Summer holidays may only just be over, but how about investigating a Bali beach resort to remember?
Words by David Dunn
There’s something to be said for being a koi carp. Especially when your home is the trendy ornamental ponds of The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa. Thankfully, these well-nourished fish aren’t the only creatures enjoying a pampered lifestyle at this luxurious hideaway in one of Bali’s best-known tourist towns.
Coming after two weeks of volcano trekking and rainforest adventures in search of orangutans, simply having our feet in the cool water of the infinity pool, waves teasing the shoreline just beyond, was release enough.
But there’s a lot more to this much admired Indonesian resort – a sanctuary that channels the chic and savvy vibe of the neighbourhood that shares its name and blends it with luxury, sophistication and an independent character all its own.
It oozes finesse and exclusivity without being stuffy and retains a sense of fun along with traditional-inspired calm, such as couples Balinese massages in the peaceful Kahyangan Spa.
Smaller details also help The Seminyak to stand out; from the cool bag in your room for taking items down to the pool – a cunning ploy as you’ll not want to move for the rest of the day – to the acoustic duo/band playing just before sunset beside the pool bar.
Keen waves, and those musical efforts, can be heard from the plush beach and garden villas nearby, or one of the ocean suites in the main building.
Suitable for a couple – with larger versions available for a family stay – our suite includes a Jacuzzi corner bath, with a strategically placed TV to go with an extended soak. And a pair of silk dressing gowns – additional to regular towelling robes – proved ideal for lounging on the balcony with a palm-tree framed view of the sea, and gardens that host morning yoga sessions. There’s a daily treat, such as cookies, left in the room by housekeeping.
The route to the pool or beach is through lush gardens, dotted with a handful of cabanas. Poolside, iced flannels and occasional mini smoothies counter the heat, while a sunglasses cleaning service ensures your view is never fogged.
For those craving contrast, The Seminyak’s near neighbourhood is one of Asia’s tourist hotspots. Beyond the main entrance, a winding road loops around into the town’s lively and trendy heart of boutiques, vibrant bars and restaurants and a well-stocked arts and clothing market for potential souvenirs, gifts and garments. You could equip yourself with a traditional batik shirt or skirt for the hotel’s weekly Balinese night.
Local and wider Indonesian-inspired dishes are served street market style, hosted on the lawn, as a series of colourful dance routines evoke the spirit of Indonesian tradition stretching back hundreds of years.
The Seminyak’s other dining options are slightly less dramatic, but no less engaging. Klass & Brass is a stylish yet intimate bar while Mediterranean al fresco restaurant and lounge Sanje offers good value healthy options flanked by the ocean and a reflective pool.
By night Sanje becomes a cozy candle-lit space with themed dining, such as its Fisherman’s Night of seafood BBQ, sushi, ceviche, calamari and more. In partially open-air all-day dining restaurant Santan, breakfast and afternoon tea is served. At night, gentle lighting and unobtrusive music create a romantic experience serviced by a varied menu, including a Balinese prawn curry not for the faint of palate but – like The Seminyak – strong in personality.
All the while, those koi carp cruise their extensive pools nearby. Those fish don’t know how lucky they are.
Where: The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa, Bali. What: Check out availability and room prices for The Seminyak by browsing www.theseminyak.com. Emirates operates direct flights to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Visit www.emirates.com for pricing and schedules.