The Legian Seminyak seems not to age: its grounds are always lush and immaculately clipped, pools sublime and welcoming, rooms spotless and sexy, food divine and staff delightful.
My wife and I rank it as our favourite romantic hotel in Asia and in our top three worldwide. Once we have settled into a poolside daybed under the swaying palms and closed our eyes, our cares waft away on the Balinese breeze.
Look and feel
The Legian Seminyak is a white-stone, tropical-chic mansion that would grace the most exclusive parts of Mustique or The Maldives. The emerald lawns are dotted with frangipani trees and fringed with ponds, fountains and miniature stone temples. It’s a hotel you can explore, finding secret spots in the gardens to sit with your loved one.
It’s also an excellent hotel if you want to continue social distancing after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. The hotel is cleverly designed to maximise space and privacy, so whether you are at reception, by the pool or dining, it’s not hard to maintain a good distance from your fellow guests. In ever-crowded Bali, that’s a big plus.
Best room for two
Every one of the 67 suites has an ocean view, dark-wood parquet floors and Balinese artworks. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a top-floor, two-bedroom suite, which had a huge bathroom, a spacious living and dining area and a wide balcony with views far out over the ocean. Our bedroom had a large, four-poster bed with soft cotton drapes around the frame, which, at night, can be drawn across to create a romantic cocoon.
The hotel’s smaller Studio Suites—which we have stayed in on previous visits—are equally romantic.
If you want absolute privacy and a villa and pool to yourselves, check out the Club By The Legian Seminyak, the sister property over the road. You won’t have the ocean views but you will get your own romantic ‘home’, set in a tranquil, tropical garden with a heavenly pool and a dedicated butler. All meals can be served in your villa compound, so you never have to leave it during your stay: perfect for die-hard romantics and newly-weds.
If you sat with your partner at The Legian Seminyak’s outdoor restaurant on a moonlit evening and consumed nothing more than water and bread rolls, it would still be romantic. However, after a long beach run and a swim we were famished, so the marinated mahi-mahi, squid ink risotto, grilled snapper in banana leaf and lamb rack with a pine nut and rosemary crust were welcome and delicious. We were, however, slightly jealous of someone at a neighbouring table having a wood-fired Jimbaran pizza layered with tuna, squid, king prawns and snapper… maybe tomorrow night, we thought.
For breakfast the next day we ate light, healthy salads of Parma ham, avocado, rocket and dill olive oil. This left room for mid-afternoon poolside snacks of tempura prawns with wasabi mayonnaise, cute mini-burgers with quail eggs and a couple of cold Bintang beers. Bliss.
In case you’re still peckish before dinner, the staff drift around the pool loungers at 4pm offering free afternoon tea and finger-food snacks such as yummy sticky rice cakes.
Timing is everything when it comes to equatorial sunsets. As frequent travellers to the tropics will know, the sun falls fast down the sky. We ordered our cocktails from the beach bar and slipped into the pool to get a good spot to watch the huge slice of orange fizz into the ocean. As dusk took hold, the staff lit the great cauldrons of fire stones around the pools and along the beachfront. The flames leapt into the night air under the palm trees and we clinked our glasses and toasted another fabulous day in paradise.
Photos courtesy of the Legian Seminyak