Seminyak is home to me yet I rarely get to experience it from a traveller’s point of view. Hotel Indigo is an urban lover’s dream and puts you front and centre on one of Bali’s favourite beaches, surrounded by bars, restaurants and colourful nightlife.
Part of the Intercontinental hotel chain, Hotel Indigo Bali is an equal distance between Double Six Road and Gado-Gado street, opening to the beachfront where early morning walks and sunset bars offer both exercise and entertainment. Within the hotel, you’re wrapped in gracious interiors and landscaped gardens, which create a sense of tranquility and a marked contrast to the vibrancy of this area.
Lying in bed, on my heavenly pillows that can be ordered to suit, I amuse myself thinking this is akin to staying in a hotel in Soho, London, Kings Cross in Sydney, or Times Square in New York. There’s a wealth of things to do both within and outside of the hotel.
With a choice of stylish hotel suites and private pool villas, the hotel is full of cultural references translated with a modern design. The spacious open-air entrance leads to a beautiful lobby that is fashioned after a Balinese Banjar hall, with floor-to-ceiling bookcases filled with quirky knick-knacks and -decorated with hanging lamps inspired by ceremonial containers. The views lead down the resort, over pools and gardens to the beach.
A series of courtyards planted with towering palms leads to the spacious rooms, fitted with smart TVs, Bose sound systems, coffee machines and large beautiful beds piled high with pillows dressed in crisp white cotton. In the private pool villas, which are located at the rear of the property, a butler ensures that all you need, from restaurant reservations to extra towels, is a quick call away.
With living areas, a pool deck, a well-stocked mini bar, a desk area (work was the last thing on my mind!) and a grand bathroom finished with marble, the villas are beautifully designed and filled with everything the modern traveller needs, from charging ports to Nespresso machines.
Food and Drinks
An urban-style coffee shop is a great addition to resort living. located next to the spacious restaurant and the Tree Bar, this is the hub of the resort for most guests. A series of pools that runs through the center of the property, leading to the beach, is where you’ll find The Cave bar serving up chilled coconuts, fresh juices, and towering cocktails to guests around the pool.
There’s very little you can’t find within the resort, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be tempted out. Overlooking the beach, SugarSand is a pool club with a lively menu, daily DJs and happy hour specials that invite beachgoers in from the street. This is where many hotel guests head for sunset cocktails before heading out to dinner. Sugarsands also offers lunch and dinner menus for those who are content to stay and indulge.
Firstly, your therapist leads you into a comfortable living area and introduces me to the essential oils on offer. I choose a seductive woody sandalwood-based oil.
The following hour floats by in the most delicious way as my therapist quietly practices the long strokes characteristic of a Balinese massage.
What to see and do in Seminyak
There are some great activities within the resort including Sunday jazz in the lobby. Numerous pools traverse the property as it tumbles towards the beach and with bars and snacks on tap during the day, some guests find their spot and rarely leave. Fair enough if a weekend is the extent of your stay.
Most will want to get out and explore, and there’s an amazing amount of things to do within walking distance, one of the great things about staying here.
Aside from the beach, where is there always something to see and do; learn to surf perhaps? A short walk takes you to Dhyana Pura where you’ll find colourful nightlife at the drag bars, all lined up beside each other. Local food cafes line the street, and a smattering of bars and restaurants offer something for everyone. Seminyak is a residential village as well as a tourist destination and therefore you’ll find supermarkets and cafes filled with locals and expats.
A walk in the other direction towards Legian will take you to Double Six Road, a popular business street for sarongs and clothing buyers. During the day you’ll find westerners discussing prices, orders, and delivery times while shoppers come and go.
Further along the beach, bars and local cafes vie for business while beach sellers will offer you everything from sun loungers to manicures and a few more exotic items.
The beauty of Indigo is the mix of a 5-star resort located in a popular urban area. While inside it’s all very beautiful, this area of Seminyak offers a colourful slice of local life. Further afield you’ll find designer boutiques, high-end restaurants, cocktail bars, and beach clubs.
Indigo’s concierge is your first port of call if Bali is new to you. They’ll organise day trips to see Bali’s famous sites, but rest assured you can spend a week just discovering Seminyak.
At the end of a day of eating, drinking, swimming in the various pools, a visit to the beach for sunset and some amazing food, heading back to my private villa is a bit of a guilty pleasure for I know that moments from my door there’s a party going on. However, my pillow and this enormous bed are all the temptations I need to switch on my smart TV and sink into a blissful sleep.
To find out more, visit Indigo Hotel Bali, and slip into something very urban.
By Sarah Dougherty.