Definitely the hippest spot on Bali, Seminyak draws creative expats from around the world, who’ve chosen to escape the daily grind to run quirky independent boutiques, organic cafes and yoga studios. As a result, the area has a Westernised feel, and tends to attract a more sophisticated and moneyed crowd than its hard-partying neighbour Kuta. It’s the epitome of hippie luxe – think acai bowls, designer kaftans and an impressive number of great-quality spas and outdoorsy things to do, plus a buzzy, ever-changing bar and dining scene.
When it comes to places to stay, you’re far more likely to find smaller boutique establishments than big name chains here, with luxury and design taking the place of the all-too-often drab, beige, identikit hotel rooms found in such places. And unlike some other parts of the island, you can still find plenty of more affordable options to choose from too.
Best hotels in Seminyak
It’s no surprise that the world’s hippest hotel chain has an outpost on Bali’s hippest beach. The five-star, five-storey W has huge contemporary rooms decorated in sleek whites and muted tones, with splashes of bold colour. All the signature glam you’d expect from the W is present, from epic swimming areas to incredible service and a 24-hour spa (just in case you fancy that 3am pedicure). Beachside restaurant Starfish Bloo is renowned for the best Sunday brunch on the island – the spectacular seafood buffet is second-to-none.
Stroll along a frangipani-lined path to your own front door and behind it you’ll find a private garden with plunge pool and sun loungers, next to a traditionally built thatched villa. Instant solitude! Inside, you’ll discover enormous canopied beds and spacious bathrooms. Start the day right by letting the incredibly attentive staff serve you a floating breakfast in your pool, before a visit to nimble-fingered massage therapists in the in-house spa. Enjoy free afternoon high tea with local Balinese cakes or head to the nearby beach for a sundowner – this tranquil spot is just a few minutes from Seminyak’s liveliest bars.
This, the first hotel from PTT Family, the Indonesian architectural practice behind Seminyak’s famed Potato Head beach club, is a design fan’s dream, a 58-suite boutique lodging whose striking Brutalist façade conceals a number of interesting design touches – like the fact that each of the 1.5 million bricks used in its construction was hand-pressed in a neighbouring Balinese village. The focus on work by local artisans continues inside, with hand-woven, custom-made textiles mixing with mid-century Danish favourites from the likes of Arne Jacobsen. You can even take a field trip to discover more about Indonesian craft.
Named after the first spacecraft to reach the moon’s surface, this witty, personality-packed theme hotel feels like it should be on Clavius rather than an island in South-east Asia. On arrival you’ll be greeted by warm Balinese staff decked out like 1960s Pan Am stewardesses. If you’re feeling peckish, try funked-up British classics like fish and chips in the Orbit restaurant, or stay in your kitschy, Pop Art-filled room and have a stewardess bring you an ‘in-flight dining’ tray. It’s extraordinarily well executed, from the Mondrian-esque tiled pool to the 16-seat underground cinema showing retro classics.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find better views than in this prime location on the east end of Seminyek beach – the beautiful 15th-century Petitenget Temple is right next door. Rooms are bigger than the average apartment and packed with amenities, including one of the best-stocked hotel bathrooms you’ll ever find –from calming pillow mist to sunscreen, it’s all here. Travelling with kids? Connecting rooms and a huge family pool make this a great option. You can even drop the little dears off at the complimentary kids’ club while you enjoy a free yoga session or take a shopping trip in the Alila’s 1960s VW camper van.
Hidden away in back streets 20 minutes or so from the bustle of Seminyak’s shopping and clubbing areas, One-Eleven is a secluded adults-only oasis made up of nine opulent villas, each with its own private 14-metre pool and perfectly manicured lawns, and surrounded by walls made of local Balinese stone to ensure complete privacy. You might struggle to leave this sanctuary – particularly given that each villa comes with a butler on call 24 hours who’s more than happy to whip up whatever you fancy in the fully-equipped villa kitchens. Still struggling to unwind? Arrange for the hotel masseur to visit your garden gazebo.
Contemporary interiors combine with traditional Balinese wood carvings in this stylish beachside all-suite hotel. Take in panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from the two-person terrazzo spa tub on your private balcony or soak up the sun at the oceanfront infinity pool. Once night falls, dine at one of the two Asian restaurants or, for something really special, collaborate with a hotel chef on a personalised romantic meal for two. Later on, make sure to grab a table under the stars in the rooftop bar, where sophisticated locals mingle with tourists for nightly DJ sets.
This laidback, chic beachfront boutique establishment offers guests two luxurious options – generously-proportioned suites in the hotel, or beyond-extravagant villas in the Club. Relax by one of the three tiered pools (all facing the ocean) with a book from the well-stocked library. In your room you’ll find that rarest of things – a minibar with free booze! But If you prefer to venture outside for a preprandial tipple, take your pick from the Pool and Ocean Champagne bars. If you’re still not quite relaxed enough, you can always arrange for a private meditation instructor to visit your room.
Perhaps the flashiest of Seminyak’s luxury hotels, the Double-Six feels very much like a place to see and be seen. Co-owned by the man behind Seminyak beach bar staple Ku De Ta, the hotel’s amiable staff will cater to your every whim – you won’t even need to visit the lobby to check in, as they whisk you straight to your suite. With no fewer than five options for dining, it’s a gastronome’s dream. And make sure to join the young and beautiful on the huge rooftop bar to take in incredible sunsets over the volcanic black sand beach below.
A great alternative for the cash-strapped traveller, GrandMas is a lively place with extraordinarily good prices for what it offers – rooms start at just £20 a night. Decor is edgy and urban – think lime green and orange accents and plenty of hanging plants – and there’s a great on-site spa offering a broad range of treatments. The aptly named ‘cosy’ rooms are compact but comfortable, and extremely well-appointed given the size –all have mini-fridges, TVs, desks and plenty of space for luggage. Feeling sociable? Mingle with fellow travellers and take in nightly live music at the Kinky Tiki bar – which offers fun cocktail-making classes too.