If you’re coming to Bali to relax, unwind, soak up the sunshine and switch off from reality, then you’re not going to find it in many areas along the coast. With the incredible influx of travellers over the last decade (especially Aussies), it is nearly impossible to find yourself at a deserted beach doing all of the above things. But thankfully it is still somewhat possible, as long as you know where to go. Jimbaran is still an area quite off the radar, with limited shopping and no night club scene, just a handful of luxury hotels and great seafood restaurants. Here’s a guide to Jimbaran, one of the most relaxing neighbourhoods to position yourself in Bali…
Where to stay
Jimbaran is home to a handful of luxury resorts as this sleepy beach town really sets the scene for pure relaxation beachside in Bali. I checked myself in to the Intercontinental Hotel in Jimbaran Bay which was a complete oasis. Despite being able to see planes land and take off all day long, I felt a world away from reality. Some of the resort features I most enjoyed include “in the know” experiences, where you can learn about Balinese culture and traditions or embark on a day tour to local fishing villages or nearby Uluwatu. I also really enjoyed Spa Uluwatu and can highly recommend the 90 minute signature massage (as if I wasn’t feeling relaxed enough already)! But the absolute best part of this resort that I would strongly recommend should you book a room here is the Intercontinental club lounge. I’ve stayed at a range of Intercon hotels throughout Asia and Europe and this is one of my favourite club rooms I have stepped foot in. You can expect complimentary a la carte breakfast, afternoon tea and evening canapes, as well as drink service throughout the day. Club room benefits also extend to better rooms, a private club pool and complimentary DVD/Book/CD hire.
Where to eat
Jimbaran is renowned for being the seafood capital of Bali… so if its seafood you want, the best is to be found here! Here are the most highly recommended restaurants in the area:
Cuca – International cuisine and the most highly rated restaurant in the area on Trip Advisor.
Sundara – Seafood at its finest with a great beach facing view.
Warung Santai – Traditional Indonesian food in a relaxed environment and very well priced.
KO Japanese – Traditional Japanese food with a very popular Teppanyaki bar. Be sure to book in advance!
Where to Eat: Vegetarian
One of my main concerns staying in Jimbaran was being able to find good, healthy vegetarian/vegan food. As it turns out my hotel (Intercontinental Hotel) had a full raw menu available at the poolside cafe. If you’re looking for a healthy kickstart to your day, The Smoothie Shop Cafe in Balangan is a great choice.
Where to shop
Shopping is nearly non-existent in Jimbaran, as the area is renowned for being sleepy and stress free. If you’re looking to purchase local handicrafts, I’d suggest venturing out of Jimbaran. However there are a couple of noteworthy stores including Jimbaran Corner, By the Sea (for any beach items you left at home), and Konderatu Gallery.
Things to do
Jimbaran is renowned for being one of the few locations in Bali where you can truly relax and unwind. Thus you should take the opportunity to kick back and enjoy the scenery! The area has many water sport offerings, so if you find yourself looking for more action and adventure, consult your hotel for recommendations of good companies or book through the hotel to avoid scams.
Where to go nearby
Jimbaran is a great place to base yourself and explore the South of Bali further. Uluwatu is incredibly nearby (15 minutes drive) with highlights including Uluwatu Temple, Single Fin Bar and Padang Padang beach. Also nearby is Nusa Dua if you’re looking for something different with a similar relaxed vibe to Jimbaran.