Fashionistas and shop-a-holics will adore Seminyak’s glut of stylish, chic boutiques. For furniture, antiques and homeware stores go for a wander around the streets of nearby Kerobokan.
If you are a bold and brave bargain hunter, visit Denpasar’s vibrant markets, where everything and anything is available. At Pasar Badung, Bali’s largest and oldest market, you’ll find meat, vegetables, and spices. Not for the fainthearted! Kumbasari Market specialises in paintings, handicrafts, souvenirs, artefacts, clothes, fabrics, and gold, and Jalan Sulawesi is the place for textiles – but you’ll need to shake off the commission hunters offering to be your guide.
You could eat out at a different restaurant in Seminyak every night – for months – and still not run out of options. Jalan Laksmana (also known as Jalan Oberoi and Jalan Kayu Aya) is Bali’s fashionable ‘Eat Street’, offering plenty of high-end restaurants including Sarong and Nutmegs at Hu’u Bar. La Lucciola Restaurant is great for sunset drinks, as is The Breeze at The Samaya. While Ku Dé Ta is still the place to see and be seen, two new beachclubs, Cocoon and Potato Head, are classy seaside alternatives. Then there’s La Plancha, a rustic beach bar between Double Six and Gado Gado, very popular, good tapas, very reasonably priced drinks, with live music and DJ events. A short taxi ride will bring you to Sardine for elegant seafood, Métis for French Mediterranean cuisine, or to Hog Wild in Bali, famous for barbecue ribs and wicked Martinis. Mid-range dining options here include Wah Wah Gourmet Burger Winebar which specialises in sassy burgers with sexy connotations, and numerous other cheap ‘n cheerful options.
There are several surf schools in Bali, mainly based in and around Kuta and Legian, where young and old(er) can learn to surf or brush up on their skills.
Desa Seni at Berawa Beach, is an eco-friendly village resort providing an authentic Indonesian experience through the exploration of culture, art and yoga. The resort offers a wide variety of yoga classes and also has its own spa.
It’s possible to walk the grey sands of Seminyak’s Petitenget beach all the way to Kuta in the south, or north to Canggu. The beach is more popular with locals than tourists (not safe for swimming in most sections), but is a great spot for building sandcastles or to watch the sunset as you sip a cocktail from one of the many beachside bars.
At Jenggala Keramic in Jimbaran, visitors can browse and buy from a vast range of handcrafted ceramics and glassware. Jenggala also runs ‘Make and Paint a Pot’ sessions where ‘Children’ of all ages are encouraged to get creative.
Play a round at the unbelievably scenic Nirwana Bali Golf Course. Bordered by ocean and rice fields and just down from Tanah Lot sea temple, no wonder this championship-standard course (designed by golf legend, Greg Norman) is frequently voted number one in Asia.
Covering 3.8 hectares of tropical parkland in Kuta, Waterbom Bali has 16 water slides (including The Climax with its 360 degree loop) to entertain the young and the young at heart. A great family day out, but go early to beat the crowds.
Villa Jemma – Seminyak 4 bedroom luxury villa, BaliElite Havens
If you’re looking for laid-back luxe in a tropical paradise; somewhere spacious, comfortable, complete with a team of professional and caring staff, yet within walking distance of sophisticated Seminyak’s best restaurants, bars and beaches, then look no further than Villa Jemma.
The villa’s gorgeous garden, punctuated with intriguing Indonesian artefacts and bursting with frangipani, orchids and bougainvillea, is just the place to spend long, luxurious days with friends and family. Slip into the sparkling, 16-metre, deep-blue-tiled pool, which has a separate shallow splash area for kids, or lounge in the shade of the cushioned bale and sip a freshly squeezed fruit juice while you browse a magazine.
The bright and airy lounge and dining room, with its soaring roof and huge rattan sofa, opens widely to the garden on one side and a cool calm courtyard to the other – the perfect spot for an early morning breakfast or cup of afternoon tea. Plug in your iPod, kick back under the whirr of the fan and ponder the villa’s menu of mouthwatering dishes as you decide what you’d like your chef to prepare for dinner.
Of the four bedrooms, the upper-floor master is particularly private and has its own comfortably furnished private balcony, while two guest bedrooms on the ground floor open directly onto the garden and pool and the third conveniently doubles as an air-conditioned study/TV room.