Travel Itinerary: Seminyak, Bali where to eat, stay and go

May 23, 2016

I didn't know Bali is so big. In my head, it's like Bangkok - you only need 3, 4 days maximum to cover everything. However I found out just how big Bali is during my first time there staying in Ubud (read my guide to Ubud too if you are thinking of staying there), which is why I had to go back a second time when I was enroute to Lombok/The Gilis over a long weekend in March 2016. This time I decided to stay at Seminyak, which is the less touristy version of Kuta in the south of Bali, closer to the airport in Denpasar. Going to Seminyak from the airport should be cheaper - check out the Bali Airport Transportation Guide for fixed prices that you pay at the counter.

Gili Air from Lombok


Here's a Google Maps screengrab of most of the places I have been to or wanted to check out.


Where to stay

I used HotelsCombined.com, which is a site aggregator for ALL the major hotel/accommodation booking sites like Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com and Expedia and allows you to compare and get the best available rates to find a hotel. Funny story - the room I stayed in at Primera Hotel near the Courtyard Marriott had a minor haunting on the first night, so I changed room and it was all good for the price (S$113 for 3 nights?). After coming back from Lombok, I stayed at Ananda Resort Seminyak, which was this huge bungalow compound along the super happening Jalan Kayu Aya street. The only complaint I had with my bungalow is.. it's too big. Haha. What, I know right.

The pool at Ananda Resort in Seminyak

Where to eat

Cafes

1. Sisterfields
Probably the best cafe to have brunch/breakfast items at in the heart of Seminyak - the coffee was also surprising and even better than what I had at Revolver the past couple of times! It gets crowded during weekends so be prepared to queue a little bit.



My pancakes from Sisterfields was alright, but the coffee is much better

2. Grain Espresso
One of the first places that I dropped in for for breakfast when I landed. The coffee's alright, but I really liked the hearty breakfast I go, plus the super friendly service from the staff!




3. Revolver Espresso
So good I went twice, but I didn't like my Double Barrel breakfast when I went the first time around. A place you might just want to go for coffee and wifi. Then walk down to buy some shirts from Deus Ex Machina!






4. Shelter Bali
An organic, raw food cafe much like those in Ubud, Shelter Bali was quite a plesant surprise for me. The quality of the food and drinks there are top notch. Save your money, skip going to Sea Circus (crowded, expensive tacos, average coffee), and go to Shelter instead for brunch.






5. Livingstone Cafe
A place more for the ambiance than the food/drinks itself, I found Livingstone's air conditioning to be a big respite in the Bali heat. Check out the retail space they have upstairs too.




Restaurants

1. Pitstop Burgers
Recommended by a friend in Singapore - Pitstop Burgers is a tiny shophouse, alfresco near Livingstone Cafe where you can get delicious burgers cooked to order. My burger was soft and juicy!



2. Fat Gajah
For more premium noodles or dumplings, check out Fat Gajah (means elephant). I really enjoyed my noodles, which did not feel particularly local, yet not Western. It was an odd experience.






3. Bo & Bun
Great Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesia cuisines at a trendy setting. My beef pho was so delicious, coupled with an ice cold Thai Milk Tea. I've heard however that the food there might not be that clean, so go at your own risk.




4. Zibiru
I wrote a full review of this Italian restaurant here, which is open mostly for dinner, but does a small lunch menu as well.





5. Merah Putih 
One of the best 'fine dining' one can get in Seminyak, for a surprisingly affordable price! Best to reserve a seat online. Mains are only around $18-20 SGD, and my entire meal if I was not wrong - a starter, main, dessert and a glass of white wine, was only S$35. That is crazy! I really liked the romantic ambience there.


Note: Do not go to Mamasan! This, like Sarong, is one of the places that everyone would rave about. Hence I could not even get a seat at 8.30pm on a week day. And when I finally did get a seat in the corner of the second storey and ordered a red duck curry with rice, I found it really average. Cocktails are also somewhat mediocre. Too much of a fuss for something that is trendy but not great.




6. Made's Warung
Instead of Mamasan, check out Made's Warung instead. It is one of those super-touristy huge eating compounds that even comes with a stage for local performances. I did not have any high expectations, but the Nasi Campur with Babi Guling blew me away. It was quite cheap too - under S$15 for a huge serving. The satay was so good. Amidst the food I also got to see the performances up close, which wasn't too unpleasant to say the least! They also have Thai, Viet and Western food there which I am pretty sure will be decent.








7. Lestari Bar & Grill (likely under reno or moved as of Jul 2017)
Based on another Singaporean friend's recommendation I headed to Lestari, tucked away at the back of the Courtyard at Marriott. It is a quiet little place with live music - my aglio olio with extra prawns was tasty, simple and well-made. Another romantic restaurant without too many tourists.



Where to go

1. Tanah Lot
One of those places that most people who visit Bali would go, I wanted to visit it the first time around but did not have the time. It is about 40 minutes drive away by taxi. One my second visit I finally had time to go and catch a rather underwhelming sunset. It was a nice place though for half the afternoon, even though it takes quite some effort to get to. Some people say that couples who visit the Hindu temple on Tanah Lot will break up after the trip, so you have been warned... You can also go to Uluwatu's famous Rock Bar, but again it will take some time/money to get there.








2. Eco Bali Spa for massage
They are offering 30% off in the month of July 2017 so prices become more competitive, but they are worth it compared to those road side spas. My friends said the head/shoulder/neck massage was good and strong! They were so shiok we came back twice. I did a mani/pedi at 30% for SGD16. In total.

Jalan Camplung Tanduk No.103, Seminyak, Bali
9am to 9pm daily
0361738730 (desk phone)
08123953842 (mobile)
Add +62 for Indonesia country code if not using 0 in front



Prices of the massages and treatments you can get







3. Lombok and the Gilis via Lion Air
It only costs S$30 to go to Lombok via Lion Air, return! It's a fantastic way to do a weekend. I would totally do the SIN-Bali-Lombok route instead of flying direct via SilkAir or taking Garuda via Jakarta. It's cheaper and more fun! I stayed at the Sheraton in Lombok, and would highly recommend the Lotus Bay View Restaurant there run by Italian father and son duo. The food was superb. The only one worth going to on that strip!

The beach along the Sheraton, on Sengigig Lombok
The pool at Sheraton Lombok
4 seasons pizza from The Lotus Bay View Restaurant
Seafood platter from Lotus Bay View restaurant, Lombok (SO GOOD)

We then booked a mini bus, which included a slow ferry ticket to get us to Gili Air for our day trip one-way. We paid 60k rupiah for that. However when we got to the ferry terminal we decided instead of wasting time we would take a speed boat instead, which costs around 150k rupiah each two-way. Probably got ripped off, but Gili Air was worth it. The waters were so clear! We just walked around and ate some beach bar food while soaking in the Gili Air Festival (just a few bars playing DJ music).


That's it! I hope you guys enjoyed my guide and feel inspired to check out Seminyak when you go to Bali. Contact me if you want a driver contact in the area as well. 

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1 comments

  1. Hi Alexis, Thanks for the sharing especially on the food! I'm going to Bali-Seminyak next month. Would u mind to provide any contact for driver?

    ReplyDelete