The next town north of Legian, Seminyak is more upmarket with mostly luxury accommodation and fashionable high-end restaurants and bars. The atmosphere is much more sophisticated and laid-back than Kuta, and the beach in particular is quieter during the day. Seminyak is also the high end spa and boutique shopping capital of Bali. Nowhere is the upscaling of Bali in recent years more obvious than here.
It is hard to imagine that only ten years ago this was a distinctly separate village, and something of a backwater. Development has occurred at an astonishing pace, and as well as absorbing all green space which formerly separated Seminyak from Legian, it is now almost impossible to determine where Seminyak ends and the nearby villages of Petitenget, Umalas and Kerobokan begin. This certainly has its downside, and the whole district has become very congested.
Seminyak’s close proximity to the airport makes it a good place to pause for a while to explore the area.
Seminyak Beach and Petitenget Beach is a continuous expanse of grey sand stretching in both directions as far as the eye can see. To the south it becomes Legian Beach and then Kuta Beach, but is noticeably quieter than both. The sunsets here are famous, and opportunites abound to mix with the glitterati who frequent the high end beach front estalilshments such as Ku De Ta. Easy access points to the beach are at the end of Jalan Dhyana Pura, and from the large public car park (Rp 2,000) between Petitenget Temple and La Luciola restaurant.
As with all temples the Pura Petitenget is important and a major scene with ceremonies in Seminyak. The beach side temple “sea temple” was built in the 16th century to mark the arrival of a spiritual priest. The Pura Petitenget temple is known for its beach side ceremonies. The Pura Petitenget in not one of the nine major directional temples of Bali but it is still important to the Balinese and religious people alike.
Surfing in Seminyak
Seminyak is the perfect place for beginner surfers. The surf scene in Seminyak is a lively one, yet waves are much less crowded that hectic Kuta beach, making it the perfect place to learn. In addition distractions are at a minimum with beach hawkers few and far between and no noisy traffic racing by. Some of the longest established surf schools in Bali are based here, offering professional tuition for all levels and dedicated children’s classes.
Bungy Jumping in Seminyak
Located invitingly right on Seminyak beach is the famous AJ Hackett bungy jump. Whether you are fearless or foolhardy, this is Bali’s most exhilarating experience and is perfectly complimented by a spectacular ocean backdrop.
Single and tandem rides are available starting at rp350,000 and it operates all day and until the early hours at weekends. AJ Hackett, Double Six Club, Jalan Arjuna. Tel: +62 (0)361 730666,
In the tranquil hamlet of Umalas is Bali’s largest horse riding stables and is one of the most popular attractions in the area. This is a plush equestrian centre with graceful, well groomed horses offering treks through rice fields or a breezy canter through the surf. There are lessons for all ages from beginner to advanced and even has tuition in dressage and show jumping. It is a great way to explore the local area and the perfect afternoon for the whole family. Prices start at rp250,000 for a 30 minute ride through rice paddies. Umalas Stables, Jalan Lestari no9, Umalas, Kerobokan, Tel: +62 (0)361 731402
Art galleries in Seminyak
Outside of Ubud, this is the best place to browse for art. However, Seminyak offers a more cosmopolitan mix of avant garde modern art, jewelry, ceramics and a wide range of decorative items. The area is filled with numerous small art galleries exhibiting works by local and international artists which also includes photography, functional items and textiles.
Biasa (Jalan Raya Seminyak no36, Tel: +62 (0)361 730945, Open daily 10:00 to 20:00) is a treasure trove of accessible art with a large collection of exotic ceramics, precious silverware and tribal art. In fact a handful of galleries and art boutiques in Seminyak are owned by expat artists themselves.
Spas, massage and other treatments
Seminyak is the high-end spa capital of Bali. Your spa experience here will be one of great luxury in a sophisticated setting. You pay up for all of that of course, but the prices are still 50% or more cheaper than you would pay in a western country. If you are staying in one of Seminyak’s high end hotels there will undoubtedly be an in-house spa service. If you are staying in a villa, then in-villa treatments will almost certainly be offered – check with the staff.
Amo Beauty & Spa, Jalan Petitenget 100x (opposite Bali Catering Company and Kayana), ☎ +62 361 2753338. 10AM-8PM daily. A spa run by former model Navia Nguyen that offers massages and various spa treatments. From US$18.
Amoaras Spa, Jl Laksmana 57, ☎ +62 361 731129, 9AM-10PM. Traditional Balinese massage and treatments in a well established spa. From US$25.
Glo, Kunti Plaza , Jl Kunti 119, ☎ +62 361 738689 ([email protected]). 10AM-7PM. A self styled hip spa offering many different treatments. Positions itself to appeal to younger clientele than many of Bali’s spa establishments. From about Rp 100,000.
Jari Menari (Dancing Fingers), Jl Raya Seminyak, ☎ +62 361 736 740 ([email protected]). 10AM-9PM. Superb massage centre in Seminyak. The team who set up Jari Menari consult worldwide for other spas and massage houses. Also offer massage training classes. From Rp 275,000.
Prana Spa, Jl Kunti, ☎ +62 361 730840. 10AM-10PM. Attached to The Villas, this is one of Bali’s very best spas. Themed on a Rajasthan Palace. Massages from Rp 450,000, treatments from Rp 750,000.
Spa Venus Bali, Jl Raya Seminyak, Gg Plawa No33F (10 minute walk from Bintang Supermarket), ☎ +62 361 731129, . 10AM-10PM. On offer is a range of treatments from a simple Balinese traditional massage to a complete detox program including colonic cleansing and fasting, as well as far infra red sauna, deep healing treatments, allergy elimination, herbal medicine and more. From US$45.
Lagoon Spa, Jalan Baik Baik, Seminyak, Kuta 80361, ☎ +62 361 735566 ([email protected], fax: +62 361 735656), . 9AM-10PM. Lagoon Spa offers a wide arrange of indulging body and beauty treatments. With relaxing environment, Lagoon Spa features a Romanesque Jacuzzi, sauna, rain shower and public pool. The treatments are drawn on the ancient health and beauty traditions of Asia. From about US$10.
The standard and variety of dining in Seminyak is outstanding with every possible taste catered for. This is the largest expat community in Bali and the town has a distinctive European flavor with many continental style pavement cafes, delis and patisseries.
There is a very limited number of budget cafes and Seminyak is best known for elegant fine dining and gastro lounges. Just north of the centre lies Jalan Laksmana, a long winding road known as ‘Eat Street’ and home to countless trendy diners and cafe bars serving up exquisite and often expensive global cuisine.
Recommended Seminyak restaurants and dining
Queens Tandoor: With a broad moderately-priced menu, this multi-award winning family run restaurant offers an extensive lunch and dinner menu. There is a wide selection of hot dishes from the tandoor, together with chicken specialties, succulent lamb and fresh seafood. But vegetarian dishes such as Navratan Jalfrazi comprised of nine garden vegetables in a saffron sauce, and Malai Kofta vegetable balls in a creamy sauce, are arguably the jewel in the crown. Plus lunchtime thalis, masala dosas and lots more. Jalan Raya, Seminyak No. 73, Tel: +62 (0)361 732770, open: 11:00-23:30. Dishes rp30,000 – rp75,000.; quart of beer rp35,000; whiskey shot rp40,000; cocktails rp45,000.
Antique: Located right in the heart of the bar and club district, this perennial favorite serves up delicious modern Asian fare in hearty portions. It is a stylish place offering lounge style dining for trendy night owls and prices are pretty reasonable considering the high quality food and presentation. Expect dishes such as Vietnamese spicy crab, Indonesian murtabak and few obscure choices such as water eel and yam yam. Jalan Dhyana Pura, Abimanju Arcade No.7, Seminyak, tel: +62 (0)361 730907, open Tues-Sun: 18:00-24:00, Fri & Sat: 18:00 – 02:00. Dishes rp75,000 – rp100,000; quart of beer rp40,000; whiskey shot rp50,000 cocktails rp50,000
Rio Bar and Grill: This lively place guarantees good times and sizzling South American barbecues. Set in a secluded courtyard garden, guests can enjoy sociable stand up dining around the barbecue or an intimate table for two in one of the private gazebos. Prime cuts of meat and seafood are cooked to order and drenched in a choice of rich Brazilian spices or fiery hot Indonesian sambal sauce. There is a surprising range of veggie options too. A great spot for a lively group celebration. 31 Jalan Raya, Seminyak, tel: +62 (0)361 732685, open daily 10:00 – 23:00. Dishes rp30,000 – rp75,000; quart of beer rp35,000; whiskey shot rp40,000; cocktails rp45,000.
Gado Gado: This is one of Bali’s most famous restaurants and certainly is one of the most romantic spots for a meal in Seminyak. It features a huge indoor dining area and breezy terrace right on the sand complete with twinkling fairy lights. The views across the water are fabulous. It has a classy menu of seafood and Mediterranean dishes and service cannot be faulted. An extensive wine list and evening bookings essential. Jalan Dhyana Pura no99, Seminyak Beach, Seminyak, tel: +62 (0)361 736966. Open: 10:00-23:00. Dishes rp100,000+ quart of beer rp50,000; whiskey rp60,000; cocktails rp70,000
Panterei: The global gastronomic journey continues, this time stopping off in Greece. This funky modern restaurant is one of Bali’s best for traditional Greek meze and moussaka. It is a lively place with an elaborate cocktail bar that is always busy after dark. A fairly varied menu also includes beef stifado and kefte and a good choice of platters for two. Expect lots of authentic atmosphere as this place also serves as the main social centre for Bali’s small Greek expat community. 17 Jalan Raya, Seminyak, tel: +62 (0)361 732567, Open: 11:00-01:00. Dishes rp75,000 – rp100,000; quart of beer rp40,000; whiskey shot rp50,000 cocktails rp50,000
Khaima: Located on Seminyak’s famous ‘Eat Street’ this is an exotic Moroccan eatery offering an unique night out. The decor is suitably exotic with flowing drapes and floor cushions and Islamic art adorning its walls. The casbah experience is further enhanced by belly dancers and sheesha pipes. The menu consists of North African and Persian specialties as set meals or a la carte and most are moderately priced. A dining experience with a difference and bookings advised. 334 Kerobokan, Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak, tel: +62 (0)361 7423925, open: 11:00-23:00.Dishes rp75,000 – rp100,000; quart of beer rp40,000; whiskey shot rp50,000 cocktails rp50,000
Metis: This refined restaurant is strictly for diners with deep pockets or for impressing a date. It is a rather formal affair with elegant colonial decor and a hushed, romantic ambience. The menu is a colourful blend of top notch French and modern Asian cuisine and the wine list is huge and expensive. A true gastronomic experience and definately worth a one time splurge. No.6, Kerobokan Kelod, Seminyak, Tel: +62 361 737888, Open: lunch from 11:00, dinner from 17:00 the bar and lounge open until 02:00. Dishes rp100,000+ quart of beer rp50,000; whiskey rp60,000; cocktails rp70,000
BARS IN SEMINYAK
Many of Bali’s hippest nightspots are in Seminyak.
Hu’u, ☎ +62 361 736443, . The seminal Bali establishment of the funky Singaporean nightspot chain. The star attraction here is the lit central swimming pool, where the bold and the beautiful can jump in. The rest of the complex is chilled-out drinking and dining in the garden and pavilion. Draft beer is tolerable at Rp 20,000 a mug, but cocktails will set you back Rp 70,000+.
Lita Gunardi & The Backyard Lounge, Kunti Arcade 2&3, Jl Kunti I, ☎ +62 361 738000. 11AM to 12PM. A lounge bar and restaurant attached to the Lita Gunardi boutique. A funky venue in a Jl Kunti location that is rapidly becoming very fashionable indeed. The bar serves good cocktails and the restaurant specialises in Italian food.
The Living Room, Jl Petitenget 2000x, Seminyak, ☎ +62 361 735735 ([email protected]). Just across the road from Hu’u and a similar bar which attracts a similarly hip clientele. Good cocktails and excellent DJ music. The restaurant is unreliable though.
Ku dé Ta, Jl Oberoi (Laksmana) 9, ☎ +62 361 736969, . Super-stylish bar-restaurant complex with two bars, restaurant seating indoors and beachside divans to laze on while the DJ spins an eclectic mix of music, new and old. Soft drinks from Rp 20,000, cocktails from Rp 70,000, including bizarre selections like the infamous black pepper and grilled pineapple martini (which, for the record, tastes like liquid pineapple candy with a sprinkle of grit). Gets packed at weekends.
Red Carpet Champagne Bar, Jl Laksmana 42c, ☎ +62 361 737889 ([email protected]). A fairly ritzy bar (unsurprisingly) specialising in Champagne. Not as expensive as you might imagine, but by no means a place for a cheap drink. Think Moet accompanied by a plate of oysters.
Syndicate Club Bali, Jl Blue Ocean (right on he beach, next door to 66), ☎ +62 361 756666. 10PM to 4AM. Late night dance bar with great ocean and beach views.
Potato Head. Great place to relax close to the beach. Food and drinks are nice.
Pop’s Bar. Nice rooftop bar with dinner options. Great ambiance.
Seminyak is the centre in Bali for hip and inventive fashion boutiques, other designer stores and art studios. A good starting point for any shopper would be the legion of small boutiques and designer stores on Jalan Laksmana.
Seminyak is part of the main west coast connurbation in South Bali and it can get very congested with traffic. There are two main routes in. From Kuta and Legian, Jalan Legian runs parallel with the beach and at its western limit, becomes Jalan Seminyak. If at all possible try to avoid this road though, and take instead the eastern bypass called Jalan Sunset. This is almost invariably the quicker route from Kuta and Legian into Seminyak, although it is actually further in distance.
A prepaid taxi from the airport to Seminyak costs a fixed Rp 60,000. Trips to or from Kuta cost around Rp 30,000 and from Legian about Rp 15,000.
The streets of Seminyak are increasingly jammed, with Jalan Laksmana being a particular black-spot. Your best options here are to walk or rent a motorcycle/bicycle.
A number of roads in Seminyak have alternative names. Whilst this issue is not exclusive to Seminyak, it does seem to happen here more than anywhere else in Bali. There follows a list of road names with the most popular given first and the alternatives afterwards in brackets.
- Jalan Arjuna (Jalan Double Six, Jalan 66)
- Jalan Raya Seminyak (Jalan Raya Basangkasa)
- Jalan Dhyana Pura (Jalan Caplak Tanduk)
- Jalan Laksmana (Jalan Oberoi, Jalan Kayu Aya)
- Jalan Pantai Legian (Jalan Blue Ocean)
- Jalan Mertanadi (Jalan Penjara)
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