So, I disappeared for a few days into the warm arms of Alila Seminyak, where thoughts of lazy days spent doing nothing but revising my French was the grand plan, but…. well, that didn’t quite happen. French, shmench! When the warmth of the sun caresses your face, when the cool sea breeze tingles your skin, when the sounds of waves crashing lull you into a state of zen, and visions of glorious sunsets meet your gaze, I couldn’t help but bid a quick au revoir to my textbooks.
Here’s why Alila Seminyak will bring out the lazy cat in you. Enjoy the view!
I was so blessed with the weather in Bali in July. Mostly blue skies, and amazingly, for the tropical area, the weather was cool. A resident Balinese did allude to it being winter, which upon further thinking, made sense that it was “winter” in the tropics of the southern hemisphere.
Asides from the loveliness of not sweating buckets while enjoying the beach, the sunsets are what made every evening such an event to look forward to. Like clockwork, the bright white glow of the sun started to soften, into an amber ball, spreading its rays across the evening sky, lighting it up in various shades of orange and pink. Beautiful.
And Alila Seminyak is in prime position to view this glorious event. Whether you’re lounging by one of the many pool decks or living it up at the Beach Bar or simply strolling along the beach, catching the sunset is a must-do.
Beachfront dining at its best. This is also where you will have breakfast. You can easily spend a couple of hours for breakfast here, because of the wide variety on offer. You select whatever you want from an eclectic menu that even has a Healthy section featuring Red Quinoa porridge, “Raw” brownies, Zucchini Phad Thai and so on.
Sourdough bread with a variety of topping options, eggs done in every which way, and desserts disguised as breakfast – think Dadar Gulung (coconut crepe with palm sugar) and Bubor Injin (black rice pudding, coconut milk).
I found myself taking away treats from breakfast to go lounge by the pool after.
Dinner is a more considered affair. While breakfast cannot shake off the en masse produced nature of such a meal, dinner at Seasalt is more luxurious. The dishes are plated beautifully, and ingredients fresh and well thought through.
I had the Beetroot Sable Fish for starters, Tiger prawns and Wagyu Short Ribs for mains and Fondant with Brown Butter Ice cream for dessert.
Unfortunately, I have no pictures to share for this, but I will say, any spa with therapists as professional and good as the ones at the Alila Seminyak Spa, is a winner. I even managed to doze off (an unlikely scenario for me) during one of my sessions.
The first day I tried the 1-for-1 offer: one 90-minute hotstone massage, and you get a 90-minute Balinese massage for free. Best part is you can either take the complimentary massage the next day, or just share the freebie with your partner for a couples session.
We were treated to a foot scrub pre-massage, and this was no typical “let me wash your feet quickly and get on with the massage” foot scrub. As you soak your feet in warm water, the therapists crack fresh lemongrass and squeeze lime into the water, releasing the antibacterial, not to mention, lovely aroma into the air. They then use a scrub made from locally-sourced ingredients to cleanse your feet and legs, while giving you a mini reflexology session.
My hot stone massage was one of the best I have ever had. They started off with an essential oil massage for each area of your body, and then used long, relaxing strokes with the warm stones, leaving the stone on the massaged area to permeate its warmth further.
Hubby meanwhile, obviously enjoyed his Balinese massage too. Snore alert.
The next time we went, we did the 3-hour Day Spa. You can build your own chill sesh, we chose a 90-minute massage + 60-minute facial + 30-minute Vichy spa. Needless to say, the facial and massage was amazing, and this was the first time we tried a Vichy spa. What a sensation! You really feel like you’re caught in a rain storm, but in a good way of course! The whole idea is the powerful little shower jets will massage your skin and improve blood circulation.
Alila Seminyak’s grounds are gorgeous. The eco-friendly way in which it is designed allows for lots of air and light to circulate naturally, and the grounds and painstakingly maintained. Wherever you look, pleasing muted colours intersperse with the blue of the infinity pool and the ocean.
The perfect thing about Alila Seminyak is its location in an area known for top-class restaurants and curated boutiques. For a fine-dining foodie like me, it’s heavenly. Asides from Seasalt, top restaurants to check out in Seminyak would be:
- Merah Putih – serving classic Indonesian dishes with a modern twist. The ambience itself is lovely.
- Mejekawi – my favourite at Ku De Ta featuring a degustation menu that’s all about creative usage of local ingredients.
- La Lucciola – this Italian beachfront institution is standing the test of time.
- Sardine – with a view of rice padi fields (rare sighting in Seminyak), this is quite different from the usual Seminyak dining spot. Those in the know rave about its seafood.
- Mama San – definitely a must-check for the hipster. Fabulous cocktails and a hybrid Asian cuisine.
- Barbacoa – wood-fire, charcoal-grill, yep, the words every meat-lover wants to hear. The decor is something to gawk at too.
- Kaum – located at Potato Head Beach Club, this is a good pit stop for lunch, if you don’t want to stray too far from Alila. A short walk on the beach leads you there, and the thing to check out at this place is its wide variety of sambal!
- Som Chai – Thai in Bali? Why not… featuring the not-as-common Northern Thai cuisine, this is perfectly representative of the Balinese’s cheeky nod to Thai cuisine.
The Rooms. Why this is a final point is simply because, while the rooms are wonderfully large and well-appointed, careful which one you choose to stay in. Several of the starting rooms face the god-awful Mrs Sippy Beach Bar, essentially meaning you will be subject to the thumping bass beats of that extremely loud music, anytime from afternoon to late night. So, if there is one tip I can give you about Alila, check and make sure you are not getting any of those rooms!
Oh, and those miniature toiletries (that I was snitching on a daily basis) are heavenly! Especially love the travel-size Insect Repellent, Face Mist and Sunscreen!
I want to go back right now!