Today is the last post (part six) of my Bali adventure. For parts one through five, please see below.
On our last morning at Amankila, we ate breakfast and then the Amankila car drove us down to South Bali for our last stop – Seminyak! Seminyak I was told, was the “upscale fun” area of Bali – it was where a lot of the great restaurants, bars and shops were. We decided to end our stay there because it was also quite close to the airport. Bali has very unpredictable traffic and a drive to the airport from Ubud or Manggis can take anywhere between one to three hours, whereas from Seminyak it was about 30 minutes.
After about a 90 minute drive (we hit traffic), the car pulled to our next hotel – The Legian Bali. I booked The Legian on the recommendation of a friend, who touted its central location and called it “The Grande Dame” of Seminyak. It is probably one of the oldest and most famous hotels in the area.
We walked into the main lobby, which was quite large and grand! There were plenty of sitting areas and also lots of books on shelves for you to borrow and read.
After completing some check in details, we were taken to our room.
The Legian was the only hotel we stayed at where there weren’t true “villa” accommodations The Legian actually does offer villa accommodations in a separate compound called the “The Club at Legian”. However, those villas were across the street, and we decided we wanted to be facing the beach for our stay. Our one bedroom suite though, was as large as any of the villas we stayed in. There was a large living room, dining room, and bedroom.
My favorite part of the room however, was the large day bed.
It was a nice place for both of us to lie down, take naps, and watch the waves. Our room had a great view, directly facing the ocean and beach.
Our suite was on the highest floor (third) so we enjoyed our view of the ocean. However, I saw that some families with children took rooms on the ground floor which would be nice too, because children could just run out on the lawns and play.
Each morning, we had breakfast at the hotel. The Legian was unique in that it was the only place we stayed that had a breakfast buffet. The buffet was great, and plus you could order as much as you wanted to from an ala carte menu. At the buffet there was sushi, fresh fruit, meats and cheeses, Indonesian specialities, porridge, and more.
We usually loaded up at the buffet and ordered a few a la carte dishes as well, such as French toast.
The Legian also had a very good afternoon tea offering each day. Afternoon tea in Bali is a slightly different affair than the Western version – usually it’s only sweets, maybe a savory or two, and a much smaller overall portion. You could take your tea anywhere – in the room, by the pool, in the lobby, etc and it was complimentary.
I thought The Legian had a very good pastry chef! Every night around turndown a little treat would usually appear in our room as well as a late night snack.
Like Amankila, The Legian also had a multi tiered infinity pool.
It was quite beautiful and had a lovely view of the ocean. It was much closer to the beach than Amankila’s – you could just pop out of the pool, go down a short flight of stairs and be on the beach.
There were several restaurants by the pool where you could eat and have a drink.
There were also several bales here which made for a very comfortable experience. These got taken fairly quickly though, so we made sure to come down early and reserve one.
Another small feature about The Legian which we enjoyed was their fish ponds. The staff noticed that we enjoyed sitting and staring down at the fish so they let us feed them each day.
Whenever we sprinkled the pellets in, there was seriously a frenzy! We started to sprinkle the food around the perimeter of the pond so that the laggards could eat as well.
Out of the three hotels we stayed in (Chedi Club, Amankila being the others), The Legian was the closest to a traditional resort hotel. There was a lot more foot traffic in the hotel and along the beach, and because of its size, there was much less personalization of service. There were sixty eight suites, which while still a very reasonable number, was double or more than any of our other hotels. However, that’s more or less reflects the nature of Seminyak, which was much more crowded than Manggis or even Ubud.
Overall, we enjoyed our time at The Legian. Our room was lovely, the food was great and the service was quite good. The instances that the service wasn’t perfect were purely an accident and quickly remedied to the best of a staff member’s ability.
If you are a very picky traveler staying in Seminyak who is used to top of the line facilities and service, I’d say that either The Legian or possibly The Club (I didn’t stay there so can’t say for sure) would be your best pick out of the hotels in the area. I hope one day to return and perhaps try The Club next time!
Now, the reason we decided to do a few days in Seminyak was to be able to try some restaurants, do some shopping, and hang out by the beach for a few days before heading back to reality. By this time on our vacation however, we were so noodle-like that we weren’t able to do much of anything. We did find some favorite food and shopping spots, and here are my picks for future Bali traveler!
First – clothing shops. There are a lot of clothing stores in Bali, and especially Seminyak. A lot. It can be overwhelming and the prices all seem to range quite a bit, yet if you’re like me, you have no gauge for how fair exactly the prices are. Most of the places we found worthy of a visit however, did veer on the higher end side.
Uluwatu Handmade Balinese Lace
Uluwatu is a beautiful cliffside area of Bali and the region specializes in very intricate, handmade lace goods. The Uluwatu Lace shop had some great items – plenty of options for day and some Dolce & Gabanna-ish items for night as well. Prices ranged from around $50-100 for tops to $150 – $300 for a dress.
This shop happened to catch my eye as we were walking past. I loved all the fabrics that were used – they were a mix of Asian and Indian patterns, on silks and cottons. Unfortunately most items were too large for me.
Biasa, which is rumored to be owned by a famous supermodel (if any of you happen to know who, let me know!).
Biasa was my favorite shop. It had a great selection of beautiful linen and cotton clothing – all perfect for resort wear. Again I found many things quite large. However, Mr. Feather bought a fantastic shirt and shorts (and he has to really love something to actually buy it, he generally loathes clothes shopping).
For housewares, outside of Prapen (which we went to in Ubud), I have to say that we did the rest of our home goods shopping at The Legian’s own onsite giftshop. You pay a premium of probably 10-20% going through the hotel, but there’s the benefit of a pre-sorted selection and more peace of mind that what you’re buying isn’t counterfeit or misrepresented. The Legian’s shop had some great items, and if you are staying at a higher end resort, I recommend that you check out their shop (Chedi and Amankila also had lovely selections!).
Now, onto my favorite topic – eating! As I mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons we decided on Seminyak was because so many great restaurants were in the area. However, by this time we were so full and the hotel food was so good that we didn’t get out as much as we planned. It also didn’t help that a lot of the restaurants we were booked at were described as a bit of a “scene” – louder music, close quarters, and a dress code. Normally I don’t mind a dress code, but once you’ve spent a week in caftans and flip flops, it’s hard to go back to high heels and fitted dresses. There were a few restaurants however that we did make it to, and here are our favorites.
La Lucciola is probably one of the older and most famous restaurants in Seminyak and it’s easy to see why! The restaurant is open air, and directly on the beach with a great view of the waves. The Italian dishes we tried were all fantastic here, the drinks were great and the prices good. Unfortunately it was dark by the time our dishes came out, so my photos were a bit blurry.
We actually came back to La Lucciola a second night – the food and overall ambiance was that good! Also, it was just a quick walk down the beach from The Legian, literally minutes away. It was wonderful to walk over while the sun was up and see everybody having fun in the water. By the time dinner was over, the sun would be set and you could have a romantic stroll back to the hotel.
One other restaurant that we liked was –
Chandi is a fairly popular restaurant serving modern Indonesian fare in Seminyak and was about a ten minute walk from The Legian. I would suggest that unless the weather is VERY nice, you might cab here – it’s hot, dusty and the road conditions in Seminyak aren’t the greatest. That being said, we walked here and it was fine (though we arrived a bit sweaty). We immediately ordered drinks, a mixed passionfruit spritzer and beet juice. Yummy! They were so good we had seconds.
A mixed appetizer plate (my favorite were the crispy shrimp balls).
Prawn and scallops nasi goreng.
My favorite dish, honey garlic chicken noodles!
Overall all the food at Chandi was delicious, and the restaurant had a great ambiance with a huge beautiful space in the middle of Seminyak. I would recommend it for a modern Indonesian meal for lunch or dinner.
With that, I can now conclude my final trip post on Bali, 2013! I loved Bali, it was one of my favorite destinations ever and I would return in a heartbeat. The island is such a wonderful mix of culture, fabulous views and beaches, wonderful service, amazing food, and all at reasonable prices. If you are thinking about going, go, and if you have questions about any of the hotels we stayed at, how to book, or anything else, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try and answer them. Thank you very much for reading along and Bali….we shall meet again soon!