The Alila Seminyak is the latest design hotel that opened in trendy Seminyak. One of the features which makes it unique, that immediately struck me as I entered the open lobby with a wide ocean view, is its incredible location: right on the beach, on the edge of the Indian ocean, where oddly enough only a handful hotel properties are located in Seminyak.
Aside from its location near all the restaurants and shops that Seminyak has to offer, the lovely spa and wonderful restaurant and bar and the friendly staff, that proximity to the ocean is the one unique feature that reverberates throughout the Alila Seminyak. I had visited the Alila Uluwatu before, which is also a beautiful hotel, as are all of the properties under the Alila brand.
But the Alila Seminyak makes you experience the ocean from every angle: through the floor to ceiling windows in our 60 square meter (645 ft) Deluxe Ocean Suite, from the bathtub that overlooks the beach and, I almost forgot, from no less than three infinity pools that line the white sandy beach. As soon as the last wing opens, aimed at couples, especially honeymooners, the Alila Seminyak will feature no less than five pools.
If you’ve never visited Seminyak that may seem like a weird asset, with pools practically on a beach, but once you swim around that stretch of beach it’s easy to be intimidated by the currents and often quite big waves. Now I love the ocean, don’t get me wrong, but I love it even more if I can see it while stretched out in an infinity pool, sipping from a fresh coconut!
RETAIL THERAPY EXPERIENCE //
I already mentioned that the shops and restaurants in Seminyak are really close, meaning you can get there in a few minutes by scooter or taxi. I was offered an opportunity to engage in some serious retail therapy, being chauffeured around in a fantastic rebuilt blood orange 1980 VW Kombi. (Including a minibar and WIFI! )
Since I have lived in Bali and already knew some of the best known stores, I asked the guide for some tips on more ‘off the beaten path’ destinations. And she did not disappoint! I will highlight three of my new favorite stores on this trip to give you some shopping inspiration next time you’re in Bali.
KIM SOO // INTERIOR
We are still finishing decorating our apartment in Amsterdam, so our wonderful guide made sure to include lots of furniture stores in and around Seminyak that I would otherwise probably never have found. My favorite interior store is Kim Soo. It’s located in the middle of Seminyak near Sea Circus. They sell homeware with a bit of a bohemian, ethnic twist that are perfect to buy as presents, since most items they sell can be easily brought home in your suitcase.
GELATO FACTORY // ICE CREAM
Vacationing in a tropical paradise is the perfect excuse to enjoy delicious ice cream, so another must stop is Gelato Factory. It simply serves the yummiest ice cream in Seminyak and has a fantastic selection of flavors (Dragon fruit! Need I say more?).
GAIA // SUNGLASSES
At GAIA, House of Shades, they have the BEST selection of sunglasses I have ever seen in a store…. in the whole world! Think: funky models of brands such as Le Specs, MinkPink and DITA. You can never have enough sunnies, right?
Our driver drove us smoothly and safely as we weaved through the busy Seminyak traffic, before we rushed back because we didn’t want to miss some fantastic food that was waiting for us at the restaurant: the Sunday Graze.
THE SUNDAY GRAZE //
The Sunday Graze is a highlight that basically offers any kind of culinary experience you can think of, from the comfort of your own chair. No need to chase food mountains around the buffet, you just kick back, peruse the menu and the waiters bring it to you in a heartbeat.
CULINARY ALILA //
I had been looking forward to walk along the beach to some of my other Seminyak hangouts, like the Italian restaurant La Lucciola and the famous Kudeta just to the south, or Potatohead (next door) and the W just to the north. But the thing is, all the food options at the Alila are delightful. And since the food at the Alila was so good, I kept going back to see what else the chefs had cooked up this time. It’s not just breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the Alila has extra little treats like the pool menu and the snacks called Two2Tango during the sunset cocktail hour that are phenomenal as well. I have to admit we hardly left the Alila…
WORKOUT & RELAX //
Obviously, all the food forced me to use the excellent gym quite often but to be honest, I enjoyed the yoga classes and spa treatments a lot more. I exercise because I have to, but I just adore the spa treatments at the Alila that uses its own brand of completely natural products.
THE SPA //
The therapists are very professional and adjust their treatment exactly to your preferences. As I was enjoying my massage I kept thinking how the Alila Seminyak really has it all: fantastic location, wonderful friendly and professional staff, excellent food, spacious and tastefully decorated rooms and a spa you’d want to visit every day – with a gym if you need to. If you’re looking for a perfect beach vacation or perhaps even a honeymoon, look no further.