I started my Bali experience in Seminyak, the island's home to incredible beaches, which is situated along the southwestern coast and a quick drive from the Denpasar airport. I wanted to split time between the beaches and inland yogic/meditative haven Ubud, and starting with some beach R&R immediately post half marathon made sense.
Balinese sunsets not only vary nightly but are an evening-long experience. Just when you think the sun has bid us adieu, its descent splashes newly arranged watercolor art across the sky. The sunset above is from my first night in Seminyak.
It was easy to spend my evenings sitting at The Royal Beach Seminyak's beachside lounge, piña colada in hand. The Royal is a beautifully constructed in a traditional Balinese style with lush landscaping.
[Walkway to the pool area, leading you to the beach.]
[More pool pics.]
Balinese hotel pro-tip: most hotels will arrange taxi service to wherever on the island you'd like to go. They will let you know what the fare is and add it to your room bill. This service greatly simplifies taxi rides, eliminating questions or doubts about fares, and also made me feel safe when getting into a car. Most establishments also run security clearance for any vehicle onto the premises.
A day at Potato Head Beach Club was a mandatory for me. (I think Balinese beach clubs may have been the original inspiration behind Vegas pool day clubs, minus the insane crowds and murky water.)
I got super lucky after an hour long wait and scored a beachside lounger. Tip: to avoid or minimize wait time, arrive before 11am, when the club opens. The pool area, cuisine and beach views will NOT disappoint.
After the sun set I mostly strolled around town. Seminyak is strewn with beautiful shops with locally-made merch, including clothing, jewelry and home goods.
I closed out the beach chapter of my Bali stay with friends at Ku De Ta, a beach club and restaurant famously positioned to capture stunning sunsets.
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Stay. I would absolutely stay in Seminyak again and would likely opt for The Legian Bali. While the Royal Beach was lovely, it didn't blow me away. Other picks along that stretch of beach would be The W or a private villa (friends stayed at The One Boutique Villa and loved it).
Shop. The Shang Seminyak for beautiful linens and gifts. Gooseberry Intimates for beautiful, locally made delicates.
Savor. My lunch at Potato Head was one of the best meals of my trip. The mahi mahi ceviche and eggplant salad were delightful.