Seminyak Nightlife: Where to Party in Bali’s Trendiest Town!

Originally posted on: My Seminyak Villas

Motel Mexicola

Sophisticated, stylish and oozing with class, Seminyak nightlife is the most exclusive in Bali! Over the last few years Seminyak has not only become popular for its designer boutiques, trendy bars and classy bistros; its nightclubs have also attracted partygoers from across the globe, welcomed world-famous DJs, and hosted parties for countless A-listers. Want to find out what all the fuss is about? Here’s our guide to partying – day and night – in Bali’s trendiest town…

Mantra

Owned and designed by a Balinese couple, Mantra is one of the coolest bars on Petitenget.

Boasting tea light candles, colourful flowers in jars and a generally very friendly vibe, the outside patio only becomes more inviting as the night gets going, and, depending on what’s on and how big the crowd is, the tables might even get whisked away to create a dance floor! Mantra is known for its huge variety of day and night time events – from international DJs to art exhibitions, so, on your way through Seminyak, it’s always worth nipping in for a delicious daytime snack and finding out what’s in store for that evening.

Prices:

  • Seafood and vegetarian dishes IDR 40,000 – 50,000
  • Bar snacks all IDR 20,000

Address: Jalan Petitenget77x, Seminyak

Tel: +62 (0)361 473 7681

Website: mantrabali.com

Hu’u Bar

Since Hu’u opened its doors in 2001 it’s never stopped being popular with partygoers from all over the world, most recently hosting celebrity icons Paris Hilton and Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr! Its constant flow of international DJs and scrumptious cocktails means dancing ‘til late is the only way to party at Hu’u.

Prices:

  • Drinks start at IDR 50,000

Address: Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak

Website: huubali.com

Rumours

If you like loud music and a lively atmosphere Rumours is definitely the place for you – any night of the week! And, although it is a little rowdy, it still manages to attract a stylish, Seminyak crowd with its large selection of wines from all over the world, enormous variety of spirits from the bar, and live DJ who plays energetic, funky tunes from Monday to Saturday. If you’re anything like us, you’ll more than likely leave this place tipsy and happy 🙂

Address: Jl. Kayu Aya No. 100, Oberoi, Seminyak

Motel Mexicola

One of the newest bars and restaurants in Seminyak is the hot and trendy Motel Mexicola, which, yep, you guessed it, is Mexican from the floor to the ceiling. Inside and out, you’ll see bright colours, Mexican prints and candles, and long tables with plastic table cloths featuring happy designs – and the drinks list is literally tequila madness! In fact, there is such a big selection of the Mexicans’ favourite tipple, it’s probably best that you just see for yourself 🙂

When it comes to food, we weren’t quite as impressed though – the quality is great but the portions are small for the price you pay. But don’t let that put you off – Motel Mexicola is perfect for a leisurely cocktail or two – even if it is only to check out the decor!

Address: Jalan Kayujati No 9, Petingenget Beach, Seminyak

Tel: +62 (0)361 736688

Website: motelmexicolabali.com

TownHouse

Last but definitely not least, bar-bistro-lounge-gallery Townhouse is the newest addition to Seminyak’s party scene. (Yes, you read that right – all this is housed under one exotic roof!) Created by Mark Baker, a 30 year aficionado of the New York nightlife scene, this super-sophisticated venue can cater for all your party needs in one go – from catching Seminyak’s spectacular sunset on the rooftop bar, to sampling bespoke cocktails and dancing to the tunes of international DJs in the Townhouse Lounge, inspired by NYC’s ‘The Double Seven’. Trendy, cool and open ‘til late, we think Townhouse has got the vibe just right to fit in perfectly with Seminyak’s ever-expanding party scene.

Address: Jl Laksama 151, Seminyak

Website: thetownhousebali.com

Sea Circus

Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks, this vibrant little place, with its brightly coloured decor and welcoming vibe, is sure to deliver. Mixing global influences with local ingredients, the food menu is fab and every dish we’ve tried is delicious!

Prices:

  • Breakfast around IDR 40,000
  • Dinner around IDR 80,000
  • Drinks – see for yourself 🙂

Address: 22 Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak

Tel: +62 (0)361 738 667 / +62 (0)878 6077 1754

Website: seacircus-bali.com

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Photo credit: smh.com.au

Best Local Seminyak Cafes (Warungs)

Originally posted on: My Seminyak Villas

Warung Kolega

Whether you’re interested in trying local food or simply on a budget, a Seminyak cafe (warung) is a great place to eat. And although it is ‘local food at local prices’, don’t be put off by how cheap these authentic eateries are, as so many serve delicious, Balinese, Indonesian and Chinese food.

If it’s your first time at a cafe in Seminyak, we’d definitely recommend trying ‘Nasi Campur’ (rice with your own choice of meat and vegetables), which is the most popular dish with both locals and expats and a great way to sample all the different foods on offer.

But which cafe to choose? You can find them on every street, side street and alley way, so even for an experienced Bali dweller, it can be a bit overwhelming to find the best ones! We think we’ve done a pretty good job though; here’s our pick of the best cafes you’ll find in Seminyak…

Warung Murah

Situated on one of Seminyak’s busiest shopping streets is Warung Murah, which serves Balinese, Indonesian and Chinese dishes from the menu at great prices. You’ll also find the locals’ favourite option, Nasi Campur, with a choice of white, yellow and sometimes red rice (nasi). Simply take a look at the different dishes on display and point out what you fancy! Oh, and don’t worry if you’re not sure what it is you’re about to point at; the super-helpful staff will be happy to explain 🙂

Prices:

  • Nasi Campur: around 32,000 IDR

Address: Jalan Laksmana / Oberoi, Seminyak (next to Cafe Bali)

Kolega

Kolega is one of Seminyak’s more foreigner-friendly cafes, although plenty of locals still join in the fun every lunch time. Popular for its Javanese Nasi Campur, here you’ll always have a choice of white, yellow or brown rice and all the food in the server is labelled in English, so you’ll know what you’re pointing at! Also available to order are Bakso and Soto Ayam for 20,000 IDR.

Prices:

  • Nasi Campur: around 35,000 IDR

Address: Jalan Petitenget 98A, Seminyak

Warung Eny

Popular for its home-cooked food, this family-run cafe serves fresh seafood and amazing satays, all of which are cooked on an open grill made from a half 44 gallon drum fuelled with coconut husks. And don’t let appearances put you off; while Warung Eny may look like an old farmhouse shed, its rustic setting is what makes it so special – there’s nothing better than watching an authentic Indonesian meal being cooked in a clean, family kitchen.

Price wise, Warung Eny isn’t quite as cheap as some other local cafes, but, with its fresh seafood, meats and organic vegetables, there’s no doubt it’s one of the best value cafes in Seminyak. There’s also an excellently priced drinks menu including fresh coconuts for 10,000 IDR and icy cold Bintang (Bali’s favourite local beer) for 25,000 IDR.

Beware though – during the day, this cafe is very hot as it only has ceiling fans to keep diners cool. But we couldn’t recommend it highly enough for a cheap, romantic evening meal in candle light.

Prices:

  • Nasi Campur: 50,000 IDR
  • Fresh from the grill: 80,000 IDR

Address: Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak (across from Gourmet Cafe)

Warung Ocha

Situated right in the middle of Seminyak’s shopping district, Warung Ocha is a great place to stop for lunch or dinner when you need a break from your shopping! Clean, with very friendly, efficient staff, you can sit in the front next to the bustling shopping street and people watch, or escape to the peaceful garden,enjoy the trickling waterfall and forget you’re on the main thoroughfare through Seminyak.

On the menu, you’ll find a huge range of a la carte western food, including pastas, salads, seafood and burgers, as well as an authentic Indonesian Nasi Campur. We have to admit it’s not the best Nasi Campur we’ve found, but the setting of this cute cafe is definitely a reason to stop by, and the drinks menu is simply enormous!

Prices:

  • Nasi Campur: 35,000 IDR
  • Wine by the glass: 80,000 IDR
  • Small Bintang: 25,000 IDR
  • Fresh juice: 28,000 IDR
  • Coffee or tea: starting at 27,000 IDR

Address: Jalan Raya Seminyak, 52, Seminyak

Taco Local

This cosy little spot is one of our favourites! The meals aren’t huge, as they’re mainly snacks and tapas dishes, but Taco Local is ideal for a little chill-out time – day or night. The menu is as simple as the layout and the plates; OK, there isn’t any! Your enchiladas or tacos are served on little takeaway-style dishes and your San Miguel comes in the can (unless of course you opt for a glass!) Either way, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed with this cool, little venue!

Prices:

  • Enchiladas: starting at 35,000 IDR
  • San Miguel: 30,000 IDR

Address: Jalan Petitenget, 900, Seminyak

Photo credit: 

Surfing in Bali: The Best Surf Spots near Seminyak

Originally posted on: My Seminyak Villas

Surfing in Bali: Padang Padang Pipeline

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a competing champion, Bali, one of the world’s best surfing destinations, has the perfect beach for you. What’s more, many of the best surfing spots on the island – from Bali’s famous Padang Padang pipeline to beginner’s paradise Kuta – are easily accessible by either scooter or car in less than an hour’s drive from Bali’s main hub Seminyak.

But it’s crucial to pick the right beach for your level of ability; you don’t want to be caught in a huge barrel when you’ve only just picked up a surf board, and equally, Kuta’s early morning baby waves aren’t going to challenge you if you’re hoping to compete at the next Oakley Pro Bali competition.

So, we’ve put together a quick guide to the best surfing spots near Seminyak, based on your level of experience. Read on to find out which beach is best for you.

Beginners

Kuta is definitely best for beginners. Its soft tide and relatively small waves make it the perfect spot to try out white water surfing (surfing the waves after they break and roll towards the beach) for the first time.

It’s also super convenient – only a 10-15 minute drive from Seminyak – and there are (literally) hundreds of surfing instructors to choose from. These range from Indonesian surfer dudes who have spent their lives riding Bali’s world-renowned waves and hanging out on the beach to official surfing schools like Odysseys. Most of them will guarantee to have you standing up within the hour. (And, believe us, if we can, you can too!)

Do be careful though. Although the waves might not look too dangerous, there can be quite a strong undercurrent. So when your instructor lets you loose on the waves on your own (which they often do for the second hour of your lesson), stick to the white waves, or you might find yourself getting a bit more battered and bruised than you’d like!

Intermediate

Canggu is a step up from Kuta in terms of difficulty and has some of the best intermediate surf on the island.

Located about 20 minutes from Seminyak (the other way from Kuta), Canggu is suitable for all ability levels, however the beginners’ courses tend to be a little bit more challenging than Kuta’s due to the tougher waves. If you’ve never surfed, the waves are still manageable and there are surfing instructors to help, but Canggu really comes into its own with its awesome intermediate-level waves.

Of course, this entirely depends on the tide; when it’s up, Canggu’s waves can be a real challenge even for the professionals, so pick your time carefully!

Expert

For the experts amongst you, there are also plenty of options. We recommend trying out Padang Padang, home to Bali’s famous pipeline, Keramas, hidden away in the south east, and Uluwatu, which boasts some of the biggest swells that hit the island.

Home to the yearly Rip Curl Cup, Padang Padang, which is about 45 minutes from Seminyak, is best known for playing host to the most serious wave on the island – the Balinese pipeline – strictly for expert surfers as it breaks over a shallow coral reef. It also happens to be an absolutely gorgeous beach and an excellent place to watch the sunset.

Keramas, quietly hidden away on the south eastern side of Bali, just under an hour’s drive from Seminyak, has also become one of the most popular spots for expert surfers on the island due to its constant waves and big swell.

Or you could head all the way south west from Seminyak to Uluwatu. This renowned surfing hotspot can hold a lot of surfers with its five breaks – the Racetrack, the Peak, Temples, Outside Corner and the Bombie – and it’s also quite an experience getting out to the waves, as you have to paddle through the famous Uluwatu cave. Remember, you also need to exit the break through the cave, so beware of strong currents.

Have you ever surfed Bali’s waves?

Seminyak Boutique Shopping: A First-Time Visitor’s Guide

Originally posted on: My Seminyak Villas

Seminyak Boutique Shopping

Seminyak shopping isn’t just about picking up a souvenir Bintang vest and a diamante-encrusted penis-shaped bottle opener (although, in a later post, we’ll give you the lowdown on where you can get your hands on Bali’s cheesiest souvenirs too!) Seminyak is also home to a huge range of gorgeous boutiques that wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of Milan, Paris or Beverly Hills. They’re owned by international designers, they sell everything from handmade kaftans to cocktail dresses and the prices are nothing like you’d pay at home in Australia, the US or Europe.

Head to Jalan Oberoi to check out the best of the best. You’ll know you’ve arrived because everywhere you look, you’ll see groups of designer-clad fashionistas, weighed down with shopping bags and showing off their latest buys to their friends. The street is also literally lined with beautiful boutiques.

For Brazilian chic, don’t miss out on a trip to Lulu Yasmine (Jalan Oberoi no. 100, luluyasmine.com). The Brazilian Taiwanese designer’s collections feature elegant party dresses, super-cute playsuits and sexy cut-off shorts, all made from organic silk, crepe, chiffon, cotton or linen. Lulu also sells her wares in Ibiza, St Tropez, Melbourne, Auckland and Singapore.

Lily Jean, just down the road (Jalan Oberoi, no. 88X, lily-jean.com), is also not to be missed. Founded by Made de Coney, who has both European and Brazilian heritage but was born in Bali and educated in the US (what a combination!), this super-successful boutique offers everything from stylish streetwear to glamorous cocktail dresses. Made takes her inspiration from both local Balinese artisans and the international catwalk, and now has six shops in Indonesia, three of those in Bali.

Buddha Wear (Jalan Oberoi no. 15X, buddhawear.com) is another Bali institution, mainly known for its amazing selection of knitted jerseys, all manufactured locally under the boutique’s strict ‘Wear Fair’ policy. Buddha Wear is all about simple colours and top-quality material and part of the boutique’s profits go to helping take care of HIV positive kids in Bali.

Lovers of French fashion should look no further than Magali Pascal (Jalan Oberoi no.177X, magalipascal.com). Here you’ll find mostly lace, silk and cotton pieces, as well as a gorgeous selection of jewellery. In Bali terms, Magali Pascal is slightly pricey, but you’ll still get a better deal than you would back home.

Once you’ve exhausted everything Jalan Oberoi has to offer, hop in a taxi to Jalan Raya Seminyak, where even more stunning boutiques are waiting to be perused. Our favourites are Mist (Jalan Raya Seminyak no. 42, mistasiapacific.com.au) for summery kaftans, niconico mare (Jalan Raya Seminyak no. 13, niconicointimo.net) for sexy swimwear and eco-friendly Puravida (Jalan Raya Seminyak no. 38b, puravidafashion.com) for vibrant colours, patterns and graphics.

Don’t worry guys; we haven’t forgotten you! Although Seminyak shopping isn’t quite as good for men as it is for fashion-loving ladies, there are a couple of great options. Try Animale (Jalan Raya Seminyak no. 31, animale.com), founded by French designer Jacque Ruc, for tailored casual wear, and Susanna Perini’s Biasa (Raya Seminyak no. 36, biasabali.com) for classic linens and cottons.

Have you ever been shopping in Seminyak? What was your favourite boutique?

Photo credit: lily-jean.com

Top 5 Restaurants in Seminyak

Originally posted on: My Seminyak Villas

Metis Restaurant Bali

Whether you’re a Thai food lover, a fan of classic European fare or keen to sample some local Indonesian cuisine, you’ll be able to find a top-quality restaurant in Seminyak that can cater to your needs. The only problem is that there are so many, it can be difficult to decide which ones to try when you’re only in town for a short visit.

So, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are our top 5 picks of restaurants you can’t go to Seminyak without trying out!

Sarong

Since opening in 2008, Aussie-run Sarong, which serves traditional Asian street food recipes with a high-end twist, has become a bit of a Seminyak institution. And with good reason. The menu includes everything from wagyu beef Thai curry to traditional Tandoori dishes, and there’s also an impressive selection of cocktails on offer. We currently can’t decide whether our favourite is the signature Sarong Swizzle or the dangerously strong Prohibition Ice Tea!

Sarong may require a substantial deposit to book a table depending on the size of your group, so please bear this in mind when making a reservation.

Prices: main courses from IDR100,000 to IDR170,000

Address: Jalan Petitenget no.19, Seminyak

Website: sarongbali.com

Metis Restaurant & Gallery

If you’re after classic French dining in an authentic Balinese setting, look no further than Metis. Perfect for a romantic evening, Metis offers both amazing rice paddy views and an exquisite French menu, featuring classics including crispy pork belly and duck leg confit, as well as an entire section dedicated to foie gras. For a really intimate dining experience, book into Metis’s exclusive bale (Balinese pavilion), which is set in the midst of stunning lily ponds and has the best rice paddy views in the house.

Prices: dinner main courses from IDR78,000 to IDR275,000, lunch main courses from IDR68,000 to IDR110,000

Address: Jalan Petitenget no.6, Seminyak

Website: metisbali.com

Ku De Ta

Although it’s better known for its Miami meets Ibiza vibe and mouth-watering sunset cocktails, Ku De Ta is also up there with the best in Bali when it comes to cuisine. The menus, created by executive chef Phillip Davenport, are mostly Mediterranean, and our current favourite dishes are the crispy soft shell crab salad for entree and the slow roasted lamb shoulder for main. We’d recommend either indulging in a leisurely brunch or arriving early for dinner at Ku De Ta so you can make the most of the fantastic sunset at this beachfront institution.

Prices: dinner main courses from IDR260,000 to IDR330,000, lunch main courses from IDR100,000 to IDR140,000

Address: Jalan Laksmana no.9, Seminyak

Website: kudeta.net

Sardine

A relative newcomer to the Seminyak restaurant scene, Sardine, which opened in 2010, is our top pick for seafood lovers. The mouth-watering menu changes every day and features fresh seafood, picked out on the team’s daily trip to Jimbaran, and organic vegetables grown on Sardine’s very own farm. Sample menu items include saffron bisque of crab and blackened mahi-mahi fillets. The view at Sardine, which overlooks vistas of rice fields, is also not to be missed!

Prices: dinner main courses from IDR140,000 to IDR285,000, lunch main courses from IDR85,000 to IDR145,000

Address: Jalan Petitenget no. 21, Seminyak

Website: sardinebali.com

La Lucciola

No holiday to Seminyak is complete without Sunday brunch at ‘La Luch’. Not only are the authentic Italian risottos and icy fresh granitas absolutely to die for, the location of La Lucciola (a stone’s throw from Petitenget temple and right on Seminyak’s beachfront) is second to none. The service and atmosphere at this popular venue are also excellent and, if brunch turns into evening drinks, there are some great cocktails on the menu too.

Prices: main courses from IDR170,000 to IDR270,000

Address: Petitenget Beach, Seminyak

Have you ever been to a restaurant in Seminyak?