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If Ubud is Bali’s cultural heart, then Seminyak is undeniably its soul

Published on December 10th, 2018
* Title image feat. and courtesy Sebastian Schmidt for Blue Karma Secrets

Long has been the case for Bali; the tiny Indonesian province named world’s top destination in 2017; that two of its most poetically contradicting towns have played it out for the title of most popular locale on the island.

But with more visitors than ever choosing to spend their luxury vacation in Bali, perhaps a new reality means flitting from Seminyak to Ubud offers the best of both worlds, and the perfect getaway might just be a scenario where their differences become their most significant asset.

Ubud Sunrise glow
The early morning sun in Ubud, Bali 

Let’s face it, there isn’t anywhere on Bali that could be considered less than favourable. The whole island is like a picture postcard and the product of Instagram envy the world over. You’d be forgiven for thinking, however, that the two titans of Seminyak or Ubud, might even be the nation’s capital. You’d be wrong of course, that’s Denpasar about 7km away from Seminyak, but both would have a right to lay claim to such a title. If not for anything but the sheer diversity of what’s on offer in these two meccas of luxury escape destinations.

Despite both of their ever-growing fame, the pair couldn’t be more contrary, while at the same time, being more complimentary to the other.

On the one hand, Ubud is a lush, green jungle paradise, where Seminyak brings a more cosmopolitan, city by the sea kind of vibe. The former boasts palm trees and rice paddies weaving in and out of every spare strip of land, while Indian Ocean beach-lines and surf breaks as far as the eye can see, fringe the latter.

Seminyak in the south is a hub for sleek bars and vibrant nightlife where Ubud’s central location feels more subdued, with her nod to spiritualisation and holistic wellness. High-end boutique art and shopping outlets are aplenty in Seminyak; but a more traditional, market town experience can be found in Ubud.

Sunset on Petitenget beach, Seminyak, Bali
Petitenget beach, Seminyak at sunset

Many will flock to the beaches to see the sunset beyond the horizon as it paints the Seminyak sky; while it is the early morning glow that hazes through the tropical vistas that enchant guests in Ubud.

There are many similarities though. They both host a definitive collection of the most luxurious hotels on the island; each can take ownership of housing some of the best restaurants in Bali, and they are undivided when it comes to delivering once in a lifetime, luxury escapes. No coincidence then that Blue Karma Secrets would choose to have a Luxury Nestling Escape in Ubud, and a Luxury Oasis Escape in Seminyak.

If we were to dare characterise, then Ubud would play Romeo to Seminyak’s Juliet; the comparison, possibly more symbolic than you might first think. Seminyak and Ubud could easily be considered ‘star-crossed lovers’ from infinitely different backgrounds. Distant feuds now are forgotten and in its place, mutual respect from and for each and the other.

Bali is a melting pot of culture and experiences

These differences are integral to the harmony of Bali’s eco-system. They are both world-class destinations that coexist and share the same land. If Ubud is Bali’s cultural heart, then Seminyak is undeniably its soul. One without the other would be only half of the equation and most likely just half the experience.

So the next time you’re in town; instead of considering options from Seminyak to Ubud, why not plan to stay in both?

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