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Travel

Destination guide: Bali

Debonair finds the essential places to drink, eat, explore and stay on the idyllic Indonesian island

Shopping, sun and seriously good food — the three things we love the most. And Indonesia’s luxury leisure capital, Bali, has all this to offer and more in its exclusive Seminyak neighbourhood.

Where to stay

The Legian

Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

Concept

One of Seminyak’s most luxurious hotels, the sophisticated oceanfront property offers a world of its own amid the hustle and bustle of the town centre. With stylish dark woods, natural artefacts, fresh flowers and gorgeous scents, the interiors are focused on relaxation. Outside, three infinity pools take centre stage, flanked by two bars and a restaurant. With sandy shores edging the front of the property, the rest of the grounds are made up of grassy lawns, flowing fountains, fishponds and banana trees. Balinese character oozes from every corner, enhancing the hotel’s smart and timeless feel.

Details

Guests can choose between 67 beachfront expansive suites or all-frills villas with private swimming pools. Positioned as Seminyak’s most private accommodations, The Club villas come with the latest amenities, private butler services and expansive spaces. The Legian is a cocoon of tranquillity on Seminyak’s most trendy stores. It plays host to a Balinese spa and all-day dining restaurant. Overlooking the hotel’s three-tiered pool, the open-air restaurant serves French and Southeast Asian flavours curated by Chef Luke MacLeod. At the spa, handcrafted massage oils created with indigenous plants s form the base of each treatment, while products from Pevonia and Elemis optimise specialised treatments.

lhm-hotels.com/legian-bali

Como Uma Canggu

Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan, Echo Beach

Concept

This brand-new property on the famous Echo Beach offers a slice of paradise. Built to blend seamlessly into its surroundings, the spectacular modern Asian- and Italian- inspired interiors reflect a collaboration between Japanese-born designer Koichiro Ikebuchi and Milan-based designer Paola Navone. Consisting of rooms and suites alongside a Residences offering, the hotel can fit a small army yet allows you to think you’re the only guests at times. With the help of renowned landscape architect Trevor Hillier, the resort is peaceful and spacious, providing the ultimate hideaway in the middle of the action. Wellness is at the heart of everything they do.

Details

COMO Uma Canggu embodies health and happiness combined with a chic surf spirit. With views over Echo Beach from most rooms, a large lagoon pool plus a beach club that redefines the traditional surf shack, the beautiful Bali property makes it tempting to never leave its comfortable confines. The beach club has the brand’s essence at its core, with fresh seafood on the wood-fired grill and healthy juices at the beach bar, a beautiful infinity pool and some of the island’s best surf breaks just offshore. With comfortable swing-chairs, large lounge beds and healthy beverages to boot, prepare for day after day of epic food, fantastic entertainment and panoramic sunsets.

comohotels.com/en/umacanggu

One Eleven Bali

Jalan Pangkung Sari No.3, Kerobokan Kelod, Seminyak

Concept

If style, shop proximity, sushi and spa tick your boxes, then One Eleven with its sleek, seductive villas is the one for you. An adults-only discreet in-villa experience, the small hotel is made up of nine villas, each with a 14m swimming pool, a vast stone tub and a luxurious spa gazebo, perfect for afternoons escaping the sun. Tucked away behind Seminyak’s trendy Oberoi Street, One Eleven features stylish and sophisticated interiors with Japanese minimalist design throughout. There are no sea views but the high level of privacy makes it the ideal spot for an urban getaway. A Balinese ambiance is maintained with subtle local touches such as handmade furnishings and exotic flower displays — all the kimonos in the room are handmade by local tradesmen.

Details

The villas are bright and white and come with the perfect start to your day — breakfast cooked to order by a private chef. The Yamaha Restio audio system is perfect for dancing like no one is watching. Another fantastic factor is that a private car can be arranged to anywhere in Seminyak, making trekking around the shops that little bit easier. The small Japanese restaurant, Shiro, is open for dinner, and this is where you’ll find chef Shiro-san passionately preparing the authentic tastes of his hometown, using seasonal ingredients. 

111resorts.com

Where to eat

Sarong

Continually voted the best restaurant in Bali, Sarong (pictured above) offers a romantic yet electric ambiance. It showcases chef-owner Will Meyrick’s passion for Asian cuisine, highlighting his particular interest in the region’s rich street food scene. A place where stunning setting meets outstanding food, Sarong is a contender every time we visit Seminyak.

sarongbali.com

Da Maria

When popular Motel Mexicola — a haven for tacos and guacamole — owners Maurice Terzini and Adrian Reed announced their new venture, Da Maria, it was met with anticipation. A modern Italian restaurant in Osteria style, Da Maria highlights the diversity of Italian food through creative dishes, music, fashion, art and friends, offering a slice of Capri in the heart of Bali. They’ve designed a menu that represents a modern approach to simple, classic Italian flavours, with pizza undoubtedly front and centre.

damariabali.com

Mamasan

Trendy Mamasan showcases authentic dishes from the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, served in layered tiffins and on banana leaves and thali trays. The unique purpose-built warehouse interior blends vintage and retro. It’s an ode to the old and the new — a bridge between the past and the present. You’ll also find Mama San adorned on the wall in all her glory, staring down at her patrons as they dine on DIY rolls, duck curries and expertly crafted noodle dishes.

mamasanbali.com

Where to drink

WooBar

WooBar (pictured above) is exactly what you would expect to find at a W Hotel — a beach club where great music meets vibrant furniture and tantalising tapas. Inspired by the ocean, the stylish bar can see you through from day to night. Overlooking Petitenget Beach, WooBar also makes for a spectacular sundowner spot, with the distinctive purple and fuchsia colour scheme creating an epic ambience.

woobarbali.com

El Kabron

Known for its 180-degree view of the Indian Ocean, El Kabron is built into the cliff and has the best sunset spot on the island. Perched 50m above sea level, the quaint and cosy Spanish restaurant offers 365 days of astonishing sunsets, alongside sangria, paella and tapas. During the day, you can sip on fruity cocktails while watching the surfers below from the freeform infinity pool, the venue’s centrepiece. Once night falls, either retreat to the confines of the restaurant for some taste sensations or sit in the lounge, watching the waves roll in. 

elkabron.com

Finn’s Beach Club

When it comes to chic hangouts, there are none as fun as this spot on Berawa Beach. With sun, sand and sea surrounding you, the magnificent all-bamboo structure is spacious and airy, complete with a blue-tiled freeform infinity pool with stunning ocean views. On the right side of the island for spectacular sunsets, the stylish spot is close to the centre of Seminyak but is secluded enough to offer a true slice of Balinese paradise. 

finnsbeachclub.com

Where to explore

From shopping to surfing and everything in-between, there’s much to discover in the small yet mighty neighbourhood.

balitourismboard.org

Learn to surf like a pro

With surfing being one of the main draws to the Seminyak coastline, there are many chances to catch a wave in this part of the island. Pros can grab and go while beginners can take advantage of the many instructors that line the beach. A few lessons with CJ at Tropic Surf will make learning to ride the waves much easier. He takes beginners to the baby waves at Old Man’s and more experienced ones to join the big boys at Echo Beach.

tropicsurf.com

Shop for unique artefacts

With a myriad of street stalls selling everything from ceiling lights to dream catchers, there is a deal to be found literally around every corner. There are also stylish stores such Kim Soo, Jungle Trader, Cove and The Bungalow that offer handmade, unique pieces, perfect for making a house into a home. Plus, many now ship authentic Balinese interior pieces back to Dubai.

Bliss out with a massage

The traditional Balinese massage is a must-do. Incorporating rolling and kneading moves that help restore and rejuvenate the body, the traditional Indonesian technique provides a good therapeutic workout while relieving muscle pain and tension. Competitive both on price point and comfort, Therapy is athe cosy spa that offers fantastic Balinese massages in a simple, contemporary sanctuary.

therapy.co.id

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