The atmosphere in Seminyak is much more laid back and sophisticated than Kuta. Located north of Legian, Seminyak is an upmarket beach town filled with fashionable high-end restaurants and bars. There are also many Bali luxury villas that dot the coast and fill the town. Although Seminyak is a suburb of Kuta, it is fondly known as Kuta’s trendy neighbour.
Seminyak is popular with Bali’s expatriate community, most of whom reside there. Thus, land and accommodation prices are amongst the highest. The reason Seminyak is well liked by expats is because it provides the perfect balance of seclusion – the beach is quieter in the day and it’s not exactly a backpacker’s playground, and exhibition – Ku De Ta is the place to be if you want to be seen.
The streets of Seminyak can get pretty congested and there are only two main routes into town. The best way to get around Seminyak is to rent a motorcycle or bicycle or to go on foot. It can get a tad confusing because a number of roads have alternate names. For instance, Jalan Arjuna (Jalan is road in Bahasa) is also known as Jalan Double 6 or Jalan 66.
Where to Stay
If you’re planning a trip to Seminyak, chances are you are willing to blow some cash. A fine selection of hotels awaits you. One such hotel is The Oberoi. It is one of Bali’s first luxury hotels and it resembles a traditional Bali village. Seminyak villas are popular amongst tourists as they are a short distance away from the action. Resorts worth considering include The Legian, Aman Resorts and Bulgari Resort Bali.
What to See
Located on the west coast of the southern region of Bali, Seminyak beach is relatively quiet during the day. Regular beach activities like surfing, sunbathing and swimming can all be done here but Seminyak beach is famous for two things – high-end beachfront establishments such as Ku De Ta and its sunsets.
This beachfront location features modern architecture and interior design. Practically everyone in Bali’s expatriate community shows up for sunset and cocktails at Ku De Ta. It goes without saying that Ku De Ta is the place to see and to be seen.
Tourists rarely visit Petitenget because it’s fairly secluded. However, it’s worth visiting the beach for its continuous expanse of grey sand. You will also find a pretty Balinese temple off Petitenget. Pura Petitenget was built by Bali’s most important priest, Nirartha and has been around since the 16th century. Although it is not one of the key nine directional temples of Bali, it is known for its spectacular beachside ceremonies and is one of the important sea temples in Bali.
Berawa beach is five kilometers from Seminyak. Many go to Berawa to meditate and do yoga. Here, you will witness the daily life of typical fishermen who catch their fish from traditional boats.
Ku De Ta
What to Do
Seminyak is the high-end spa capital of Bali. Your spa experience will be one of great luxury and sophistication. Needless to say, you get what you pay for but prices are still at least 50% cheaper than you would pay in a western country. Most high-end hotels come with an in-house spa service, otherwise you can check out Amo Beauty and Spa, Amoaras Spa and Glo.
Once you’re completely relaxed and refreshed, it’s time to hit the shops. Seminyak is the centre for hip and inventive fashion boutiques and second most preferred place for art lovers in Bali. Seminyak is home to a number of unique art galleries showcasing contemporary and classic styles of painting, drawing and photography, to name a few. If fashion is more your thing, head down to Jalan Laksmana, which has a legion of small boutique and designer stores.
Last but certainly not least, take a trip to Tanah Lot. This sea temple is one of the most famous temples in Bali and it is also one of the busiest. It is set on a remarkable location – on a rocky islet only accessible during low tide.