Ah, Bali. If you’re Australian it’s easy to write off this idyllic location as an alcohol-soaked cheap getaway but as we recently discovered, it’s so very much more. To celebrate the first flight of their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, we joined Jetstar in Bali and unearthed more gems than can really fit on one map. When flights are Jetstar-priced, what’s stopping you from trying them all?
Presenting our Must Map for Bali… edition one!
There are many local delights to be sampled when you’re in Bali, but if you’re used to enjoying an assortment of different cuisines, there’s no need to stop when you’re here.
Finn’s Beach Club – Uluwatu
BABA’s at Hu’s Bar (Seminyak)
South-east Asian cuisine, sumptuous cocktails and plenty of people watching in this enchanted garden. Don’t miss the laksa.
Motel Mexicola (Seminyak)
For some good old-fashioned Mexican in er, Bali. Sit on the street, soak up the heat and knock back a taco and tequila or two.
Sea Circus (Seminyak)
If you’re thinking performing sea monkeys, you’re going to be disappointed. Neither a circus nor on the sea, Sea Circus is great for sipping, supping, brunching and lunching. Get to it.
Cafe Zucchini (Seminyak)
Cute little cafe sporting the sort of menu that wouldn’t be out of place in Melbourne or San Francisco. Easy choice when you’re up to your eyeballs on local cuisine.
Revolver Espresso (Seminyak)
Where is the good coffee in Bali? Here. Here it is. Down an alley, of course.
Oh Chandi, your satay, your ginger sorbet, your jugs of cocktails, your private dining room and soothing air conditioning. Can we take you home?
Finn’s Beach Club (Uluwatu)
Imagine you could walk into one of those idyllic restaurants in magazines – built on the beach, surrounded by baby-blue warm waters and serving sumptuous food. You can, it’s Finn’s.
Ibu Oka (Ubud)
Do you love pork? Really, truly, love it? Then this is the place for you. It’s not fancy, but it is packed with enthusiastic locals gorging on pig.
Bebek Bengil AKA Dirty Duck Diner (Ubud)
Where do locals go for duck? Bebek Bengil, that’s where. Take a seat in your own private hut, share some dishes and take in the view of the rice paddy (and one curious, lonesome Bottle Brush tree).
Not one for kite surfing? No problem. No one in Bali will think any less of you for doing… well, nothing.
Sundara Bali – Jimbaran Bay
Potato Head (Seminyak)
Everybody goes here. You should probably go once. People will ask if you went. There’s a pool and a bar and you can see the beach.
Sundara (Jimbaran Bay)
Happy Hour by a lotus flower just metres from the beach? Yes please. Sundara is part of the well-appointed (and charmingly gated) Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay.
There are now a plethora of gorgeous boutiques to choose from in Bali selling everything from clothing to homewares and art. Seminyak and Ubud are particular hotspots. Try these three on for starters.
Australian / Indonesian label Mister Zimi – shot at Motel Mexicola
Mister Zimi (Seminyak)
A glorious accident if ever there was one (the name Mister Zimi is a mashup of husband-and-wife team Zoe and Jimi), Mister Zimi concocts the sort of pieces you’ll love to wear in Bali, and then keep on high rotation when you get home.
Enfant Paradis (Seminyak)
The Enfant Paradis store is a welcome relief from what can be sweaty, same-y shopping in Seminyak. Pick your way through the stepping stones and open the door to a mercifully air-conditioned, beautifully designed mecca of good smells.
If you’re after a special something for your wardrobe to remember Bali by, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better quality than Milo’s. With Italian design, Italian fabric and Balinese production, it’s a match made in heaven.
From budget to extreme luxury and everything in between, Bali has a player on every base.
Semara Luxury Villa Resort – Uluwatu
Hu’u Villas (Seminyak)
Ah, the perfect balance of island luxury (your own private pool), party time (your courtyard can be joined to next doors’ for happy hour) and details (the linen store is air conditioned to keep everything fresh as a daisy). When can we move in? Rooms from $295.00 USD per night.
One Eleven (Seminyak)
Chic, minimalist and luxurious… if you get sick of all that serenity though, the hustle and bustle of Seminyak is but a moment away. Only 9 rooms and they start at around $580.00 USD per night.
Semara Luxury Villa Resort (Uluwatu)
Since you’ve saved all that cash on your flight with Jetstar, you may as well go all out on the accommodation. Snaffle yourself one of these villas. Options include massage / private chef / cable car rides to Finn’s. Stunning clifftop view of ocean mandatory. Suites start from $1,188.00 USD per night.
Uma by Como (Ubud)
For the side of Bali that isn’t about the beach, you can’t go past Uma by Como. Just 5 minutes’ drive from the centre of Ubud yet somehow in the middle of the forested volcanic mountains. Rooms start at approximately $216.00 USD a night.
Download a large high-quality version of the map to print here – Must Map – Bali.
Special thanks again to Jetstar for inviting us to join their celebration. Anytime you want to christen a new plane, you just let us know and we’ll be there with passport in hand. We’re selfless like that.