Those looking to escape the daily grind can swap views of their computer screens for views of the ocean in Bali. Whether you're travelling solo, with a friend, partner or the whole family, Bali is one of the most sought-after Asian holiday destinations for Aussies. Not only has its proximity made it a real hotspot for people living in Perth and Darwin who can literally fly there for the weekend, but the affordability of flights to Bali from other capital cities has seen the destination continue to rise in popularity.
On a recent trip, I was lucky enough to have spent two nights at Anantara Seminyak and two nights at Anantara Uluwatu, both properties offering truly spectacular hospitality and a relaxed vibe. The most common question you get asked by locals in Bali is ‘how many times have you visited’? They ask with genuine interest, not because they are nosey, but because they're friendly. Balinese people are not negative, nor stressed, partly because their lives are centered on spirituality and karma.
Anantara Seminyak is set on a beach front enclave, just a short walk from the well-known restaurant Ku De Ta Bali and the buzzing Potato Head Beach Club. The hotel is hip and so is the crowd, who are seemingly a lot more laid-back than I had expected. Contemporary design elements and a great location make this a top choice for savvy hipsters who are looking for a holiday with all the trimmings. There is plenty to do at the hotel or in the local area, from trying a Balinese cooking class to visiting the famous temples or shopping for bargains at boutiques nearby.
One of my favourite experiences was at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar - SOS Supper Club - which offers unobstructed views of the sunset across the ocean. The space is broken out into four areas to suit everyone’s preferences. By day, comfy daybeds provide the perfect setting for lying around with a good book in one hand and a fruity cocktail in the other, while at night the bar turns up the heat with smooth tunes delivered by a live DJ.
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We enjoyed an intimate meal at the semi-to-totally alfresco dining area, which serves up a delicious, contemporary menu. If you’re up for more, check out The Wine Room next to the restaurant, which hosts tastings and encourages guests to personally select their own wines at the cellar prior to dinner.
The sister property, Anantara Uluwatu, is beautifully situated on the edge of a cliff on Bali’s southern coast. Guests can stay in a seaview suite, a private pool villa or a duplex penthouse. A grand infinity pool is by far the highlight of this resort, carved into the hillside with endless views across the ocean. This is truly the best place to soak up the glowing sunshine, as you laze on daybeds and enjoy the facilities of all-day poolside dining.
If you're after a little more relaxation, head upstairs to the resort’s Anantara Spa for a dose of massage therapy or participate in morning yoga classes. There is also complimentary bicycle hire, cooking courses with the resident chef, an indoor mini-theatre and sunset temple tours available to keep active guests entertained. The rooftop restaurant also has flawless views, with a substantial menu that is fresh and simple, mixing the best of Mediterranean and Indonesian dishes.
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