Villa Casa Brio’s manager has a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Chat to the staff too; many have been attached to the villa from the beginning, and are a great source of insider information. In the meantime, here’s a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villa.
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 Nutmegs at Hu’u Bar. La Lucciola Restaurant is great for sunset drinks, as is The Breeze at The Samaya. While Ku Dé Ta is still the place to see and be seen, two new beachclubs, Cocoon and Potato Head, are classy seaside alternatives. Then there’s La Plancha, a rustic beach bar between Double Six and Gado Gado, very popular, good tapas, very reasonably priced drinks, with live music and DJ events. A short taxi to Kerobokan will bring you to Sardine and Métis (from the owners of former and fabulous Kafé Warisan) and Naughty Nuri’s Batubelig (a franchise of the original in Ubud) famous for BBQ ribs and wicked Martinis. Mid-range dining options here include Wah Wah Gourmet Burger Winebar which specialises in sassy burgers with sexy connotations, and numerous other cheap ‘n cheerful options.
Shop til you drop! In Seminyak and neighbouring Kerobokan you can rummage for treasures through cluttered little stores and dark junkshops crammed to the ceiling with curios and ‘made-to-order’ antiques, derive inspiration from classy homeware shops, or wander through huge furniture warehouses. For furniture and homewares check out Lio Collection, Christy, and Sun. Soft furnishings abound at Haveli, Sunbebek and Disini, and Geneva is the one-stop shop for handicrafts. Gone are the days when ladies fashion in Bali was limited to batik rayon sundresses. The last few years has seen a flood of new designer boutiques in the Seminyak area. In Jalan Laksmana (Eat Street) you can shop between courses! Boutiques include Paul Ropp, Biasa, Magali Pascal, Anouck, Lily Jean, Bamboo Blond, Dinda Rella, Innuendo, Religion, Body & Soul, Buddha Wear, M. Harcourt, Pura Vida, and Uma & Leopold to name but a few. Kids fashion stores include Kidsagogo and Kiki’s Closet. For art lovers, galleries worth visiting in Seminyak include Randelli Gallery, Biasa and Kendra.
Pura Petitenget at the beachside off Jalan Petitenget is a compact, pretty Balinese temple, which is known for particularly spectacular beach-side ceremonies. There has been a temple here since at least the 16th century, and although this is not one of the key nine directional temples of Bali, it is an important link in the series of west coast temples between Pura Uluwatu and Pura Tanah Lot.
In-villa beauty and massage treatments carried out by professional therapists can normally be arranged with ease, but if you’d prefer to visit one of Seminyak’s spas, we recommend: Bodyworks (quality treatments at very reasonable prices – a favourite with Bali’s expats); Callego (a casual massage centre with a small restaurant attached); Chill (super reflexology treatments – great for jetlag); Prana Spa for Ayurvedic treatments.
There are several surf schools in Bali, mainly based in and around Kuta and Legian, where young and old(er) can learn to surf or brush up on their skills.
Explore Bali’s backroads, lakes, volcanoes, forests and beaches on the back of a Harley Davidson bike with Island Biker Tours. Full day Harley tours, customised tours or shorter joy rides can all be accommodated.
Take a drive over to Bali’s Bukit peninsula: the 18-hole Bali National Golf Club in Nusa Dua, one of the best courses on the island, is perched on a cliff 70m above the roaring Indian ocean. Uluwatu Temple (Pura Uluwatu) is one of Bali’s nine key directional temples. Facing west and with steep headlands on either side creating an unbelievably dramatic setting, sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight not to be missed.
On the way back, stop off for a seafood feast at Jimbaran – a must for every holiday in Bali. Dozens of seafood warungs (cafés) line this west-facing beach, perfect for a sunset dinner. Fine dining options are available at most of the big resort hotels in this area; notably PJ’s, the charming beachside restaurant at the Four Seasons in Jimbaran, serving Mediterranean-styled cuisine.