The Cool Kids’ Guide To Seminyak
Where to eat, shop and drink in Bali's trendiest neighbourhood.
Seminyak has fast become one of Bali’s trendiest hangs-out in recent years, where tourists extend their limbs into beachside pools as the sun fades slowly in the sea. Despite its growing reputation (Kuta is so last decade, darling), it can still be difficult to navigate around Seminyak’s hotspots, which are dotted throughout a maze of one-way roads and backstreet paths. If you want to maximise your time with Bali’s golden child, here’s our cool kids’ guide to making the most of your time in Seminyak.
While it might not be the best place in Bali to find a cheap feed, Seminyak has a well-earned reputation as one of Bali’s most coveted culinary destinations. For the perfect morning pick-me-up, head to Sisterfields or Grocer & Grind, where the brunches rival the inner suburbs of Melbourne, laden with smoked salmon, smashed avocado and runny poached eggs, washed down with some seriously good coffee from Revolver Espresso. If you’re more of a late starter, meander beach-side for your choice of local warungs (restaurants) serving up freshly caught mahi mahi and snapper fillet, topped with a generous dollop of spicy sambal sauce. Simply stroll down the sandy strip and see what takes your fancy; there’s a great mix of authentic and high-end options that share a view of Seminyak’s famed beachfront.
A tribute to Bali’s laid-back vibe, restaurants in Seminyak get going as the sun goes down. Check in with the Street-food Chef Will Meyrick at the uber-hip MamaSan, where roasted nahm jim and pineapple chilli are regular accompaniments on the late-night menu. For something a bit more upbeat, the lantern-laden Motel Mexicola is famed as much for its oversized murals and pastel tile-work as it is for its delicious tacos. If you’re in search of a romantic vibe, try the fresh seafood and crisp white wine at Sardine, sipped as you overlook Bali’s famed rice-fields.
Bali might be synonymous with Bintang beer, but Seminyak brings a lot more to the table in terms of nightcaps (or early morning Bloody Marys). If price is no issue, Seminyak’s beach clubs are where the rich and beautiful come to play, from the poolside loungers of Potato Head Beach Club to live salsa nights at Ku De Ta, perfect for an indulgent day of sun and sex-on-the-beach (strictly in liquid form, of course).
Need a cool breeze to calm the sun-kissed skin? Head to the Double Six Rooftop Bar to take full advantage of Seminyak beach at sunset, one of the best vantage points on the Western coast. For those who prefer the street-scape, there’s no shortage of cocktail bars, such as the quirky Sea Circus (be sure to check out the bathroom), which also serves up a spot-on ‘hangover breakfast’ to help get you back on your feet the following day.
If sultry corners are more your style, the lounge bars of La Favela or Jenja are the perfect mix of shadows and sophistication, favourite haunts amongst expats for good reason. Still can’t make up your mind? Just hit the strip on Jalan Sunset Road and see what takes your fancy; there’s Happy Hours a plenty.
The shops & spas
No trip to Bali would be complete without a bit of R&R, and Seminyak is famed for its boutique shopping and spa treatments to help you fake it ‘til you make it over your lingering hangover. From flea markets to high-end fashion, start your journey from Seminyak square on Jalan Kayu Ayu and mosey on down the main strip, where cotton dresses and jumpsuits in playful colours will see you through those sticky Bali nights.
For an afternoon of window shopping, stroll along Jalan Pettinget, where boutiques like Jetset Gypsy and Universo will meet all your hipster needs. If it’s bikinis and beachwear you seek, head to neighbouring Canggu; otherwise known as Seafolly central. It’s also a great spot to get away from the hustle of Seminyak for lunch – Betelnut and Canteen rival any Seminyak establishment, with laid-back charm to match.
Once you’ve worn yourself out shopping in the Seminyak sun, there’s an endless array of spas to choose from (for the crème bath virgins amongst us, prepare to have your life eternally changed). Try the plunge pools at Prana, a Moroccan-themed fantasy-inducing spa rich in colours, scents and indulgence. For an introduction to Balinese massage, drop past Jari Menari, long-considered home of Seminyak’s most talented fingers. Relax, breathe deeply, and get ready to do it all over again.
(Lead image: Motel Mexicola/Facebook)