premier resorts, which also boasts one of the island’s best – and most contemporary – beachside bar scenes. Say cheers to the end of another day in paradise with a cocktail and a shimmy at Woobar before a decadent dinner at Fire or Starfish Bloo, the resort’s stellar restaurants. w-hotels.marriott.com
If sunset can’t come fast enough, you’re in luck. There’s never been a better place to lounge: Seminyak is home to some of Bali’s biggest and best beach clubs, where top DJs rocking chilled-out tunes entice travellers to relax, dance, dine and delight all day – and well into the night.
Where to start? There’s the original and arguably the best beach club, Ku De Ta (kudeta.com) where it pays to arrive early afternoon to nab one of the coveted lounges under the iconic red umbrellas and settle in for some quality people-watching. And, while Potato Head Beach Club (ptthead.com) is undeniably Seminyak’s slickest beachside venue, with two restaurants, a swanky beachfront bar and an infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean, there are a few newcomers to the beach club scene that may tempt you to stay and play a little longer.
Case in point? The opening of Tropicola late last year, just metres up the sand from W Bali. The team behind Motel Mexicola and popular Bondi bar The Bucket List have given the Bali beach club concept a fresh spin, with a retrostyled outfit that’s right out of a Slim Aarons photograph. It’s the perfect blend of Miami, Acapulco, Palm Springs, Tulum and Playa del Carmen, woven into one ultra cool hangout. tropicola.info
The phrase ‘shop ’til you drop’ takes on new meaning in this part of the island – so while the late afternoons and evenings are all about hedonistic pleasures, the bright and shiny mornings are all about hopping from one fashion or homewares boutique to the next.
Hit the pavement and explore the shops along Jalan Kayu Aya, also known as Eat Street, and you’ll find plenty of fashion-friendly gems, including some Australian and international designers who have taken up residence along the popular strip. End your shopping sojourn at Kim Soo, set in an old Dutch Colonial-style building, which blends exotic and contemporary homewares to entice even the weariest of shoppers. kimsoo.com
Not relaxed enough from all the shopping, wining and dining? Seminyak has you covered, with a clutch of luxurious day spas where you can escape the hustle and truly unwind.
Start the day with yoga at the Indian and Middle Eastern-themed Prana Spa before entering a world of exotic pampering inside, where the spa’s exquisite treatments combine sacred Eastern traditions of health and beauty. pranaspabali.com
Another classic treat is the beautiful Bodyworks spa in Seminyak. It’s a bit of a ritual of mine to check in here on our final morning in Seminyak for the Mandi Lulur, a traditional Balinese exfoliation massage treatment using turmeric, sandalwood, cinnamon, ground nuts and rice, finished with a yoghurt wash and a floral bath. It’s a truly divine experience. bodyworksbali.com
Fall in love
Seminyak combines the best of modern Bali – fashion, style, sophistication, luxury and relaxation. Yes, it’s crowded on the streets and the traffic is busy at the best of times, but don’t let that put you off – this part of the island offers so many ways to entice, delight and indulge. Plus, you have your pick of some of Bali’s best resorts and villas right on Seminyak’s doorstep, all offering refuge from the hectic pace.