Seminyak may be located just north of party-town Kuta, but it has a cool and collected soul that its more famous neighbour lacks.
Once a sleepy seaside village, Seminyak is now the cosmopolitan heart of Bali. Luxury resorts, sleek restaurants and hip beach clubs line its wide, sandy coast, while uber trendy boutiques selling premium clothing and homewares can be found on almost every corner.
Indeed, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the dinginess of Bali past here: this is a hotspot for luxe lovers, families and home to a healthy dose of expats. By the same token, Seminyak is not your cultural sanctum. If it weren’t for the chaotic powerlines overhead and ubiquitous scooters zipping by, this gentrified enclave would feel a world away.
Things to Do in Seminyak
Seminyak offers the ultimate fly and flop holiday: a whole lot of relaxing by the beach or pool interspersed with eating, drinking and a little shopping on the side.
Seminyak’s beach is ideal to learn how to surf – just head down to the sand and you’ll find numerous surf schools including Pro Surf School and Bali Ocean Surf. While there’s no diving in Seminyak itself, Adventure Scuba Diving Bali is based here with sites just a short boat ride away.
Ditch your resort pool for the day and pack your best swimwear for Seminyak’s uber cool beach clubs where good tunes, good cocktails and good vibes are on the agenda.
If you only visit one during your stay, Potato Head is a no-brainer. With its iconic façade of antique window shutters sourced from all over Indonesia, it boasts four restaurants, four bars, an infinity pool and large lawn overlooking the beach.
If you have time, be sure to also check out the fun and funky Tropicola Beach Club, super sleek Sugarsand, rustic island-style Mano Beach House, while the whole family will dig Mrs Sippy with its huge saltwater pool and fun diving boards.
From happening beach clubs to moody boltholes to elegant bars, Seminyak sure does pack a punch when it comes to places to enjoy a beverage or two. You’ll find a bar on almost every street, but some of our picks include Ku De Ta for sophisticated sundowners with ocean views; Baker Street Social, a tiny speakeasy that specialises in quality spirits; The Rosé Social, a chilled-out bar dedicated to its pretty pink wine namesake; and Akademi Bar, a supremely cool space helmed by expert mixologists.
Top Attractions in Seminyak
You can spend your entire holiday in Seminyak flip-flopping between the pool, beach and bar. But this hip and happening place has a little more beneath its surface including possibly the best shopping in Bali and a fabulous art scene (culture vultures should make time to check out Biasa Art Space, Nyaman Gallery and Naka Contemporary Gallery).
Seminyak Beach is lined with luxury hotels and is a magnet for experienced surfers. Double Six Beach and Petitenget Beach flank either side of Seminyak and are a little quieter. Double Six has calmer waves, more suitable for grommets and beginners.
If you want to spend the day lazing about, you can rent beach lounges and umbrellas on the sand and there’s usually always locals touting drinks, snacks and souvenirs, particularly at Seminyak Beach.
For a little more adventure, you can book in for lessons with a number of surf schools or even enjoy a relaxing horse ride along the sand – just keep an eye out for the operators usually set up on the beach.
This coastline is one of the best spots to watch the sunset, so settle in and enjoy this natural sight.
Sadly, Seminyak is known more for its buzzy vibe than its cultural landmarks. But it is home to centuries-old Pura Petitenget, one of the six important sea temples in Bali, which are said to spiritually guard the island. Learn about its interesting history and observe as local Hindus make offerings.
Where to Stay in Seminyak
Whether you prefer a room in a resort where everything is at your fingertips, a secluded villa that you can call home for a week or two, or a simple and affordable base from which to explore, Seminyak has you covered. The beachfront is resort row, while set back in town, you’ll find a heap of other boutique offerings.
Long-time favourite The Legian boasts a beachfront location and ocean-facing suites that include daily breakfast, open mini bar and afternoon tea; Alila is the epitome of luxe simplicity and is resplendent with green spaces and five pools; while The Oberoi Beach Resort offers old-world charm and premium service.
Read our guide to the best luxury escapes in Bali for more places to stay.
While luxe resorts are at the forefront in Seminyak, there’s still a plethora of more affordable hotel options to choose from. Located beachfront, Hotel Indigo is an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary with several options to wine and dine; The Colony Hotel is an elegant colonial-style hotel just a short walk from the beach; and newcomer Katamama is the ultimate in cool design, owned by the same people behind Potato Head Beach Club.
Villas are the perfect option for larger groups or for those who prefer more privacy and serenity in their accommodation. Many villas in Seminyak come with private pools, some with private staff, while others are simple self-contained accommodation offering more room and space for families.
You will be spoilt for choice, but a few options include The Samaya Seminyak, an exquisite beachfront resort with a number of one- to three-bedroom villas that each feature a full-size private lap pool; eqUILIBRIA, a collection of striking monochrome villas that has a focus on wellness, nutrition and sustainability; while traditional-style Villa Shambala is perfect for large groups, with five bedrooms, a full staff, a pool, media room, spa and the like.
Places to Shop in Seminyak
If retail is your chosen therapy, then Seminyak is your mecca. There’s an incredible array of upmarket fashion and lifestyle boutiques to check out.
Stop by The Bali Tailor, which sells ready-to-wear pieces as well as the option to design your own; Bali Boat Shed, a bright and colourful store stocking global men’s and women’s brands; Le Petit Cartel for handmade leather goods and jewellery; Souq, a globally inspired lifestyle store that doubles as an organic café; and Kim Soo, a dreamy interiors store that will have monochrome devotees weak at the knees…
Spendthrifts beware: this barely scratches the surface.
Best Places to Eat in Seminyak
Food, glorious food. Seminyak is heaving with a large and varied dining scene. For a fine dining affair, you can’t go past Sarong, an award-winning Seminyak institution serving Asian fusion cuisine. At the other end of the scale, the cool and quirky Sea Circus is the spot to come for a casual bite of Western-style dishes, whether that is an Acai bowl or a juicy cheat-day burger. If you’re into Mexican, vibrant Motel Mexicola is a must; if clean eats are your thing, then be sure to check out Clean Canteen which uses fresh, organic, pesticide free, homemade ingredients; or if artfully presented dishes in an artfully designed space sounds up your alley, head to Bikini. Coffee snobs should check out Revolver Espresso, an Aussie favourite where the coffee is roasted on-site.
The dreaded Bali belly is a common affliction for travellers to Indonesia: here’s what it is, how to avoid it and what to do if ...
Balinese cuisine's unique blend of aromatic local ingredients, traditional cooking styles and western influences make it a must-vi...
Impossibly beautiful scenery, laidback vibes and an Indonesian twist on the art of aperitivo are all the ingredients necessary to ...
With an influx of Aussies setting up restaurants in Bali, is the island at risk of becoming oversaturated. Is it still worth visit...
Culinary connoisseurs can opt to learn more about Indonesian cuisine through a cooking class – many include a market visit. Or if you are more the type to shop til’ you drop, you can organise a guide to show you around the best boutiques – it will certainly help you save time… but perhaps not your money!