Sanur on Bali’s south east coast has long held a reputation as offering visitors a rather more tranquil experience than its west coast cousins, Seminyak, Legian, Kuta and now the latest hipster hangout, Canggu.
And yet it wasn’t always so – Sanur has its own storied history. In the seventies & eighties, Kuta was about as backwater as you can get – just a somnolent little fishing village – while it was Sanur where everything was happening. And we mean happening. Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall tied the knot there, David Bowie was a frequent visitor as were Yoko Ono and Sting.
Some of the venerable institutions that entertained them rare still going strong in Sanur – most notable among them probably the famous Kafe Batu Jimbar, which is well worth a visit for its tasty Indonesian dishes.
In contrast to Bali’s west coast, which is habitually lashed by big ocean rollers, Sanur’s placid beach front is ideal for bathing as well as for watersports like windsurfing. The offshore islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida are also just a short boat ride away – home to some world class dive sites, though the currents can be intense to say the least. You can see the iconic mola-mola or sunfish in these waters.
Sanur itself is not half as sleepy as some west coast party hardy like to make out either. It has a thriving foodie scene, lots of cool boutiques, contemporary bars and art galleries, plus hidden beaches and bays just a short drive up the east coast. It’s also a great jumping off point for many of Bali’s favourite attractions.
Karma Royal Sanur is itself a bit of a Sanur institution, capturing the old world magic that brought people to the island in the first place. Its artful Balinese desisgn aesthetic is matched with the latest contemporary comforts, offering you spacious one and two bedroom apartments set in a verdant tropical garden compound around a pool.
No wonder an increasing number of former Bali west coast die-hards have been relocating.