Staff at The Layar will have a wealth of information about places of interest, both locally and island-wide, and will be happy to help arrange transport and make any restaurant reservations or tour bookings. Many of the team will live nearby and can give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of local Bali life.
In the meantime, here’s a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of The Layar.
- You could eat out at a different restaurant in Seminyak every night – for months – and still not run out of options. Jalan Laksmana (also known as Jalan Oberoi and Jalan Kayu Aya) is Bali’s fashionable ‘Eat Street’, offering plenty of high-end restaurants including Sarong and Nutmegs at Hu’u Bar. La Lucciola Restaurant is great for sunset drinks, as is The Breeze at The Samaya. While Ku Dé Ta is still the place to see and be seen, two new beachclubs, Cocoon and Potato Head, are classy seaside alternatives. Then there’s La Plancha, a rustic beach bar between Double Six and Gado Gado, very popular, good tapas, very reasonably priced drinks, with live music and DJ events. A short taxi ride will bring you to Sardine, Métis and Hog Wild, famous for barbecue ribs and wicked Martinis.
- Shop til you drop! In Seminyak and neighbouring Kerobokan you can rummage for treasures through cluttered little stores and dark junkshops crammed to the ceiling with curios and made-to-order ‘antiques’, derive inspiration from classy homeware shops, or wander through huge furniture warehouses. In Jalan Laksmana (Eat Street) you can shop between courses! Boutiques include Paul Ropp, Biasa, Magali Pascal, Anouck, Lily Jean, Bamboo Blond, Dinda Rella, Innuendo, Religion, Body & Soul, Buddha Wear, M. Harcourt, Pura Vida, and Uma & Leopold to name but a few. Kids fashion stores include Kidsagogo and Kiki’s Closet. For art lovers, galleries worth visiting in Seminyak include Randelli Gallery, Biasa and Kendra.
- It’s possible to walk the sands of Seminyak’s Petitenget beach all the way to Kuta in the south, or north to Canggu. The beach is more popular with locals than tourists (not safe for swimming in most sections), but is a great spot for building sandcastles or to watch the sunset as you sip a cocktail from one of the many beachside bars.
- Pura Petitenget at the beachside off Jalan Petitenget is a compact, pretty Balinese temple, which is known for particularly spectacular beachside ceremonies. There has been a temple here since at least the 16th century, and although this is not one of the key nine directional temples of Bali, it is an important link in the series of west coast temples between Pura Uluwatu and Pura Tanah Lot.
- Make a pilgrimage to sacred Pura Tanah Lot, one of Bali’s biggest tourist magnets. Perched high on a craggy, wave-lashed rock, this ancient sea temple is best savoured at sunset; be sure to receive a blessing from the Hindu Priests (and watch out for the monkeys, who are very adept at helping themselves to anything from snacks to sunglasses and even cameras!)
- Play a round at the unbelievably scenic Nirwana Bali Golf Course. Bordered by ocean and rice fields and just down from Tanah Lot sea temple, no wonder this championship-standard course (designed by golf legend, Greg Norman) is frequently voted number one in Asia.
- Drive westwards to explore the charming Tabanan Regency, revealing terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black-sand beaches dotted with fishing communities. Or head north to explore the volcanic lakes near the mountain town of Bedugul, including Lake Bratan with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.
- With its warm seas, almost year-round surf season, relatively uncrowded beach and reef breaks, and suitability for all levels of experience, Bali surfing is world-renowned.
- Hire a bicycle and explore the scenic rice-field landscape and rural villages; a great way to get under the skin of the ‘real’ Bali. Stop off at a local warung (café) to sample some basic Balinese fare or cool off with a cold drink.
- Discover Bali’s lakes, volcanoes, forests and beaches on the back of a Harley Davidson bike with Island Biker Tours. Full day Harley tours, customised tours or shorter joy rides can all be accommodated.