Last Updated: September 7, 2016
A lovely getaway in Bali is always a good idea but we tend to associate it with ratchet clubbing most of the time. Enough of all that hard core partying, here’s a list of beach lounges and bars to go to for a relaxed night, where you can keep things classy and have a conversation that doesn’t require much yelling.
M Gallery by Sofitel is situated in Seminyak and their Capri Beach Bar and Restaurant does a pretty sick happy hour deal, 1 for 1 cocktails, which lasts from 5 – 7pm daily. Yep, you heard me right and make that even sweeter with a beach view and swimming pool to soak in for when the sun is too strong.
Royal B**ch (Right, 125 000 Rupiah)
A mix of vodka, lychee liquer, ginger, lychee fruit, fresh lime and topped with ginger ale, this is a very refreshing drink. An obvious longan flavour, subtly sweet and perfect for lounging by the beach.
Pink Mojito (Left, 125 000 Rupiah)
They called it beautiful and that it is the queen of mojitos. This pink rendition uses strawberries and strawberry vodka in place of the usual lime-y suspects. This makes the cocktail slightly sweeter but not discounting on the zesty factor. Yet another drink that is great for lounging by Capri Beach Bar.
A speakeasy, Single Malt is hidden in plain sight. In fact, it doesn’t even try that hard to hide (probably because they have to attract patrons). Located on top of IZE Hotel’s in-house restaurant, Meja Kitchen, Single Malt is accessible by a wide staircase beside Meja that seemingly leads to nowhere.
Adhering to that 1920’s prohibition era feels, Single Malt was dark, furnished with heavy oak panels, bar counter, plush chesterfield armchairs and complete with vintage black and white photographs. Stepping in, you know they don’t serve run-off-the-mill overly saccharine beach cocktails you’d find in abundance in Bali.
From the name, you would know this is a place dedicated to whiskies. This is the place to go if you’re itching for a serious straight drink. Although not entirely cheap, this place carries an outstanding variety of whiskies – over 60 types of single malt plus mixes from Ireland, Canada and the US. The most expensive thing on their menu is a Laphroaig 21 at 850k rupiah/glass.
We tried their Whisky based cocktail, Chocolate Manhattan, and a vodka based cocktail, When in Rome.
The Chocolate part of this cocktail is visibly absent, probably overpowered by the orange liquor. It tastes much like a strong Manhattan or Kiss of Death. It was still a pretty decent drink – sufficiently strong and evidently orangey. Just…perhaps cancel the word ‘chocolate’.
Th vodka cocktail ‘When in Rome’ sounded delectable on the menu but the real deal was a bit too cutting. I typically like cocktails that utilise figs as they need to have mellow tastes in order to allow the figs to come through. Although traces of figs were detectable taste and smell wise, the drink however was quite caustic on the throat and tasted quite like sour plum shots.
The caramelised figs on the side don’t taste like figs to be honest.
Although we expected more of the cocktails, Single Malt whisky is still one of the better places for a more serious drink in Seminyak.
*NOTE: They have a no tank top dress code.
Single Malt: IZE Hotel, Seminyak, Jl. Kayu Ayu No. 68 | Tel: +62 361 8466969 | Website
Ku De Ta is another popular lounge out spot for the more up class tourists. (Singapore has one at MBS that’s ridiculously expensive). Set on a scenic land, ku de ta offers an unobscured view of the ocean on expansive lounge couches.
When the sun sets, the place is immensely romantic with the really dim candlelights and soothing sounds of the waves crashing; you’ll see many couples sprawled out, cuddling under the red umbrellas.
There is also a proper restaurant area if you prefer proper dining.
On both sides of the beach viewing sitting area, there are 2 bars and even more seats so you’ll definitely be able to get a drink.
Generally, plenty of seats indoors but seats with a front view of the beach are limited.
Drinks wise, Ku De Ta offers a really wide selection of cocktails, consisting of mostly tropical style cocktails.
Overall, their cocktails really pack a punch that hits you from the back because the flavours really managed to mask the intensity. It wasn’t until after 30+ minutes of sipping our drinks did we feel it.
Gin & Juice (Left, 135,000 rupiah) – Gin, Magic Tonic Juice and….Love
A refreshing flavoured G&T, decent, drinkable.
Margarita (Right, 135,000 rupiah)
Complete with a salt rim, this standard drink was done decently, pretty delicious and easy to drink but should you order something a little less common? Yeah you probably should
Ziggy (Centre, 135,000 rupiah)
The Ziggy was a satisfying drink. With the detectable aroma and seeds of passionfruit along with lychee sweetness, the Ziggy consisted of an easy-going compatible mix of fruits. Slightly tarte at the back but otherwise refreshing and easy to drink.
*Ku De Ta also has a no tanktop dress code.
Ku De Ta: Jalan Kayu Aya, No. 9 Seminyak, Bali Indonesia 80361 | Tel: +62 361 736969 | Website
Posh and classy is what Rock Bar at Ayana Resort and Spa is all about, of course not forgetting the sweltering heat you’ll have to experience just for that beautiful sunset. Slightly out of the way, I’d recommend getting a car or taxi there and do prepare sun block because you would probably swear and curse if you don’t.
The sunsets there are famed but be sure to get there around 4pm, before the touristy crowd starts strolling in for the same reason. The good people at Rock Bar knows the pain in sitting under the heat, so big umbrellas are provided to shield you from the sun, till its about to set and you can feast your eyes on that big yellow yolk mellowing out.
Rockito (Left Back, 135 000 Rupiah)
Made with Grand Marnier, vodka, mint spring, fresh orange, fresh lemon and passion fruit syrup. Intensely refreshening and served in a cute little barrel and tons of ice, Rockito helps to cool you down just that bit more.
Chamomile Gin & T (Right, 135 000 Rupiah)
I wanted to try the Tom Yum G&T but am so glad I got this instead, the former would have been a killer in the sweltering heat that you’ll definitely be under at Rock Bar.
Chamomile infused gin topped with tonic and some fresh limes, this drink is extremely refreshing and mellow, a good cocktail to cleanse your palate.
Rockatonic (Middle, 160 000 Rupiah)
Dubbed as Rock Favourites, Rockatonic is made up of gin infused with figs, dehydrated figs and topped with tonic water. Pretty much self explanatory yet again, a G&T with subtle sweetness and earthiness from the figs. I enjoyed eating the dehydrated figs, very much.
Super chill atas looking place, with sand-coloured floors and furnishing, it is modelled after a modern beach feel.
Not a big area but it is truly relaxing because it does to get super crowded. There’s the space and quiet to have audible intimate conversations.
They have that white luxurious resort canopy things with sofas underneath, imagine sipping cocktails and doing shisha, that completes that total paradise beach fantasy.
They have a small little private pool for patrons complete with floats with is a great way to chill out. So if you decide to go there, bring a swim suit!
Decent cocktails overall. Apart from the frillier cocktails, they have the serious drinks like Old Fashion and Negroni.
We ordered a Manhattan, Cocoon Royale and Sweet Summertime.
The Manhattan (Left, 120, 000 rupiah) was.. forgettable.
Cocoon Royale (Centre, with the strawberry, 130,000 rupiah) – chambard, mixed berries, sparkling.
It was really easy to drink, tasting like alcoholic sparkling Ribena – although it sounds pretty lame, I liked it a lot.
Sweet Summertime (Right back, 120,000 rupiahs) – Balinese Rambutans, Gin, Bianco
Sweet Summertime is Cocoon’s Balinese spin on the Lychee Martini – adding Balinese rambutans into the blend. It was refreshing and thankfully not overly sweet, allowing the essence of the fruits to come through but a tad light on the gin.
Cocoon Beach Club: JL. Double Six, No.66 Blue Ocean Boulevard, Seminyak, Bali | Tel: +62 361 731266 | Website
If you’re looking for a place to chill by the seaside, with a romantic atmosphere and lounge-y beats that will put anyone and everyone in a good mood, WOO Bar by W Hotel is the place to be. Oh, and you can opt to shisha, which is going scarce in Singapore for reasons I do not even wish to revisit.
I Candy (Left, 135 000 Rupiah)
This cocktail is rather intense with a strong Cachaca presence, muddled with lime wedges, brown palm sugar and served with a cotton candy ball. It almost feels like a sour zombie’s alcoholic kick. The cotton candy helps to balance out the flavours when eaten after a sip.
Earl Grey & Mandarin Sour (Right, 165 000 Rupiah)
Made with citrus infused Belvedere vodka, earl grey syrup, freshly pressed lime juice and orange juice, served in a wine glass and topped with earl grey foam. It tastes like a light orange juice, and there’s almost no earl grey taste at all. But presentation wise it’s adorable and definitely easy to drink. So I’d recommend this to those who are looking for something lighter.
Professional bartenders, innovative cocktails with injections of a little Balinese into their cocktails. Really one of the few to go places if you’re looking for truly good cocktails.
Akademi has no signboard or anything but it is just right there after you see the sign ‘Katamana’. We had to ask 2 persons if that particular place was the right direction for Akademi.
An eclectic mix of décor in a minimalist space, yknow Akademi has its quirks that were probably going to be translated into their cocktails. Vinyls, a player, old-fashion vintage desk lamps and stacks of books on the table with a small bar hidden at corner of the counter, it looks as if you stepped into a reading lounge or something.
But if you look closely, you’ll see home-infused araks and an abundance of books about all sorts of liquors.
Akademi is an interesting place, pleasing to the eye with a laid-back atmosphere. Not only is the interior worth your time, the cocktails are too.
Rudy Sour (left, 140, 000 rupiah)
Made with Bulleit Bourbon, Aloe vera, Passionfruit puree, Egg white emulsion, honey arak with a touch of bitters, citrus and sugar. It was probably the second best cocktail I’ve had in Bali. Super balanced, rounded with initial tastes of passionfruit and aloe vera followed by smooth light honeyed smokiness. Super easy to drink and manageable alcohol content.
Akademi Negroni (right, 120,000 rupiah)– Tanqueray gin, Grape Arak, Brem Wine, Aperol along with some Campari and Vermouth.
Brem Wine is a Indonesian liquor, made from fermented black glutinous rice. Much more sharp, bitter and sour than the first drink, not exactly easy to drink.
Xocolatl (130,000 rupiah)
Xocolatl – a tequila base chocolate drink. Sounds odd but tastes interesting. What looks like innocent iced chocolate packs a punch with aftertastes of tequila that lingers at the back of your tongue. For this cocktail, Akademi actually painstakingly made their own cups out of cocoa fruits.
The hospitable bartenders also offered types of their homemade arak for us to try. These fruit flavoured araks are made after they sous vide the fruits then into the arak they go. The effort and meticulousness displayed in Akademi’s mannerisms and cocktails are telling signs of a good bar. The group unanimously agreed that Akademi is a commendable cocktail bar; absolutely worth your time.
Akademi: Katamama Hotel (where Potato Head is), Jl Petitenget No 51B, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia 80361 | Website
Helmed by Shah Dillion, who also dabbles in The Single Cask in Singapore. Quaint speakeasy that is definitely dapper and hush hush, almost like prohibition era like, with dim lighting.
Smoky Old Bastard (150 000 Rupiah)
Monkey Shoulder, bitters, sugar and smoked wood chips. Baker Street Social’s very own Old Fashioned, it is smoky and slightly peaty like how it’s supposed to be. It packs a good flavour but remains light all at once and there is a distinct orange peel hint.
Baker Street Cobbler (150 000 Rupiah)
Monkey Shoulder, fresh citrus, raspberry, passionfruit and elderflower syrup served in a floral fashion. A great drink with the ladies this is subtly sweet with a great citrus punch, definitely easy to drink and dangerous to have because of how refreshing it is.
Whisky Sour (120 000 Rupiah)
Specially customised and made with a different type of alcohol, Baker Street Social’s version of whisky sour is definitely worth a try. If you fancy a bespoke cocktail, it starts at 120 000 Rupiah, which approximates to about 12 SGD, and baby that’s a definite steal.
Also, we had the best Long Island Tea at Baker Street Social, made with 3 browns and 2 whites. I have never wanted a Long Island more than ever. Please do request for one there when you’re visiting.
Baker Street Social: Jalan Petitenget No. 17C, Kerobokan Kelod | Tel: +62 811-3865-869 | Website