June 24, 2015

Bali.....The Guide

My family are massive Bali lovers. We have been going to the Island of the Gods for years now & have experienced lots of great times & happy memories which ultimately led to Chris & I being wed in Bali in 2013. I often get asked by friends about where to go for drinks, where to eat & where to shop so I've decided to compile a list of some of my personal favourite places in Seminyak & Kerobokan!

To Stay

The Colony Hotel

My favourite hotel in Bali has to be the luxe, 16 years old & over retreat (sorry parents with kids!), The Colony. Located in Seminyak, it's within a stone's throw of all the happening spots, from restaurants & cafes, to well known sunset bars such as Ku De Ta & the W Hotel.

With a long driveway taking you down to the reception area, away from the hustle & bustle; you feel like you have stepped into a little oasis upon entering this gorgeous Colonial inspired boutique hotel, which prides itself on the peace & tranquil vibe it exudes. The pool is a central feature of the grounds, with all 20 rooms having either direct access to or views overlooking the pool.

The manager Tami & her team are wonderful; they are on call & happy to assist with anything you require without being intrusive. Breakfast is included daily poolside & you are able to make your selection from a range of dishes in the morning. They have a small lunchtime menu which can be served to you whilst you're sun worshipping around the pool - their chicken schnitzel sandwich is delicious!

Urchin Raw Bar & Grill is located at the front of the hotel & is open from 6pm onwards for cocktails and/or a meal. You receive 10% discount off your bill for being a resident of the hotel.

Jari Menari (dancing fingers) massages are available at the hotel, either in the massage room or by the pool. I highly recommend!

You can find this little slice of heaven right next door to Sea Circus on Jl Kayu Aya 22, Seminyak.

To Relax

Amo Spa

Amo Spa now has two stores, but my favourite is the original, Amo Spa Petitenget. You can pre book your appointment by using their online booking system and services they offer include mani's, pedi's, a whole range of massages (that usually end with a refreshing cucumber peel face mask) & hairstyling. A great option if it's too hot to be blow drying & straightening your hair! There's also an option to  add on some extra little luxuries for a nominal cost.

Amo Spa Petitenget is located opposite The W Hotel on Jl Petitenget No 110x


Sea Circus

Roll up, roll up & come & see the show. Sea Circus has become something of an institution on the Island. I remember the first time we visited in 2010. They had quite literally just opened & at that stage were only serving dinner as they were still getting on their feet. Fast forward to today & they are well renowned for amazing coffee that's served with an inspiring quote (that always resonates with the drinker!) & a drool worthy breakfast menu that has the right balance for those that are super health conscious & for those missing their poached eggs on avo, right down to their creatively named "hangover happy meals" that come with berocca, panadol & a happy game if you are really under the weather or a healthy wheatgrass shot should you want to restore some zen back into your body.

Their lunch & dinner menu is also great, especially their taco bar & should you find yourself a little hot under the collar from the heat, you can choose from a fabulous list of frozen cocktails to cool you down. The Circus is also known for their love of a good party, so should you be in Bali when they are hosting one of their infamous themed bashes, you should definitely not miss it!

You can find Sea Circus on Jl. Kayu Aya (Oberoi Road) No.22, Seminyak, just a few doors down from Mister Zimi & The Bali Beach Shack (bonus!).


Sisterfields is a new player on the scene & I was able to try them out for breakfast a couple of times during my last visit to Bali in March. Labelled as an iconic Australian cafe, the decor & menu are very in tune with what you would expect to find in Melbourne or Sydney. Along with an all day breakfast menu - which adds a new spin on some old favourites, they also have a delicious lunch menu to choose from. Sadly, my Mum & I didn't make it to Sisterfields for lunch but I can vouch for their intense flavoured coffee, refreshing coconut water served directly out of a coconut husk, smoothies that hit the spot & delicious breakfasts. You can also find their new little bro, Boss Man serving up burgers right next door.

You can find Sisterfields on Jl Kayu Cendana No.7, Seminyak.


La Lucciola

La Lucciola is & has remained a firm favourite of visitors to Bali. Known as "La Looch", you will find this open air two storey restaurant located on the beach near the Petitinget Temple. They serve up Italian inspired meals alongside the Frangipani Bar which mixes up yummy cocktails prior to dinner. Open from 9am, it's a beautiful setting for any meal of the day. My favourite dish has to be their fritto misto! Should you want to go for dinner, you will need to book ahead. Lunch times are usually a bit easier to get in.

The team behind La Lucciola have also recently opened a new restaurant, just a bit further around the corner called Bambu, which serves Indonesian cuisine. We were unable to make it there but have heard fantastic things about it, should you be wanting a modern Indonesian meal in with a similar ambience to La Lucciola.

You can find La Lucciola on Jl Petitinget, right next to the Petitinget Temple.

Zucchini Cafe

Located in front of the clothing shop Zuttion - which stocks cool threads for both men & women, this cute little cafe serves a selection of fresh salads, wraps & delicious icy cold fruit drinks to cool you down on a hot day.

You can find Zucchini on Jl Laksmana (eat street)



Sarong is one of my all time favourite restaurants in Bali. Sarong focuses on Asian cuisine with an array of Malaysian, Indian, Indonesian & Sri Lankan dishes on the menu. I love the mood lighting & oriental decor throughout the two open air dining pavilions. Their cocktails are also amazing! It's a good idea to book ahead to avoid disappointment & also note that children under 12 are unable to dine at Sarong. They also have a very cool sister restaurant, Mama San, which is a bit more relaxed. They focus on a similar cuisine to Sarong, with a few additions; Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Camodian & Singaporean. A two storey restaurant, they are fully air-conditioned & have an upstairs cocktail bar.

You can find Sarong on Jl Petitenget No 19, Kerobokan.

Motel Mexicola

Anyone who knows me well is very aware of my Mexican love affair. I just can't get enough of soft shell tacos, guacamole, margaritas, cerveza......Fortunately for me, this Taqueria & Tequileria in Seminyak ticks all of these boxes!

The food is super cheap & delicious, the atmosphere is uber cool & visiting this incredibly colourful place makes you feel like you've stepped into a bar in downtown Mexico!


They are open for lunch & dinner; so depending on whether you are there to have a quiet meal or party will help make your decision on what time of the day to visit.

You can find Motel Mexicola on Jl Kayujati 9X, Seminyak.

Barbacoa is a new restaurant that I was able to try in March & I'm glad we did.....this Latin American inspired eatery is fantastic. The menu consists of tapas, either meat or seafood cooked on their wood fired oven or charcoal grill. They also have amazing soft shell tacos (tick!), empanaditas & delicious grilled corn with chipotle mayo (one of my favourites on the menu). Take a visit, you won't regret it! Best to book ahead.

Barbacoa is located on Jl Petitenget 14, Kerobokan

Urchin Raw Bar & Grill

Another new restaurant for us to try, Urchin is located out the front of The Colony Hotel. Run by English chef, Steven Skelly; Urchin focuses on fresh seafood sourced from the market daily, which dictates the menu.

We found ourselves there most nights for a drink (or two!) before heading out to dinner & we also ate there twice, the first time for a sit down meal inside which was incredible & the second time to try some sushi off their bar menu one evening whilst sipping on some refreshing G&T's.

If you love seafood & want quality - this is the place to go.

Urchin Raw Bar & Grill is located on Jl Kayu Aya 22, Seminyak.

Merah Putih

Serving modern Indonesian in an impressive setting, this restaurant is one to try. Stand out dishes to try include their Mie Lobster & Lamb Shoulder 'Bak Pao', their spin on a rendang steam bun. Delicious! It's best to book ahead here.

You can find Merah Putih on Jl Petitenget 100x, Kerobokan.

The Plantation Grill

This one came recommended to us by someone in Bali, as we were planning on having rooftop sunset drinks at the new Double Six hotel complex (a good option to head here after watching the sun go down).

The interiors in this restaurant are really something else. You feel like you've walked onto the set of The Great Gatsby; from the interiors, right down to the attire of the wait staff - complete with white tuxedo jackets & bow ties. The cuisine is American (think deep south), steaks, lobster, etc & really delicious.

If you visit, make sure you head to the powder room! It is something else!

You can find The Plantation Grill on the Fourth floor of Double Six Hotel, No 66, Double Six Beach, Seminyak.

Sunset Drinks

La Plancha

Located on Seminyak Beach, not far from Double Six Hotel; you can't miss the brightly coloured sails & umbrellas at this beach bar. Very casual, you can turn up in your bathers, its fun for a night off getting dressed up for the other bars.

Ku De Ta

Ku De Ta is another one of Bali's institutions, it has been around for a long time & their reputation has remained the same. A beautiful spot to watch the sunset, listening to the DJ spinning some tunes, whilst sipping on one of their fabulous cocktails (my favourite has to be the vanilla passion foam vodka cocktail!) in your best frock.

Potato Head

A bit more relaxed than Ku De Ta, you can set yourself up for the day here around a table & spend the day grazing on bar snacks in between swimming in the pool (did I mention there's a swim up pool bar?) at this beach club. They often have really cool DJ's & other artists playing here throughout the year.

Woo Bar

One of our family favourites, we always head to The W Hotel to visit Woo Bar & Starfish Bloo (they do an incredible Sunday brunch - don't miss it!). It's another nice excuse to get dressed up & watch the sun set whilst making your way through the cocktail list!
Double Six Rooftop Bar

If you are unable to get over to The Rock Bar at the Ayana, then this is the next best thing. The night my Mum & I visited, we saw THE most incredible sunset. The vibe here is very cool.....will be making a visit here next time we are in Bali.



Mister Zimi

All my friends know I've been wearing Mister Zimi ever since they first they started doing their first pop up shops way back in the day in Melbourne & what can I say, I've been a disciple ever since! Thankfully ladies, they have two stores in Bali where you can get your fix. Amazing, brightly coloured prints & with a loose aesthetic.....these guys are the bees knees.

Bali Boat Shed
Located next door to Mister Zimi's Satu store where these two labels operate a bright little corner of Jl Kayu Aya, Bali Boat Shed stock a mix of their in house label as well as other Bali produced labels for men (like funky men's label frangipani shirts - check them out fellas!) & women.

Auguste the Label

Formerly known as Ebony Eve, this Aussie label has taken a slightly different direction & the designs now have more of a bohemian, floaty, beachy vibe - perfect for those steamy Balinese nights. They have two stores, one on Jl Laksmana & the other on Jl Raya Seminayak.


An Aussie label, they have a few stores up in Bali stocking swim wear & other uber cool pieces that you can wear on nights out up in Bali or if you have an event to attend.

A piece of shopping advice - when in doubt, start at the top of Jl Laksmana & work your way down.

Signorina Homewares

I recently discovered Signorina via my old faithful, Instagram before heading up to Bali. By pure chance, were located next door to The Colony Hotel. I bought the most incredible wooden bead chandelier that will be the piece de resistance in our home back in Australia. I also picked up a gorgeous raffia clutch & a few other goodies, Signorina is worth a browse!

Another reason to visit Signorina is to try the yummy gelatos courtesy of Lello Lello Gelato, located in front of their store. Roti Canai, also attached to Lello Lello has really tasty curries too.

Other homeware stores to check out are; Hobo Store, Toko EmporiumKim Soo.

Private Driver

Private drivers are becoming more & more common in Bali, especially for transfers to & from the airport, if you have a day of shopping planned or if you want to take a day trip somewhere. We use Nyoman, who runs his own tour company called Bali Island Tours. Nyoman has been a driver for my family for several years now & speaks perfect english. He is very friendly & helpful when it comes to anything you need to know regarding the island.

During my last visit, Nyoman took me out to Tanah Lot, a Hindu sea temple.

For more information on Nyoman, click here 

** Of course, there's plenty of other really beautiful places to eat at, fabulous spots for cocktails & shops to visit.....& it depends on your budget & how many days/nights you are in Bali. But for the moment, these are my favourites.

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