Shopping, sun and seriously good food – the three things we love the most! If, like us, these are your calling cards too, then Seminyak is your one-stop-shop. With an abundance of stylish beach clubs, fine-dining eateries and 5-star hotels, this up and coming suburb in the south of Indonesia has got us talking.
Where To Stay
COMO Uma Canggu, Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan, Echo Beach
This brand new property sat aside the famous Echo Beach offers a slice of paradise for every type of traveller. 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 52 rooms and suites and three Residences with 55 one- and two-bedroom residences, and 12 three-bedroom duplex COMO Penthouses, featuring rooftop pools and the best ocean views for miles around, the hotel can fit a small army, however the space allows you to think that you are the only people staying at times. With the help of renowned landscape architect Trevor Hillier who designed the resort’s sweeping lawns and shrubbery, the resort is peaceful, spacious and absolutely stunning providing the ultimate hideaway in the middle of the action. Wellness is at the heart of everything they do, starting with the COMO Shambhala Retreat at COMO Uma Canggu, the unique spa that specialises in hands-on healing and holistic treatments inspired by modern science and ancient Eastern wisdom. All guests can not only take advantage of complimentary daily wellbeing classes including yoga and Pilates, but also a variety of massages, facials and beauty treatments, all utilising carefully selected products and COMO Shambhala’s signature blends of essential oils. There is also a fantastic gym plus other wellness inspired amenities including healthy mini-bar snacks, lemon infused water and COMO’s signature ginger and honey tea.
Offering panoramic views over the ocean, the exquisite COMO Uma Canggu embodies health and happiness combined with a chic surf spirit. With views over Echo Beach rom the majority of the rooms, a lagoon pool so large you could get lost in it plus a beach club that brings a new meaning to the traditional surf shack, the beautiful Bali property serves everything up on a plate, making it tempting to never leave the comfortable confines of the hotel. Setting itself apart from other Bali beach clubs, the COMO Beach Club has the brand’s essence at its core, serving up fresh seafood on the wood-fired grill and healthy juices at the beach-style bar, with a beautiful infinity pool and some of the island’s best surf breaks just footsteps from the door. Laid-back with live music every evening during sunset, the bustling location is open all day, offering an eclectic global menu using fresh, regional ingredients. With dishes inspired by COMO Shambala Estate in Ubud, dig into to delightful dishes including the red rice Nasi Goreng, the hummus with Lebanese lamb and the delicious ‘Tropic Thunder’ bowl, our breakfast favourite. With comfortable swing-chairs, large lounge beds and healthy beverages to boot, prepare for day after day of epic food, fantastic entertainment and panoramic pink sunsets.
Where To Eat
The stylish centre of Seminyak has over the years turned into a hub for fine-dining, cool concepts and delicious Asian food, lining the streets with restaurants of all shapes and sizes.
Sarong: Continually acclaimed as the best restaurant in Bali, Sarong is a must for all visiting Seminyak. Offering a romantic yet electric ambiance, the restaurant and menu showcase chef-owner, Will Meyrick’s passion for Asian cuisine, highlighting his particular interest in the rich street food scene prevalent throughout the Asian continent. Since its launch in 2008, it remains one of the most popular restaurants along the vibrant street of Jalan Petitenget. A jack of all trades, Sarong might seem to fall under the ‘fine-dining’ category (which the food definitely does!) however the leisurely and casual ambiance instilled by Will and his team makes the whole experience feel more relaxed – sandals are allowed, but tank tops are a no-no. The menu pays homage to South East Asian cuisine and offers an eclectic mix of flavours spanning from Indonesia through to Southern India. With Will’s passion for flavour and high-quality, locally sourced (where possible) ingredients, every dish has been crafted to perfection, offering a flawless combination of taste, texture and style. A place where stunning setting meets outstanding food, Sarong would be my first choice every time when visiting Seminyak. Be sure to book in advance though, seats sell out fast.
Da Maria: While most restaurants ooze style and sophistication, none are quite as fun as the infamous Motel Mexicola, a haven for tacos and guacamole in one of the coolest venues in town. So when owners Maurice Terzini and Adrian Reed announced the opening of their new joint venture, Da Maria, there was no hesitation in making a booking and trying out their new brainchild. 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. A vast space, designed and decked out by Roman architects Lazzarini Pickering, you instantly want to have fun once you walk through into the blue and white space. Terzini, the foodie at the helm, with the help of his team, has designed a fun and delicious menu that represents a modern approach to simple, classic Italian flavours, with pizza undoubtedly front and centre. Like true Italia, they have a fantastic variety of fresh pasta dishes, my favourite being the homemade Strozzapreti with king prawns, cherry tomatoes, chilli and basil and the Gnocchi alla sorrentina. To accompany, make sure you tuck into the shaved pickled white cabbage salad, tossed with parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.
Mamasan: Another Balinese brainchild from entrepreneur Will Meyrick, trendy Mamasan is a Seminyak eatery not to be missed. The menu for the two-storied establishment showcases authentic dishes from the Indonesian archipelago, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam, served in layered tiffins, on banana leaves and thali trays. The unique purpose built warehouse interior blends vintage and retro eras, with tan leather oversized Chesterfield sofas, chairs, mirror walls, oriental side lit screens and quirky one-off art pieces – it’s an ode to the old, and the new – a bridge between the past and the present if you like. You’ll also find Mama San placed on the wall in all her glory, staring down at her patrons whilst they dine on DIY rolls, duck curries and expertly crafted noodle dishes. Adding a personal touch, a range of black and white pictures adorn the walls, showing Will Meyrick’s food travels around Asia, adding to the homely and casual feel.
Where to Beach
The beach is where the beauty is, a saying that is so true across the Seminyak coastline. From stunning sunsets, blissful days sipping fruity concoctions and soulful music, visiting Bali’s beach clubs is the perfect way to kick start any holiday on paradise island.
El Kabron: Known for its 180-degree view of the Indian Ocean, El Kabron, is a restaurant and bar built into the cliff, with (no joke) the best sunset spot we visited during our trip to Bali. Perched 50 metres above sea level, the quaint and cosy Spanish restaurant and ‘Cliffside Club’ offers 365 days of astonishing sunsets, alongside sangria, paella and Spanish tapas – there is nothing to not like about this combination. During the day, you can sip on fruity cocktails, whilst watching the surfers below from the freeform infinity pool, the venue’s centrepiece. Once night falls, one can either retreat to the confines of the restaurant for some taste sensations or sit in the lounge, watching the waves roll in whilst the moon moves higher in the sky. The menu is full of home cooked Spanish cuisine, with paella being front and centre. The Spanish experience menu will help those unable to choose from the vast variety available, whilst the more adventurous will have the joy of picking their poison.
Finns Beach Club – When it comes to chic hangouts, there are none as fun as Finns Beach Club located 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. Whilst the menu boosts a well-balanced mix of local, international and fusion cuisine, covering everything from ceviche to nachos, the al-fresco Surf Bar serves up seriously good drinks right on the shore. We loved the Finns rice paper rolls with tuna, the grilled squid with kale pesto and chilli jam and the barramundi ceviche with banana blossom. So sit back, relax, read, sleep and eat and enjoy a fun filled day at Finns.
Things to do
The Seminyak area might not be as metropolitan as other places in Asia however, that by no means equates to a lack of things to do, see and explore. From shopping to surfing and eating all the deliciously fresh food in-between, there is so much in the small yet mighty Seminyak.
Shop the streets for unique interiors: with so many shopping options along the Seminyak coastline, knowing where to shop is normally half the battle. With many stores now shipping hordes of Bali born and bred interior pieces back to Dubai, you can only begin to imagine how much of a treasure trove of home wear goodies this area has to offer. With a myriad of street side stalls selling everything from ceiling lights to dream catchers, there is a deal to be found literally around every corner. Whilst street side offers bargains galore, there are also stylish shops like Kim Soo, Jungle Trader, Cove and The Bungalow that offer handmade, unique pieces, perfect for making a house into a home.
Learn to surf like a pro: With surfing being one of the main draws to the Seminyak coast line, there are many chances to catch a wave in this part of the island. With beaches lined with surfboards ready for the taking, pros can grab and go whilst beginners can take advantage of the many instructors that line the beach. When it comes to learning a new skill, technique is key and we found a few lessons with CJ at Tropic Surf saved us a lot of energy when it came to learning how to ride the waves. Located at the front of Como Uma Canggu, CJ will take beginners to the baby waves at Old Man’s or intimates to the big boys at Echo Beach.
Bliss out with a Balinese massage at Therapy: The long stroked sensation of the traditional Balinese massage is not to be missed during a visit to Seminyak. Incorporating rolling and kneading moves that help restore and rejuvenate the body, the wonderful traditional Indonesian therapy provides a good therapeutic workout whilst relieving muscle pain and tension. Competitive both on price point and comfort, the cosy spa called Therapy offers fantastic Balinese massages in a contemporary sanctuary, ushering all their visitors to de-stress from the moment they enter through the door.
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