Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page >

Which beach for end of trip: GiliT, Sanur, Seminyak, Kuta?

Which beach for end of trip: GiliT, Sanur, Seminyak, Kuta?

Old Jan 8th, 2010, 08:01 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Which beach for end of trip: GiliT, Sanur, Seminyak, Kuta?

Can anyone recommend our final beach destination for the end of our 2 week Bali/Lombok trip? We're interested in good diving/snorkeling, laid back atmosphere, nice restaurants, but not a party place.

We're staying a week in Ubud, then a few days in Lombok at Qunci Villas. Should we consider GiliT or head back to Bali closer to the airport to avoid travel hassles at the end, with maybe do a day trip to Gili when we're in Lombok? I notice some people rave about the Gili islands, and others don't.

PLEASE give me your opinions and experiences - people on this board seem quieter than some other destinations. Please talk to me.......
Lori
wasigan is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2010, 10:04 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you don't want a party place, don't go to Kuta. I like Sanur, nice little town, nice beach, a variety of restaurants, but no snorkeling.

Gili has good snorkeling, but I don't think it's much for diving (I'm not a diver, maybe MichaelBKK can chime in). People really do seem to be divided on the Gilis - most of the people I met were not enthused, though thought they were fine for a day trip. I do understand that there is now nicer accommodation there than there was previously.

I would go back to Bali at least one day before you need to fly out... some people have reported hassles with flights and you don't want to worry about missing your flight.
Kathie is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2010, 10:36 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can recommend Gili Trawangan if you want more of a lowkey, chill, rustic beach experience. (Seminyak and Sanur are nice, too, just very different and more developed).

I spent 2-3 days on Gili T last summer. The island is very pretty, and there are no cars or scooters on the island: only horse drawn carts. Or, one can walk around the entire island in an hour or 2. There is good snorkeling and diving from the island. (I snorkeled with huge sea turtles: very cool!)There are many PADI/NAUI dive shops on the island to choose from.

On Gili T, I'd take a look at either www.alamindahbali.com/alam_gili.htm or
www.karmakayak.com/
Both are well run, small inns on the quieter part of the island. Do let me know if you have any other questions about the Gilis, as there aren't many comments on here about them.
cruisinred is offline  
Old Jan 8th, 2010, 03:29 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 199
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I also really like Sanur. Super quiet and peaceful. Decent restaurants. We had a great little bungalow at Prima Cottages about two blocks from the beach for about $35USD. More info and pics from our trip at http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot.com/
katrinab is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2010, 01:38 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for everyones response. I've ruled out Kuta (sorry ethan1066) and it seems that Seminyak may be a bit on the high side for us for beachfront accommodations. We were looking for a smaller resort with rooms/bungalows on the beach for around $200-$250. Sanur sounds very nice too, but do you miss the sunsets since it's on the east side of the island?

Cruisinred, thanks for the recommendations for Gili T. That actually sounds more like what we're looking for - laid back, good snorkeling, and nice beaches. What can you tell me about the effect of their dynamite fishing on the reefs. I understand they stopped this a few years back but how is the snorkeling today?
wasigan is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2010, 07:22 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
wasigan, I think you have two separate requirements here that may be difficult to reconcile: a beach location (preferably westcoast) that is convenient to Denpasar airport and a beach location that has access to good snorkeling. I'm not sure that you'll find both.

The best snorkeling in Bali is in the Northwest (Pemuteran) or the Northeast (Amed). Neither is especially convenient to Denpasar airport.

I dived around Lombok once several years ago and was so disgusted by the condition of the reefs that I never went back. The Gilis have experienced quite a bit of positive investment lately which is a good thing as they were on a downward spiral in the late 90's. Regardless, getting to Denpasar airport from the Gilis is challenging.

If you do decide on Seminyak I'd suggest that you take a looks at the Sofitel. It's a larger property but it has nice grounds and an okay beach and is convenient to all the shops and restaurants of Seminyak.
marmot is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2010, 08:32 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
marmot, thanks so much for your feedback. I think you may be right - and we should rethink our priorities for the tail end of our trip. I just don't want to end the trip with a frantic pace at a Miami Beach-type of place, especially after a week of the culture in Ubud and a few days on the beach in Lombok. I also may be dwelling on something I read in my LP guide that called Seminyak "flash, brash, phoney, and filled with bony models" which if it's not accurate is pretty harsh. I'm not looking for that kind of place - do I have the wrong picture about Seminyak?

If I could ask about one more place, and then it's time to make a decision. Do you have any thoughts on Nusa Lembongen? We have 12 hours to get to the airport before our red-eye flight out, so that may be doable for the last few days.

Thank you for your help. It really is invaluable.
wasigan is offline  
Old Jan 10th, 2010, 05:29 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seminyak attracts a sophisticated clientele. They are definitely NOT all phony and/or boney but are people who appreciate style and design. If anything I’d say that they have a more urban, trend conscious sensibility.

Athough the LP backpackers and surfers may have been priced out of Seminyak, the influence of big-money fashionistas is somewhat overstated. Aside from the rabble that assembles on the beach in front of KuDeTa at sunset, the Seminyak is fairly laidback with plenty of ordinary folks enjoying the waves and sunset with their significant others and children.

Because of the movement toward private villas, the area seems less crowded during the day. At night the restaurant areas can be densely populated, but the some of the individual restaurants are very good. LaLucciola, Metis, Sarong, Hu, Sip, Living Room – provide good to excellent food in beautiful tropical settings, but are still relaxed and Balinized. There’s also a late night club scene which appeals my 20 something son, but that’s a different story. Unlike Kuta if you don’t seek it you won’t be affected by it.

I haven’t been to Nusa Lembongen but I don’t like what I’m hearing about the large groups that descend on it for day trips from Bali.

Actually, from what you’ve described it sounds like Qunci is the ideal fit. Other than transit to the airport is there a reason why you don’t want to just stay put in Lombok?
marmot is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2010, 07:44 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 111
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the more in-depth perspective, marmot. There's a big difference between aesthetic appreciation, and over-the-top wannabe glamour, and you've explained it well. Thanks!

I actually started looking at some villas last night in Seminyak, though again, I think we might be priced out of the $250 range. But I will keep looking.

You're right - Qunci Villas sounds like it's the kind of beach experience we like, but we'd like to spend a few days in a third area. From everythng I've read, a full week in Lombok might be overdoing it? We will have to return anyway for at least one overnight to avoid airpost hassles, so I'd rather make it 2 or 3 nights to enjoy it more.
wasigan is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2011, 09:54 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glad to find this post (thank you again marmot) because we too are trying to decide between Sanur and Seminyak for similar reasons to wasigan. We don't land at DPS until 7:15 in the evening after 26 hours of travel so staying a couple of days someplace relatively nearby is the first requirement. Beyond that being able to stay on the beach and somewhere not too glitzy are the goals. We live in San Francisco, can certainly handle sophistcation, but we don't need it and don't really need the backpacking crowd. The Puri Santrian looks like just the sort of place we would like and has shifted me a bit toward Samur although the lack of the sunset is a minus!
mstraveler is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 12:38 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 784
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For what it is worth I think marmot is spot on in his revue of Seminyak v other spots and having been there twice in 2010 .
JohnFitz is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 01:35 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Getting to Ubud from Denpasar airport is relatively easy, even after a long journey, so if that's where you want to be, don't let the distance deter you. It's nice to wake up in Bali,wherever you are.

I LIKE the beach in Bali and in fact at this very moment I'm looking at sunset over Seminyak beach. All the southern beaches are pretty much the same distance from the airport, give or take 15 minutes. The problem is getting from East to West, e.g., Sanur to Seminyak. Traffic can be horrific.

I've concentrated on Seminayk for many years now so I'm most comfortable there. I like the stylishness and the energy level. A lot of people feel the same way about Sanur.

Seminyak has a long lively beach, nice sunsets, big waves and some very good restaurants, shops and spas. There are a zillion villas, but they are not right on the beach. For beach front I think The Legian is a terrific choice, but there are others that are less pricy.
marmot is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 01:57 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,215
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We're at puri santrian right now in Sanur. When we arrived
Sat night we were disappointed at first. No one really mentioned that there's really not much beach. There's a reef way out that collects the waves, so here it's more like a bay to me. And seaweed collects at shore edge. I haven't figured out what's quiet about it. Entrance is in heart of town among lots of shops and rests, not high end. On beach side between santrian and the hyatt is stretch of low rent beach businesses, which, may either add to it's charm or not, depending on your point of view. Now having said that, the grounds are lovely, our room is nice. They upgraded us fromgardenwing to club' though I think only difference may be location and upgraded bath. The pools are beautiful. Free wi fi. Pretty restaurants though we're eating locally instead. We're on a long trip, so 2 days just lazing around the nice pools in tropics is going to be ok now. But first I had envisioned long walks on gorgeous beach etc.......
glover is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 07:55 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
WOW. Thank you marmot and glover for the perfect counterpoint of messages! I think Seminyak is a better fit for us. I will check the Legian again, although if memory serves it was more than I wanted to spend for our first 3 mights on a long trip where I also want to talk Mr. mstravel (who goes trekking in Nepal and is happy as a clam in nice, clean $25/night hotels) into the Four Seasons or the Chedi Club. If anyone has villa recommendations in the $140-up to 200 range that would be great. I love wonderful hotels so I am always drawn to the nicer ones...
mstraveler is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 02:53 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The beach in Seminyak is scenic -- big surfer waves, sunsets -- and long -- you can walk 5 miles+ in either direction, but the upkeep is variable. The resorts keep their beaches clean and raked but the public areas and construction sites can get trashy.

There have been exceptionally high tides this week which may account for the disappearing beach in Sanur.

The advantage of staying in a resort versus a villa is that you get direct beach access plus you can retreat to the garden when the beach gets too lively. Indonesian beaches are well used by all sorts of people -- fishermen, surfers, soccer players, dog walkers, plus the ubiquitous vendors -- and they're definitely not the Robinson Crusoe variety.

Try a studio at The Legian and also try Samaya and Sofitel. By the middle of next year the new W will be open too. Also, the renovated Resort Seminyak.

I don't have any specific villa recommendations. I like the Laksmana group and the Petitengit area.
marmot is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 04:32 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"By the middle of next year" should read THIS YEAR. I haven't yet registered 2011!
marmot is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2011, 08:33 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Marmot. The Sofitel is now renamed The Royal Beach Seminyak Bali and is $155 ++. The Legian and Samaya are in the $450-550++ range (although one of them is having a 30$ off sale bringing it to $385). All look like great suggestions. We will probably opt for RBS, given that we will arrive late and very tired.
mstraveler is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2011, 03:41 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,779
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I didn't know that the Sofitel changed hands. Comments on Trip Advisor are certainly mixed -- love it or hate it.

The Sofitel used to be very popular with European travelers. Kind of a mishmash of design, but a good value.

The location is convenient. Beautiful gardens which unfortunately are overshadowed by the Anatara that was built very close next door.

A good swimming beach, but there always seems to be an aggressive soccer game going on at the beach entrance, which is annoying.

Another place that's popular with expats is the Padma. A little south of Seminyak but a friendly lowkey ambience.

Ironically, I think it's easier to find charm at a lower price in Ubud than at the beach. Once all the new properties, like the W, get established I imagine prices will come down but right now rooms right on the beach, especially in Seminyak, are at a premium. The W should open in April-May and should be offering introductory rates. It looks promising, simple design, quiet stretch of beach.

If you're not wild about beach culture, you might want to head straight to Ubud. You'd be in your room by 10 p.m. and you'll like waking up in Ubud.
marmot is offline  
Old Jan 6th, 2011, 09:09 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 420
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Starwood website says April 1 for the W, but no sign of being able to make a reservation for later May. Am not wild about beach culture in general, but do enjoy it a lot if it is peaceful enough and will want to spend some beach time in Bali. Back when the Tahiti Club Med was open we spend an incredible week in a tahiti style bungalow on the beach and loved it. Of course they had an isolated and gorgeous piece of land on Moorea. Places like Miami Beach are a little less appealing for the crowds, and although I do like Waikiki it is primarily for the culture and music. A couple nights at either Seminyak or Samur will probably be a nice way to ease into the transition and really will only give us a day there.
mstraveler is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
crellston
Asia
13
May 30th, 2013 04:40 PM
alovesa
Asia
4
May 1st, 2012 02:40 AM
bali11
Asia
5
Jul 1st, 2011 08:23 PM
pacoabs
Asia
4
Aug 8th, 2006 09:24 PM
janelleb
Asia
11
May 22nd, 2005 02:34 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:33 AM.