As South Bali is becoming more crowded and more urban, its nightlife has somewhat improved. It is still much less interesting that Jakarta nightlife, but if you come to Bali for the weekend you will certainly enjoy it.
Most things haven't changed for many years so you can also read my previous Bali Nightlife review from 2013. Here are my top recommendations for partying in Bali in 2014/2015:
|Skydome in Skygarden Kuta|
In Kuta, Skygarden is still the number one club: It is the most crowded, the largest, has the best marketing and the best line-up of international DJs (famous House/Trance/Progessive DJs comes at least twice a month). If you are a tourist between 18 and 30-year old, this is where you should go. If you are single and looking for a place to get a guy or a girl, this is the place too. The prices before midnight are very low so it can be a cheap way to get drunk before heading somewhere else too. At last, it is the only club in Bali which is happening 7 days a week. Go there on Sunday or Monday night when everything else is empty.
Walking distance from Skygarden, you may walk into several other nightclubs or bars such as Eikon (popular with Australians), Engine Room, Bounty and Paddy's Pub (popular with Bogans), Vi Ai Pi (good for live music), MBarGo (Hip/Hop), Apache (reggae). All of them are normally busy as they are located in the heart of Kuta.
Still in Kuta, bars and clubs located on Jalan Pantai Kuta are more popular with Indonesians, in particular those from Jakarta. You have the new Velvet bar and Hypnotized club in BeachWalk Mall, maybe one of the best new clubs in Kuta in 2014. They have good events with international DJ about once in a month. Not too far from there, The Stones hotel also organizes regular events but it is almost always empty. Still on Kuta beach, Hard Rock Café is mostly popular with the Asian crowd: Indonesians, Malaysians, Singaporeans. This is the same crowd that visits the new District (replacing Musro) which gets busy only when they have concerts.
|Concert in District|
|Party in Hypnotized Beach Walk|
Speaking about the local and Asian market, there are a handful of clubs where you will find them. The largest is Akasaka, in the heart of Denpasar, which has two dance-floors, one with Western-style house music and the other one with Funky House / Chinese-style Techno Kota. Some expats go there too because the music reminds them of places like the Stadium in Jakarta. It is also full with prostitutes, among which a fair number of stunners (in A-Club in particular). There is also Boshe VIP Club, not far from the airport, which is a classier version of Akasaka. At last, you have Adora Club in Sanur, again with a similar concept of one-stop entertainment with bar, club, karaoke, live music.
Regarding these clubs, you can also read my review about Sex Tourism in Bali.
|Sexy Dancers in Adora Club|
Seminyak is still the favorite party location for expats, older tourists, residents from Java and regulars of Bali. Seminyak nightlife has actually spread out to the limits of Legian in Jalan Nakula (Jenja), Jalan Dewi Sri (Pyramid) or Jalan 66 (Double Six Rooftop). There have been quite many openings and closing in the past two years. The popular nightlife venues in Seminyak at the end of 2014 are the following:
- To have a drink: Mantra, La Favela, Jealous Lovers' Dive Bar, Mamasan, Red Carpet Champagne Bar (if you are above 40), Rumours, Zappaz (live music), Charlie. Jakartans usually prefer going to Motel Mexicola or Vin +. JPs Warung has closed and it was replaced by a strange Frankenstein bar which seems to be popular as well.
|Mantra in Petitenget|
|Red Carpet's remarkable waitresses|
- To Party: Early in the night, Townhouse (European crowd), Huu Bar (Jakartans, Indo-Chinese). After 2am, move to Mint, Jenja, Pyramid. Coming in September is a new club called Mirror / Gardin: Opened by the owners of Fable in Jakarta, we can expect it will target the same crowd as Hu'u bar.
- For Special events: Check the facebook pages of W Hotel (Silent Disco), Kudeta (White Party, Bikini Party, New Year Party), Potato Head, Cocoon (Hed Kandi, Splash Pool Party). Check also parties such as Disko Afrika or beach parties in La Plancha). You can also see most events in the guidebook The Beat Magazine which is available in all Circle K store.
|Silent Disco in W Hotel|
|White Party in Ku De Ta|
|Splash Party in Cocoon|
- For scoring with girls, hookers, transexuals: La Vida Loca, Mint Club, Bahiana, Jenja (and later in the night in DeeJay Café). For gays specifically: You should head to Jalan Dyana Pura to Mixwell, Bali Joe, and other places whose name I forgot. If you are not gay but open-minded, you can visit these bars and still have a lot of fun since they have great cabaret gogo dancers shows.
|Mixwell Gay Bar in Seminyak|
To conclude, it is good to know that DeeJay Café is the club that stays open the latest in Bali. It is still busy early morning at 8-9am. Needless to say most people who go there are on drugs.
|Dee Jay Café in Kartika Plaza (Paradiso Kuta Hotel)|
Warning about Safety in Bali: There is an increasing number of complaints about safety around nightclubs in Bali. Be careful with pickpockets. The main victims seem to be girls putting their purses in front of their motorbike. It is really recommended to put all your valuables in your trunk instead. If you have any problems, it is probably more effective to report it on the Bali Expat forum on facebook than to the police.
Photo Credit: Most of the pictures illustrating this review of Bali nightlife were taken on facebook. If you wish to have a photo you are in removed, just drop me a mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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