WHERE DO YOU GO when acai-obsessed tourists and man-bunned yogis get too much? There is a threshold for heavily tattooed, gap-year students quoting Eat, Pray, Love and preaching about meditation. You are also this close to a seizure if another local waves at you from across the road and goes, “Taxi?”
The Alila Seminyak Beach Bar satisfies every barometer of relaxation. It’s an unflinchingly assured venue to decompress as the sun sets, and align your Chakras for the gram.
It’s palatial. It’s clean and manicured. With acres of sand and sea to take in. The entirety of the Indian Ocean lies beyond your toes. There’s the unbroken horizon — a glorious, straight line that zips 180º across your line of sight. You’re getting 200 metres of unadulterated beachfront access.
You’ll notice a shrine next to the main pool skirting the beach bar. Called ‘Pura Dalem Segara’, meaning ‘Temple by the Beach’, the 40-year-old structure was built to protect fishermen when they headed out to sea, long before Seminyak became the beach lovers’ Mecca it is today.
Alila’s architects respectfully designed the resort around the fisherman’s shrine, turning it into a cultural centrepiece while preserving this symbol of spirituality.
The facade and public spaces of the resort are achingly contemporary and uber-cool, a testament of taste to its well-heeled, global guests. Vertical gardens scale the walls here, while the aforementioned ancient shrine and thoughtfully placed palm trees lend to a strikingly modern aesthetic. It’s the perfect distillation of LA surf vibes and Malibu chic.
While the considerably boisterous Potato Head Beach Club is less than 100 steps away, the Alila Seminyak’s moated design — inspired by a traditional family compound — has created a private enclave of calm.
It’s evident why the resort has been voted by numerous travel platforms as one of the most photogenic spots in Bali. Lush, green spaces abound, while the Indian Ocean provides robust ventilation.
The music policy is also highly enjoyable, with a proper mix of 70s’ funk and soul, before the playlists pick up pace after dusk. Since the bar is a stone’s throw to lauded dining establishments like Kaum and Merah Putih, you’ll have little excuse to turn down handcrafted cocktails and nibbling on regionally-inspired bites while making the night’s social plans.
The golden hour here is fascinating. The yellow orb of fire on the horizon filters into a deep hue of orange and tangerine and it dips into the sea. Its reflection in the sea only magnifies the intensity of dusk. And as the music thumps, the mauve of the sky settles into slumber for the night.
Tomorrow, we go back to our turmeric lattes.