In 1904 the Chinese steamer Sri Koemala ran aground off Sanur and was plundered by local fishermen. Badung's king refused the subsequent Dutch request for compensation; the Dutch used this incident as a pretext to invade southern Bali. Netherlands East Indies troops came ashore on 15 September 1906. The next day the the king's army marched out from Denpasar in an attempt to repel the invaders, resulting in a bloody skirmish. The Dutch then marched on the king's puri in Denpasar, annhilating the entire royal family. A fast-paced, fictionalized account of this story can be found in Vicki Baum's A Tale from Bali.
Since the 1920s and '30s Sanur has produced some of the island's finest architects, storytellers, musicians, legong and baris dancers, witch doctors, sorcerers, and priests. During this period the small, picturesque village was also home to such Western anthropologists, writers, and artists as Margaret Mead, Katherine Mershon, Vicki Baum, Jane Belo, Walter Spies, and Theo Meier. In 1967, the brilliant Australian painter Donald Friend built his legendary house in Batu Jimbar, presiding over the place like a feudal lord and becoming the village's foremost tourist attraction. With his miniature gamelan, extraordinary antique collection, and flock of houseboys and gardeners, the Balinese dubbed him Tuan Raksasa ("Lord Devil").
The first commercial bungalows were built in the 1950s. The era of mass tourism didn't begin, however, until the building of the ugly, 11-story Bali Beach Hotel at Sanur during the early '60s. Today, the towerblock is still Bali's tallest structure, visible from 20 km away. When it was finished in 1965, the Sanur banjar decided it was disrespectful to the gods to build any more structures higher than a coconut palm. The palm height limit was then adopted all over the island.
Still, the Bali Beach led directly to a rash of irreverent practices—candi bentar as entrances to car parks, shrines used as lamps in gardens. With the erection of the Bali Beach the island had irreversibly entered its modernisasi architectural phase, a cement and glass expatriate building boom from which Bali has never really recovered. At the same time, Sanur's Bali Hyatt and its trend-setting lobby set the standard for indigenous architectural style adapted to the tourist industry—a brutish but handsome example of tropical modernism.
With its sedate resorts and quiet mid-range and upmarket cottage hotels, Sanur is particularly popular with older European package tourists who luxuriate on the beach, attend glamorous poolside parties, look out at the lovely view while eating veal parmigiana, and join evening cruises on the Bali Hai over to Nusa Lembongan. At night people get dressed up and walk along the road parallel to the beach to favorite restaurants. Sanur tourists tend not to occupy the village during the day; long convoys of buses move out of Sanur every morning at around 1000, returning late in the afternoon. Tourists are found on the fine white-sand beach only in the high season; at other times long stretches seem nearly deserted, although most of the shady coconut trees have been torn out to make way for the big hotel properties (a palm-fringed section remains in front of the Sanur Beach Hotel in south Sanur).
Though a number of Sanur hotels are owned and managed by outside corporations, Sanur has made an effort to look after its own. In the 1970s and '80s, farsighted leaders established a village-owned cooperative that generates income for the benefit of the community. The co-op owns a beachside art market, filling station, and land in Denpasar and Kuta. Sanur also imposes a construction tax, the proceeds flowing to local government.
Although it has three discos, a bowling alley, cocktail lounges, and a wide variety of restaurants with international cuisine, Sanur's nightlife doesn't compare with Kuta's. Nor does Sanur have Kuta's noise, pollution, crime, or mosquitoes. The sellers are not as numerous—though they can be just as intolerable. Overall, Sanur has a more quaint, mellow, cosmopolitan feel than Kuta. The people of Sanur are full of pride and their behavior is more mannered than that of the people of Kuta who've become more sour and short as a result of the constant influence of poking, prying, bitching tourists. In Sanur the village atmosphere still survives. The people of Sanur chat with tourists, and there's no attempt at assimilation. The town banjar are cohesive and active, and the village's dozens of temples—squeezed tightly between art galleries, pubs, and hotel walls—go earnestly about their age-old business oblivious to tourists.
Southwest of Hotel Sanur Beach is one of Bali's most significant archaeological sites, an inscribed stone victory pillar erected by the Buddhist king Sri Kesari Varma in A.D. 914. Only partially deciphered, the inscription—in both Old Balinese and Sanskrit—refers to a military expedition against eastern Indonesia, where the Balinese once obtained their slaves. It's believed Kesari, a king of the Warmadewa dynasty, founded the Besakih sanctuary on the slopes of Gunung Agung.
The stone prasasti—Bali's oldest dated artifact—was discovered only in 1932. The great Dutch scholar Goris believed the Sanur pillar—as well as the remains of prehistoric sanctuaries found along this coastal strip—proved an Indian colony settled the coast over 1,000 years ago. The volcanic stone's smooth 177-cm-high, 75-cm-diameter cylindrical body is crowned with a carved lotus cushion. Except at the top, most of the writing is indecipherable. The pillar lies behind Pura Belangjong, about a kilometer past the entrance to the Hotel Sanur Beach toward Suwungan.
Boating, Sailing, and Rafting
A good place to start is Baruna, which maintains offices in the Grand Bali Beach (tel. 0361-288511, ext. 1381), and the Sanur Beach (tel. 0361-288011). Baruna also maintains an office at Jl. Bypass 300 B, tel. (0361) 753820, fax 753809. The Bali Hyatt's leisure activities desk (tel. 0361-287777) sells luxury cruises, deep-sea fishing, and snorkeling adventures on their two fully equipped, diesel-powered speedboats for Rp690,000-920,000 full day (eight hours) or Rp460,000-690,000 half-day (four hours). A good outfit to contact is Bali Camar Yacht Charter, tel. (0361) 231591, which does full-day fishing expeditions for six people for around Rp1.5 million.
Traditional prahu jukung are more economical; they rent at a fixed rate of Rp20,000 per hour. One of the most exciting Sanur experiences is to rent one of the brightly painted motorized outriggers for a sail around the lagoon, beyond the reef to the port of Benoa, or to offshore islands such as Serangan (Rp115,000 return), and Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Penida (both Rp10,000 one way, Rp30,000 return).
Charter the Wyeema, a sturdy, 24-ton, 14-meter-long steel-hulled sailing yacht, for safe and comfortable sailing adventures. Marvel at the unpeopled islands, deserted beaches, and spectacular reef diving. The crew prepares delicious food. The specialty is a seven-day, six-night package to Komodo Island (Bali, Komodo, Sape, Bima, then return by air to Bali). This package may be extended to 12 days and 11 nights. Bookings: Wyeema Adventure Sailing Surf N' Dive, Jl. Pemamoran 12, Taman Sari, Sanur, tel. (0361) 287593, fax 31592.
Whereas Sobek runs hundreds of rafters a day down south-central Bali's Ayung River, Bali Safari (tel. 0361-221315, fax 232268) challenges you to Bali's most remote and swiftest river, the Telaga Waja, which starts in Muncan 17 km from Klungkung in east Bali—the Class IV river commercially rafted in Bali. Intense!
Diving and Snorkeling
At low tide, either wade out into the east-facing reef in front of the Bali Hyatt for almost a kilometer or rent a jukung to take you out five minutes farther to three- to 25-meter slopes and flat bottoms with some table- and trophy-shaped coral and sponges. Visibility is only around seven to 10 meters, dives range from two to 14 meters. Be careful here; currents can be ferocious. These reefs are inhabited by colorful fish in kaleidoscopic profusion as well as hundreds of sea urchins (wear foot covering). The ideal time to snorkel is a little past low tide when the tide is starting to flow; this brings clear water into the lagoon and the waves are not so high nor the current as strong. An ebbing tide also causes sediment to cloud the water. The usual cost for a single guide, including guide, tank, and weights, is Rp85,000. Snorkelers pay around Rp25,000 including fins and mask.
An efficient and well-managed dive outfit is Oceania Dive Center, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai 78, tel. (0361) 288652, fax 288652, which sells dive packages with a two person minimum. Also check out Bali Diving Perdanda (tel./fax 0361-288871), Jl. Duyung 10 just south of the Bali Hyatt, Semawang, for affordable dive tours and water sport activities. Other well-established dive outfits: Bali Dive Sports Club, Jl. D. Poso 38, tel. (0361) 288582, fax 287692; Bali Marine Sports, Jl. Kesuma Sari, Semawang, in south Sanur (tel. 0361-288776) and at Jl. Bypass (tel./fax 287872); Dive and Dives, Jl. Bypass 23 (tel. 0361-288052, fax 289309); ENA Dive Center, Jl. Pangembak (tel./fax 0361-287945).
Rent flippers, mask, and snorkel for around Rp5000 per hour from any water sports center, the larger resort hotels, or on the beach itself. Rent such extras as wetsuits (Rp6000) and underwater cameras (Rp30,000) from specialized dive centers. A full-service water sports agent is Graha Canti, Jl. Kesumasari 9, Semawang, tel. (0361) 289601 or 288714. Another good outfit is Kantor Jelati Willis, on the beach where Jl. Segara ends in the sand. Men on the beach will offer to take you out in a in a glass-bottomed boat for Rp23,000 per person (minimum two people). For more on diving, see "Snorkeling and Scuba Diving" in the On the Road chapter.
Surfing and Swimming
Although Sanur's beach remains white and sandy, in front of La Taverna the shallow and weedy shore has been eaten away by lime removal; Semawang's beach, south of the main Sanur Beach, is nicer. At low tide, soupy water, pools, rocks, seaweed, and spiky sea urchins make swimming impossible; this is when the Balinese fish. At high tide the beach is completely nonexistent—the reason why many of the hotels have swimming pools. Day use of the pool at the Grand Bali Beach is Rp15,000 including towel, lawn chair, hamburger, and drink. From 0600 to 2000 you may also use the pool (for Rp5000) at the Puri Kelapa Hotel, tel. (0361) 286135, on the corner of Jl. Segara and Jl. D. Tamblingan.
Although the waves within the lagoon are tame, there's occasionally more dramatic surf—not all the time, but it happens—off the north beach off Alit's. In front of the Grand Bali Hotel is a decent right reef break; in front of the Beach Market is a fast left-hander. The only consistently good surf is two or three km out in the channel 1.5 km from in front of the Bali Hyatt; at high tide hire a parasailing boat to take you out and back for around Rp46,000.
For Rp25,000 per hour, utilizing special race boards, Sanur Wind Surfing Centre offers the resort's best service. The long board runs Rp20,000 per hour, fun board Rp30,000 per hour. Windsurfing lessons for beginners cost Rp30,000—including equipment and experienced instructor. The center also offers surfing tours and rents Hobie Cats and paddle canoes. Office at Jl. Sekar Waru II, No. 1, Belanjong, Sanur, tel. (0361) 288976; more convenient beach counter on Jl. Duyung on the south side of the Bali Hyatt hotel next to Banjar Restaurant. July and August are the best time to windsurf.
All the big resort hotels have fitness centers that are available to nonguests (Rp12,500 per person) and tennis courts (Rp20,000 per hour). They also rent tennis racquets, shoes, and even partners if necessary. The Grand Bali Beach Hotel features a nine-hole seaside golf course that's all right for an easygoing round. Open to nonresidents, the greens fee is Rp65,000, club hire Rp25,000, caddy Rp6000, golf shoes Rp5000. To reserve, call the clubhouse at tel. (0361) 288511, ext. 1388. Hotel guests receive a 50% discount. Ten-pin bowling in the same hotel is Rp3500 per person per game.
Kite-flying is a distinctive event in Sanur. Sponsored by the local banjar in the windy, low-lying sawah behind the village, competitions take place from July through September. Teams dressed like samurai in white bandanas charge splashing through the rice paddies to keep the monstrous papier-mâché kites aloft. It takes two men to carry the heavy spool of nylon cord and up to six to get the 10-meter-long kite airborne. Once a kite is flying, the cord is tied to a tree. When there's wind, it's an unforgettable sight. Buy your own kites in varied sizes and shapes from local craft shops. The best is Sederhaua, Jl. Danau Buyan 73 in central Sanur, where you can help design your own kite for Rp15,000-25,000.
Corporate war games? Bali Splat Mas (tel. 0361-289073, fax 286845) pits participants with paintball making devices against each other on a 2.5-hectare strip of thickly forested land. The package cost of Rp100,000 includes all transfers, equipment, skirmish sessions, and training.
Travelers are understandably put off staying in Sanur because of the high price of accommodation, but a growing number of homestays are now popping up in the gang running away from the beach off the northern end of the main road. Very basic rooms are often patched together in family compounds found behind the stores and shops along the main road. You're seldom more than a five-minute walk to a pool, such as the one at Santrian Beach Cottages, open to nonguests for Rp3000 or so. Don't forget to haggle for single occupancy and for any stay longer than one day!
A sweet and helpful Christian family runs Prima Cottages at Jl. Bumi Ayu 15 behind the Arena Restaurant, tel./fax (0361) 289153. It has an intimate atmosphere, is completely walled-in so you can't hear traffic, yet is only two blocks from the beach. Many places in this price range are like jail cells, but Prima's rooms are clean with private, Western-style bathrooms and mosquito nets. Cheaper rooms with fan Rp30,000, more expensive rooms with a/c Rp50,000, same price s or d; pool. Owned by Drs. Frans Nyoman Demung. Yulia Homestay, Jl. D. Tamblingan 38, behind Yulia Art Shop and diagonally opposite the Barong Disco, has cheap, clean rooms—large Rp25,000, small Rp20,000 s or d—set in a family compound. No breakfast, but coffee and tea included in price; baths, fans, lending library. Eight rooms around a nice garden popular with travelers. Ask owner I Ketut Urip for a long-term discount. Two other basic but clean homestays nearby are the Luisa at Jl. Danau Toba 40 and the Coco at Jl. D. Tamblingan 40 (cheapest rooms in Sanur). In central Sanur, Bah Wirasana, Jl. D. Tamblingan 126, tel. (0361) 288632, fax 2885610, is an outstanding value with large terraced rooms around a garden and a swimming pool next door.
To the south on the main road of Jl. Tanjung Sari is the Taman Agung Beach Inn, tel. (0361) 288549 or 288006, fax 289161, a pleasant, easygoing place built around a well-maintained garden. Twenty-four rooms with bath and hot water. Rp55,000 s, Rp60,000 d, plus 15% tax and service. Without fan Rp44,000 s, Rp50,000 d plus 15%. Good but overpriced restaurant. Farther up and on the same side of the street and only five minutes from the beach is Hotel Ramayana, tel. (0361) 288429, with a/c rooms for Rp50,000; and the Swaztika Bungalows, tel. (0361) 288693, fax 287526, with bungalows for Rp50,000 s or d and unit rooms for Rp45,000 with a/c and hot water. Bungalows are all alone, units have neighbors.
Only a 15-minute walk from the beach and just down the street from the post office on busy Jl. Danau Buyan are three losmen-style guesthouses, Hotel Rani, Hotel Taman Sari, and Hotel Sanur-Indah. All provide more or less the same prices and services, with plain but adequate rooms in the Rp15,000-20,000 range; a/c rooms with hot water cost Rp50,000. The least together, tidy, and friendly of the three is Hotel Taman Sari, no. 31, tel. (0361) 288187. My personal favorite of the group, with the nicest rooms, a restaurant, and laundry service, is Hotel Rani, no. 33, tel. (0361) 288578, fax 288300. Rani has good service, is clean, and the "economic room" is only Rp19,500 s, Rp49,000 d, plus 10% tax. An a/c room with hot water and TV is Rp55,000 s, Rp57,000 d. Bemo heading to Denpasar pass by here.
Newly renovated and excellent value is Pondok Wisata Bali Berlian, Jl. Danau Tempe 9, tel. (0361) 287266, on the corner of Jl. Bypass and Jl. D. Tempe. Ten spacious a/c rooms, each with one single and one double bed, private bathroom/toilet with tub; five cheaper fan-cooled, motel-style rooms in front face rice fields over a stone wall. Room rates range from Rp16,000 (fan) to Rp30,000 (a/c). The small, very reasonably priced restaurant provides breakfast for Rp2000. The guesthouse is eight minutes from the beach. An excellent base for divers, with cleaning facilities for diving equipment. Bicycles and motorbikes for rent, a Praja taxi office close by, only two km from Serangan.
The well-run Watering Hole Homestay (Agung and Sue's), Jl. Hang Tuah, tel. (0361) 288289, has 12 rooms for Rp21,000-26,000 s or d (fan, fridge) surrounded by an interior garden. Four rooms are a/c, Rp35,000 s or d. Relatively cool and quiet for downtown Sanur. Their restaurant in front serves good Indo/Chinese food and nightly seafood specials—delectable frogs legs! The homestay features a bar that hosts a buffet with legong every Thursday night for Rp10,000. It's only 100 meters from the beach and is close to the landing place for boats to Pulau Lembongan.
Kalpatharu Bar & Restaurant, Jl. D. Tamblingan 80, tel. (0361) 288457, fax 288457, is a small family hotel across the street from the Gazebo and Irama. Prices have been consistent for the past few years: Rp53,500 s, Rp64,500 d for rooms with a/c, hot water, shower mandi, and continental breakfast; Rp50,000 s or Rp53,000 d for rooms with fan. A light and airy hotel with a pool and a nice bonsai display. Friendly people. The restaurant serves pretty good Italian, Indonesian, Chinese, and seafood.
Abian Srama Inn, Jl. Bypass, tel. (0361) 288415, fax 288792, is a 10 minute walk from the beach, with nice rooms arranged in two facing blocks across a well-tended garden. Tariff as low as Rp25,000 s; Rp35,000 s, Rp42,000 d for rooms with fan, hot water, private bath, and hot water; Rp50,000 s, Rp60,000 d for a/c rooms with private bath and hot water. The hotel is well managed, quiet, clean, and close to the night market on a side street and features a restaurant, pool, and free airport transfer if you stay a week. Take in the wayang kulit for only Rp5000 every night from 1900 to 2100; order dishes from a set menu (restaurant tel. 0361-287658).
Ananda Beach Hotel, on Jl. Hang Tuah 43, near the Grand Bali, tel. (0361) 288327, has very clean and tidy rooms for Rp25,000-30,000 s and d. Balconies overlook the ocean. Two Rp15,000 rooms are almost always occupied. Located on the beach behind the restaurant of the same name. If coming from Denpasar, tell the driver you want to get off at the Grand Bali Beach Hotel. For a beach hotel, incredibly good value.
Highly recommended is the Bali-style Laghawa Beach Inn, Jl. D. Tamblingan 51, Batu Jimbar, Box 3557, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288494, fax 289353, on the ocean side of the strip with the beach only 100 meters away. Rooms with a modern bathroom and hot water are Rp50,000 s; simple fan-cooled rooms Rp59,600 s, Rp71,000 d; a/c rooms Rp80,000 s, Rp110,000 d. Clientele is older European. Beautiful garden, pool, excellent food, safe, friendly staff—they even send their guests Christmas cards! Plastic accepted. Watch their shadow puppet theatre in the Grill Restaurant on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
One of Sanur's top five moderately priced hotels, Gazebo Beach Hotel, Jl. D. Tamblingan 35, Box 3134, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288212 or 289256, fax 288300, charges Rp94,000 s, Rp110,000 d for standard rooms, Rp117,000 s, Rp133,000 d for bungalows, Rp133,000 s, Rp154,000 d for studios. All rates include service and tax, but not breakfast. High-season surcharge: Rp35,000. Bargain. Book in advance Dec./Jan. and June-August. Credit cards accepted. The two-story bungalows—no. 12 is the best—are open downstairs to the outside except for screened-in mandi with big recessed tub; upstairs rooms have woven walls, with two walls of windows looking out over beautiful gardens. Great location, excellent service, sincere and friendly staff, TV, phone, well-kept gardens, nice pool, workout room (Rp5000 all day), close to a private beach area (like a cove, safe swimming). Restaurant prices are better than the restaurants on either side; good food. Continental breakfast Rp6000, American breakfast Rp8000, set lunch Rp8000, set dinner Rp15,000. Exchange books in the library; grab a copy of the Jakarta Post in the lobby. Free boat-snorkeling trip once a week, free videos and band in high season. Gazebo has bought out Irama and Peneeda View (tel. 0361-288425) with comparably priced rooms.
Santrian Beach Cottages, Jl. Tanjung Sari 47, Box 3055, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288181, fax 288185, offers comfortable seaside traditional-style private a/c ricebarn-style bungalows or rooms on pathways meandering through large, lush gardens. Good sized pool. Garden-view rooms are Rp158,000 s, Rp163,000 d; sea-view rooms Rp170,000 s, Rp184,000 d; new superior rooms Rp195,000 and up. To all rates add 21% surcharge. Wide variety of dining and entertainment; friendly, warm, small, attractive family-operated hotel.
Less expensive, though showing its age, is Alit's Beach Bungalows, Jl. Hang Tuah 41, Box 3102, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288560 or 288567, fax 288766. Great location at Sanur's north end next to the beach, yet also close to the road. Alit's has a/c Balinese-type bungalows with hot water and shower, and charges a reasonable Rp88,000 s, Rp94,000 d for standard, Rp96,000 s, Rp103,000 d for superior—don't bother with the higher priced, newer units. Set in large untidy gardens with tall trees and tacky statues, the complex includes restaurant, pool, squash and tennis courts, billiards, mini-golf, open stage, dance floor, TV lounge with nightly videos shown at 1900, barber and beauty shops, drugstore, conference hall. A long walk to central Sanur; catch a bemo next door.
Other options to consider are beachfront Diwangkara, Jl. Hang Tuah (tel. 0361-288577), which features terraced bungalows with all the comforts (a/c, hot water, TV) in attractive gardens with small pool, and the small, popular Baruna Beach on Jl. Sindhu (tel. 0361-288546, fax 289629) with very comfortable a/c bungalows with fridge. Good location.
There are scores of first-class hotels with luxurious four-star properties as well as more intimate bungalow compounds at two-thirds to one-half the price. Be sure to book ahead in the peak tourist seasons.
Well-designed Sativa Cottages, Jl. D. Tamblingan 25, Box 3163, tel./fax (0361) 287881, is a good deal for the price—Rp170,000 s, Rp195,000 d. Standard Rp105,000 s, Rp170,000 d. Clean, quiet, professional operation. About 10 minutes south of the Grand Bali Beach Hotel is the older and popular Segara Village Hotel, Box 91, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288407 or 288408, fax 289268, with rustic, beachfront a/c bungalows, aviaries, lush gardens, playground and rec room, gym, sauna, pool, sunken bar, and international restaurants. Standard rooms Rp92,000-115,000 per person, bungalows and suites run up to Rp253,000.
Just south of Segara Village, overlooking a quiet part of the lagoon, is three-star Natour Sindhu Beach Hotel, Jl. Danau Tondano 14, Box 181, tel./fax (0361) 288351 or 289268, with 59 bungalow-style rooms for Rp128,000 s, Rp154,000 d with pool view, Rp154,000 s, Rp175,000 d for sea view. Also suites for Rp175,000 s, Rp202,000 d. All prices include tax, service, and American breakfast. Meals in the open-air restaurant include lunch Rp20,000, dinner Rp25,000. Amenities include a fancy bar, children's playground, table tennis, billiards, pool, garden path to the beach, golf course, tennis courts, snorkeling, rafting, diving, art market, shopping, and nightlife within walking distance. Make reservations direct to the hotel or to Natour, Jl. Menteng Raya 7 B, Jakarta, tel. (0361) 343384 or 341325.
At the south end of Sanur's beach is top-grade, 200-room Sanur Bali Travelodge, Jl. Mertasari, Box 3476, Denpasar 80034, Bali, tel. (0361) 288833, fax 287303. Beachfront clusters of one and two-story thatched-roofed, cottage-style rooms are Rp230,000 s, Rp253,000-390,000 d in all seasons. In high season, add Rp45,000. Gracious and airy marble wantilan-style lobby, lovely gardens, two big pools, two good open-air restaurants, conference facilities—just the right balance of luxury and simplicity. Tune in on the "Balinese Cultural Night" on a moonlit open-air stage. European-trained chef, sports facilities, pool. The walk to the village is only four blocks down a pleasant small street that winds through a residential/hotel area; little traffic.
La Taverna Hotel, Jl. Tanjung Sari, Box 40, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288497, fax 287126, consists of over 40 quiet, a/c, dark, thatched-roof and stucco bungalows stylishly decorated with art objects and batik and laid out like a kampung. Rates: Rp300,000 d garden standard, Rp370,000 d garden superior, Rp450,000 family unit, Rp530,000 d duplex suite. High season supplement Rp35,000. All rates subject to 21% tax and service. The hotel provides a pizzeria, bar, pool, and private beach. La Taverna is known for its amalgam of Balinese and Mediterranean architecture, verandas overlooking immaculate gardens, friendly service, and excellent Indonesian cuisine served in a beachside restaurant.
The sprawling 346-room Hotel Sanur Beach, Box 3279, Denpasar, tel. 0361-288011, fax 287566 or 287749, is a five-star, international-class hotel owned by Garuda. Located on a small, quiet side street, with a grand entrance of marble and cascading fountains, Sanur Beach offers standard rooms for Rp277,000 s, Rp330,000 d, Rp323,000 s, Rp346,000 d deluxe, Rp380,000 s, Rp460,000 d studios. Bungalow suites with marbled bathroom and private pool go for Rp920,000-2 million. All rates subject to 21% service and tax. Rooms vary: the "old" side has average 1960-ish accommodations (floral bedspreads, resin plastic chairs, etc.), but the 134 rooms in the new high-rise are something out of the Arabian Nights with gold gilt, hair dryers, and terrycloth bathrobes. Very good buffet breakfast. Disco, volleyball, tennis, badminton, putting green, pool, moneychanger, carving and painting gallery concessions, pools, friendly service. Enjoy drinks and snacks in the lounge or at Tirta Poolside Restaurant and Bar. Thai food is a specialty of the East West Restaurant, with light entertainment starting at 1930. Warung Seahorse is a romantic seafood restaurant on the hotel's beautiful tree-shaded beach.
The smaller, family-owned Tanjung Sari, JL. D. Tamblingan 41, Box 25, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288441, fax 287930, between Besakih Bungalows and the Irama, has 29 elaborate, expensive, native-style bungalows with outside pavilions and sitting rooms, all impeccably furnished with antiques and set in an exotic, peaceful tropical garden. Tariffs range from US$220 to US$418. Along with the Oberoi of Seminyak, this hotel's construction in 1962 represented the glorious comeback of traditionalism in modern architecture. The hotel has been a favorite among celebrities and old Bali hands ever since it was built. Don't miss meeting Mr. Wawo-Runtu, a gracious and learned gentleman with impeccable bloodlines who is director of the Tanjung Sari Foundation which supports the dissemination of Balinese traditional knowledge.
The Tanjung Sari's sumptuous bungalows (Rp460,000 s or d, plus 21% tax and service) are set in their own private compound with gazebo, courtyard garden, and open-air shower. Restaurant, pool, and beach bar—a popular rendezvous spot—overlooks Sanur bay, with Gunung Agung in the background. A beautiful outdoor dining room is noted for its lavish rijstaffel (Rp67,500), exquisite dancing, and haunting gamelan music. The staff, dressed in graceful sarung and kebaya, dispenses slow and dreamy service, but what the hotel lacks in snappiness it makes up for in style. The property's natural moss-covered coral walls, winding pathways, and junglelike atmosphere—completely in harmony with Bali's traditional culture—serve as a model for other hotels. Don't miss the dance rehearsals every Thursday and Sunday from 1400 to 1600 on the beachside bale—one of the best free things to do on Bali.
The Grand Bali Beach Hotel, P.O. Box 3275, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288511, fax 287917, is the only skyscraper on the island. It's been rebuilt since the 20 January 1993 fire. How did the fire start? Four rumors abound: 1) divine punishment for the height; 2) torched for insurance purposes; 3) since it was built in 1965 with Japanese war reparations money, the place was cursed from the beginning; and 4) carpet installation people started it in the Qantas Airlines office while laying a new carpet (while heating glue with open fires). Once it started to burn, flames leapt all the way up to the top 11th floor; the fire department had equipment useful only for battling fires in one-story structures. All rooms were destroyed but for Room 327, reserved for the Goddess of the Southern Seas. Today there are 524 a/c rooms in a tower block, plus a low-rise garden wing and cottages. The Grand Bali features a staff of 1,000, three pools, massage, steambath, four restaurants, snack bar, karaoke bar, coffee shops, open air stage with topeng performances, gamelan orchestra, extensive grounds, children's play area, giant chess, bowling alley, shopping arcade, barber and beauty salon, indoor games room, free-form pool; the garden wing has two pools as well. The Grand Beach Bali offers an extensive range of water sports. There's a post office, banks, conference halls, tour offices, airport transfers, a fleet of buses. Bali's American Express, Garuda, Qantas, and Ansett offices are here; the brisk public places remind one of an airport terminal.
Rates: garden wing Rp265,000, Rp312,000 d; cottage Rp253,000 s, Rp300,000 d; tower wing deluxe Rp346,000 s, Rp370,000 d. Add 21% tax to all rates. Nonsmoking rooms available. The hotel grounds are immense; a shuttle service transports guests from one end of the property to the other. The hotel's Bali Seaside Cottages down the street appeal to those seeking a quieter, more natural environment.
Get an elegant sniff of the retro-Bali theme at Sanur's most beautiful luxury hotel, the big, flamboyant 390-room Bali Hyatt, Jl. D. Tamblingan, Box 392, Denpasar, tel. (0361) 288271 or 288361, fax 287693. For 17 years this hotel was the only show in town, the stylish trendsetter for all that followed. Today it must compete with the luxury resort hotels of Nusa Dua, not to mention another Hyatt. Sanur's Bali Hyatt, in contrast to the almost austere Grand Hyatt of Nusa Dua, has a mellow, aged feel to it. The friendly, relaxed, multilingual staff tend to be older than their counterparts at the Grand Hyatt—shuffling about in slippers before middle-aged paunches, they act completely themselves. Buses shuttle between the two hotels from 0700 to 2300.
The 36-acre complex, the biggest hotel property in Sanur, is made up of rooms in the main building (Rp380,000 s, Rp425,000 d; Regency Club rooms (Rp415,000 s, Rp495,000 d) and two-bedroom suites (Rp1.5 million). The rooms are furnished and traditionally decorated, and each day guests receive a fresh fruitbowl. Excellent breakfast buffet for Rp 22,000. Richly landscaped and well-established lawns, lotus ponds, magnificent pool, and justly famous gardens bursting with orchids, hibiscus, bougainvillea, and frangipani leading right to the beach. Rich woods grace the walls and arched ceiling of this "beached period cruise ship" with its enormous, handsome, open lobby. Activities include tennis, sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, pleasure cruising, games, videos, and palm tree-climbing demonstrations. Private, 150-meter-long beach. Parents staying here may leave their children at Camp Sanur, a private club where they'll be entertained with a range of specially designed activities: arts, crafts, games, sports, Balinese dance.
Visit Sanur Food Market on Jl. Tanjung Sari for snacks and Indonesian and Western meals from many different stalls. Good bakery here too. At Pasar Sindu buy inexpensive bananas, mangoes, apples, jackfruit, salak, papaya, and coconuts; open 0500 to 1100. The pasar malam is an even better bargain. Stalls offer Indonesian rice dishes for under Rp1000, sweet sugar- and nut-filled pancakes, delicious roasted corn to go. A smaller night market opens up at dusk on Jl. D. Buyan just before the post office.
You can also stay in your room and dine on real cheeses and wine purchased from the Galael Dewata Supermarket, tel. (0361) 288199, on Jl. Ngurah Rai Bypass. Prices are expensive for imported food but cheaper for staples, water, fruit drinks. Excellent ice cream parlor here too. From the intersection where Jl. Bypass meets Jl. Segara, walk north about 200 meters; it's on the left.
Cafeteria Sanur, on the left after the entrance to Sindu Market, is one of Sanur's best sit-down meal bargains. Not much ambience, with bright glitzy lights, but the food is good (nasi campur Rp2500). Big glass windows keep out the flies, noise, and dust. Open 0700-1000. Bali Moon Restaurant, Jl. D. Tamblingan 19, tel. (0361) 288486, near the Barong nightclub, serves Italian and European food in a garden setting on a high, thatched, open-air bale. Good food and attractive surroundings. The circular bar serves a full spectrum of exotic drinks. All prices subject to 15% tax and service. At Hey Cafe, Jl. D. Tamblingan beside the Wartel, you can sit outside, listen to live music, and enjoy well-prepared Indonesian food like tempe and curry dishes (Rp6000-12,000). Open 1930-midnight. Across the street is Warung Lesse'an, Jl. Danau Toba 10 B, tel. (0361) 286343, with gourmet food at tempting prices. Nice atmosphere. Oka's, tel. (0361) 288942 or 288630, recently underwent a facelift. Unique menu, open kitchens, live entertainment, and ice machines with a guarantee of 100% safe ice. Free return transport to any of the family's four restaurants (Oka's, Istana Garden, JJ, Bella). The Legong Restaurant, tel. (0361) 288066, is also known as a good place to eat.
Swastika Garden, tel. (0361) 288693, sits adjacent to the Swastika Bungalows and the Hotel Ramayana on Jl. D. Tamblingan in central Sanur. The name derives from su (goodness) and asti (to be); they serve delicious seafood, especially grilled prawns and fresh tuna, amid beautiful leafy gardens. Dances held twice weekly. Cheap cold beer. Made's Bar & Restaurant, Jl. Tanjung Sari 51, tel. (0361) 287515, is a popular tourist hangout opposite the Kalpatharu Hotel. Much like a sidewalk tavern, in the off-season it's very low-key and casual but in the high season it's packed. Very good seafood, Indonesian, and Italian food.
Behind the Grand Bali Beach at Jl. Bypass 38, tel. (0361) 287975, is Lenny's, Sanur's first Chinese restaurant. Once known for superb seafood, it is now slammed by a reader complaining that "paying Rp40,000 for an oversized, tough, old lobster; a/c that didn't work; and soft rock blaring out of a karaoke machine is not my idea of a bargain." Open 1000-1100; karoke begins at 1800. Much better in the seafood department is Resto Ming, Jl. Mertasari in south Sanur, particularly their lobster dishes.
Donald's, tel. (0361) 289450, serves fabulous European-style dinners. You seldom pay more than Rp25,000 for two, including dessert and coffee. Try the grilled fish dinner (Rp7000) and the banana pancakes. Good bakery with croissants and bread; go early in the morning. Across the street from Santrian Beach Cottages, open 0700-2200 or 2300. Across from Donald's is Pualam International Restaurant, Jl. Sanur Beach 37, tel. (0361) 288721. Excellent food and service. Count on Rp25,000 for a big meal for two. Great coffee; very European ambience. Kenny G in the background. Also noteworthy is the Borneo Bar and Restaurant on Jl. Pantai Sindhu, tel. (0361) 289291, offering the classic Western tourist menu of meat and fish dishes. Good and cheap.
A great breakfast place in south Sanur is La Lagune at Jl. D. Tamblingan 103, tel. (0361) 288893, open 0700-2200. Their cappuccinos and fresh-baked croissants are excellent. For an inexpensive lunch of sate, Chinese dishes, fresh fried fish, grilled lobster, babi guling, or other Indonesian dishes, try the unpretentious Sanur Beach Market, a village cooperative on the beach end of Jl. Segara next to the Segara Village Hotel. Set menu (Rp25,000) on Wednesday and Saturday nights during dance performances. Good food and reasonable prices. Open noon to 2200. Call (0361) 288574 for free transport.
The Cafe Batu Jimbar, Jl. D. Tamblingan 152, tel. (0361) 287374, is one of several "health food" restaurants of Sanur with reliably tasty, wholesome, imaginative dishes, lavish desserts (chocolate fudge cheesecake Rp5500, baklava), and fresh baked bread. Wonderful salads (average Rp6000-8500), and real eggplant Parmesan (Rp5800). Other exotic dishes include spicy Thai chicken soup (Rp6800), French fries (Rp2800), gazpacho, and burritos (Rp7000). A substantial meal for two costs at least Rp25,000. Batu Jimbar's owner's brother supplies the restaurant with organic Western vegetables like asparagus and broccoli, cultivating around Pupuan in the mountains of Tabanan. Groceries like superb wholegrain bread, Torajan coffee, crunchy granola, homemade jellies, nuts, and fruit for sale in the small health food store behind the cashier. The restaurant is concealed behind a tall hedge opposite the SinBolan neon sign. The small enclave also contains an outstanding bookstore and an unusual Jenggala ceramics showroom. Be prepared for the New Age yupster atmosphere.
Folks at the Lotus Pond, tel. (0361) 289398, opposite Barong disco make their own bread, pasta, and cakes. Although the a la carte menu leans toward Mediterranean, the Balinese bebek tutu (Rp12,500) is brought all the way down from Ubud, where they make the best smoked duck on the island. The all-you-can-eat Balinese-style rijstaffel (Rp22,000) is justly praised. Pizzas baked in a traditional wood-fired oven—call and you can pick up your pie 15 minutes later. Under a magnificent airy wantilan, the restaurant is elegantly appointed with intricately carved Jepera doors and panels. Indulge in outrageous dessert in the lounge area.
There are also plenty of lunching possibilities while walking the beach. Eat authentic and much cheaper, though not as well-presented, Indonesian dishes in any warung down a side lane.
A good padang-style restaurant is Beringin 59, Jl. D. Tamblingan 5, tel. (0361) 288602. In south Sanur is popular, canteen-style Jawa Barat, Jl. Kesumasari 2, Banjar Semawang, tel. (0361) 286309, with very affordable Indonesian, European, and Chinese cuisine: grilled fish, chips, and vegetables Rp5000; nasi goreng Rp2000; mie kuah Rp1500; kare ayam Rp1500. Ice juices Rp1000, cold beer Rp2000, es kelapa muda Rp800. Jawa Barat is a favorite of drivers, pegawi, and hotel personnel, and one of the best places in town for genuine Indonesian dishes. Drive south of the Bali Hyatt one kilometer, and turn right at the statue toward Jl. Bypass; it's on the right. Open 0630-0200. Selamat menikmati! More authentic Indonesian rumah makan along the Bypass road.
RM Sari Laut, Jl. Kesumasari, tel. (0361) 289151, serves the best nasi campur in Sanur, as well as fresh seafood, and is frequented mostly by Indonesians. A fancier tourist restaurant, the Penjor, Batu Jimbar, tel. (0361) 288226 or 288731, is known for its Rp13,500 (with tax and service) set menu. Choice of six types of "rice table": Balinese, Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or seafood, the latter containing 300 grams of lobster. Balinese dances every other night.
For traditional Balinese festival dishes, as well as fresh Western and Chinese cuisine, go to the Kul Kul Restaurant, tel. (0361) 288038, near the Hyatt just south of Hotel Taman Agung and the Batu Jimbar Cafe. Established in 1974, Kul Kul is one of the oldest and most romantic restaurants in Sanur. Sit in one of the six-posted pavilions and look out over the attractive garden courtyard dotted with antiques. Big portions of well-prepared Indonesian and Western food, Rp20,000 per person, are served on large offering trays (dulung) as a tingklik serenades in the background. Call first to see if there's a dance performance. Free transport.
Shima Japanese Restaurant, tel. (0361) 287712, is considered one of the best on the island. The manager is Japanese, and so is the cook. Japanese food is also served at the stylish and air-conditioned Nan Ban Kan Sushi & Steak House, Jl. D. Tamblingan 67. Though expensive, try Kita, Jl. D. Tamblingan 104, tel. (0361) 28815, for Japanese dishes such as tempura, yakitori, and sukiyaki. More reasonably priced is the excellent Ryoshi's, Jl. D. Tamblingan 150 (near Batu Jimbar Cafe).
Koki Bali, Jl. Bypass 9 X, tel. (0361) 287503, is a fully air-conditioned Korean seafood restaurant where you can also enjoy music, karaoke, and free movies. Chong Gi Wa, Jl. Tambaksari 6, tel./fax (0361) 287084, is a Korean restaurant and karaoke bar. A wide choice of high-priced authentic Thai cuisine is served at Sanur Beach Hotel's East and West restaurant in South Sanur. For reservations, call (0361) 288011, ext. 1744.
The Trattoria Da Marco, tel. (0361) 288996, in south Sanur serves excellent but pricey Italian food—a must is the spaghetti Viennese; also great minestrone soup, delicious fillet steaks, pizzas, and fine wines. Balinese sing Italian and Spanish songs with guitar accompaniment. Housed in the same building as the honorary Italian Consul. Open 1900-2300. Also in south Sanur is the small Terrazza Martini, Jl. Kesumasari, tel. (0361) 288371, with Italian-speaking staff and cheap, basic, very good food. Try the garlic spaghetti made with fresh garlic and the pasta prepared al dente (Rp6500). Most dishes are in the Rp6000-8000 range.
Nearly as good for pasta, as well as Indonesian buffet, is La Taverna's, tel. (0361) 288497, a pleasant beachside bar and restaurant in a tropical garden. One of Sanur's grand old establishments, with staff shuffling effortlessly and efficiently in a tempo doeloe rhythm. Superb seafood and Italian brick-oven pizzas. For a full dinner with wine, count on about Rp45,000 per person. Add 10% to all prices. Open 0700-2300.
The Hyatt, Sanur Beach, Grand Bali, and the very classy Tanjung Sari each contain a variety of premier restaurants with expensive Indonesian, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese menus; extravagant buffets; 24-hour coffee shops; beachside cafes. For fresh food at reasonable prices, try the Laghawa Terracotta Garden Restaurant at Jl. D. Tamblingan 51, tel. (0361) 287919. Telaga Naga Restaurant, Jl. D. Tamblingan, tel. (0361) 288271, ext. 85080 or 85006, operated by and across from the Bali Hyatt, offers high-quality Sichuan-style food on a picturesque wooden platform on stilts overlooking a carp-filled lotus pond and a garden of bridges and other pavilions. Tender smoked duck is the specialty. Average price Rp13,000-25,000, super service. Open 1200-1500, 1900-2200. Kalpatharu Bar & Restaurant, tel. (0361) 288461, is a good breakfast place open 0700-2400. Breakfast buffet Rp3950, American breakfast Rp3850, continental breakfast Rp2950.
Within the confines of the modernist Bali Hyatt enjoy al fresco dining in the terrace restaurant; excellent multinational breakfast buffet (Rp22,000). The outstanding Omang Omang Grill specializes in grilled seafood, while the Cupak Bistro offers European bistro-style cooking. Cafe Wantilan features an elegant setting complementing Rajalaya-style rijstaffel served by women in kebaya and sarung. The hotel's Pizza Ria, right on the beach, serves authentic Italian pizzas and pasta dishes. The Bali Hyatt is also the place for desserts; enjoy all the cakes you can eat for Rp9500.
The Tanjung Sari Hotel restaurant on Jl. Tanjung Sari, tel. (0361) 288441, south of La Taverna, is known for its pricey but genuine Indonesian and continental food prepared by a French chef. The open-air dining area is on an elevated terrace by the beach—an ineluctably romantic setting. Coffee, croissants, and fruit salad for two costs around Rp45,000, but the courteous, professional service and the immaculately presented and prepared food can't be beat. The ikan pepes is first class. On Saturday evening there's a splendid, colonial-style rijstaffel buffet for Rp67,500, accompanied on occasion by pendet, topeng, and baris dancing and gamelan music of a very high standard. At the nice seaside bar, ask for the legendary arak bumbu: cocktail from local rice liquor with a unique combination of spices. Le Pirate, facing the sea and attached to the Segara Village Hotel in central Sanur, is recommended for its outstanding Indian and Thai food plus very good pizza and pasta.
There's an excellent vegetarian restaurant on the first floor of Hotel Santai in Batu Jimbar at the south end of Jl. D. Tamblingan. Called the Shanti, this is the only true vegetarian restaurant in Sanur. Using mostly organically grown ingredients, the urapan (steamed vegetables with spicy sauce) is a favorite. Call for free pickup; closes at 2130. Get a table near the balcony and enjoy the delicious rice and vegetable dishes. Every Sunday from 1500 to 1800, a traditional English high tea is served in the Grand Bali Beach Hotel's 10th floor rooftop restaurant. High-class atmosphere, exquisitely presented. For Rp14,500 the treats include smoked salmon, fresh scones with thick whipped cream and homemade strawberry jam, watercress finger sandwiches, delicate French pastries, and a large selection of international teas. Sweeping views. For details, call (0361) 288511.
Opposite the Batu Jimbar bale is Choice Bakery & Coffee Shop, Jl. D. Tamblingan 150, tel. (0361) 288401, selling fresh bread and croissants daily, specializing in health-oriented European food at prices half those charged at the Batu Jimbar Cafe next door. Splash Bakery, tel. (0361) 288186, on the corner of Jl. Bypass 100 and Jl. D. Buyan opposite the Biro Reklame Plastic Centre, is a perfect place for a quick breakfast. Very good prices: whole wheat bread Rp1500, fruit loaf Rp2000, a whole carrot cake Rp1000, dinner rolls Rp500 apiece, ham and cheese croissants Rp1200, fruit scones Rp1000, apple tarts Rp1000, all-meat pies and sausage rolls Rp2500. Australian-trained baker. Another bakery with a wide range of items—peanut bread, pineapple rolls, croissants—is the La Lagune Restaurant & Cafe, Jl. D. Tamblingan 103, tel. (0361) 288893.
Sanur is tamer than Kuta, and the nightlife starts and ends earlier. It's a 35-and-up tourist resort, not really the haunt of Australian/Euro all-night ragers. So if it's real nonstop frenzied action you want, go to Kuta where the drinks are cheaper and the music is faster.
Borneo Bar and Restaurant, Jl. Pantai Sindhu 11, tel. (0361) 289291, is a well-known pub with good-value Western menu. The Trophy Club, next to the Sindhu Beach Hotel, is another popular hangout. LG Club Sehatku at Jl. D. Tamblingan 23, tel. (0361) 287880, is a sauna, steam, shiatsu, and traditional massage spa south of the Bali Moon Restaurant. Get a voucher from the guard before opening (1100-2300) for the special Rp10,000 rate. The standard price for the sauna-spa-massage package is Rp62,100; VIP room Rp125,000. Sauna and spa alone Rp35,000, massage alone Rp35,000. All rates subject to 15.5% service charge and tax.
The huge, flashy Barong Disco, tel. (0361) 288888, is on Jl. D. Tamblingan next door to the Sehatku where, for Rp8,000 (Rp10,000 on Saturday), you can enjoy its elaborate sound and light system from comfortable seats placed amphitheater-fashion around a large dance floor. In his flashing booth the disk jockey churns out a remorselessly loud wall of house music with lyrics emblazoned in red letters on an electronic sign. This place appeals to young Indonesians, yuppie couples from Denpasar, and the odd hooker or two. Black and chrome interior provides plenty of dark places. Open 2000-0300 on Saturday, or till 0200 the rest of the week.
Number One in Batu Jimbar at Jl. D. Tamblingan 138, tel./fax (0361) 288097, on the other side of the road, is also fun—lots of singles, a few prostitutes. Small dance floor. Dress casually, but no beachwear. Open 2100-0200, but only gets going around midnight. A happy hour every night 2200-2300 features half-priced drinks (draft beer Rp4000, mixed drinks Rp4400). Cover Rp10,000; add 10% to all prices. Ask about complimentary transportation for guests staying in Sanur. Tiffany's Club, Jl. Pantai Sindhu 12, tel. (0361) 288054, is a bit divey, a place where big German guys dance with diminutive Asian women—a pickup joint with loud music ideal for drinkers and smokers. Open 1100-0400 every night, Rp5000 cover. At the Segara Village Hotel, a live band starts playing in Le Pirate at 2000. Arrive early for an international dinner or just sit at the bar and take in the entertainment. Bali Hyatt's Grantang Bar is a sophisticated cocktail bar with live jazz every night but Wednesday from 2000 to 0100.
Banjar, right on the beach at the end of Jl. Duyung next to the Hyatt Hotel, is a small, fun venue with a good DJ playing reggae and worl beat to a young, mixed crowd. On the rooftop of the 10-story Grand Bali Beach Hotel is upmarket Bali Hai Restaurant & Bar—a live dance band plays nightly, except Sunday, while you enjoy a stunning view. The air-conditioned Trophy Pub features a genuine English pub atmosphere where locals and expats drink, play darts and pool, watch satellite TV, and enjoy good Western food. Live music nightly; tasty bar snacks.
The beachfront bar at the Tanjung Sari is a restful and scenic respite from Sanur's noisy restaurant bars; be sure to sample the pricy but wonderful arak bumbu, a bewitching and potent local rice liquor concocted with a combination of herbs and spices. Another relaxed scene is the small Cocktail Bar on Jl. D. Tamblingan in central Sanur, which looks out on the street life; happy hour 1700-1900.
The village has eight full gamelan (you can often hear the sound of gongs drifting over the kampung), an infamous Black Barong, and the island's only a all-female kris dance. Sanur's temple festivals are famous for their color and grandeur. Public performances of authentic Balinese dances occur when a local business, banjar, or family celebrates an opening, temple anniversary, or tooth filing.
In this Brahman stronghold, rituals are assiduously tended and the people still practice religious events long ago abandoned in other parts of the island. These events the Balinese usually keep to themselves—tourists often miss an authentic and vibrant Balinese experience happening just over their hotel wall. The village's white- and black-sand beaches are sometimes the sites of religious ceremonies attended by people from all over southern Bali.
An unsual odalan is staged at the pura dalem nearly opposite the main gate of the Grand Bali Hotel. A long procession of girls carrying high offerings arrives in the late afternoon, followed by the cleansing of the temple's pratima and a performance by regimented and entranced baris gede dancers with long spears. When cholera season approaches in the wet season, the three-day Karya Ngusaba Desa: Panangluk Marana ("Ceremony to Safeguard the Village: The Containment of Death") sees offerings laid at all Sanur's temples. It's believed that long ago a cholera epidemic began in Sanur, raging over the whole of Bali, devastating the population.
A police station, tel. (0361) 288597, is on Jl. Bypass on the edge of the golf course. If you need an ambulance, call 118 or (0361) 27911. For medical assistance, there's a clinic in the Grand Bali Beach Hotel; call (0361) 288511 and ask for the clinic, open Mon.-Fri. 0700-0900, Saturday 0700-2000, Sunday and holidays 1000-1800; doctor on duty Mon.-Sat. 0800-1200. All the major hotels provide 24-hour medical service.
American Express maintains an office in Pacto Ltd., Box 52, Sanur, tel. (0361) 288449, in the Grand Bali Beach Hotel, where you can purchase new checks with an Amex card or bank check, replace lost or stolen travelers checks, and collect mail. Letters held one month, then returned to sender. Open Mon.-Fri. 0830-1630, Saturday 0830-1230. A helpful office. A good place to change money is P.T. Artha Moneychanger, tel. (0361) 288965, beside the pool at the Grand Bali Beach; open 0800-1900.
The only business center in Sanur is the Business & Communication Centre, Jl. D. Tamblingan 89, tel. (0361) 281253 or 281254, fax 288191. Take advantage of the IDD, phone, and fax services, as well as secretarial support, translating, courier services, and real estate assistance.
For communications needs, go to the Wartel, tel. (0361) 286568, on the southeast corner of Jl. D. Tamblingan beside Hey Cafe. Here you can make local, collect, and cash international calls from 0800 to 2200. There's another Wartel at the north end of Jl. Danau Toba on the corner of Jl. Segara. The Beach Market Bar and Restaurant on Jl. Segara Ayu has a card pay telephone in front. A great many of the hotels have IDD telephones hooked up in the rooms; an extremely convenient way to make international calls. For example, the Grand Bali Beach has a 24-hour Home Country Direct phone behind the first main porch on the right. Sanur's telephone code is 0361.
Sanur's post office is on the southern end of Jl. Danau Buyan, Banjar Taman, west of Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai. Poste restante open Mon.-Thurs. 0800-1200 and 1300-1700, Friday 0800-1200 and 1330-1700, Saturday 0900-1100, and Sunday 0800-1200. Postal code 80228.
Postal agents are also found all over. One is just a few doors south of Cafe Batu Jimbar, next to Golden Bali Bar and Restaurant. It handles parcels and sells stamps, postcards, etc. If you'd like to receive mail, it's easiest to have it sent to your hotel. Most hotels offer postal services, sell stamps, and mail letters and postcards.
There are a few consulates in the Sanur area. The Australian Consulate occupies Jl. Sanur 146, tel. (0361) 25997, open Mon.-Fri. 0800 to 1400. New Zealanders, Canadians, and Brits can also bring their problems there. The U.S. Consulate, tel. (0361) 288478, is on Jl. Segara Ayu; Margaret is very helpful and has a good attitude. Reach the Japanese Consulate at (0361) 25611. The consulate for Swedes and Finns is in the Segara Village Hotel, tel. (0361) 288407 or 288408.
A good drugstore with English-speaking and knowledgable staff is located down from Alit's Bungalows. Find another pharmacy three buildings down from the Gazebo Beach Hotel—not as well stocked. The best massages in Sanur are provided by Susie at the Gazebo Beach Hotel, or find a masseuse on the beach for Rp8000 (30 minutes). You'll find just about everything—toiletries, Western, Japanese, and Indonesian food products—in the big Gelael Dewata Supermarket on Jl. Bypass. The store enjoys a steady, captive market so prices are high.
Try Mercy Photo Studio, Jl. D. Tamblingan 58, tel. (0361) 288603, for color, black and white, and slide film processing. A good place to order passport photos—one-day service, Rp900 for three, Rp2700 for 10. Laundromats include Sharm Laundry Shop, Jl. Tanjung Sari 12, tel. (0361) 756814, next to the night market.
The Kika Book Shop next to the Batu Jumbar Cafe at Jl. D. Tamblingan 152, tel. (0361) 287374, in central Sanur, offers a wide selection of books about Bali and Indonesia, novels in English, and varied international periodicals, postcards, and prints. On sale here is Made Wijaya's Balinese Architecture—Towards an Encyclopedia. De rigueur for the Bali traditionalist. Open 0900-2100, Sunday till 2000.
From Kuta to Sanur, take a bemo first to Terminal Tegal (Rp500) in Denpasar, then a dark blue bemo all the way to Sanur (Rp500). Or take a dark green bemo from Denpasar's Kereneng Terminal to Sanur (Rp600, 15 minutes). A two-km-long four-lane highway runs six km from the southeastern edge of Denpasar (Renon) to northern Sanur, dropping you off just north of the Grand Bali Beach compound, then continuing down Jl. D. Tamblingan. The official nonmetered taxi fare for the 20-minute drive from the airport to Sanur is Rp15,000; a metered taxi around Rp12,000. With or without prior booking, look for the name of your hotel on signs or vehicles at the airport for a free air-conditioned ride to Sanur. A different way to reach Sanur is to walk along the beach from Lebih, south of Gianyar. This involves crossing the mouths of several rather large rivers—exercise caution.
The Sanur Terminal is at the south end of Sanur near the Trophy Pub Centre at the end of Jl. D. Tamblingan. On Jl. Tanjung Sari, flag down a blue or green public bemo heading northwest to Denpasar's Kereneng Station (Rp600) or a blue one heading south to Tegal Station (also Rp600). From here you get another bemo to Kuta for Rp600. Take yellow metered Praja taxis, tel. (0361) 289090 or 289191, for Rp10,000 to the Matahari Department Store in Denpasar; additional rupiah if going farther. Private cars or minibuses into Denpasar cost Rp20,000 first price.
If you have your own vehicle, drive the beautiful new superhighway via Batubulan in the direction of Ubud. This highway—perhaps the best on the island—makes Sanur a good base from which to explore the regencies of Bangli, Gianyar, and Klungkung.
Sanur village is also blessed with the majority of the head offices of international airlines serving Bali, most located in the Grand Bali, so it's easy to confirm or change your departure date here. Garuda's, tel. (0361) 287920, is open Mon.-Fri. 0800-1700, Satuday and Sunday 0900-1300. Reservation lines—tel. (0361) 227825, 235169, 234606, 234916, or 222788—open 24 hours. Also try Sempati Air, tel. (0361) 288823; Singapore Airlines, tel. (0361) 287940, ext. 1587, open Mon.-Fri. 0830-1300 and 1400-1630, Saturday 0830-1300; Ansett, tel. (0361) 289635-7.
The biggest and busiest ticket agent in Sanur is Tunas Indonesia Tours & Travel, Jl. D. Tamblingan 107, tel. (0361) 288056, fax 828727. Merpati, Garuda, and Qantas tickets, as well as transport on all airlines flying from Bali. Inquire about packages to Gunung Bromo, Baluran Game Park, Yogya, and Komodo Island.
Daily air-conditioned coach tours are offered by Santa Bali Tours & Travel, Grand Bali Hotel Arcade, Sanur, tel. (0361) 287628 or 288057, fax 286825, to Bali's Art Villages (Rp20,000), Singaraja and Lake Bratan (Rp40,000), and Karangasem's east coast (Rp38,000). Satriavi Tours & Travel, Jl. D. Tamblingan 27 in Semawang (Sanur), tel. (0361) 287074, fax 287019, offers tours to Kintamani, Tanah Lot, and many other tourist sites. Motive Bali Tours & Travel, Jl. Bypass 21 XX, tel. (0361) 289018, sells a one-hour, four-passenger joy flight over Bali and its offshore islands for US$195 per person. Professional pilots and breathtaking scenery. Special charters available.
Meru Bicycle Day Trip
Iskander Wawo-Runtu (or simply Alexander), of the same family that owns Batu Jimbar Cafe, guides adventure tours on mountain bikes from his upland farm near Pupuan down to the sea for Rp140,000 per person. Explore the untouched side of Bali—beautiful rice fields, rainforests, rivers, ravines, small remote villages. Hotel pickup at 0700, finish between 1700 and 1800. Contact Alexander at the Tanjung Sari Hotel, Jl. D. Tamblingan 41, Sanur, tel. (0361) 288441, fax 287930, or at Cafe Batu Jimbar on Jl. D. Tamblingan, tel. (0361) 287374.
To Nusa Lembongan
Public ferries to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida depart from the northern end of the beach in front of the Ananda Hotel & Restaurant. If standing facing the sea, the ticket office is 150 meters to the left after reaching the end of Jl. Hang Tuah. Ask for stasiun bot. The first boat leaves at around 0800. If you're small, big Balinese guys will carry you into the waves and put you aboard the bobbing prahu. The passage takes about an hour and costs a fixed Rp15,000, including surfboard.