Those in search of a stylish central Seminyak location need look no further than Villa Lilibel, set in the heart of the Oberoi district, a mere hop, skip and a jump from the beach, trendy restaurants, beach clubs and designer boutiques. Spacious and well designed, this luxury villa has six bedrooms and ample indoor and outdoor living areas, including an antique wood-carved pavilion filled with daybeds overlooking an elegant 16-metre pool set in tropical gardens. A gym, spa room, private chef preparing meals from a gourmet menu, and fabulously attentive service seal the deal.
Villa Lilibel’s manager will have a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask the staff about the local area. Many of them live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.
In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villa.
- Fashionistas, trendies and shop-a-holics will love exploring Seminyak, Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave. Here, you can indulge for hours in the glut of stylish, chic boutiques selling designer ware and hand-crafted jewellery. Exotic homewares are also a Balinese specialty, from gorgeous ceramics, to embroidered furnishings and all manner of ethnic curios and decorative pieces.
- You could eat out at a different restaurant in Seminyak every night – for months – and still not run out of options. Jalan Laksmana (also known as Jalan Oberoi and Jalan Kayu Aya) is Bali’s fashionable ‘Eat Street’, offering plenty of high-end restaurants including Sarong and Teatro Gastroteque. Ku Dé Ta is still the place to see and be seen at sunset, while two newer beach clubs, Cocoon and Potato Head, offer classy seaside alternatives. Then there’s La Plancha, a rustic beach bar between Double Six and Gado Gado, which is very popular with good tapas, reasonably priced drinks, live music and DJ events. A short taxi ride will bring you to Sardine for elegant seafood, Métis for French Mediterranean cuisine, or to Hog Wild in Bali, famous for barbecue ribs and wicked Martinis.
- Learn the secrets of Balinese spices and cuisine during a cookery class at Saté Bali Restaurant located near to the villa on Jalan Kayu Aya in Seminyak. At the end of the three hour course sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labours.
- If you are a bold and brave bargain hunter, a spree within the heart of Bali’s bustling provincial capital is an exciting and rewarding experience. Visit Denpasar’s vibrant markets, where everything and anything is available. Pasar Badung, Denpasar’s colourful central market, is the largest and oldest market in Bali. Kumbasari Market is another rabbit warren of small shops specialising in paintings, handicrafts, souvenirs, artefacts, clothes, fabrics, gold work and other art market goods. Jalan Sulawesi is the place for textiles, and Jalan Hasanudin is the glittering locale for Bali’s gold shops.
- To witness one of Bali’s spectacular sunsets, head down to Canggu Beach (8km) where cafés offer good views and cold beer. The atmospheric Warung Kakilima is a great spot for kids with its rolling lawns and trampoline, while Old Man’s has a relaxed Sydney-style beer garden, casual meals and live music on the weekend. Hotel Tugu, a very stylish and eclectic boutique hotel is just a hundred metres further up the road and was created by one of Indonesia’s premier art collectors, and provides a range of atmospheric dining experiences.
- Visit the famous Tanah Lot sea temple. Although renowned for its sunset vistas, going early in the morning provides a better idea of the power of the location and the chance to see it undisturbed, apart from perhaps an offering ceremony.
- Acclaimed as the world’s best, the atmospheric Elephant Safari Park in Taro (north of Ubud) provides a sanctuary for elephants rescued from Sumatra, with opportunities for trekking, hand feeding, and photo taking. There is also a fascinating museum and an excellent restaurant in a beautiful tropical setting deep in the forests of Bali’s hinterland.
- Bali Treetop Adventure Park is near the town of Bedugal in northern central Bali (next to Lake Bratan). Five adventure circuits, with heights ranging from two to 20 metres, challenge all level and ages on suspended bridges, spider nets, Tarzan jumps and 12 flying foxes.
- Explore the scenic rice-field landscape and rural villages by bicycle; a great way to get under the skin of the ‘real’ Bali. Stop off at a local warung (local café) to sample some basic Balinese fare or cool off with a cold drink. A number of operators, including Bali Adventure tours offer ‘downhill cycling’ tours starting from the cool climes of Bali’s mountainous hinterland.
- Desa Seni at Berawa Beach, is an eco-friendly village resort providing an authentic Indonesian experience through the exploration of culture, art and yoga. The resort offers a wide variety of yoga classes and also has its own holistic spa and restaurant serving gourmet organic food, most of which is grown in the resorts extensive gardens.