It feels like you should just be handed a cocktail at arrivals. It’s Bali after all. Take a long, deep breath. The island has refined its offering of great bars and lounges, and the choice, if not the vodka, will make you dizzy. As with their fine dining, local nightlife has evolved very creatively.
1. Mirror Lounge & Bar
Step into a Gothic cathedral in Seminyak, with ceilings that go on forever, brightly coloured mosaic glass windows and a transparent glass ceiling. Mirror bursts with light shows, international DJs and impressive signature cocktails, lychee martinis, and magnums of Belvedere, Dom Perignon, should it take your fancy.
2. Rock Bar, Ayana Resort
Ayana’s Rock Bar has become legendary. Riding a small, outdoor lift down to the rocks, the bar is a sanctuary hugged by rolling waves from the Indian ocean. DJs have their own rocky turret to serenade the sunset, your loved one and the setting sun.
3. UNIQUE Rooftop Bar
Neighbouring Ayana, the Rimba eco-resort is set back from the cliffs, with towering 360 degree views over a hand-planted forest, and the sea beyond. Head up a few storeys to UNIQUE; a pool club by day and stylish sunset lounge by night.
4. La Favela
Possibly one of the hottest drinking holes in Bali right now, La Favela feels like it’s been dipped into a rainforest and transported to Seminyak. Retro design, hand picked antiques and an old hippy Volkswagen complete the vintage feel, mixing extremely well with Bali’s hipster crowds.
5. El Kabron
This Spanish venue quite frankly has a mind-blowing view. 50 metres atop a dramatic sheer cliff in Uluwatu, El Kabron is a ‘Cliff Club’, should you yearn an alternative to beach clubs. Channeling the whitewashes of Santorini, apart from the gorgeous food, great sangrias and the aqua blue pool, the sea and sky are hypnotising.
6. Old Man’s
Grab your thongs, your swimmers and spend a casual afternoon with locals and expats, sipping Bintangs at Old Man’s on Pantai (Beach) Batu Bolong. Join the beer pong games, sing along to great playlists and enjoy a lazy afternoon, ending with another killer sunset.
7. Single Fin
It might be a great spot to surf, but Single Fin is just a great spot. The three story deck bar overlooking the rocking waves of Uluwatu has a pulsing energy that never stops. Go Sundays for some serious sunset sessions.
For true wine and liquor connoisseurs, there’s nothing quite like Vin+ in Seminyak. The huge, soaring bamboo structure is hard to miss. There’s no sunset to speak of, but the temperature-controlled wine room housing some of the world’s most exclusive labels and vintages makes up for it.
9. Mint Club
For some late night beats to accompany your cocktail, or VIP style bottle service, try Mint Club in Seminyak. Located a little off the grid, noise restrictions don’t apply and the bar kicks off close to midnight. The DJ stars on his own stage, pumping out cool, thumping Bali vibes until the light of day.
10. Single Malt Bar
Quite unique in Bali, the Single Malt Bar at IZE Seminyak has an enormously well-stocked selection of whiskey. On the second level of Meja Kitchen, the bar has a real gentlemen’s club feel, with rustic brick walls plastered with old black and white photos.