Infinity pools lead the way to the beach, a stunning spa facility hides in the gardens and superior service throughout, it’s no wonder The Legian is one of Bali’s best hotels.
Many visitors to Bali never make it past the sprawling beach front towns of the south. Sanur, Kuta and Seminyak have all been drawing people in for decades, and today they are busy tourist hubs packed with a whole range of accommodation options. It wasn’t always this way however, a few prestigious trailblazers have been welcoming guests long before Bali became such a popular destination. These places have become local institutions, famed for their quality and illustriousness. The Legian is one of these, and while rivals have sprung up around it, this luxury hotel has never dropped its game. It has just carried on providing comfort, service and great food.
We love going up into the interior of the island to witness both Balinese culture and the beauty of its landscapes, but we also love the comfort and relaxed attitude prevalent in this coastal part of the island. Seminyak is our favorite place to stay down here, and it is up there with Ubud as one of the best towns in Bali. If you want a cheap, party holiday, you go to Kuta – the next town to the south. Or -- if you're like us -- and you prefer an upmarket experience with world class restaurants and shopping, head to Seminyak. It’s a bit quieter, more laid back, and the long flat beach gives you that perfect beach town vibe.
We were excited, to revisit Seminyak and particularly to stay at the Legian. Occupying its own section of the famous beach, it is a pleasant mix of local design elements, and modern comfort. There is a lot of open air space and the obligatory palm-thatched roofs (these are quintessentially Balinese), while the corridors are peppered with Eastern statues and carvings. At the same time, most of the furnishings wouldn’t have looked out of place at any top hotel which ensured that the Legian retained a touch of luxury and class. Simply put, this hotel is elegant and refined, yet very comfortable and laid back - exactly what you want from a beach hotel! Everyday we would walk around and discover new details at the hotel. There were just so many interesting things to look at!
To get the most out of the seafront location, we stayed in one of the Ocean View One Bedroom Deluxe Suites. It was very beautiful, and the designer deserves a lot of credit for creating such a light and tasteful space. The whole suite was generously sized with the bathroom being particularly big (it was almost as large as the bedroom!), and we had a lounge area separate from our sleeping quarters. We even had a mini kitchen. But it was the wraparound balcony which stole the show...what can I say we’re both a sucker for a good view. We had direct views of the ocean and hotel grounds, and there were plenty of comfortable couches to take it all in from.
One thing you can definitely say about Seminyak is that you won’t be short of great places to eat. There are so many top eateries in the area serving every type of food imaginable. With all the options it can be hard to fit everything in, and with a set of sophisticated restaurants of its own, The Legian doesn’t make the choice any easier. There are two restaurants on the property, as well as three different bars – of which two serve food. The main restaurant is run by Australian Luke McLeod who has previously worked in several Michelin starred establishments. It serves up a mixture of local and western foods and does them all with flair.
There are lots of salads on the menu, and every one we tried was delicious. Our favorite dish however, was the chicken satay which came, still cooking on its own mini-grill. The two bars with food menus are outside by the beach, making them great places to sit and watch the sunset. The pool bar does wood fired pizza, while the champagne bar serves canapés like caviar and smoked salmon to accompany your bubbles. Breakfast was good as well, and every morning we would enjoy eating it on the large outdoor terrace before heading to the pool area.
When we weren't eating, you could often find us laying out in the sun. Our favorite cabana bed was between the pool and the beach, and we would hang out there for the better part of the day. Sipping on cocktails, catching up on our books and just lounging about – it was perfect. The pool area is pretty special, and there is a series of four infinity pools which drop down in steps to the beach. This makes for a dramatic view across to the ocean, and it is all crowned by the swaying palm trees.
We would have spent all our time down there if it wasn’t for The Legian Spa. This has to be one of the best spas we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing anywhere in the world, and it comes complete with a fitness center and yoga studio. It is beautifully decorated with mood lighting, slate walls and divan couches to relax on. Best of all, it is separated from the beach by a small grass lawn, allowing for views of the sea during certain massage treatments.
They offer almost every type of treatment you can imagine, including local specialties like the Balinese Coffee Ritual. We went for a couples treatment known as ‘The Legian Indulgence’, which really was the full package.
It began with a aromatherapy foot scrub, followed by a 4 hand synchronized massage...yes two therapists for me and 2 for Chris, all working simultaneously to give us the best massage we have ever had. As we lay there, each therapist massaged different points of our body completely in unison. Talk about next level indulgence! Next we each had a traditional body polish, (or maybe it was the other way around...trust me when I say we were in and out of a dopey haze during our treatment :) This was all just as exotic as it sounds, but also very nourishing for our bodies...heaven!
Between the spa, the pool and the beach, we didn’t get out of the hotel as much as maybe we should have. It is the perfect place to be a beach bum, and to laze away your days. There are plenty of places to go in Seminyak however, so you really should go see the area. It is small enough to walk around and there are so many great bars, restaurants and boutique shops. Motel Mexicola is one of the funnest places for dinner, while Sisterfields Cafe is widely recognized as the best breakfast spot. A bit further up the beach is the Potato Head club a consistently trendy club and a great place if you’re looking to dance and sip some cocktails.
Seminyak is a busy place but you would never know it once inside The Legian. It has everything you need to relax in comfort, while some of Bali’s best amenities are just on your doorstep. Having your own beach is the ultimate luxury and, as the public ones get quite crowded, it's great that you don’t have to share it. This hotel deserves the reputation it has built up, and we loved our stay there.