The upmarket resort area of Seminyak is one of the most delightful in Bali, with its many luxury hotels, high end shopping and dining scene, and vibrant nightlife. The broad beach, with waving palm trees and relaxed activities like cycling and horseback riding, perfectly complements the boutique shops and fashionable restaurants on the buzzing high street.
Sophisticated and luxurious Seminyak holidays
Despite being quite a developed area, with many ultra-chic Seminyak hotels, the architecture is tasteful and in keeping with the surrounding landscape of coast, rice fields and banana plantations. It also retains an important space for Pura Petitenget, an ancient temple with an impressive dragon staircase and vast courtyard. Balinese chequered flags flutter in the breeze among the many shrines and pavilions, where colourful dance performances are often held.
Life revolves around the beach on Seminyak holidays, and the waters along this coastline are better for surfing than for swimming. The many luxury hotels and villas have stunning pool environments for this reason. Perhaps Bali’s most famous stretch of beach, Double Six is known for its colourful bean bag bars and lively nightlife. With miles of gold and silver sand, Seminyak beach is decorated with sun loungers, parasols and a selection of trendy bars and cafes.
As the sun begins to set at Seminyak beach, the sophistication and variety of the dining and nightlife scene in Seminyak becomes apparent. Locals and tourists head to favourite beach bars to watch the sun dip below the horizon in a relaxed atmosphere. Things get more lively as the evening progresses and the latest cocktails and music mixes take over.
Things to do in Seminyak
The centuries-old Pura Petitenget is one of Bali’s beautiful sea temples and an important landmark in the heart of Seminyak.
For surfing aficionados, Echo Beach is a paradise with advanced reef breaks and seafood cafes along the black sand beach. Experienced surfers wanting variety may like a day trip to nearby Echo Beach, which is known for its reef breaks. The black sand shore is overlooked by a stunning Balinese sea temple and range of seafood cafes enjoying 180-degree views over the coast.
Where to eat and drink in Seminyak
Seminyak holidays tend to involve a kind of informal foodie tour because the dining options are so extensive but do try Sarong Restaurant, with its huge menu of Asian Fusion food. The beautiful people who flock to Bali sip one of Indonesia’s robust blends at Anomali Coffee before nibbling on a rustica pizza at Warung Italia and heading for the Monday night jazz at Ryushi. Balinese and international fashion labels rub shoulders with restaurants offering food from across the globe.
The best coffee in Seminyak is at Revolver, a small cafe tucked away down an alley off the Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak’s main shopping street.
The MÉTIS Restaurant, just north of Seminyak, is a French Mediterranean fine dining establishment that offers a sensory dining experience. The talents of the chef and the stunning terrace and verandah bar overlooking rice fields make visiting this eatery a memorable experience.
Where to stay in Seminyak
Down a quiet side street in Seminyak I found the Taum Resort Bali hotel. The upper levels of the hotel overlook rice fields and the thatched roofs of Seminyak villas. From the top (fourth) floor you can see the sea.
Despite the peaceful setting, this is a hotel built along modern lines that caters for a range of guests and holidaymakers. For the fly-and-flop brigade the genuinely gorgeous poolside area is the perfect setting for relaxation, with nothing louder than the soft plop of a frangipani blossom falling in the pool to disturb the serenity during the day.
For families, kids were happy to stay in and around the pool all day and it has shallow and shaded areas for parental comfort. There is a free shuttle to Petitenget Beach.
If you want to be more active there is a line up of new mountain bikes rentable for only a couple of pounds per day. The staff can provide maps and advice on routes to help you explore south Bali and get some exercise. The pool area really is lush, with tall coconut palms and mature frangipani trees. There are tropical courtyards with water lily studded fish ponds, trailing vines and colourful foliage. I thought this was a wonderful base for a holiday in Seminyak.
Other places to visit in Bali
There’s no lack of things to do in Seminyak but when you’ve had enough of the glamorous beachlife, set off to explore more of Bali. Spend a few days in Ubud experiencing something of Bali’s rich cultural life, discover the West Bali National Park, the authentic Bali resort of Lovina on the north coast and the stunning Central Highlands of Bali.
By Natasha von Geldern
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