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The Great Uluwatu: Nature’s Best Friend

in Culture/Destinations/Dining/Recreation by

Uluwatu is part of a large limestone peninsula in southern Bali called ‘The Bukit’. Literally meaning ‘the hill’, The Bukit offers stunning clifftop ocean views, where you can visually feast on spectacular sunsets over the blue waters. “Glorious blue ocean, glistening white sandy beaches and dramatic clifftop vistas are inescapable in Uluwatu,” says Andy Grant, Head of Concierge at Elite Havens.

A Finely-Curated Tour of Uluwatu

Explore Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

A special inclusion for guests staying at select villas in the region, our signature Uluwatu tour allows a relaxed start and begins with a stop at the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park. Look up and gaze in awe at a huge statue of Lord Vishnu riding his mount Garuda, standing at about 120 metres – taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is an unexpected surprise to find such a mammoth display hidden away on a tiny island in Indonesia.

The park includes an amphitheater, an exhibition hall, and a large area called the Lotus Pond, where many famous rock bands have performed in the past.  Your personal tour guide will be happy to capture this moment for you, should you want a photograph at the spot.

Enjoy Pandawa Beach

He can also give you the lowdown on the history of the park and of Pandawa Beach, a glistening spot a short drive away. “From start to finish, you are escorted by our experienced driver, who is also your guide for the day, sharing local knowledge and insights into each area,” says Andy.

Dine at Roosterfish Beach Club

Pandawa Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali; the fact that it’s also less crowded than Seminyak and Kuta adds to its draw. After some beach-time, you have the option of having lunch at Roosterfish Beach Club, where the smell of wood-fired oven pizzas and grilled local seafood wafts in the air. The beach club is right on the sand, so get ready to have some fun!

Watch a Kecak Fire Dance

The build-up is appropriate to set the tone for the most important stop of the day – the majestic Uluwatu Temple.

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The magic of Nyepi: Bali’s unique Day of Silence

in Culture by
Villa Zelie - Staff praying

While most cultures celebrate the new year with rowdy celebrations, revelry and fireworks, in Bali the dawning of a new year is ushered in with a unique day of silence, known as Nyepi.

This year Nyepi falls on 7 March and for 24 hours shops and restaurants will stay closed, the streets and markets will remain empty, the beaches will be deserted and the waves un-surfed. Even the airport is shut down as Bali falls under a magnificent cloak of silence.

Ocean Temple - Tanah Lot

In order to understand Nyepi, is it necessary to briefly dip into the dualistic world of Balinese Hinduism which is woven into the very fabric of life on the island. Imagine a cosmic dance in which the forces of good and evil are in constant play. Order is represented by the gods, known as dewa and dewi, while disorder is represented by the earth demons known as bhutas and kalas.

Balance must be maintained so that evil doesn’t get the upper hand. Through a myriad of religious offerings and rituals, the gods are thanked and asked for blessings, while the forces of darkness who seek to upset the equilibrium are appeased. Of all the ceremonial days on the island, Nyepi is one of the most important.

Des Indes I

Why the silence?

Theological explanations vary. Some say that by staying hidden the evil spirits will think the island has been abandoned and will pass by, thus bringing an auspicious start to the new year. But Hindu scholars say that the noise and revelry of the preceding evening, Nyepi Eve, wakes up the demons so that they will see the offerings, including blood sacrifice that have been laid out for them. In this view, the silence is a symbol of contentment and gratitude that the demons have been appeased for another year. Regardless of theological explanations, Nyepi is a day reserved for quiet contemplation and self-reflection and Balinese Hindus are prohibited from work, entertainment, travel and lighting fires. Priests and those with a higher spiritual calling will also fast, observe total silence and pass the day in prayer.

nyepi ogoh ogoh bali art

How does Nyepi effect visitors to the island?

Even tourists must respect Nyepi and stay within the grounds of their accommodation and keep noise and lights to a minimum.

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Bento, yakitori and sushi in Bali

in Destinations/Dining by

You have to love a cuisine that managed to invent another flavor. Umami refers to that extra layer of deliciousness that defies description.

Japanese food has infiltrated the far corners of the world, satiating our interest as well as our appetites. Read on to discover Japanese restaurants and places to order sushi in Bali, Indonesia.

Sake no Hana

contemporary Japanese

Sake no Hana may be new in Bali but they come with a serious reputation in other parts of the world, most notably in London’s fashionable Mayfair. Described as contemporary Japanese, Sake no Hana’s Executive Chef travelled from London to create this menu and it is filled with temptation and flavor. From their signature menus, which offer exotic imports like Kobe beef, Hamachi sashimi and Alaskan king crab, to bento boxes to a scale of signature menus, this is worth the splurge.

Overlooking the sparkling new daytime destination, Omnia, on the Uluwatu coast, Sake no Hana is filled with light by day. At night, as the club closes, it becomes a sophisticated destination restaurant. With a refreshingly different menu of bespoke cocktails alongside some wonderful wine and sake selections, Sake no Hana adds sophisticated new flavours to Uluwatu. 

Top tip: leave room for desserts, which are beautiful, creative and delicious.
Cover image credit: Sake no Hana. 

Ryoshi

sushi, yakitori and jazz

Ryoshi’s owner, Sagon Togasa, opened his first Ryoshi in Seminyak to house his two great loves; sushi and jazz. It still does that and more. With Ryoshi now in Sanur, Ubud and offering welcome respite to shoppers in Galleria, the menu has expanded alongside the empire.

At heart is the sushi window, with chefs slicing sushi and sashimi to order, fresh seafood is also part of the philosophy. There are grills, braises and rice bowls. A range of delicious kushiyaki, grilled food on sticks, and some delicious vegetarian options.

Agadashi tofu is a hit here as is the Japanese steak, the traditional fried chicken and steaming bowls of udon with your choice of toppings. Best of all it’s ultimately affordable.

Top tip: Monday night is the most popular night as the jazz is always world class, head upstairs and take a seat in the restaurant or hang out at the bar.

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Omnia Bali – a lifestyle destination in Uluwatu

in Wellness by
Hakkasan Group Day Club in Bali

Uluwatu has changed. The pristine beaches that first attracted surfers to the area are as beautiful as ever, the legendary waves still roll up to picturesque white sand beaches, and the limestone cliffs and perfect sunsets never fail to inspire with their natural beauty. Other things, however, have changed a lot. With some of the island’s most sophisticated new venues opening on the cliffs of Bali’s stunning southern peninsula, there are now more reasons than ever to head up the hill.

OMNIA BALI - UluwatuPOOLSIDE AT OMNIA BALI – PHOTO AND BAG: KEMBALI COLLECTIVE

The island is on a fast track to join glamorous island destinations like Ibiza and Mykonos with ever more beautiful, and exclusive, beach clubs in Bali. The jet set would be very happy here and the arrival of the occasional helicopter is a clear sign, that Bali is changing. From designer bikinis to glittering caftans, men in linen shorts and boardies straight out of GQ Magazine, Omnia is a game changer for Bali.

The cliff-side club is the latest and the largest day club to open and the venue is every bit as the stunning as the crowd. It is here that one of the world’s biggest hospitality groups, Hakkasan, has opened their first Indonesian property. And what a statement it makes. They are already big in Las Vegas, this is brand new and already making waves in Bali’s social life. 

Blue and white are the colours that define the expansive club that follows the edges of the cliff with a sparkling horizon pool. Complete with VIP gazebos, private pools, day beds, and a bar that defies gravity, Omnia raises the bar for Uluwatu and Bali.

From the impressive entrance, to the tiered lounge area that leads to the main pool deck, Omnia is chic, crisp and inviting. Here everthing from the towels to the glassware, the service, the menus, the cocktails and the food are polished and ready for guests.

The location, beside the Alila Uluwatu resort, on the cliffs of Pecatu, is breathtaking. The tiered lounge area offers shade from the sun as well as expansive views over the club. Smart looking day beds and sofas line the pool deck. A bridge leads to the main bar, which is suspended above the cliff. A large floating cube gives the bar its name.

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Top 5: Bali Chinese food restaurants for Lunar New Year

in Dining by
chinese food restaurants in bali 2018

Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is about starting fresh for a prosperous new year. It’s a time to clean your home, don new clothes, gather with family, give lucky gifts and eat lucky food.

Lucky Chinese foods for Lunar New Year

Eating fresh citrus signifies fullness and wealth. Dumplings, spring rolls and nian gao (sweet glutinous rice cakes) bring prosperity. Catfish, Crucian carp and other fish are symbolic of surplus, traditionally served on both Chinese New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Don’t skip the noodles – they represent longevity and happiness.

chinese fortune cookie art by jiha moon

Chinese restaurants in Jimbaran, Seminyak and Canggu, Bali

There are hundreds of Chinese restaurants in Bali, Indonesia. These top five are award-winning establishments robust enough to host your Chinese New Year gathering and tasty enough to surpass expectations of the most discerning foodies from around the world.

best chinese restaurant in bali is ah yatIMAGE BY AH YAT

Ah Yat Abalone & Seafood Restaurant

Named Best Chinese Restaurant in Bali by NOW! Bali Magazine in 2017 with 720 votes is Ah Yat (there are several restaurants by the same name in this chain, including renowned locations in Jakarta, Indonesia and Singapore). Executive Chef Cheung Kin Kau boasts over 20 years’ experience in fine dining. The menu is both adventurous and traditional – expect Japanese food, Hokkien food and Chinese food that demonstrates the chef’s Cantonese heritage.

The beautiful restaurant hosts massive saltwater tanks of live seafood, so fresh fish dishes and shellfish are centre stage. This large restaurant is the only place in Bali with a selection of Japanese special grade dried abalone and Greenlip abalone. A dim sum lover’s delight, there are 30 types of Hong Kong style steamed dumplings on the menu too.

HOURS 11AM-3PM, 530PM-10PM
PRICE $$$

Ah Yat Seafood Restaurant
Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera,
Jimbaran, Bali
(+62) 0361 846 8468
ahyatrestaurant.com.sg

Kwee Zeen

Taking the top award for Best Pan Asian Restaurant in 2017, Kwee Zeen caught our attention. The dining concept here is upscale Asian street market “kwee zeen” – get it? Cui-sine.

Executive Chef Daine Gilbert has a buffet of delights from China,

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