These days, the fashionable set is flocking to Bali's beachside village of Seminyak, just north of touristy Kuta but miles away in its refreshingly grown-up vibe. HOTELS The minimalism of the Downtown Villas (9D Jalan Lalu Village; 62-361/736-464; www.downtownbali.com; villas from $250) wouldn't look out of place in Palm Springs. • At the Club at the Legian (Jalan Laksmana; 62-361/730-622; www.ghmhotels.com; doubles from $600), a private enclave within the venerable Legian resort, each of the 11 suites has its own pool and personal butler. RESTAURANTS Down the shore is Ku dé Ta (9 Jalan Laksmana; 62-361/ 736-969; www.kudeta.net; dinner for two $70), a hyper-designed compound that has a restaurant, beach club, and Cuban-cigar bar. A breezy poolside terrace—stainless-steel chairs, red umbrellas—is filled until dawn with expats whose idea of beachwear is spangled sandals. • Try the signature wasabi gelato after a dinner of goat cheese tortellini at Axiom (18A Jalan Raya Seminyak; 62-361/738-820; dinner for two $70), a nouvelle Australian dining room opened by the original chef from Ku dé Ta. NIGHTLIFE At midnight, the style crowd heads to Jalan Dhyana Pura for the two-story club Space (No. 17; 62-361/732-102; www.spacebali.com), a favorite for runway shows by local designers, and the stark white chill-out lounge Oxygen (No. 4; 62-361/730-885), whose ambient sound track is reminiscent of the one at Paris's Hotel Costes.
—Peter Jon Lindberg
Ku dé Ta
The Legian Bali
The undisputed glamour-puss of Bali hotels, the all-suite Legian sits center stage on fabulous Legian Beach, just a quick skip from the swish shops and nightclubs of Seminyak. Shy types will feel out of place here; on the daybeds surrounding the seaside infinity pool is a see-and-be-seen crowd of designer-clad Europeans, Asians, and well-heeled locals that gathers daily to tan, drink, and ogle one another. (The nighttime scene centers around cocktails at the open-air Pool Bar.) The 66 suites have spacious balconies, lounge rooms, and pantries, and are kitted out in dark merbau woods, pale fabrics, and seashell-embellished mirrors. Snag a bit more privacy at the 11 Club Villas, each of which has its own 30-foot-long pool, as well as round-the-clock butler service; there’s also a private bar for Club members only.
Tip: Book the Beach House—a freestanding one-bedroom villa on the beach with its own walled garden, teak decks, and 48-foot-long infinity pool.
Room to book: Deluxe Suite #431 is a corner unit, and has a good-sized balcony for enjoying the spectacular Seminyak views.
Ideally located in Seminyak, the Downtown Villas are just a two-minute walk from the city’s shopping and dining district and a mere 15 minutes from the beach. Each of the nine villas has one, two, or three bedrooms as well as a fully equipped kitchen and a private 65-foot lap pool or plunge pool. The interiors are decorated with hardwood floors, imported wooden furniture, colorful contemporary art, and white sofas and beds topped with bright red or blue accents. Chefs trained at the renowned Ku De Ta restaurant prepare the complimentary breakfasts and room service dishes.