Sadly, there are few places left on Bali which can still be described as a little sleepy, but the hipster seaside village of Canggu on its south-west coast is just that, which unfortunately makes it the Indonesian island’s latest hot spot.
A 40-minute walk along the beach from Seminyak, Canggu’s streets are not teeming with tourists, the village market sells produce at local prices and the beaches are not packed. A selection of cool cafés serving healthy food sit side-by-side with funky beach clubs, hip bars and yoga studios. Canggu may not be “sleepy” per se, but it’s a damn sight quieter than much of the rest of Bali, and its locals are friendly, engaging and happy to chat about the surf.
Canggu essentially consists of three parallel villages, each with their own beach areas: Berawa, Batu and Echo. All are bordered by a busy road to the north, Jalan Raya Canggu, which is about 5km inland.
Fronting Echo Beach, uber cool new COMO Uma Canggu was this year’s most anticipated Bali hotel opening, and has been the first international five-star brand to land on Canggu’s onyx-black volcanic sands. Skilfully designed to take advantage of some of Bali’s most coveted surf breaks, the resort also beautifully reflects Canggu’s relaxed coastal lifestyle, complete with a fabulous beach club fashioned by Milan-based architect and interior designer, Paola Navone, which forms the hub of the resort. A partnership with luxury Australian surfing experts Tropicsurf ensures that both novice and veteran surfers are well catered for at this essentially surfing-focused property.
The minimalist interiors of the resort’s 119 rooms were designed by Japanese-born designer Koichiro Ikebuchi. Think Japanese screens, chic courtyards and outdoor showers. Some have direct access to the resort’s 115-metre lagoon pool. Penthouses boast sweeping oceanic curves, private rooftop pools and incredible sea vistas.
A luxe, eight treatment room Como Shambhala Spa offers Asian-inspired therapies, whilst an impressive fitness centre offers twice-daily yoga and Pilates plus classes ranging from hatha and fast-paced rocket yoga through to yogalates.
After a hard day’s surf, guests head to the beach club for some freshly barbequed fare served to a backdrop of live musicians and DJs, plus some of the most spectacular sunset views on the island.