I get asked a lot, why live or holiday in Sanur? You would think it would be easy to explain but how do you sum up why a place just feels right? Perhaps by saying that I’m writing this while having reflexology after dinner, and the whole evening will cost less than $15.
Sanur has a village feel to it. Lots of little local warungs everywhere, salons and spa where you can get your hair coloured, and a foot massage while you wait, for under $20, and while most people do use motorbikes, a lot of places are within walking distance of or on the main street. In a way Sanur reminds me of Fremantle – quirky, village atmosphere; good cafes and bars; small enough to walk around but big enough to offer choice; artists, musicians, divers, business owners and families all living in the one spot – and when I first came to live in Bali, while I wanted something new and a change, and I wouldn’t want to replicate ‘home’ in another country, it was nice to have some familiarities. In a way I guess I could describe Sanur as being my home away from home. And for holiday makers, I think Sanur offers a more relaxed way to enjoy the best things about Bali without being rushed, without over-spending, and knowing that Sanur is close enough to do day trips to Ubud, Keramas and the islands like Lembongan.
The Sanur Market Sunday is a new addition to the Sanur scene and adds to the village feel. Stalls selling crafts, clothes, jewellery, art and food, all under the shade of the trees on Sanur beach right out the front of the Mercure Hotel. I went last month and bought Christmas presents, a bracelet I desperately ‘needed’ and yummy fresh fruit paletas from Paletas Wey. There’s a kids playground, music playing and the lovely women on the beach offer massages at great beach prices. My favourite stall was Ocean Bellz, I bought a bag for Mum (hope Mum doesn’t read this until I give her the pressie) and love that it was hand painted. They have some fabric lanterns that I have been obsessing about and might will need to buy next time the markets are on. Check out Ocean Bellz for some great gift ideas and then shop up a storm at the Sanur Market Sunday! (I’ve just been informed the last market before rainy season is on November 29th so I hope to see you all there!)
Sanur is a growing tourist destination in it’s own right, not just because it is the main beach ‘port’ for the boats heading to the islands off the coast. So you’ll find market stalls selling sarongs, dresses and beads alongside boutiques like the gorgeous Uluwatu Lace . And the same can be said for salons and spas. There is a lovely mix of the massages on the beach plus places that provide a complete indulgent experience like Glo on a main street of Sanur and Aroma Spa Retreat which easily has the best location right on Sanur beach. Having a massage in a bale at Aroma Spa Retreat while listening to the beach and feeling the cool breeze wash over me, was the most peaceful and relaxing massage I’ve ever had.
Something else I love about Sanur, for the holiday-maker, there are endless choices in accomodation to suit all budgets and needs. If you are looking for simple, tasteful and cost friendly options, look at Joseph’s Coat Studios Villas or the new Donna Home Stay in the heart of Sanur; The Taksu Hotel for good medium prices, huge rooms and seriously good air con ( side note: Bali Bakery has just opened out the front of the Taksu, which is good and also wickedly bad); the Maya hotel which is famous for it’s garden, unique structure and grassed roof; and then beautiful villa options like the brand new Villa Aroma located where lots of expats live so great restaurant options all around; Sanur Sunrise Villas on Danau Posso which is a main street in Sanur; and the stunning villa and boutique hotel Kejora Villas-Suites , right on the main street of Sanur and extending down to the beach…
Anyone who has read my blogs knows I’m a complete foodie. So Sanur appeals to me because of the variety and the fact that so many of my favourite places either line the beach or line the main street. I can’t possibly list them all so I’ve narrowed it down to a list of my favourites. These are in no order, and are all different and offer great dining. Soul in a Bowl is one of Sanur’s newest restaurants and bars offering fusion style food with a huge juice and cocktail list; Dusk Blue looks cool and calm instantly with its white walls and plantation shutters and the fresh coconut water is divine; The Glass House is a regular feature for me with tasty fresh food and the best mango frosty; the Fire Station is a popular choice for tourists and locals alike with a great mix of western and Indonesian food; Warung Beach Breeze, Warung Coconut Tree and Warung Little Bird are all part of a warung family business and boast the coldest beer and good value and tasty local food; Grocer & Grind is like a second office with great coffee and awesome wi fi; Gangsta Wraps is a new cafe on Danau Posso and a fab new option for lunch; Soya is newish to Sanur and in my opinion the best Japanese restaurant in Bali, big call but you’ll have to try it and see what I mean; The Village has become a personal fave for an Italian food fix with fresh pasta and wood fired pizzas ; Lilla Pantai on the beach has fresh beautiful breads for their burgers and sandwiches, with a stunning view as well; and finally if its pub grub and icy cold Bintang you are after, head to Casablanca and enjoy listening to the local bands that play every night.
There’s one other thing I love about Sanur, the thing I love the most, the ever changing scenery. You can be in rice fields one minute, then on a stunning beach the next. I’m not going to try and describe how beautiful it is…I’ll just leave you to enjoy these images taken from all around my local Sanur home.
Here’s the links to most of the places I mention above. Unfortunately not all of them have facebook pages or websites but you won’t have any trouble finding them once you are in Sanur. Happy Sanur holiday planning!