Why Is This Place so Great?
Welcome to Bali’s cool and hip neighborhood. With an Indonesian-style Main Street, Seminyak is filled with boutique stores, spas, high-end restaurants, funky cafés and more. It’s no wonder this town has become beloved by Indonesia’s expat community! With its very own beach, Seminyak is a great place to relax, learn to surf, become a PADI certified scuba diver, or go horseback riding along the shore. If you’re looking for nightlife, Seminyak is just a short drive away from Bali’s party district, Kuta, but is removed enough that you won’t have to participate if you don’t want to.
Where Should I Stay?
For Luxury Choose: One Eleven Seminyak
One Eleven is a small luxury resort offering nine One Bedroom Villas. All of the villas are contemporarily designed with an open-concept and floor to ceiling windows facing a private 15-yard long swimming pool.
Complete with its own kitchen, all guests have daily in-villa breakfast included in the rate where private chefs come and cook their prior selected meal of choice. Each villa also comes equipped with its own spa suite so guests can enjoy couples treatments in the privacy of their own space.
To provide the full circle of service, butlers are available 24 hours to help with any requests including tour and restaurant bookings.
If you’re traveling as a large family or with friends, One Eleven also has a 3-bedroom penthouse available fully equipped with its own outdoor swimming pool, kitchen, and lounge space as well.
For Lifestyle Choose: eqUILIBRIA Seminyak
eqUILIBRIA is the perfect Lifestyle hotel that focuses on both being environmentally friendly and wellness. Its award-winning green design consists of using 100% recycled wood, local quarry stones, vertical green walls, and natural ventilation. Their 15 villas all feature bamboo linens (that are not only softer and cooler than cotton but use 66% less water during its production), junk art featuring 100% recycled materials, and paperless nature by providing iPads instead.
Despite its eco-friendly theme, the resort is in no way less luxurious. Each villa contains its own private infinity style pool, Bose sound system, hundreds of complimentary on-demand movies, air conditioning, and separate bathtub and shower units. Splurge a little more on a Waterfall or Signature Villa to receive a two-story space equipped with a kitchenette, outdoor bathtub, and a waterfall feature just outside the bedroom.
eqUILIBRIA also provides exceptional personalized service as well. Complete with a 24-hour butler, the hotel can take care of creating your entire itinerary to ensure a seamless holiday. Cell phones to reach the butler are also provided for times when guests require assistance or even a translator whilst exploring Bali. The resort also offers daily complimentary breakfasts 24 hours a day that can be served floating-style in your pool. To ensure that guest preferences are met, the hotel also sends out an email to guests prior to their stay requesting for details from dietary requirements (all allergies and even certified halal foods can be catered to!), song selections on the in-room iPad, to advanced spa bookings.
In terms of wellness, the resort’s facilities include a beautiful spa featuring Elemis products and a gym featuring cardio machines and free weights. However, the hotel also provides its guests with complimentary access to Finn’s Recreation Club just a 10-minute drive away, which comes fully equipped with three tennis courts, a fitness center, boxing, TRX studio, a trampoline center, six bowling lanes, and even a world-class water park. Although eqUILIBRIA’s in-villa dining menus consist of various healthy options, one day juice cleanse programs containing six different drinks are also available upon request.
There is also a ton of complimentary activities to do on the property as well. Guests can take a cooking class from their chef three times a week, meet guests daily during the sunset canapés event, or watch a movie on a giant float in the hotel’s main pool while snacking on gourmet popcorn and cocktails. Guests will no doubt enjoy their vacation here!
For Boutique Choose: The Kunja Villas & Spa
The Kunja Villas & Spa is a boutique resort containing 18 beautifully designed villas. Their villas are incredibly spacious with their entry level One-Bedroom villas spanning a total of 935 square feet, featuring a private 9-yard long pool, walk-in closets, and a bathroom complete with a bathtub, separate shower unit, and twin vanities.
Although the resort does not have its own restaurant, all 18 villas contain their own fully equipped kitchen where a private chef comes in to cook a complimentary breakfast on a daily basis.
In-villa dining is also available during lunch and dinner hours in the event that guests want to enjoy the privacy of their own living quarters. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, we recommend splurging for the In-Villa Barbecue experience complete with a chef to cook and Balinese musicians to serenade you throughout your meal.
If you’re traveling as a group or family, the resort has four Three-Bedroom Villas available containing three ensuite bathrooms and an additional powder room in the living area. The swimming pool is also slightly larger spanning 13.7 yards in length.
The resort also has a full-service spa available, but if you’re interested in trying something in the local town they offer complimentary shuttle services on request as well.
What Should I Do?
For Luxury Choose: Shopping in Seminyak
If you’re staying in Seminyak or planning to visit the town during your visit to Bali, then we recommend packing a little lighter to leave some space available in your suitcase. The town is filled with designer boutiques ranging from clothing stores made out of handmade Balinese lace (visit Uluwatu Lace), latest fashion trends (visit Lily Jean, Natasha Gen, or Lost in Paradise) swimwear (visit Blue Glue Bikinis, Thaikila, or Seafolly), homeware (visit Mercredi, Bungalow Living Bali, or Carga), and much more. Since these are designer boutiques, the listed price is the only price the shopkeepers will take, so don’t try to bargain!
For Lifestyle Choose: Snorkel or Scuba Dive Through the Underwater Pemuteran Temple Garden at the Ceningan Channel
When most people go snorkeling or diving near Nusa Lembongan, it’s normally to see the island’s neighboring coral reefs and the manta rays that frequent those parts of the ocean. However, within the channel, just between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Cenigan, lies a little known underwater Buddha Garden.
Although this is a worthwhile activity, note that the Pemuteran Temple Garden is not an archaeological site. The garden was first built in 2005 by an Australian gentleman, Chris Brown, and his natively British friend Paul Turley, who dreamed of creating an Asian variation of the lost city of Atlantis to promote diving in the less explored areas of Pemuteran. Once the project was eventually funded by the Bali Rehabilitation Fund, the pair sought to make their ecological dream come true and created two separate gardens. One is located 30 meters deep for scuba divers to appreciate, and the other at 15 meters for the less experienced divers and snorkelers to explore. The numerous statues that have been strategically submerged are made out of sandstone, which proved to be great for marine life. Over the years, the sculptures have formed corals which have brought small fish to the area, and hopefully a wider range of sea creatures in the future.
Make the most of your excursion and snorkel or dive along Gamat Bay as well. If you’re interested in snorkeling, Ceningan Paradise Adventures has some excursions that go out to these sites. Alternatively, scuba divers will have the best experience visiting the destination with Sea Rovers since it’s owned by Captain Paul Turley himself! This is a more advanced dive though, so bring your log books with you as proof of your experience. Neither of these companies is based in Seminyak, but they will gladly arrange hotel transfers for your party, so remember to get in contact with them in advance!
For Boutique Choose: Release a Sea Turtle Back to Civilization
From natural predators to human hunting and trade, the sea turtle has many threats causing an estimated one out of a thousand hatchlings to survive into adulthood. Consequently, members of the Bali Sea Turtle Society head out to the beaches at night to collect their eggs and relocate them to their facilities for monitoring and safe hatching.
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Visiting the Bali Sea Turtle Society, located in Kuta just south of Seminyak, is most definitely a memorable experience. The center is open daily to educate the public about the sea turtles’ typical life cycle followed by the opportunity for visitors to release a baby turtle back to its natural habitat. The release happens every day at 4:00 PM and costs 5,000 IDR (approximately $0.35 USD) as a donation. If you’re interested in participating in this activity, we recommend getting there a little earlier to obtain your token and ensure your party gets to release a turtle that day.
Where Should I Eat?
For Luxury Choose: Sarong Restaurant
Since parts of Indonesia’s culture were heavily influenced by India, it is no wonder that some of Seminyak’s best food can be found at Sarong. Their Head Chef, Will Meyrick, created a heavily Indian focused menu (with some Balinese influences) that features ingredients from local farms to ensure the freshest produce while supporting the community. To continue with their eco-friendly philosophy, Sarong also features a garden filled with lemongrass to naturally deter mosquitos from the grounds. However, with white-glove service in mind, mosquito repellant can also be requested by their friendly staff members if patrons start getting nipped.
The restaurant offers quite a vast number of delectable choices to its patrons, but some of their best dishes include Butter Chicken, Crispy Pork Belly with Sichuan Chili Salt, Miso Glazed Black Cod, and Mumbai Beef Keema. We also suggest leaving room for dessert! Everything from their Indian style pavlova to their “Kampung Snickers” peanut butter parfait is to die for. Sarong is also more than happy to cater to those with allergies. The restaurant commonly receives patrons who have gluten, nut, and vegetarian dietary requirements and has separate menus that cater to these needs. If you have other dietary restrictions, their wait staff is more than happy to go through the menu to ensure you have a safe eating journey with them.
Although Sarong is quite large, with the capacity for 160 seats across two high ceiling pavilions and its main dining room, the establishment is quite popular and can be completely booked out. Consequently, we recommend making reservations at least 2 weeks in advance if you wish to dine here during your holiday.
For Lifestyle Choose: Zibirú
Zibirú’s restaurant is a dinner only fine dining Italian restaurant. With its farm-to-table philosophy, the restaurant ensures that its vegetables are sourced from organic farms in the highlands of Bali and all pasta made fresh in-house. No dietary restriction is too much for Zibirú to handle. The restaurant offers both vegan and gluten-free options so that everyone can enjoy their homemade Italian cuisine.
The restaurant’s romantic atmosphere is embellished by their live music five nights a week varying between opera, jazz, and open jam sessions by local bands. They also try to support local artists by featuring their work around the restaurant, which are all up for purchase.
If you’re on a tight schedule and don’t have any time to visit during dinner hours, visit Zibirú’s gourmet deli named Bottega Italiana instead. Their deli offers the same freshly made pasta and traditional sauces, but also sell paninis with vegetarian and vegan options available as well.
For Boutique Choose: Feast on Some Babi Guling (Suckling Pig)!
Babi Guling is one of Bali’s most infamous dishes. It was traditionally only served during religious special events such as weddings, birthdays, and house blessings, but it’s so good that locals decided to create restaurants featuring its suckling pig as its star and we couldn’t be happier. There are tons of restaurants around the island that boast having the best Babi Guling, many of which are located in Ubud, but most locals will say that they’ve become too touristy and are consequently overpriced. Due to this, they tend to recommend Seminyak’s Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen instead for a more authentic experience.
The Babi Guling here comes with rice, meat, crispy rinds, vegetables, and a spicy soup, but they also have satay add-ons that are incredibly tasty as well! The food here tends to be quite spicy, so if you can’t handle the heat then we suggest requesting yours without chili sambal, but since their broth is also spiced you’ll likely still find the dish to be spicy either way.
The restaurant is only open during lunch time between 10am and 3pm and tends to be incredibly busy during the typical lunch hours (more so during Bali’s peak season with queue times averaging around an hour). By early afternoon it is likely that they will have sold out of their stock, so we recommend arriving just after the restaurant opens to have the best experience. If you happen to arrive later in the afternoon and there aren’t any seats available, the restaurant offers a takeaway option as well.