THE MAGIC OF BALI
“Bali has all the elements of life’s pleasures: warm weather, fun-loving people and culture -- and [Seminyak] is the place to hang out, to see and be seen, and is full of great restaurants and bars that design-wise leave London for dead.”
As any fan of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, knows (or the 2010 movie version starring Julia Roberts), Bali is a mystical and enchanting island, home to most of Indonesia’s Hindu minority who have a highly developed sense of the arts.
“Bali has all the elements of life’s pleasures,” says Melanie Hall, ticking off a list of attributes, starting with the creative spirit that is so prevalent. “You can conceive and then produce almost anything you like: warm weather—best time to visit is June–July, but it is warm all around the year; fun-loving people; and culture—Bali has possibly the best southeast Asian dedication to its culture, with its plethora of ceremonies that are imbedded into the life of each Balinese.”
Luna2 is located in Seminyak, on the Indian Ocean, on Bali’s southwest coast. The beach stretches as far as the eye can see, as does the hipness quotient of Seminyak—the island’s trendiest area for shopping, dining, and partying, attracting savvy travelers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Sydney, Melbourne, London and New York. The area is also famous for its spectacular sunsets, which are that much better with a drink in hand at a beachside bar.
“It’s now acclaimed by fellow English as the ‘Chelsea of Bali,’ i.e. the young, hip, happening area,” says Hall. “It’s just the place to hang out, to see and be seen, and is full of great restaurants and bars that design-wise leave London for dead.”
Hall and her husband, Stewart, lived in Indonesia for 13 years after marrying in Bali in 1999 (spending time between Jakarta and Bali) and have seen Seminyak take off over the last decade. They actually bought the land for Luna2 about a dozen years ago before the renowned Ku De Ta restaurant put Seminyak on the map.
“We sensed the area was about to become ‘re-gentrified,’” she says. “Our neighboring Oberoi Hotel had been there for many years before, and had set the scene for many to come, but we couldn’t possibly have ever imagined the number of restaurants and bars that would later flank and even outshine it.”