Jimbaran is a small town in South Bali with many high class resorts and villas.
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, philosophy, 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 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.
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.
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 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 17:00, 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 06:00-09:00.
- 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 Jl Uluwatu make good orientation points. Follow these and take the different small roads that connect them back and forth.
- 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, 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.
Jimbaran has a number of high-end spas, both within the luxury hotels and independent establishments.
- Alam Jimbaran Spa (formerly Aroma Talk Alam Jimbaran), JL Kampus Udayana No.9 (Infront of tennis court), ☎ . daily 09:00-21:00. Day spa, traditional Balinese massage, Indian ayurvedic spa, hot stone therapy and hammam herbal therapy.
- Bamboo Spa, By L'Occitane, Jl. Uluwatu Jimbaran (Inside Jimbaran Corner, at the intersection between Jalan Uluwatu and Jalan Four Seasons), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. daily 10:00-22:00. 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 French style training from L'Occitane en Provence. Around US$90 for 75 minutes.
- The Body Spa, Jl Uluwatu 99x, Kelan, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. daily 14:00-22:00. Spa with two venues in Bali. Full range of beauty and body treatments. 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), ☎ . daily 10:00-22:00. Not a spa as such, but a traditional massage parlour. Excellent, traditional Balinese-style therapeutic treatments. 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), ☎ . daily 11:00-21:00. 5 star standard spa providing Javanese and Balinese style treatments.
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, ☎ . Daily 09:00-18:00. Large gallery and retail showroom for Balinese ceramics. 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.
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 400,000-900,000 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). 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), ☎ . 11:00-22:00. 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). 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.
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.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
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 20 minutes away.
- Villa Batu, Jl Pemilisan Agung 21A, ☎ . 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.
- MaxGramper houses, Jl. Kecubung, Permata Ariza Residences (After Pat Mase villas, just on the left side of main Abi Bali entrance), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Different guest house style houses for rent at different rates with or without pool. A/C in every bedroom. Daily housekeeping included. From Rp. 300.000.
- Villa Bali Jegeg, Jl. Pantai Sari, No.23 (50 m from the beach), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Spacious rooms and hospitable Balinese atmosphere. From US$85.
- Keraton Jimbaran Resort, Jl Merajpati. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 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. Babysitting services, volleyball, badminton, billiards, fishing, spa services, sailing, tennis and windsurfing. From US$119.
- Puri Bambu Hotel, Jl Pengeracikan, Kedonganan, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All rooms have balconies overlooking the pool or gardens. 2 restaurants and a large pool with a sunken swim-up bar. Complimentary airport transfers. From US$50.
- Sari Segara Resort, Jalan Pantai, Kedonganan, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. 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.
- Ayana Resort and Spa (formerly the Ritz Carlton Bali), Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 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, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 13:00. 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, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 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, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. A boutique 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 (An Orient-Express hotel), Jl Uluwatu, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Private walled cottages and villas with private pools. Large communal pool, decent restaurant and in-house spa facilities. Directly at the beach and some sea view villas in the first row of bungalows. From US$200.
- Karma Jimbaran Resort, Jl Bukit Permai, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Resort offering completely private 3-4 bedroom villas. 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 Jl Uluwatu and Jalan Four Seasons), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Good Jl for couples, located on the rooftop of the Jimbaran Corner shopping centre (high-end), with a private beach access after 3 min ride with golf cart. From about US$200.
- Gending Kedis, Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera 100Y. From US$340.
All the villas listed below are standalone and feature private entrances, dedicated staff, accommodation and their own swimming pools.
- Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate & Spa, Jl. Yoga Perkanthi, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 19 contemporary villas with private pool, fully-equipped gourmet kitchen and 24 hr butler service.
- The Longhouse, Tiara Nusa, Jl Goa Gong, e-mail: email@example.com. 6 bedroom private villa spans the Jimbaran hillside at Goa Gong. 180⁰ 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), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1 and 2 bedroom villas with private swimming pool and garden located in Jimbaran village. 350 m to the beach and 100 m to the market and main temple. Breakfast and daily cleaning included. US$140-180.
- Halcyon Villas, Halcyon Villas at Jimbaran Bay (next door to the Four Seasons Resort). 3 bedroom pavilion style villa with large pool and gardens. Airport transfers, housekeeping and cooked breakfasts are included. US$260-460.
- Jimbaran Bay Beach Residence, Jl Bukit Permai 101X (between the Intercontinental Hotel and Four Seasons Resort and just behind Muaya Beach Cafe Seafood Restaurants), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 3 private villas 50 m from the beach. 2 villas with sea views and one pool villa. US$70-150.
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.
- 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.