Where Ubud is all about spirituality and culture, Seminyak is known for exquisite beaches, great shopping, and fine dining. Seminyak is very popular with resident expatriates, and land accommodation prices are amongst the highest in Bali. Luxury spas and hotels abound, as do high-end shopping establishments and fine-dining restaurants.
Seminyak is a shopper’s paradise. There are plenty of branded boutiques, including some that I’m familiar with from Jakarta and others that are completely new to me. And if you ever get tired of shopping, if that’s possible, you can pop into one of the fine-dining restaurants managed by foreigners and locals or any one of the hundreds of cool bars.
But the shopping and eating had to wait because my first order of business was to find a place to stay. On my way to Double Six Beach, home to numerous hotels located on its white sand, I stopped in front of a hip-looking new building. It was The Heaven.
As I entered the lobby (the one on Jalan Seminyak Raya), I as stunned by just how unique this property is. The Haven offers a hotel, suites and villas, and has two lobbies. The one I entered is for walk-in guests to the hotel.
The haven’s hotel rooms surround a courtyard filled with vibrant tropical plants and flowers, with the focus being an elegant ziggurat sculpture with water gently cascading down its face.
When I asked of I could look around the property, I was taking to the middle area of The Haven, where the villas are located. There are seven villa residences of one and two bedrooms featuring private pools and split-level living. The villas also feature a concierge service that is always ready to respond to guest requests.
Then I looked around the suites area. What struck me was the comfortable and homey atmosphere. The Haven boasts 60 spacious suites offering a total of go earthy, minimalist style suites overlook a trio for swimming pools ensconced in landscaped tropical gardens inspired by Bali’s rich natural heritage. Every suite is also fitted with fully equipped kitchenettes, LCD flat-screen TVs with cable, digital audio systems, broadband cable internet and oversize daybeds on the balconies.
The Haven is also strategically located, being just a short stroll away from the dynamic hub of Seminyak, with Bali’s hippest nightspots, boutiques and restaurants.
Hearing the call of the shopping, I found myself out and about in Seminyak that evening looking to unearth what fashionable treasures I could. I had been invited by Paul Ropp to his workshop. Ropps runs one of the one world’s leading fashion brands, Wrapped in Ropp, which has its roots in Bali. Ropp describes his distinctive fashions as being ‘based on sun and fun’. His workshop is located just opposite of Kerobokan prison, tucked away in a side street, so you have to keep your eye out for it.
After spending some time with Ropp and picking up a few of his gorgeous pieces, I spent some time exploring this part of Seminyak, which was wholly unfamiliar to me, and found a chic suites hotel that very much blended in with the surroundings.
Located in the fashionable Pettitinget area, a short walk from some of Bali’s best-known restaurants, bars and boutiques, is Kokonut Suites. Surrounded by a delightful Balinese backdrop of rice fields and coconut trees, Kokonut Suites offers a peaceful and modern refuge hidden away amidst the hustle and bustle of Seminyak.
The 33 spacious suites are designed and built in a modern tropical style. Consisting of one and two-bedroom suites, each suite has a living room, kitchen, bathroom and private balcony.
My reservation was for a one-bedroom suite but they upgraded me to a two-bedroom. It was glorious, with a chose the bedroom n the first floor, with its terrace facing the swimming pool. The bedroom and living room had massive windows and sliding-glass doors, allowing plenty of sunlight.
The suites were lovely clean and well-appointed, but even better was the personalized and caring service of the staff, including romantic dinner they prepared for me by the pool.
Kokonut Suites can also arrange a shuttle to take guest anywhere in the Seminyak area, and knowledgeable staff members are always ready to provide some helpful advice on what to buy and the newest hip spots. Kokonut Suites also has a gym, spa and recreational activities like a kid’s club to ensuer an enjoyable stay.
Seminyak is also known for its cafes and restaurants, especially along Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Laksmana. The variety of cuisines, styles, settings and ambiance is amazing. But make sure to bring your gold card or some extra cash if you are planning to explore these world-class dining establishments, because when the standards are this high, you can expect the prices to follow. Not to worry though, there always something for everybody in Seminyak.