Island Sunsets: The Best Destinations for Golden Hour
One of the most magical experiences that Bali has to offer are its breathtaking sunsets; and Bali’s south is where you can best observe picturesque transitions before the moon rises – from the beaches with your toes in the sand, to the clifftops.
KUTA & SEMINYAK
Let’s start with our very own comfort zones in Kuta and Seminyak, where the sunset view is considered to be the most breathtaking on the island. Many see the two areas as the local dish nasi campur; it tastes darn good even though it looks bad. With that being said, the two areas have cemented themselves as the island’s hub for everything leisurely, such as the simplest pleasure of watching the sunset from their coasts.
The area of Kuta Beach is about the boldest boardshorts, and people really let their hair down here. New buildings have come to decorate this area, making it one of the busiest, if not the busiest, tourist hubs on the island. But old things still remain: People posing with the pink-coloured sky, couples holding hands, guys walking their dogs, kids playing on the sand, local ladies offering massages, braids, nail colouring along with countless guys trying to offer temporary tattoos.
The next door Seminyak, on the other hand, is less manic than Kuta. The sidewalks of this stylish area serve as somewhat of a runway for Seminyak’s ‘street fashion show,’ which can be expected anytime of the day. It is no surprise that Seminyak also serves as the home and playground for many of the most tasteful people and designers on the island. Owing to the abundance of high-end shopping, combined with the clustering of many fine eating establishments, Seminyak has rapidly become one of the most well-known tourist areas in Bali.
POPULAR SUNSET SPOTS:
Seminyak Beach is home to bountiful beachfront venues, each with a great spot to watch the sunset. Some of these venues lay their beanbags on the sand, allowing you to lounge around with a cold drink to watch the spectacular view. For a bird’s eye view of the sunset, two venues stand out among the Seminyak’s crowd. The posh rooftop of Anantara Seminyak, MoonLite Kitchen and Bar offers one of the best views of sunset on the island. You can relax at the trendy bar lounge with an extensive selection of classic and modern beverages, including seductive cocktails and a well-stocked wine list (+62 361 737 773). The other, Double-Six Rooftop promises ocean breezes and provides prime spots for views of the colourful Seminyak sunsets. With its own take on seductive drinking environments and lush ocean views from the terrace, this venue allows you to observe the breathtaking Bali sunset while relaxing in a ‘floating’ pod (+62 730 466).
In Kuta, the beach remains the most popular spot to watch the sunset. But if you go further toward Jalan Melasti, you can head up to IP-Pool Bar at Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana, where sunset chasers come to get the relaxing breezes while sunbathing and enjoying the view from the infinity pool. The venue is suitable to chill out for the day while enjoying the sunset view or just relax pool side with your loved ones (+62 361 762 500).
ULUWATU & JIMBARAN
Of course, sunsets are equally as beautiful in Uluwatu and Jimbaran. The area’s dazzling white cliffs with the waves rolling below, crashing against the walls is so alluring, making it so worth it to drive up to the area even only for the sunset.
The real gems of Uluwatu are hidden away from the main road and are found by way of the smaller, winding roads ascending deeper to this southern part of the island. Though more and more buildings are appearing, the area does look deserted – with arid lands and withered trees – and not particularly inviting, especially during dry season. Just drive further, and you might end up on some of the most dramatic beaches on the island.
POPULAR SUNSET SPOTS:
From luxury resorts to secluded beach clubs and temples, watching the sunset in Uluwatu is an experience hard to forget. Sundays Beach Club makes not only a great sunset spot, but also a perfect urban escape. Nestled on the stunning stretch of a white sandy beach on the Bukit Peninsula, you can explore the crystal-clear lagoon and scattered rock pools in a kayak or stand up paddle board along the reef. Or you can just simply relax to the cool tunes played in the background, and enjoy their signature cocktails and friendly Balinese service (+62 811 942 1110). Likewise, on the neighbouring tropical oasis that is Karma Beach, you can curate your day and sunset watching with a personalised itinerary of experiences (+62 361 848 2200).
On the cliff edge, Ju-Ma-Na is a stylish and über-chic spot that offers not only breathtaking sunset views, but also excellent drinks. The immaculate posh cliff-top venue — complete with a stylish shisha bar, lounge, and an exceptional wine cellar — is intended to create an unparalleled experience in an ultra-glamorous setting (+62 361 300 7000). The recently opened OMNIA Dayclub brings a new Sunset experience on a stunning clifftop of Uluwatu. With an array of VIP areas, terrazzo cabanas, an infinity pool and a cliffside bar suspended over the ocean, this new hotspot invites the stylish and the playful to the island’s southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula (www.hakkasangroup.com/omnia-bali).
Of course, the Uluwatu Temple remains a special sunset venue, especially with the Kecak show. The show here is made more dramatic with colourful sunsets of the famous Uluwatu sunset. Come here early so you enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye view of the Indian Ocean, and tour the temple’s premises.
In Jimbaran, the beach is always crowded especially by the locals during sunset time. But for that special sunset experience, you might want to head out to the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay, where the resort will take you onboard their traditional fishing boat all the way out in the ocean for a sunset session – canapes and Champagne will be served then. For those who are no longer pleased by drinking on daybeds or fancy restaurants, then clinking glasses while afloat on the Indian Ocean, watching the sun go down over the horizon can be pretty special (+62 361 701010).