If you can handle the stairs, bliss is hanging out in Bingin beach on Bali’s Uluwatu coastline. Check out our guide on where to eat, stay and play.
During her internship at Threesixtyguides, Roos Weijschedé wanted to see as much of the island as she could fit into her schedule. She travelled to enjoy the beautiful nature in the north and east, to the hip hotspots and beach clubs in Seminyak and Canggu. She spent every weekend travelling in search of the best of Bali. Until she travelled to Uluwatu, Bali’s surf capital, and found it all at Bingin beach. The perfect combination, so to speak. The vibrant scene at Bingin held a special place for her, with its local scene, great cafes and restaurants, the natural beach front covered with tumbling down beach huts and some super cute places to stay. Bingin ended up being her destination of choice when the sun was shining and time allowed, here’s why.
Gooseberry Café & Boutique
Bingin’s latest crush is the stylish new Gooseberry Cafe & Boutique by the team behind Gooseberry Intimates. Their menu is fresh and delicious and their interior has a kind-of LA vibe. There’s a pretty pool with lounge, surrounded by beautiful plants and trees. They even made a creative ‘Gooseberry Intimates’ wall, for pics.
When you enter their cafe, you immediately feel welcome. The store and cafe are beautifully decorated, with stylish sofas and marble tables. There’s beautiful natural light inside streaming in from the floor to ceiling windows.
The first time I went, I had lunch here. At that time I was in the middle of my vegan month and there were still more than enough possibilities. I chose to make my own salad, which was delicious! My girlfriends had chosen a smoothie bowl and avocado toast: they loved them. After lunch, we enjoyed the pool and lounge and stayed until the sunset.
Given that I was so enthusiastic, I also wanted to try their dinner menu. On my second visit I chose fish and so did my girlfriends. All three of us love tuna, so we went for two dishes where tuna played the main role. We went for the Tuna Tataki and Tuna Tacos. These were truly delicious. We also went for the Broccoli Salad and Hummus platter: very tasty and perfect to share. As the name implies, it’s not only a cafe but also a boutique, so stop and shop for their enormously popular swimwear and lingerie here as well. Gooseberry Cafe & Boutique is tucked away off the main road but is well worth searching for.
Jl Buana Sari, Gg Melali, Bingin
The Cashew Tree Collective
Although Bingin is full of great eateries, the Cashew Tree is one of my favourites. If just for their Chicken Teriyaki Bowl and Hamburgers, I would recommend dining there. They have lots of options for Vegans, Vegetarians and gluten-free folks. I especially love the salad bowls (those with meat can also be made vegetarian on request).
Also very original and tasty, is their bowl of wedges. This dish is perfect to share with a salad or burger. These are different types of wedges, normal and sweet potato, all served with truly delicious sauces.
For brunch, I suggest their vegan scrambled tofu or one of the smoothie bowls (which taste as good as they look). And don’t forget about their extensive dessert corner. Life is short, eat the dessert first. I tried their ‘Salted Caramel & Almond Cake Pop’, absolutely recommended.
Ulu Cliffhouse opens up a stretch of coast just down the road from Single Fin. With a fabulous designer fit-out, one of the world’s leading chefs shaping the menu, and a whole crew of cool collaborators from musicians to artists and an influential surf crew, Ulu Cliffhouse looks like Ralph Lauren met Richard Branson on the lip of a major breaker.
Calling in Diego Munoz, currently, Latin America’s number one chef, ranked 18 in the world, is a major coup and says a lot about the commitment Ulu Cliffhouse is making to create a destination beach club to rival some of the world’s best. The venue on the edge of the cliff opens itself to fabulous possibilities from parties to weddings, long lunches, and legendary sunset sessions. The Rock Bar, perched on some of the clearest water you’ve ever seen, gets visitors up close and personal with the clear water and long waves that rock this stunning coast.
Pecatu, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali
The locals say that the most beautiful girls are found on Bingin Beach. It’s a bit of a joke that refers to the stairs, there are quite a few of them and you need to be pretty fit to tackle them. Saying that, it’s worth it. Spectacular at high tide and quirky when the tide goes out, it is a vibrant community hang out and you’ll meet lots of surf-loving locals hanging out here from breakfast right through to sunset. Buildings spill down the cliff in all the colours. Small hotels, a smattering of more luxurious properties and plenty of home-stays cascade down to the cafes that line the beach. It’s a lot of fun and never pretentious.
Stay; Dreamsea Surf Camp Uluwatu
If you are planning to spend the night in Uluwatu, I recommend Dreamsea Surf Camp. They offer you the unique opportunity to stay in one of the best beachfront accommodations; (literally hanging from the cliffs) and surf some of the best waves in Bali.
I have already stayed here twice, once with a girlfriend for a weekend getaway and when my boyfriend came from the Netherlands, we spent Christmas here. The price is very good, when I stayed with my girlfriend, we only paid 400.000 Rupiah per person (with a delicious breakfast included in the price).
What I like most about Dreamsea Uluwatu are the beautiful surroundings. The scenery is literally unreal. During your stay, you really have the feeling that you are in another world. The rooms are very stylishly decorated and you have a beautiful view of the ocean and cliffs. Moreover, as the name suggests, every day you have the opportunity to surf. The private beach should certainly not be forgotten, be there around sunset: a dreamy view is guaranteed. My personal advice: make also sure to stay there on a Friday, they organise a bbq on the beach every Friday evening. This was so much fun, see the picture below. I promise it won’t be more Instagrammable than it is here.
Other Bingin hotspots to explore:
Bingin beach has some super cute cafes. Kelly’s Warung is a local favourite for its fresh menu and lazy balconies overlooking the beach. Didi’s has become an institution and has been for over 20 years. Didi is a Frenchman, married to his hard-working Balinese wife. His baguettes have sustained surfers over decades and they’re still good. Lucky Fish Lounge sets up their tables on the beach at sunset for a seafood barbecue, upstairs they have a more extensive menu and regular live music sessions. It’s one of the only options for dinner on the beach.
Check out some of the Airbnb properties on Bingin beach ( including our favourite clifftop villa The Backyard), there are some great options to stay ranging from funky little beach houses to upmarket villas.