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Jimbaran

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Bali : South Bali : Jimbaran
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Jimbaran is a small town in South Bali.

Sunset at Jimbaran Bay

Understand

Jimbaran is just south of the airport and Kuta. This was formerly a real backwater of south Bali, just a tiny fishing village with a daily market. That all started to change in the 1980s and Jimbaran is now home to several world class 5 star beach resorts, plus a few more moderate mid-market hotels. There is however little in the way of budget accommodation and there are also many high-end villas in this area, particularly on the ridges of high ground above Jimbaran Bay. This has resulted in monikers such as the "Beverly Hills of Bali" or "Millionaire's Row".

The bay itself has a pleasant white sand beach and is very safe for swimming. The three clusters of grilled seafood restaurants on the beach are a major tourist draw in the evenings, as is the truly stunning sunset.

Jimbaran is also home to a Norwegian University, Gateway College, with around 500 students studying athletics, philosphy, culture, economics and journalism. The school is located in Kedonganan close to Sari Segara Resort and in Jl, Bantas Kau where it also has a small cafe.

Jimbaran has an increasing number of rather chic shops but there is little or no nightlife here. It has the advantage of being a little closer to Kuta and Seminyak and the cultural highlights of Central Bali.

Get in

Map of Jimbaran

Jimbaran is between Kuta and the Bukit Peninsula, with Nusa Dua to the southeast and Uluwatu to the southwest.

By car

Jimbaran is only 10-15 min south of the airport A pre-paid airport taxi costs Rp 60,000-80,000 depending on exactly where in Jimbaran you are heading. Virtually all Jimbaran hotels offer a free airport pick-up service, however make sure that you request this when making a booking.

Jimbaran is around a 20 min drive from Legian and Seminyak, and 30 min from Sanur, via the Jl Ngurah Rai bypass.

By bus

Bemos serving Jimbaran are almost non-existent but there is a sporadic service from Tegal terminal in Denpasar (via Kuta). This service continues on to Nusa Dua.

Get around

As elsewhere in Bali, motorbikes are readily available for rental and taxis are everywhere. Have a read of the main Bali article for detail on this.

This is one of the better areas of South Bali for walking.

The glorious white sands of Jimbaran Bay

See

  • The beach, Jimbaran Bay is fringed by one of the best beaches in Bali. The sand is fine and white, and the calm waters make it very suitable for swimming, children and adults alike. The southern end of the beach close to the Four Seasons Resort is the quietest but the whole stretch is very pleasant indeed.
  • The sunset, Arrive at around 5PM, take a seat in one of the restaurants located on the beach, order food drink, and enjoy the romantic sunset while waiting for your orders. The sunsets in Jimbaran are very beautiful.
  • Jimbaran fish market, A traditional fish market is located at the northern end of the bay right by the beach at the junction with Jalan Tukad Ayung. The catch comes in every morning here and customers include most of Bali's fine dining restaurants. All manner of fish and shellfish are on available. Best to visit between 6AM-9AM.
  • Jimbaran Town. Jimbaran is a typical little Balineese society with lots of small streets and gangs (alleys) that makes a perfect backdrop for a stroll. Just walking around in Jimbaran is an adventure and the locals are smiling and welcoming. The road along the beach and Jalan Uluwatu makes good orientation points. Follow theese and take the different small roads that connect them back and forth.
  • Jimbaran Town Jimbaran is a typical little Balineese society with lots of small streets and gangs (alleys) that makes a perfect backdrop for a stroll. Just walking around in Jimbaran is an adventure and the locals are smiling and welcoming. The road along the beach and Jalan Uluwatu makes good orientation points. Follow theese and take the different small roads that connect them back and forth

Do

Water activities

  • Surfing, There are a couple of good surf breaks off the airport which are easiest accessed from Jimbaran Bay. It is too far to paddle out, but boats are easily chartered from the beach in the middle areas of the bay or close to the fish market. When the surf is rolling here it is very good but it can be a bit unreliable.
  • Swimming, This is a great bay for swimming with perhaps the safest waters in the whole of Bali. You will find lots of local children come to beach to swim in the evenings - a sure sign that the waters are safe.

Spas

Jimbaran has a number of high-end spas, both within the luxury hotels and independent establishments.

  • Alam Jimbaran Spa (Alam Jimbaran Spa Bali), JL Kampus Udayana No.9 (Infront of tennis court), +62 361 703826, [1]. 9AM-9PM daily. Alam Jimbaran Spa ( formerly Aroma Talk Alam Jimbaran ) is a day spa that offers traditional Balinese massage, Indian ayurvedic spa, hot stone therapy and hammam herbal therapy. (-8.800191,115.170447)
  • Bamboo Spa, By L'Occitane, Jl. Uluwatu Jimbaran (Inside Jimbaran Corner, at the intersection between Jalan Uluwatu and Jalan Four Seasons), +62 361 703342 (), [2]. 10AM-22PM daily. Bamboo Spa offers 5 single treatment rooms, 9 double treatment suites for couples, a private steam room, a relaxation lounge, reflexology area and the L’Occitane retail boutique. All therapists in Bamboo Spa have received a dedicated training by L'Occitane en Provence from France. Around US$90 for 75 minutes.
  • The Body Spa, Jl Uluwatu 99x, Kelan, +62 361 764737 (), [3]. 2PM-10PM daily. A top class spa with two venues in Bali. Full range of beauty and body treaments. Not the cheapest by any means but the standard is top notch. Booking at least 24 hr in advance is recommended
  • Bliss Massage, Jl Uluwatu II (just east of the Four Seasons roundabout on the north side of Jl UluwatuII), +62 361 7925698. 10AM-10PM daily. Not a spa as such, but a traditional massage parlour. Excellent, traditional Balinese-style therapeutic treatments at very good prices: Balinese massage is Rp 77,000 at their place or Rp 120,000 if they come to your hotel.
  • Henna Spa, Jalan Uluwatu 18x (At Villa Balquisse, opposite the Intercontinental hotel), +62 361 701695, [4]. 11AM-9PM daily. 5 star standard spa providing Javanese and Balinese style treatments.

Buy

Shopping in Jimbaran has improved greatly in recent years. There are a number of nice boutiques and antique shops in the stretch of Jalan Uluwatu between The Intercontinental and the junction with Jalan Uluwatu II.

  • Jimbaran Market, Jl. Uluwatu. Slightly further north of the boutique and antique area is Jimbaran Market. This is a hive of activity every morning as the local community goes about its business and is a notably good place to purchase fresh produce.
  • Jenggala Gallery, Jalan Uluwatu II, Jimbaran, +62 361 703 311, [5]. Daily 9AM-6PM. A large gallery and retail showroom for ceramics produced in Bali. Also hosts regular exhibitions of paintings and other art by up and coming local artists. Very much worth a visit. Hard to miss the enormous pink limestone clad building. Also an excellent cafe here.

Eat

Seafood Restaurants on Jimbaran Beach

Seafood Restaurants on Jimbaran Beach

Eating seafood on the beach in Jimbaran is a quintessential part of many a visitor's itinerary when coming to Bali.

Jimbaran Bay is home to about fifty grilled seafood restaurants in three different groupings, all set along the beach. The three sections are Muaya (in the very south), Kedonganan (in the middle) and Kelan (north of the fish market). Each of the restaurants is much of a muchness and of the groupings, the most southerly closest to the Four Seasons is the most popular these days.

Tables are set up right on the sand and if you sit at the lowest tables at high tide, you can even get your feet wet. The sea breeze is cool, the sunsets are beautiful and the whole area is lit by oil torches after dark.

The restaurants serve essentially the same menu with one basic dining format:

  • fire-grilled (bakar) seafood with your own choice of various fish, crab, squid, shrimp, lobster and other shellfish
  • local green vegetables steamed with garlic
  • rice or french fried potatoes
  • local spicy sauces

Simply go up to the seafood tanks and choose the number and type of seafood you want to eat, pay by weight and the produce is grilled there and then. You also have the option of ordering from the menu but that is nothing like so much fun. Prices at the restaurant for two with local Bintang beer or soft drinks are in the range of Rp 200,000-600,000 plus 15% tax and service, depending on quantity and type of seafood selected. Typically, 1 kg of fish costs about Rp 160,000.

All the restaurants also offer set menus for couples, ranging from Rp 400,000 to as much as 900,000 for different types of seafood combination. All the prices are negotiable, so make sure you shop around. Everything is freshly caught as Jimbaran is still a functioning fishing village. If you want to drink wine, bring it with you and pay a nominal corkage charge.

The combination of atmosphere and good food make this a memorable and delightful place to spend an evening.

Other dining options in Jimbaran

There are number of good, cheap local warungs on Jalan Uluwatu between the four road junction (Four Seasons roundabout) and McDonalds.

Jimbaran is very well served by high end resort hotels, and the dining options at the Four Seasons and the Ayana Resort for example are truly exceptional.

  • Depot Joko, Jl Raya Uluwatu (just north of junction with Jl Melasti). A very popular, no frills local restaurant serving all manner of Indonesian food. Recommended if you want a real taste of Indonesia.
  • Grocer & Grind, Jimbaran Corner, Jl. Uluwatu (at the new shopping centre at the exit towards Four Seasons), [6]. Contemporary bistro & delicatessen. Open for breakfast, lunch & dinner. During the day the cafe serves up panini, sandwiches and salads made with fresh local organic produce and imported products. Comfortable with good service. There is also a sister-restaurant in Seminyak. Mid-range.
  • Pepe Nero, Jl Wanagiri 18 (on the small road that leads through the quarry from the Four Seasons roundabout), +62 361 704672, [7]. 11AM-10PM. An Italian restaurant in an unlikely location with nice views of Jimbaran Bay. Pastas and pizzas. Mains from Rp 30,000.
  • Jimbaran Beach Club - JBC, Jl Bukit Permai, Pantai Jimbaran (at the beach right before you get to the Four Seasons Resort), [8]. Fresh seafood, prepared with a mediterranean influence and served on the sandy beach. Well stocked bar, good wine list, tropical cocktails and seasonal fruit juices.

Drink

Nightlife is limited in Jimbaran, and most venues close after 11pm. If you want to avoid going to a more busy area, you can try going to Chocolate Café, in Jimbaran Corner, where they have live music and DJ occasionally.

To enjoy a sunset on the beach, there are few better places in Bali. For a cheap beer sitting on plastic chairs, go near the fish café. For something more elegant, try PJ's Bar at the Four Seasons, or JBC (Jimbaran Beach Club), just next to it.

The Rock Bar at Ayana Resort is a bit of tourist trap but it is nonetheless spectacular. The Rock Bar is perched on natural rock 14 m above the waves of Jimbaran Bay, at the base of a low cliff. The design is very chic indeed, but beware of problems when it rains - you will get soaked as there is no shelter at all, and it is a long walk back up the cliff to the main part of the hotel.

Sleep

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under US$30
Mid-range US$30-130
Splurge Over US$130

There is not much in the way of budget accommodation in Jimbaran. Low cost travellers are better off staying in Kuta and day-tripping Jimbaran which is just 20 min away.

Budget

  • Villa Batu, Jl Pemilisan Agung 21A, +62 361 703186. One of the few budget range options in Jimbaran. A strange but nonetheless quite appealing place with a range of options from simple rather hippyesque rooms to private cottages. No restaurant or any other facilities to speak of. From about Rp 250,000.

Mid-range

  • MaxGramper houses, Jl. Kecubung, Permata Ariza Residences (After Pat Mase villas, just on the left side of main Abi Bali entrance), +62 81805411709 (), [9]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12noon. Different guest house style houses for rent at different rates with or without pool. AC in every bedroom. Daily housekeeping included. From Rp. 300.000.
  • Villa Bali Jegeg, Jl. Pantai Sari, No.23, +62 361 708524 (), [10]. Located just 50 m from the beach. Spacious rooms and hospitable Balinese atmosphere for a price less than half of the luxury hotels nearby. From US$85.
  • Bukit Inn (formerly Villa Koyo), Jl. Uluwatu, Bukit Ungasan (Follow the Uluwatu road 1 km from Jimbaran, and you'll pass a couple of places to stay, patronized mainly by Surfers. On the west side of road is the Bukit Inn), +62 811 3808011 (), [11]. Located atop Jimbaran Hill, 100 m from GWK (cultural park). From US$65.
  • Keraton Jimbaran Resort, Jl Merajpati, [12]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Recently refurbished after years of decline. 102 rooms with private balconies with either ocean or garden views. Coffee shop, lobby bar and restaurant on site. Also offers babysitting services, volleyball, badminton, billiards, fishing, spa services, sailing, tennis and windsurfing. From US$119.
  • Puri Bambu Hotel, Jl Pengeracikan, Kedonganan, +62 361 701468 (), [13]. All rooms have balconies overlooking the pool or gardens. The resort has two restaurants and a large pool with a sunken swim-up bar. Complimentary airport transfers. From US$50.
  • Sari Segara Resort, Jalan Pantai, Kedonganan, +62 361 703647 (). checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. A slightly bizarre looking hotel with a tower block that looks all wrong in Jimbaran. It does though offer good service and value for money given the beach-side location. Huge pools and 24 hr room service/restaurant. Sari Segara is also used as a "dorm" for the about 500 Norwegian students that study in the Norwegian University in Jimbaran in the periods Aug-Nov and Jan-May. From US$55.

Splurge

  • Ayana Resort and Spa (formerly the Ritz Carlton Bali), Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera, +62 361 702222 (), [14]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Large cliff-front resort set in 77 hectares of prime Bali real estate. 290 rooms and suites, and 78 private villas. 8 restaurants/cafes, 5 bars including the famous Rock Bar, and a huge Spa complex. From about US$300.
  • Four Seasons Jimbaran Resort, Jl Bukit Permai, +62 361 701010, [15]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 1PM. On the shores of Jimbaran Bay and regularly voted as one of the best resorts in the world. 147 rooms are all villas with either a plunge pool or a pool. Beach side cafe. From US$680.
  • InterContinental Resort Bali, Jl Uluwatu 45, +62 361 701888, [16]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. A large, 5 star hotel built in a grand Balinese style. Beautiful gardens and extensive ponds and swimming pools. The resort also has a nice stretch of sandy beach frontage on Jimbaran Bay. Rooms are spacious with plenty of closet space and large marble bathrooms. Prices for food and drink within the resort are high however the resort is directly next to the many beachfront seafood restaurants of Jimbaran From US$140.
  • Jamahal Resort and Spa, Jalan Uluwatu 1, +62 361 704394 (), [17]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. A boutique luxury resort with 13 private villas, two of which have their own private pool. In house spa and lounge. Good location just across the road from the Intercontinental hotel and easy walking distance to the beach. From US$295.
  • Jimbaran Puri Bali, Jl Uluwatu, +62 361 701605 (), [18]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. This report has a choice of private walled cottages and villas with private pools. Large communal pool, decent restaurant and in-house spa facilities. 3 min walk to the beach and some villas have beach views. An Orient-Express hotel. From US$200.
  • Karma Jimbaran Resort, Jl Bukit Permai, +62 361 708800, [19]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. All villa resort offering completely private 3-4 bedroom properties. 2 min walk to the beach and a few of the villas have ocean views. Gay/lesbian friendly staff and management. Member of Leading Small Hotels of the World. From about US$400.
  • Kupu Kupu Jimbaran Rooftop & Spa, Jl. Bukit Permai Banjar Pesalakan (At the intersection between Jalan Uluwatu and Jalan Four Seasons), + 62 361 703 342, [20]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Good hotel for couples, located on the rooftop of the Jimbaran Corner shopping center (high-end), with a private beach access after 3 minutes ride with golf cart. From about US$200.

Private Villas

All the villas listed below are standalone and feature private entrances, dedicated staff, accommodation and their own swimming pools.

  • The Longhouse, Tiara Nusa, Jl Goa Gong, (), [21]. 6 bedroom private villa spans the Jimbaran hillside at Goa Gong. 180 degree views of the bay, mountains and lush greenery. Sleeps up to 12 people and is fully staffed with private chef, maids and security. US$800-1,500.
  • Mango Tree Villas, (4 km or about 7 min from the airport), +62 361 701844 (), [22]. 1 and 2 bedroom villas with private swimming pool and garden located in the heart of Jimbaran village. 350 m to the beach and 100 m to the market and main temple. Breakfast and daily cleaning included. US$140-180.
  • Villa Ayu, Halcyon Villas at Jimbaran Bay (Located next door to the Four Seasons Resort), [23]. 3 bedroom luxury pavilion style villa with large pool and gardens. Airport transfers, housekeeping and cooked breakfasts are included. US$260-460.

Stay safe

Jimbaran was the site of a terrorist bombing in 2005, but the sand and airy construction of the restaurants kept casualties much lower than in the previous Kuta attack.

Get out

  • North to Kuta for partying and surf.
  • Up to Ubud in Central Bali for art, temples, mountains and the cultural heartland of Bali.
  • South to visit Uluwatu Temple which is amongst the oldest extant temples on the island in Bali.




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