Upon waking up in our lovely hotel in Seminyak, we instantly felt more human again. After some fruity pancakes at the hotel and a warm shower, we were beginning to feel like we were actually on holiday.
We hadn’t planned to do too much while in Seminyak, a beach resort area on the southern side of Bali. Seminyak is home to many luxury hotels, villas, high end shopping and restaurants. Many of the restaurants are pretty affordable for the quality you’re getting, so we were happy to devote our time to eating and drinking as well as window shopping rather than any specific ‘activities’. The idea of meandering the streets at our leisure rather than having to hop about to visit various tourists hot spots in the surrounding area took the pressure off our time in Seminyak and allowed us to completely unwind.
Apparently Seminyak is Kuta’s classier older sister, described as an ‘upmarket coastal enclave’. The atmosphere is certainly much more sophisticated and laid back compared to party-central Kuta, but development has occurred at a drastic rate here, absorbing all of the green space that once separated Seminyak from other nearby towns. This meant that the whole district was very congested so walking certainly felt like the best way to get around rather than renting a moped and being stuck in the midst of the traffic jams.
There are a wealth of creative, designer shops, galleries and boutiques in Seminyak. We popped our heads into many of them on our stroll down towards the beachfront on our first day, picking up a few souvenirs along the way. Bali seems ahead of the game by South East Asia standards when it comes to promoting green tourism and sustainable products. Bali takes pride in conserving their rapidly changing island and it’s great to see recycling initiatives including bamboo straws (as opposed to plastic ones), vegan cafes, organic, handmade and local products being sold in the boutique up-market shops, to name a handful of examples.
We were spoilt for choice when it came to delicious, healthy food options in Seminyak. Most Asian cuisines tend to be fried, which is no doubt delicious but isn’t always the healthiest diet to maintain for weeks at a time. So it was great to dive into the world of cacao nibs, raw sprouted granola balls, wheatgrass soup, and quinoa porridge. We’d been eating pretty well in Singapore but the Seminyak café menus took healthy eating to another level.
The Earth Café and Market was a favourite, so much so that we dined there twice because the menu was so extensive and mouth watering. We also had some of the best smoothie bowls at Shelter Café. The gloriously vibrant dragon fruit does wonders to bump up the aesthetics of a humble smoothie out here and it’s definitely been the fruit of the trip for us.
We also sampled some more delicious Indonesian coffee at Revolver Café, one of the many stylish coffee joints Seminyak has to offer. You needn’t wander far before you realise many of the cafes in Seminyak sell Revolver branded coffee beans, so we had to go to the real deal while we were in town. Revolver Café felt more like a bar as we walked through multiple darkened rooms to reach our table. It appeared you had to have at least 3 tattoos (preferably on your face) in order to work at Revolver – that gives you an idea of how hip this place was. Both the décor and the coffee were spot on.
There’s not a whole lot to ‘do’ in Seminyak so it seemed like a good place to pamper ourselves with a spa treatment, because why the hell not?! It would have been rude not to get a massage when there were hundreds of highly reviewed spas within the vicinity of our hotel. We selected Bodyworks to indulge in our massage desires. There’s no other place in the world that offers such affordable and brilliant massage treatments. We’ll miss the luxury of booking a two-hour body massage and exfoliation treatment on a whim, all for the grand price of £25 per person. We were led into a huge, very grand looking two-person suit complete with a bottomless bathtub. Our masseuses proceeded to oil us up and massaged us for a glorious 75 minutes, kneading out any Bromo remaining trauma. These ninja women can sense the tiniest knot in your shoulder that you never knew was there and work the bugger to a pulp with their gentle expertise. The next 35 minutes involved an exfoliation scrub, followed by a coating of…yoghurt. We were generously lathered up with the stuff, which supposedly moisturises the skin. A final 10 minutes was spent in the tub removing any dollops of yoghurt from our bodies. Revitalised doesn’t even cover it.
When we weren’t busy eating, drinking coffee, shopping, or getting spa treatments (and generally constructing our lives to resemble that of a Sex in the City character), we strolled along Petitenget beach. World class hotels line the wide sandy beach stretching for 3km. Kites flutter overhead in the breezy, cool air while families and couples bake themselves brown while sipping on chilled Bintang beers. The waves are pretty sizeable on Seminyak beach. The thunderous waves draw in a lot of surfers and body boarders with many surf schools lining the beach. We’re more into massages than surfing these days.
We did attempt a swim in the hotel pool as this was the only place we’d booked in Indonesia that had one. We slipped into our swim stuff and hit the sun loungers only to realise we’d timed our sunbathing spell with the company of a giant grey cloud looming overhead so we whipped out the Kindles instead. Parts of Bali are definitely much cooler thanks to a sea breeze, and you can actually walk around without sweating through your t-shirt, which is always a treat.
Seminyak didn’t feel like an authentic Indonesian area, nor did it have much culture to absorb, but we admittedly had a rather nice time filling up on the healthy food, smoothie bowls and massage experiences. We felt delightfully wholesome and nourished after a few days and were very excited to move on to Side by Side Organic Farm in rural eastern Bali.