I’ve met countless people who are madly in love with Bali. Our fist visit was great and indeed, there is something special about that island, but I was in no great rush to go back – it’s not like there is a shortage of tropical islands in these parts. But then we tagged along with friends for another quick trip, this time to Jimbaran.
At Balangan beach we were greeted by strong waves and herds of surfers. We made ourselves comfortable on the sun loungers available for daily rent and sat back watching these brave youngsters. We almost lost a few kids in the waves so thought it better to stick to building sand castles. Lunch can be had in the few warungs on the beach with cheap and cheerful food and Bintang, and an ice cream seller patrols the stretch – everyone’s set for the day!
Later that night we headed down to Jimbaran beach famous for the seafood bbq dinner scene. The kids and husbands enjoyed the waves, much calmer here, while the ladies headed over to Island Spa for a massage. At sunset the beach started getting busier and by 5.30 it was getting hard to find a table in any of the restaurants lining the beach.
The smoke from the bbqs covered the beach like a cloud. Our generous order of lobster, fish and prawns was pretty good but the memory I will take away is a group of friend sipping cold Balinese Hatten wine over the beautiful sunset, while kids, coated with sand, are playing on the beach.
With the low tide making ample space for the crowds drawn by the bbq, motorbikes, dogs and rubbish we were not overly impressed with the Jimbaran beach itself. Luckily we decided to come back the following morning.
We checked in at the luxurious Sundara beach club in the far end of the beach – run by the Four Seasons hotel next door. This fab concept allows guests not staying in the resort access the facilities and service without a huge dent in the holiday budget. Watching the kids to learn to surf from from the coolness of my cabana made me feel the luckiest person alive.
The rate is Rp. 980.000++ for use of the day bed, but you get Rp. 600,000 food & beverage credit, fruit and other small snacks, cold water and complimentary WIFI access. We went for the Express Lunch sets, and the food was truly excellent.
The Sundara has beach toys, a shaded area with slides, a tiny kids’ pool and even a kids’ club. The cabanas are perfect for a napping – for kids and adults alike. Bodyboards and surfboards can be rented from the beach – the waves here are gentle and perfect for little ones to practice in.
There is nothing much do in Jimbaran other than the beach, but the area is a great base for exploring. Without traffic the trip to the airport from Balangan area took only half an hour. We loved the idea of being able to choose between cheap meals on the beach and luxury at Sundara without having to stay at an exclusive resort.