It’s Sunday. In Bali. What are we going to do? (Sorry mother, but church can wait). Kick back on cushions on a raft in Ubud or enjoy long family days by the ocean or peachy beach club parties – Bali has an unrivalled Sunday scene, writes Ondy Sweeting.
1. Float Away For Brunch On A Raft At The Sthala
Float away at The SthalaFor those looking for something new on Sunday, The Sthala – a Tribute Hotel near Ubud has a fabulously romantic brunch on a raft on the gently flowing river beside the hotel. The raft is cushioned and veiled behind curtains with a Japanese style table loaded with tasty delights, fruit juice and a chilled bottle of Two Islands sparkling wine. The raft is tethered to a pulley system, so once you have boarded, the electric hoist reels the raft about 20 metres downriver where it bobs blissfully on the water. Kick back and listen to the flowing river with a background track of chirping birds and jungle breeze. It’s wonderfully serene. Brunch includes bakery, pizza, lobster, salad, cut fruit and a cheese plate. Indonesian treats are sweet and exotic while doughnuts are a nod to honeyed desires. Call +62 361 301 8700 for a reservation any day.
2. Get A Pool Pass For The Edge
oneeighty° is the dramatically beautiful pool and restaurant space at The Edge in Uluwatu. A ‘pool pass’ provides a day beside one of the island’s most iconic swimming pools that has a 6.5 metre glass bottom ‘lip’ that stretches over the cliff. Watch Instagramers strut as foodies settle in to enjoy a broad menu that offers an impressive range from heavenly hamburgers and pizza through to juicy lobsters and crisp salads. Cocktails are delicious and the wine-list is one of the most extensive in the region. Beer is glacial, which is perfect for long hot summer days. oneeighty° is open to day-trippers from 11am and there are plenty of sun loungers, pods and umbrellas. The music is low key and never interrupts the sound of the swell below. The pool club is part of a swanky villa operation, so it also has a day spa that is chi-chi and luxurious where massage tables are set in an ankle deep pool with an infinity backdrop and ceiling-to-floor windows over looking the ocean.
3. Hang At Manarai Beach House
Manarai Beach House at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort opened last year to impressive reviews that just keep on rolling in. The Ismaya Group, which is behind Jakarta’s hottest nightclubs, brings this seaside jewel to us. The fresh blue and white colour palette works well with the violet coloured day beds and the azure sparkles from two pools with the big blue ocean as the horizon. Double size day beds, comfortable cabanas, al fresco lounges and a small air-conditioned restaurant – with a cool wine cellar – has made Manarai a hit with families by day and the party peeps as the sun crosses the island. Paradiso Sunday is an afternoon dedicated to island tunes, friendly grooves and two-for-one cocktails. One pool has a swim-up bar that is a place of creative production for classic and unusually enticing cocktails.
4. Family Traditions At The St Regis
The St Regis Bali has launched ‘Family Traditions at St Regis’ with a cute children’s character deer called The Jak [no relation to our own brand or baggy-haired mascot, by the way]. In collaboration with Papinee – a storytelling brand for children – the resort has developed a new family driven brunch with Sunday Brunch Discoveries with The Jak at Boneka. Expect the high-end gastronomic delights fresh from the St Regis kitchens with dynamic and interactive activities for the tots. The Jak – as the new mascot for St Regis Hotels in the Asia Pacific – delivers a themed menu and creative drinks for kids plus plenty of entertaining moments. This inspired idea is in addition to the resort’s famous Astor Diamond Champagne Brunch, which is Bali’s most extravagant Sunday feast. Dishes include rare delicacies that are cooked to order to heighten flavour, fragrance and pleasure.
5. Hipster Watching At Tugu, Canggu
Ji Terrace by the Sea at the Tugu Hotel Bali is located in the hipster-chic centre of the world, Batu Bolong, Canggu, and has a Japanese-inspired Sunday brunch. This all-you-can-eat à la carte experience requires several hours of dedicated gastronomic exploration. Take up a prime position on the terrace and watch the waves roll in on the famous Old Man’s surf break. This is people watching at its best. Order from the menu that touches on sushi, sashimi, fresh salads, rice dishes and multiple morsels of Wagyu beef, fresh buttery fish and sumptuous chicken. We are talking Ahi Tuna with Thai basil; teriyaki chicken and beef tataki sprinkled with crunchy tempura flakes – and every dish is made to order. Pair up with Ji’s signature Wasabi Bloody Mary for a kick, or upgrade to the brunch package to include wine. In an excellent act of generosity, Ji brunchers are given free access to the pretty pool in the neighbouring Tugu hotel for a post-prandial dip.
6. Brunch At Starfish Bloo
The super glam W Bali Seminyak has a legendary brunch in its oceanfront restaurant Starfish Bloo. Claim a plush booth set within a six-foot high bamboo interpretation of an Indonesian fish trap to set a stylish scene. The brunch is a weekly opportunity for the W’s talented chefs to show off with massive fresh seafood platters, black truffle lobster congee, dim sum, classic English roasts and Balinese babi guling. Waiters whip around with shots of unique cocktails to try. The buffet swings from east to west with clever creations such as smoked duck breast with green tea, international dishes hewn from local ingredients and grain fed beef cooked on hot rocks. It’s a dazzling Insta-extravaganza. Pair the culinary tour with a choice of dozens of wines and bubbles from Starfish Bloo’s cellar tower.
7. Frock Up At Sands
And if you are with kids, Sands Restaurant at The Anvaya Beach Resort Bali has an impressive brunch buffet that kicks off at 12 noon. Sit inside behind a huge glass wall that frames the azure water of the Indian Ocean and a pretty crescent of dazzling white sand. Adults and kids can enjoy frocking up in an apron and having a go at creating their own mie tarik from scratch with a chef guiding their progress. The buffet is vast with Balinese dishes and classics such as Javanese noodles. Western tastes are well catered for with crispy pork belly, grilled prawns, tender steak and salads while Chinese shu-mai, black pepper beef and sweet pao are hot options. Sweeten up with delights from the chocolate fountain or a traditional crème brûlée, cakes and ice cream. An Anvaya brunch is perfectly rounded off with a swim in the ocean, lounge on the beach or a dip in the pool – as part of the brunch experience.
8. Free Brunch For Your Kids
Prego at The Westin Resort Nusa Dua is a go-to place for families – and the more the merrier. Kids under 12 eat for free and a raft of activities includes cup cake decorating, pizza making, and a mini-playground with supervised games, dancing and a trampoline. Kids love the pasta and pizza selection and of course the cake-packed dessert kitchen, which also has a chocolate foundation. Grown ups start with a complimentary glass of prosecco and then launch into the Italian buffet that is packed with home-style dishes such as caprese salad, prawn and artichoke salad, cold meats, cheeses plates, pasta, pizza, grilled fish and meats, lamb chops, calamari skewers and steak. Prego is an enclosed air-conditioned restaurant plus it has some al fresco dining space. A trip here also means complimentary access to the amazing beachfront pool – and fresh towels are on the house – a charming and thoughtful touch for families with several kids. A top tip is to signup to the hotel’s loyalty program for an instant 20 per cent discount.