Christmas in Bali, do festive holiday celebrations get any better than when sipping coconut water [with or without vodka], bubbles or Bintangs under a palm tree? If you’re lucky enough to be replacing mistletoe with palm trees, or christmas pudding with a never-ending desert buffet , or Christmas morning angst with Christmas sunset drinks, good on you! All your Christmases can come at once with our list of Bali’s best Chrissy gifts, decorations, lunches, dinners, drinks, parties, events and more.
But keep checking back, ‘cos this Christmas Guide is being updated daily… so will be longer than Santa’s delivery-wish-list by Christmas Eve.
BALI CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
Our favourite topic – fabulous homewares!! If you’re visiting Bali for Christmas, or here any time during the lead up, and looking to jazz up with the villa or hotel room with some beautiful Balinese decorations, look no further than these little treasures. Don’t forget, you’ll love pulling them out each year in the future too, taking a little bit of Bali home with you.
TOP PICK: Bungalow Living, Canggu
It’s no secret we’re [Santa-sized] fans of this homewares emporium and at Christmas, our festive cup runneth over. Bungalow have a big range of exclusive Christmas decorations made right here in Bali, supporting the local cottage industry across the island. We love Bungalow more for this reason, and their range spans little wooden treasures, tree and table decorations, fun characters [santa, reindeers, more], wooden miniature christmas treats and sooo much more. Don’t forget they’re a one-stop-shop [cafe & cake included!] in the gift shopping department too!
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING & GIFTS
If you’re a bona-fide Bali lover, fashionista, shopaholic or homewares collector, you’ll already be familiar with our list of Bali’s best fashion stores, homewares stores as well as our top ten stores in Bali (which only keeps getting longer – note to self, must update soon!). But we know time is money when on hols, so here’s our top picks for the special ones in your life, consider it ‘writing your list, and checking it twice’:
KIDS – Coco & Ginger has the most gorgeous little girl clothes [some matching for Mum] on the island, Kids a go-go and Spellbound on Jalan Kerobokan are also popular favourites.
MUM/GIRLFRIENDS/WIFE/SISTER – we females aren’t really fickle things, there’s just too many choices to spoil – the body, the self or the home? So choose your flavour and enjoy below:
#1 FASHION – Check this fashion list for the best of Bali’s fashion shopping stores but our top recommendations for max pressie love, are: Uma & Leopold, Palma, Bali Boat Shed, Kiosk, Bugalow, Sundaze Resortwear, Kiosk, Gail Elliott or Magali Pascal. In Canggu we love Milk the Goat, Bomba and The Offering. Or try resort and swimwear from Sea Folly, Blue Glue or Nico Nico, and never forget that a pair [or two] of Havaianas never goes astray.
#2 JEWELLERY – Choose your faves from the Jewel-Box best here, but we love Kiosk (Jalan Seminyak and Kay Ayu), Joy Jewellery (Jalan Laksmana), Jemme (Jalan Petitenget – maximum bling!) and Erika Pena (favourite of the Bali fashionista set just opposite Samadi in Canggu). Or for something super-special and totally Balinese whilst luxuriously gorgeous, check out John Hardy’s showroom to choose a beautiful piece that has been made here on the island, by hand.
#3 HOMEWARES – Aside from the essential Bungalow and the new range of associated gems in Canggu, Seminyak offers loads of local choices to get into. Kim Soo (Oberoi), Kody & Ko, Toko Emporium and Carga (Jalan Petitenget) would be on our personal hit-list. Go to SOUQ for extra special pieces [Mum – I’ll have a panama hat please!].
#4 SPA TREATMENTS – A spot of gorgeous Bali pampering is always [always] a winner with the ladies, so choose some lovely treatments from these beauties pre or post Christmas, and make a day of it: Bodyworks, Spring Spa [take it up a notch to their rooftop spa at Seminyak Village], AMO, Prana Spa [Jalan Kunti I] or Cocoon Medical Spa for less pampering, but more results. Goldust is always our fave Canggu-way, too. TOP PICK: Choose a creme bath and mani-pedi package in one, she will love you forever.
DAD/HUBBY/BROTHER/MATES – So the cool males in the group should only visit Bali Boat Shed [if you don’t love or can’t pull off their Flamingo Shirts, we feel sorry for you] but otherwise you can’t go past Drifter Surf for all sorts of goodies. 69 Slam is another winner.
CHRISTMAS EVE – FOOD, FUN & FUN
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and not a creature was stirring in Bali. Said no-one, EVER. So get out amongst it and stay up to catch a Santa glimpse if you’re still a believer, otherwise just get into Bali’s festive Christmas Eve dining and party scene.
W RETREAT & SPA BALI – SEMINYAK, 6PM – 11PM
Night Brunch at FIRE Restaurant – Director of Cuisine Jack Yoss is recreating the comforts of home on Christmas Eve. Soiree from station to station tasting the finest of meats, classics with a twist. IDR 880,000++ per person, food only. Beverage packages available.
Christmas Eve Dinner at STARFISH BLOO – Chef Matthew McCool will create a Pan-Asian holiday degustation menu for the more discerning palate, with a la carte menus also available. IDR 880,000++ per person, food only. Beverage packages available.
Late Night Party at WOOBAR – From 10pm until late [or is that early?], dance it all off and keep the night going with a special Late Night Session featuring DJ Silky. Originally mentored by Godfather of House Frankie Knuckles, UK talent Silky is a vinyl loving DJ with rare old-school mixing techniques and deep crate selections that only serve to amplify his roots in early house and techno.
PEPPERS SEMINYAK, SEMINYAK
Festive Dinner @The Laneway – From 7pm each night 21-23, kick-start your holiday celebrations with a globally inspired Festive Dinner complemented by bubbles and a traditional choir performance. IDR 550K++/person.
HOT DEAL ALERT! In-Villa Festive BBQ @Peppers Seminyak, for non-guests! – From 4-20 December, enjoy a stress-free, pre-Christmas BBQ feast, within the cozy surroundings of the luxe, private villas at Peppers Seminyak (our fave) – without having to stay overnight! IDR 450K++/person.
Christmas Eve Dinner @The Laneway – From 6.30pm on Christmas Eve, ree-lax and indulge in an unforgettable gourmet meal featuring classic sips and all of your best-loved holiday dishes. IDR 650K++/person.
FOUR SEASONS BALI RESORT AT SAYAN, UBUD
Christmas Eve Buffet at Ayung Terrace – Get in early for a lavish Christmas Eve buffet dinner at their stunning Ayung Terrace, accompanied by live jazz from the soulful Nancy Ponto Trio. Savour a wide selection of fresh seafood, roast turkey, rib eye, poultry, salads and dessert buffet. IDR 855,000 ++ per person, 7-10pm.
FOUR SEASONS BALI RESORT, JIMBARAN
Festive Set Lunch Specials at Sundara – Christmas in Jimbaran Bay means salt-air and panoramic ocean views across Bali’s south-western coastline. Lounge away the afternoon on an ocean-front bale, sun-splashed daybed or table on the open terrace overlooking the 57-meter Infinity Edged Pool, just steps above the surf, and enjoy the Festive Set Lunch specials with a choice of Asian-inspired dishes and classic Christmas flavours. IDR 190,000++ for 2 course set lunch; IDR 220,000++ for 3 courses, 11.30am – 4pm, 21-26 December.
CHRISTMAS DAY – Food, Festivities & Full Moon Yoga
Food, glorious [Christmas] food – NOW we’re talking! Christmas brunch, lunch or dinner? In-villa or at one of Bali’s most awesome restaurants? Aaaah, it’s a tough gig making such hard decisions. Here’s a few of our recommendations for Chrissy Day feasts to smugly savour, snap and share away, in lieu of writing home about. These are the stuff that Bali Christmases are made of…. Barbacoa, La Lucciola, Starfish Bloo, Sundara, Sarong, MamaSan, Merah Putih. This list will be long.
W RETREAT & SPA BALI – SEMINYAK
Celebrate Christmas like there’s No Tomorrow! In true W style, slip into something glamorous and get into their season of incredible dining and party experiences in their multiple venues:
Super Christmas Brunch at FIRE – FIRE’s [famous] extensive presentation of traditional Asian fare with a twist include salads, soups, chilled seafood, prime meat and hot dishes from the East & West. Their interactive chefs will be out and about to carve, stir, and whip up whatever you are craving. And we haven’t even mentioned desserts. 12–3.30pm, IDR 850,000++ per person, food only. Beverage packages available.
Christmas Dinner at STARFISH BLOO – Think the W’s Legendary Sunday Brunch, but with Christmas flavours. It’s not just the views that will keep you here, though that’s half of it. There’s endless options of sushi & oysters, dim sum, BBQ lobster, salmon and carvings of ham or turkey with all the accompaniments and then some. Dessert for days. IDR 850,000++ per person, food only. Beverage packages available.
DOUBLE-SIX HOTEL, SEMINYAK
A Snazzy, Jazzy Christmas Lunch at Robert Marchetti The Plantation Grill – From 12.30pm with a Champagne & canapé reception, feast on a three-course lunch with enticing entrées and desserts and entertainment provided by the Jazz Quartet performing classic Christmas interpretations. IDR 850,000++ per person, e. firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Funky or Family Christmas Lunch at Seminyak Italian Food – Get stylishly comfortable with an Italian family-style four-course Christmas feast, with treats for the kids, Christmas crackers & live performers singing funked-up Christmas classics. Two sittings at 12.30pm & 2.30pm. IDR 500,000++ per person. e. email@example.com.
PEPPERS SEMINYAK, SEMINYAK
Christmas Brunch@The Laneway – There’s nothing quite like celebrating Christmas Day with Santa Claus, a local choir and lavish festive brunch served al fresco beside the pool. One of our favourite, not-so-secret Seminyak locations, this place. 25th December, 12-5pm. IDR 550K++/person.
FOUR SEASONS BALI RESORTS AT SAYAN
Christmas Day Lotus Pond Dinner at Four Seasons Sayan – The magical Lotus Pond dinner is a must, especially on Christmas Day. Seated beside the enchanting pond high upon the roof terrace, at the end of the suspension bridge, experience a deluxe four course meal in an unforgettably romantic atmosphere adorned with Balinese decorations, candles and flowers. IDR 1,700,000++ per person, 7pm – 10pm.
Full Moon Christmas Yoga at Dharma Shanti River Terrace, Ubud – Did you know this Christmas will be the first full moon on Christmas Day in 38 years? Wowzers. So the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is preparing for an extraordinary celebration with their Full Moon Christmas Yoga sessions in this stunningly beautiful location, on its new river-edge yoga deck. Join the special session of Moon Salutations to counter the classic Sun Salutations and prepare for the New Year. Christmas Day, 7.30pm – 8.30pm.
[The Full Moon Christmas Yoga is part of a comprehensive festive events program at Four Seasons Resorts Bali, see below for the full package including Surfing Santa!]
FOUR SEASONS BALI RESORT, JIMBARAN
International Buffet at Taman Wantila – From fresh local seafood, salmon station, sushi and salads to BBQ pork ribs, oven-baked fish, and roast carving station of oven-baked turkey, mustard maple-glazed ham and chicken complete with all the trimmings plus an extensive array of vegetarian dishes, Sundara is showcasing a Christmas dinner to remember. Don’t miss the dessert buffet’s molten chocolate cake. IDR 1,300,000++ per person, 6.30–10pm.
KU DE TA, SEMINYAK
Carols by the Sea, Christmas Lunch & Family Dayze – Bring your nearest and dearest to KU DE TA for the yuletide celebration with Louie Austen singing, Downtown Party Network and Santa’s sleigh bells jingling and an impressive feast with Moroccan vegetable tagine, roasted turkey and enticing Christmas treats. Balloon twisters and magicians will entertain the kiddies, whilst Santa makes sure every boy and girl goes home with a bag of goodies. 12pm – 5pm, 4-course set menu, Adults IDR 950,000, kids IDR 400,000 (3-12 years), e. firstname.lastname@example.org, p. +62 (0)361 736 969.
If you’re dreaming of escaping the real-world routine and waking up on Christmas morning in a heavenly villa or glam resort, you’re not alone. For obvious reasons, the Christmas/New Year period is high season in Bali so if you’ve not yet booked your dream stay, here’s our recommendations and some hot offers to check out quick-smart. Note: these were valid at time of writing and may have been snapped up by the time you’re reading this!
Festive Special Stays Promotion – 40% OFF
You can thank us later! One of our favourite villa resorts in Seminyak is offering a special Festive Villa Promotion with lovely discount in the Christmas lead-up. Peppers Seminyak are offering up to 40% for staying during the Festive Season, including: daily breakfast and 1 x Mojito and Canape at the Laneway Restaurant [yee-ha!].
These villas are perfectly located, luxe and luscious. Trust us, we know. And their spa – with pampering to the nines and a big wellness and healing focus – is another level. You will love it. Book directly through this link or call the reservation team on p. + 62 (0)361 730 333, with the promotional code: PSFEST. Valid for for 3,4 and 5 bedroom villa types on the best rates, not to be used with other promotions and valid for stays between 1-22 Dec 2015.
FOUR SEASONS BALI RESORTS
If you’re wondering where to book your luxe accomm stays and interested in what else is going on [aside from those rooms, villas, grounds, amazingness!], Christmas is big on the list at the Four Seasons – for Ubud’s wellbeing focus or Jimbaran’s ocean [& family] vibes:
Christmas highlights of Four Seasons Sayan’s festive program include Santa’s arrival by river raft, New Year’s Eve meditation, ‘flying’ AntiGravity Yoga, riverstone bathing rituals and sumptuous dining. To get families bonding and relaxing together this festive season, the resort will run a Festive Amazing Race challenge, while The Healing Village Spa is offering Family Yoga. Guests looking for unique gift ideas can join a Chakra Blending Class to make their own ila Himalayan salt scrub and massage oil, as a gift for someone special or a memento of Christmas in Bali.
Meanwhile Four Seasons Jimbaran’s festive program includes Surfing with Santa as part of the resort’s new TropicSurf program. After hearing Christmas wish lists, Santa will don a pair of boardshorts and join the TropicSurf coach to take young guests surfing at the gentle beach break of Jimbaran Bay. Children will also be invited to join a ‘dokar’ horse-and-cart ride with Santa around the resort gardens.
KEEP CHECKING IN TWICE…
Keep watching for more festive Christmas lunches, meals, deals, events, specials and more as the island updates us on everything cool that’s happening. Until then, ho, ho, and ho!