Bali’s Hippest address, a sprawling, buzzing enclave between Legian and Batu Belig, is home to the island’s coolest boutiques, high-end restaurants, funky cafes and more. It’s the main strip, Jalan Oberoi or Eat Street (named after the iconic Oberoi Bali), which morphs into Jalan Laksmana, is a vibrant mix of retail therapy, hip bars and eateries. Sadly there are no rice fields left in this bohemian enclave with every available spare inch now a commercial venture of some sort. However, remnants of Balinese culture remain if you keep your eyes peeled. Here are the best things to do in Seminyak:
Start on Jalan Oberoi near Seminyak Square and explore the funky boutiques of Press Ban, Kids a Go Go and Home Store. Every Balinese man you pass will offer you transport. Seek respite from Bali’s hot and humid weather at Revolver Espresso (revolverespresso.com), tucked off the main drag (look out for their sign featuring two pistols) where a warm welcome by the Balinese staff and great coffee is guaranteed. Recharged, tackle the next strip of shops along Jalan Laksmana where you’ll find Brazilian brand Uma and Leopold and Wanderlust for cool bikinis and one-piece swimsuits.
It’s almost worth holidaying in Seminyak for the food alone, at around half the price you’d pay back home. A must is Mama San (www.mamasanbali.com) by chef Will Meyrick, formerly of Longrain and Jimmy Liks in Sydney, where dishes like roasted Peking duck with steamed choy sum and red bean sauce and the moreish Chatuchak crispy pork ribs with green mango peanuts and Nam Yam dressing vie for your affection.
Tiger Palm (www.tigerpalmbali.com), Meyrick’s fourth and most recent Bali venture, is also a knockout. Order a coconut mojito to go with your finger-lickin’ crispy lamb ribs with black vinegar chilli hot bean paste and the delectable steamed whole fish with pickle lime garlic and green chilli padi. Colourful Motel Mexicola (www.motelmexicolabali.com) is fun for tacos, tortillas and frozen margaritas while Italian stalwart, La Lucciola (Kaya Aya Beach/Temple Petitenget), affectionately known as ‘La Looch’, is the quintessential brunch spot.
Ku De Ta in Seminyak is one of the area’s most famous and renowned beach clubs and bars.
Park yourself for the day on a sunbed at the hip beach club, Ku De Ta (www.kudeta.net) or rival Potato Head (www.ptthead.com) – Seminyak’s best haunts for people watching. Be sure to arrive well before the crowds for prime sunset viewing to the soundtrack of cool tunes and even cooler cocktails. If crowds aren’t your style, the new Alila Seminyak’s (www.alilahotels.com/seminyak) chic Beach Bar offers a sophisticated spot for sundowners. Order a spicy cha margarita while gypsy songstress Lydia Rose from Melbourne serenades you with her sultry tones.
Seek respite from the heat in the communal loft space of Spring Day Spa (www.springspa.com; in Seminyak Village and Petitenget), by New Zealander Ina Bajaj, founder of the well-known East Day Spa, and Derek Lockwood, worldwide design director for Saatchi and Saatchi. In the afternoon, treatments are delivered to the chilled sounds of a resident DJ. Take a yoga class at the gaudy looking Prana Spa (www.pranaspabali.com), which also provides fabulous Ayurvedic treatments, and be sure and take a stroll barefoot along the long stretch of Seminyak beach.
Barefoot Top Tip
Mama San is booked out even in low season so reserve a table way in advance. Early evening is the ideal time to hit the shops when there are smaller crowds, and it’s decidedly cooler.
Fancy a better view of Bali, then take our private tour experience around the rock!
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