Bali has more than its fair share of resorts that do luxury or laid back. A few manage both attributes – and then throw in their own blend of style to stand out from the crowd.
Review: The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa
Welcome to The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa, an independent destination property that mixes it with the big chains and more than holds its own.
The resort is located in one of Bali’s tourist hotspots – from where it takes its name – but offers an escape from both the holiday island’s party persuasions as well as life’s pressures.
Like so many inspired destinations, it is the grasp of details that helps this boutique-style resort to shine; from the pampered koi carp that cruise the ponds around its all-day dining restaurant to other simple but practical things that make the day that little bit better.
These include the delightful bag they supply in your room for taking items down to the pool; something of a cunning ploy as you’ll not want to move for the rest of the day. Or the netting ‘tents’ placed over breakfast items to deter unwanted attention from uninvited airborne ‘guests’.
At the other end of the day, an acoustic duo or band plays just before sunset beside the pool bar. Enthusiastic waves don’t always pay them enough respect, but the sound of the surf is a reassuring soundtrack to your relaxation, be that in one of the stylish garden or beach villas or one of the ocean view suites, some large enough to host a large family stay.
Coming on the back of some serious trekking on the neighbouring island of Java, our relaxation began with the sight of the tiled Jacuzzi corner bath, a strategically placed TV accompanying an extended soak.
A pair of silk gowns – additional to the standard toweling robes – proved ideal for lounging on the comfortable balcony with its palm-tree framed view of the horizon and gardens where morning yoga sessions take place.
The ocean suites are spacious and designed with modern touches; warm, traditional materials, such as dark wood floors and furniture, contrasting calm textiles and thoughtful lighting.
Other little added value aspects include a daily treat left in the room by housekeeping – such as cookies to go with complimentary TWG tea.
When you decide to grab a closer look at the coast, the route is through lush, manicured gardens, dotted with a handful of cabanas, via The Seminyak’s stunning infinity pool with its unobscured outlook to a wide, sandy beach.
Poolside, iced flannels and occasional mini smoothies offset the heat of the day, while a sunglasses cleaning service ensures your view is never fogged.
For those craving contrast, The Seminyak’s distinctive main entrance is a short walk from the town’s lively and trendy heart with all the boutiques, nightlife and general vibrancy Seminyak is famed for; from international brands to homegrown labels such as 69 Slam seeking to nourish your holiday wardrobe. Closer still, a well-stocked arts and clothing market brims with potential souvenirs, gifts, garments and street-style food. Here you can equip yourself with traditional batik shirts and skirts in time for the hotel’s weekly Balinese night.
Hosted on the lawn, a variety of local and wider Indonesian-inspired staples are served from street market-style cooking stations. A series of colourful dances evoke the spirit of Indonesian tradition, stretching back hundreds of years; the Panyembrama set to gamelan music is graceful,alluring and relatively modern, the Barong dance will be equally familiar as a storytelling movement narrating the fight between good and evil with the aid of colourful masks and costumes.
There’s less mythology involved in The Seminyak’s modus operandi. It manages to balance boutique hotel attentiveness with the facilities of a larger property. This includes a spacious spa offering a variety of treatments, such as soothing Balinese couples massages, and a stylish yet intimate bar, Klass & Brass. Dining options include the Mediterranean al fresco restaurant and lounge Sanje, which offers good value with healthy options flanked by the ocean and a
By night it is a cozy candlelit space with themed dining evenings, such as the Fisherman’s Night laden with BBQ seafood as well as sushi, ceviche and calamari. Breakfast and afternoon tea is served in partially open- air all-day dining restaurant Santan. With tables placed at various levels and in a mix of sections, it achieves that rare quality of being both spacious, yet intimate. At night, gentle lighting and unobtrusive music transform this into a romantic or private experience serviced by a varied menu, including some memorable Asian choices. The Balinese prawn curry is not for the faint of palate, but rewards with incredible flavour beyond the heat.
All in all, The Seminyak manages to channel its namesake location’s cool and savvy vibe, but with an independent character all its own. It oozes finesse and exclusivity without being stuffy. Those koi carp don’t know how lucky they are.
Check out availability and room prices for The Seminyak by browsing www.theseminyak.com.
Emirates operates direct flights from DXB to Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Visit www.emirates.com for pricing and schedules.
Words by David Dunn | Images courtesy of The Seminyak