the morning dip. Bungalows have their own
private lagoon and there is a large kids' club.
Von Holzen also runs a cooking school
on many days. It starts with a 6am visit to
Jimbaran's fish and village markets to buy
goods and finishes with lunch (US$75). And
the empire extends to Rumah Bali (opposite)
and Pasar Malam (opposite).
Spice (Map p135 ;
end of the beach, elderly men convivially
gather at sunrise and beyond for meditasi -
swimming and baking in the black volcanic
sand found only at that end of the beach.
A few places close to Benoa village offer no-
frills accommodation across the road from
Pondok Agung (Map p135 ;
Eating & Drinking
Each hotel has several restaurants. There are
also several tourist restaurants in or near
Tajung Benoa. On the border with Nusa Dua,
some warung cater to hotel guests and offer
good value for money, while several busy
local warung are clustered around the police
station in Benoa.
Man Dollow Internet Cafe (Map p135;
.com; Jl Pratama; r 100,000-250,000Rp;
Inscriptions on a stone pillar found near mod-
ern Sanur tell of King Sri Kesari Varma, who
came to Bali to teach Buddhism in AD 913.
Sanur was one of the places favoured by
Westerners during their pre-war discovery
of Bali. Artists Miguel Covarrubias, Adrien
Jean Le Mayeur and Walter Spies, anthropolo-
gist Jane Belo and choreographer Katharane
Mershon all spent time here. The first simple
tourist bungalows appeared in Sanur in the
1940s and 1950s, and more artists, including
Australian Donald Friend and Scotsman Ian
Fairweather, made their homes in Sanur. This
early popularity made Sanur a likely locale for
Bali's first big tourist hotel, the Soekarno-era
Inna Grand Bali Beach Hotel.
Over this period, Sanur was ruled by in-
sightful priests and scholars, who recognised
both the opportunities and the threats pre-
sented by the expanding tourism. Properly
horrified at the high-rise Bali Beach Hotel,
they imposed the famous rule that no build-
ing could be higher than a coconut palm.
They also established village cooperatives that
owned land and ran tourist businesses, ensur-
ing that a good share of the economic benefits
remained in the community.
The priestly influence remains strong, and
Sanur is one of the few communities still
ruled by members of the Brahmana caste. It
is known as a home of sorcerers and healers,
and a centre for both black and white magic.
The black-and-white chequered cloth known
as kain poleng which symbolises the balance
of good and evil is emblematic of Sanur.
Sanur stretches for about 5km along an east-
facing coastline, with the lush and green land-
scaped grounds of resorts fronting right onto
the sandy beach. The monstrous Grand Bali
Beach Hotel, located at the northern end of the
strip, fronts the best stretch of beach. West of
the beachfront hotels is the noisy main drag,
Jl Danau Tamblingan, with hotel entrances,
oodles of tourist shops, restaurants and cafés.
) The 11
cheery rooms in a large house-like building
are good value. Higher priced rooms come
with air-con and TV.
Tanjung Mekar (Map p135 ;
778788; Conrad Resort, Jl Pratama;
dinner) Has a grand setting
atop the hotel with tables inside and out. Nusa
Lembongan twinkles in the distance. Service is
excellent; the wine list voluminous.
081-2363 1374; Jl
Pratama; r from 90,000Rp) Set in a little garden, this
small guesthouse has four simple, pleasant
Getting There & Around
Taxis from the airport cost 100,000Rp. Take
a bemo to Bualu (see p137), then take one of
the infrequent green bemo that shuttle up and
down Jl Pratama (3000Rp) - after about 3pm
bemo become really scarce on both routes. A
metered taxi will be much easier and quicker.
Or walk the beach promenade.
) There's mid-
dling internet access here and simple dishes
served under a thatched roof.
Santorini (Map p135;
Jl Pratama; meals 10,000-20,000Rp;
Rumah Bali (Map p135 ;
777942; Jl Pratama; meals
30,000-60,000Rp) A vision of white, this taverna
brings the Greek Islands to the island of Bali.
One of the more fun places on this street, the
food is authentic - the wine too (not that that
is a plus…).
Pasar Malam (Map p135;
) Rumah Bali is a
luxurious interpretation of a Balinese village
by Heinz von Holzen of Bumbu Bali fame
(right. Guests have large family rooms or
individual villas (some with three bedrooms)
with their own plunge pools. There's a 'vil-
lage centre' with a delectable warung (Pasar
Malam, see right). Besides a large communal
pool, there's also a tennis court. The beach is
a short walk away.
Novotel Benoa Bali (Map p135 ;
Jl Pratama; r US$60-100;
Sanur is often saddled with the moniker
'Snore' and while it's true that the relaxed
pace locally can take some people a while to
appreciate, it's also true that this has long been
the locale for people who prefer things simple
It's a very relaxed alternative to Kuta, with a
fraction of the hassles - and some would say a
fraction of the fun. But that really depends on
who you are. True, if you want a foam party in
Sanur you'll need a bar of soap and bathtub.
But if you'd rather not be hectored by cries
of 'transport?', get stuck in hot, sweaty traffic
or just plain tire of lanes teaming with chaos,
then Sanur is perfect.
In keeping with the local demeanour, the
white-sand beach is sheltered by a reef and
the surf is sedate, making it popular with
some parents. At low tide the beach is wide,
but the water is shallow and you have to pick
your way out over rocks and coral through
knee-deep water. At high tide the swimming
is fine, but the beach is narrow and almost
nonexistent in places.
A walk on the delightful beachside walkway
(try that in Kuta) reveals views of Nusa Penida
771256; Jl Pratama; dishes
20,000-70,000Rp) Inside Rumah Bali (left), this
warung fulfils the role of the village market
eatery. There are local coffees, and exhib-
its and dishes celebrate the many forms of
Balinese rice. The food is of the same high
standard as that at Bumbu Bali.
) The Novotel
straddles both sides of the busy road, so you
know which side to get a room (hint: think
sand). The 175 rooms and facilities are tasteful
with whimsical touches like a huge pineapple
sculpture. The beach here beats the pool.
Puri Benoa (Map p135 ;
bali.com; Jl Pratama; r from US$70;
noon-9pm) One of
the finest restaurants on the island, Bumbu
Bali serves the best Balinese food you'll have
during your visit. Long-time resident and
cookbook author Heinz von Holzen, his wife
Puji and an enthusiastic staff serve exquisitely
flavoured dishes beautifully. Many diners opt
for one of several set menus (185,000Rp).
The rijstaffel shows the range of cooking in
the kitchen from satays served on their own
little coconut husk grill to the tender be celeng
base manis (pork in sweet soy sauce) to the
amazingly tasty and different jaja batun bedil
(sticky dumpling rice in palm sugar) with a
dozen more courses in between.
The frenetic von Holzen can be seen every-
where during opening hours, one minute
adjusting the artful presentation of a dish,
the next checking the seasoning of another
and stopping for a moment to help with a
backlog of dishes. The staff takes these cues
and is both skilled and engaging. The tables
Pratama; dishes 45,000-70,000Rp;
) It feels a
bit like a boutique hotel on the beach, with
only 18 bungalow-style rooms. Some of the
décor of Puri Benoa has a dated feel, but
the outdoor bathrooms in the rooms are
airy delights. More money gets you a villa
on the beach.
.com; Jl Pratama; r from US$75;
Some top-end resorts are really time-share
properties renting out rooms, while others
are used almost exclusively by people on pack-
Conrad Resort (Map p135 ;
hotels.com; Jl Pratama; r from US$150;
Tajung Benoa's best hotel is from the luxury
branch of the Hilton chain. It combines Bali