City guide: Bali
Adeline is resident tastemaker and director of Brand Management. She also heads business development of L Hotels & Resorts, and The Shanti Collection of villas. She tells us about Bali, a place she loves and travels often to.
What brings you to Bali so frequently?
I travel to Bali frequently to meet my team, brainstorm, and at the same time, suss out new trends and experience the island's latest in gourmet and sustainable products. It’s part of my lifestyle and passion for discovering a destination.
Tell us your favourite areas of Bali and where you eat, drink, shop and hang out?
Teatro Gastroteque, a fairly new dining spot in the heart of Seminyak, provides an exquisite dining concept where service, food presentation and wines are stellar. Here, enjoy an irresistibly-tasteful melting pot of Indonesian, French, Asian, and Mediterranean flavours.
I also like Bambu for fine Indonesian cuisine, Metis for French, Ultimo for affordable Italian, Sarong for eclectic Indian and Asian, Chandi for Asian fusion, Take for superb Japanese, Garoupa and Feyloon for fabulous Cantonese fare.
The Luna Roofbar at L Hotel offers a unique drinking experience, including views of the sea, paddy fields, and Seminyak. Using only the freshest local ingredients, the cocktails are invigorating and unique in presentation and taste.
Uluwatu Handmade Balinese Lace, a local brand circa 1978, has an array of soft lace dresses, tops, pants and silk scarves. Truly elegant, breezy fashion. There is also a new boutique “Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliot” that features trendy and chic resort wear by ex-super model – Gail Elliot.
Chill out on the beach at Potato Head, where tranquillity meets the soul. Feel transported to a different world of sun-lazing and surfing. For families with kids, Waterbom is a must-go. It is a water park filled with exciting rides.
The Ah Yat Abalone Restaurant at Rimba is a gem where Chinese food is concerned. Very delicious and authentic. Cuca is another great restaurant with Japanese vibes; the menu is tapas style, the food very good and delicious. I would recommended going for dinner.
The Rock Bar at Ayana is the perfect place to unwind. The views are magnificent! Watch as the waves crash against the rocks, while the sun sets in the backdrop.
I like Paul Ropp Shop in Jimbaran. Like most Ropp Shops elsewhere in Bali, the colourful hand-woven cotton and silk collections, created with cool and lightweight fabrics, are perfect for tropical everyday wear. I love the bold colour blends, matching accessories, and the interplay of woven fabrics and embroidery.
Jimbaran is also known for ceramics. An interesting place is Jenggala Keramik, a ceramic wholesaler and retailer based in Bali, found on Jalan Raya Uluwatu. It houses a grand production warehouse, showroom and dedicated art gallery in one vast site. The iconic designs incorporate one-of-a-kind colour combinations, and features various Bali lore and nature-inspired motifs.
Jimbaran Corner, which adjoins the Kupu Kupu Jimbaran Suites, houses some luxury fashion brands and notable dining outlets. The complex is air conditioned and interconnecting arcades provide a cosy shopping experience. After browsing through fashion and lifestyle boutiques within Jimbaran Corner – such as Mori Batik, Vinoti Living, Trimurti and Wish You Were Here – relax at Chocolate Café, Grocer & Grind, or the suites’ own Topeng Restaurant.
The Jimbaran Fish Market is a popular morning stop on Bukit Peninsula. At this lively and frenetic fish market, brightly-painted boats bob along the shore, while large cases of everything, from small sardines to fearsome langoustines, are hawked. Quite a scene!
Otherwise, laze on Jimbaran Beach, one of Bali’s best beaches. The 4km-long arc of sand is rather clean. There are numerous places for snacks, drinks, and seafood dinners, or to rent a sun lounger. The bay here is more more mellow than Kuta, though it's still possible to get breaks that are fun for bodysurfing.
In Nusa Dua area, Kayuputi is my preferred restaurant. Very romantic and fine dining with ocean views. The open kitchen, good wine list, and food wow me.
I fancy the old world charm of the King Cole Bar at St Regis Resort. Nice ambience, cocktails and music by pianists.
Nusa Dua is unlike Seminyak, where it’s more cosmopolitan. The most apparent and visible mall in Nusa Dua is The Bali Collection. Here, there is an assortment of shops, eateries and a few international brands.
For me, Nusa Dua is more of relaxing and letting go your mind, and less of city beat. Do lots of spas and soul searching here. Every hotel or resort has some sort of spa facility or laze it out on Pandawa Beach. The sand is finer here.
There is also a nice golf course there. Bali National Golf Resort offers spectacular golfing scenery – beautiful trees in a parkland setting, stately palm trees, lush green grass, tranquil lakes and flowering nature trails.
What do you love and hate about Bali?
I love the beaches, the magic of the island, the warmth, friendliness, and hospitality of the people. I am amazed by the talents of the Balinese, and their skilfulness with handicraft. I also love Indonesian cuisine, its spices and flavours. After being in Bali and enjoying the myriad of Indonesian flavours, I don’t fancy our spicy local dishes anymore.
I dislike the fact that drinking water isn't clean, making me appreciate Singapore a lot more. I survive on mineral water in Bali.
When is the best time to go?
There is no best time to go, Bali is a nice place to visit almost all year round, except early Jan where it can be quite rainy.
Stylish vacation rentals in Bali
This spacious, five-bedroom villa boasts a beautiful master suite overlooking a private deck with a plunge pool and gazebo.
Going to Bali? Check out more places to stay on Roomorama.