Located on the southwestern end of the Indonesian island, Seminyak is arguably the hottest beach town in Bali. Seminyak is where surf-lovers and stylish beach babes go to frolic in the sand and splash around in the Indian Ocean. The bustling and sophisticated city is filled with luxury hotels, high-end shopping, sleek bars, chic restaurants and soothing spas. If you’re planning a trip to this lush spiritual seaside retreat, you came to the right place. Here is what to do and where to stay on a perfect visit to Seminyak.
For a truly immersive cultural experience, opt to stay at the Anantara Seminyak. With direct ocean access, sunset views and an accommodating local staff, the lavish Asian hotel brand’s Seminyak outpost is absolutely stunning. Like most of Bali, the living spaces — from the opulent lobby to the charming suites — are equal parts indoor and outdoor.
On hot days, cool air flows freely through the hotel, and the relaxing sound of running water is constantly heard during your stay. If the air conditioning isn’t enough, you can always refresh in the infinity pool. The rooftop bar and kitchen have beautiful views of the area.
All of the accommodations are large roomy suites with a sitting area, separate bathroom and shower with a terrazzo tub, king-size bed and dressing room. The Balinese design is traditional with wood-carved walls, yet also contemporary with smooth marble accents, crisp white linens and fresh orchid arrangements.
The Anantara Seminyak has two dining options: a pool-side eatery and MoonLite Kitchen and Bar, which serves up modern Asian cuisine.
Although small, with just four treatment rooms, the services at the open-air, sixth-floor spa are grandiose. The couple’s massage, which begins with a floral foot ritual, is restorative and transcendent. Do take advantage of the helpful and knowledgeable concierge team, as popular restaurants in town often require reservations made from locations within Indonesia.
For scrumptious authentic Indonesian cuisine, head to Merah Putih. With high-domed, art-deco ceilings and lush palm trees, the restaurant’s décor is visually stimulating. The menu is a mixture of traditional and modern elements, and it’s divided into two sections: on the traditional side, you’ll find dishes like gulai kambing (succulent lamb shank curry with wing beans) and udang bumbu Bali (Jimbaran tiger prawns with tomato); on the modern side, there is grilled Javanese octopus with baby leeks and potatoes, and roast barramundi with razor clams and spinach. Whether you choose to indulge in the old or the new, rest assured that the cuisine will be flavorful, exotic and delicious.
At Sardine, an outdoor eatery with a thatched bamboo roof and private rice field, local seafood is the headliner on the menu. Start with the manis clams, which are steamed in a spicy lemongrass chili broth. The namesake dish, the grilled sardines with red ginger rice and baby bok choy, is a must-order. The sautéed grouper in a browned butter sauce with blue crab ravioli is another stellar option.
For brunch you can’t beat the always-packed, casual, cool and hip Sisterfields, which serves an all-day lunch menu; breakfast is available from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., too. The open kitchen and bustling cafe counter are filled with attractive servers and cooks. The décor is eclectic — the white-and-black, geometric-tiled floor is juxtaposed by a marble bar and turquoise wire chairs.
There is something for every taste bud on the menu: If you’re in the mood for a breakfast burrito filled with sausage and scrambled eggs, you can enjoy it while your dining companion devours Korean tuna tartare with pickled carrots.
For cocktails in a stylish see-and-be-seen type of place, go to Ku Dé Ta. It’s the ideal spot for watching the sun set over the ocean while listening to the tunes of a local DJ. Take the moment to delicious new heights by ordering a Bali basil smash, a refreshing concoction of gin, apple juice, lychee, and basil, or by trying a berry bellini made with prosecco, Chambord, and fresh berries.
There is no place quite like Potato Head, a beach club and amphitheater with multiple floors, expansive seating, an infinity pool and a good crowd. The U-shaped venue faces the sea and is filled with lush palm trees and green grass. Potent tiki drinks, innovative new-age cocktails (like the Ind-old fashioned with bourbon, dark rum, vanilla arak, and coconut nectar) and classic libations are on the menu.
Baker Street Social is a speakeasy located above the barbershop, Shearlock. One of Singapore’s hottest mixologists, Shah Dillon, opened the bar, and his team of friendly bartenders serves up hand-crafted cocktails in unique glassware. The Let There Be Bubbles is a fizzy gin drink served in a glass that looks like a lightbulb. The Unusual Shades of Grey, another gin-based tipple, is garnished with an orange peel that’s been caramelized with a kitchen torch. The libations prove that the Baker Street Social is a wonderful cocktail bar, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Seminyak is a shopper’s paradise, and everywhere you look there are colorful caftans, bright jewelry and tasseled shoes. At Souq, local home goods are sold alongside beautiful jewels and hand-woven clothing. Shop for colorful textiles, pretty plates, palm baskets, and prehnite and gold dangly earrings here. There is also a cafe inside, making the space a great place to hang out on a rainy afternoon. Beachgold is an exclusive resort-wear line made using traditional Balinese techniques. You can also find linen pants, breezy dresses, printed tunics and chic caftans there.
The Anantara Spa is a revelation, but if you want to explore Seminyak’s other spa options, you’ve got to visit Jari Menari. The name translates to “dancing fingers” and perfectly describes the flow of a signature massage at the hot spot. Experience a singing bowl–enhanced massage, a four-hand massage, or one that includes body movement. Water elements and greenery are incorporated into most of the treatment rooms. Note that Jari Menari, which only uses male masseurs, also has an intensive training program for massage therapists.