Written by Sam Rice | Photographs by Mirjam De Ruiter and Richard Rice
SANUR was traditionally overlooked as an inspiring and innovative destination. Nick named ‘snore’, it was an unlikely contender for Bali’s‘ must visit’ towns.Once considered a destination for those not hippy enough for Ubud or rich enough for Seminyak, Sanur has undergone a renaissance.This once mediocre sea side town has finally sat up and smelled the artisan coffee.As much of southern Bali gets busier, blander, and more homogeneous, this town now offers a charm and authenticity that is increasingly hard to come-by. It has another natural advantage that puts it at the top of our list:a clean,5 km beach with an ocean that is swimmer friendly for those that don’t surf.Complementing the accessible beach is a boardwalk that you can walk and even cycle on,a form of transportation that is not always easy on this island.Located north of Kuta on the south-east coast of Bali, Sanur is bordered by Jalan Ngurah Rai and the beach. It’s best to start your exploration on Jalan Danau Tamblingan, the main north-south street.
So what can you do in the “New Sanur’? Here’s our top picks:
Warung Santai: Jalan Danau Tandakan #9. A daily buffet of Indonesian dishes, as well as a small menu of salads, sandwiches and juices make this the perfect place to grab a quick lunch. PICK: Santai Bruschetta with beetroot pesto, watercress and feta.
The Fire Station: Jalan Danau Poso #108. Excellent, modern cuisine rustled up in the open concept kitchen, and the liveliest bar in Sanur on the weekend, make this the place to go for great food with a bit of a buzz. PICK: Pork belly.
La Bruschetta: Jalan Danau Poso #92. An unassuming little Italian restaurant, man-aged by the very hands-on owner Ezio, thisgem of a place is a welcome addition to the food scene in Sanur. They have an impressive range of dishes ‘to go’ and the all important pizza delivery. PICK: Antipasto di Mare.
Bali Buda: Jalan Danau Tamblingan #95. It’s opening soon, what more proof do you need that Sanur has arrived? PICK: Granola
Zula: Jalan Danau Tamblingan #150. A long time favourite veggie haunt in Ubud and Seminyak, the brand new Sanur branch is open for business. PICK: Choose from the ex- tensive list of health drinks to suit yourneeds. Constipated? Try the apple, aloe and agar- agar tonic (tactfully called T2 on the menu!).
Koppi Kiosk: Jalan Danau Tamblingan. For some serious caffeine sipping this simple ki- osk offers all you need, including homemade chocolate with mocha or chili taste. PICK: Cold pressed coffee.
Man Shed: Jalan Tirtanadi II #9. This place does what it says on the tin, a sanc- tuary for the guys! An old garage on the other side of the bypass has been kitted out with old bikes, cars and motoring paraphernalia com- plete with pool tables and dart boards. Girls also allowed. PICK: Cold beer while checking out the amazing vintage cars and bikes.
Pasar Malam/Night Market: Jl Danau Tamblin- gan where it meets Jl Pungutan. Starts at 5:00 pm nightly and offers an impressive selection of Indonesian street food. Pick: Try some West Sumatran food from one of the Muslim food stands.
Cafe Batu Jimbar: Jl Danau Timblangan, #75A A great place for culinary lighting ideas, the Sunday organic market followed by brunch. Locals call it BJ’s as it has been a local pick since the 90’s, and closely connected to the ceramic
Satvika Bhoga: Jalan Hang Tuah #9. A great selection of very reasonably priced fresh produce and store cupboard items are available and the owners are super hospitable and helpful. Bring your own bags. PICK: Four varieties of organic rice.
Rumah Fair Trade: Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai Tucked away next to Dunkin Donuts on the bypass Rumah Fair Trade is a sweet lit- tle emporium with products sourced from all over Indonesia. You can shop safe in the knowledge that your money is going straight to where it is needed to support lo- cal communities. PICK: Gorgeous Lombok pottery.
The Regent: Jalan Kesuma Sari #8. The first really modern luxury hotel on the beach in Sanur, The Regent is an impres- sive and ambitious hotel that will appeal to the luxury crowd. PICK: The Lobster Sunday Brunch.
Prama: Jalan Cemara. Times are a-changing in Sanur which has meant a re-brand for the Sanur Beach Hotel, located at the southern end of the beach. PICK: The soon-to-open “Bamboo Beach Bar” is set to be the best spot for a sun-downer.
Bali Taza: Jalan Danau Tamblingan #1. A good place to go if you are looking for eco gifts from Bali. Attractively packaged coffee and teas, herbs, spices and body products are the perfect thing to take home for friends and family. PICK: The Bali Gulai spice mix – add a bit of Bali to your supper.
Jenggala: Jl Danua Tamblingan #51 Jenggala has the islands most sophisticat- ed, hand crafted and stunning unique ce- ramics and homewares. Pick: Oil burners
Koa Spa: Jalan Danau Tamblingan #31. This is an attractive little spa with just three treatment rooms attached to a stylish bou- tique selling gorgeous clothes and jewel- lery as well as the spa’s own range of skin- care. PICK: Hot stone massage.
Power of Now Yoga: Seafront, beside the Mercure Hotel. This beautiful bamboo yoga studio looks out over the ocean and the resident cow Angelique who occasional- ly rattles her bell to make your shavasana even more soporific. PICK: Jolie Manza’s classes, check the online class timetable to see when she is in town. Arrive early.
Healing Hands: Jl. Pantai Karang #2 Tucked away from the main-road lies the true art of traditional Balinese massage. PICK: Lymphatic system massage.,