Bali is changing and developing more rapidly than people can keep up with, and it’s hard to recapture the original hippie vibe of the 1970s that first attracted surfers and travelers here.
Nowadays, the island is teeming with construction projects and homogenous modern buildings.
While Ubud still draws the artists, gurus and soul seekers, where can one go in bustling Seminyak or the Bukit to find a healthy dose of relaxing, artistic vibes?
The ultimate escape in the Seminyak area, Desa Seni is an oasis of tranquility.
This eco-village features a healthy and mainly homegrown menu, an idyllic saltwater pool area and a serene space for regular yoga lessons and workshops.
The place, with intricate, careful attention to detail, is perfect for basking in the unique Bali feel and aesthetic that many find lacking in Seminyak.
The rooms are in traditional wooden houses known as joglos that are sumptuously decorated. The menu caters to all tastes, including raw-foodists, and most of the vegetables can be seen growing in the organic garden.
The main attraction is the wonderful yoga pavilion and the exceptional workshops and lessons running, covering all disciplines and levels.
Its spa boasts a superior traditional Javanese scrub and massage.
Perched up on the top of the cliff of Bingin, this is a unique and relaxed sanctuary for surf and yoga.
Family-run and with the feel of an extended home, things do not get as laid back as this.
Views of perfect waves and coastline cliffs sweep across from this quirky little hotel.
The establishment features various types of rooms. The Temple Suite, for example, is a self contained house with it’s own pool and a garden that blends naturally with the indoors.
Fresh and home-cooked food is served in communal style with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
A new addition to the chilled out Batu Bulong surfing beach in Canggu is the gypsy-style Warung Kakilima, serving up a wide range of juices and food and a nightly barbeque of fish, kebabs and hot and cold tapas with global influences.
The barbeque is appropriately fitted to a food cart, along with the fresh selection of fish and meat.
Currently only open for dinner, the tavern comes alive with hand-painted lanterns reflecting swirling motifs. The most stunning part, however, is the sunset view, one of the best in Bali.
La Plancha is an old favorite that became a firm fixture in the Legian/Seminyak area as a great place to hang out, watch the sunset and listen to good music on the beach.
Although many have copied the unmistakable rainbow of Bali umbrellas and cushions on the beach, none have matched the vibe that this beach bar embodies.
A driftwood interior with flamboyant charm adds to the ambience of the bar.
Famed for sundown to sunup, many come here to dance the night away on the beach.
Tapas and cocktails flow freely and there is always a collection of Bali’s bohemian beautiful gathered along with the visitors.
While the typical shopping outing in Bali includes the markets or the chic boutiques in Oberoi selling evening- and city-wear, the “I Love Bali” shops in Uluwatu and Seminyak are in fact good representations of the Bali “boho” style.
The two shops, with their whitewashed structures and thatched roofs, are part of the international label Indah Clothing. Easy-to-wear pieces and swimwear are the perfect fit for the island and its pace of life. Many of the pieces also use the most beautiful fabrics of Bali and Indonesia, batik and ikat, but updated into fashionable pieces that can be worn in Uluwatu or Malibu.