Guy’s Guide: New Bali Pool Bars for Summer 2016 – There’s A Few!

As another high-season rolls in, another round of Bali pool bars are trying to outdo each other to get your rupiah (and we’re not complaining) because who needs to stay dry while you whet your whistle? This summer, the newest kids on the pool bar scene are spread out around the island, meaning wherever you stay, you’re never too far from a little dip (or drink).

#1 Finn’s Canggu

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Promising to be the banger on the Canggu block

Where: Canggu

What: Directly in front of the Berawa surf breaks, Finn’s has finally expanded beyond their Nusa Dua club (and if you haven’t been there it’s also definitely worth a visit). With a swim-up bar, nightly parties, underwater speakers, a specifically designed bamboo structure to allow unobstructed views of a perfect Balinese sunset into the sea, and some world class breaks to take a crack at or just admire, Finn’s Canggu is the spot to be this summer. Meet someone nice? Take it to the amazing Semara Beach House – only a stone’s throw away.

#2 Jungle Fish

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We’d rather be jungle sloth here

Where: Ubud

What: Overlooking the Osh river valley just outside of Ubud, Jungle Fish is an open-air mediterranean restaurant/bar with a beautifully perched cliff-top pool, perfect for those intent on skipping the Monkey Forest for some gastronomic and aquatic laziness. With organic food gardens spread throughout the property, and a must try snake fruit, star anise, cinnamon & lemongrass whiskey cocktail, poolside nibbles and cocktails are the perfect post-yoga guilty indulgence. Up for some romance? Keep it close with a stay at Shambala Moon – an über-private jungle hideaway.

#3 Standing Stones

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Go East to find this gem

Where: Gianyar

What: This pool bar/restaurant attached to The Royal Purnama has got some serious potential – which means they haven’t quite got it all figured out yet, or which angle they’re aiming for (party central, ibiza-chill, classy or sassy) but it’s definitely piqued our interest. The intimate, ocean-front pool is surrounded by day beds and flanked by a huge lawn strewn with bean bags, while their ‘standing stones’ makes the property a totally unique and instagram-friendly spot to while away a sunny afternoon.

#4 Ku De Ta

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The nightime institution has upped their daytime game

Where: Seminyak

What: Forget splashing about in the wading pool that used to inhabit the inner grassy courtyard; near the end of 2015, Ku De Ta went boom with the installation of a beach front infinity pool. The new layout is far better suited for evening debauchery – giving you plenty more space to dance on the grass, while they’ve upped their daytime-game making for a picturesque breakfast benny while sprawled out on a front-row pool bed. And, if Seminyak happens to be your locale of choice, don’t pass up a coffee (or photo-op) at one of these 7 hipster cafes.

#5 Potato Head Beach Club

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The obligatory must

Where: Seminyak 

What: The originators of making Bali pool bars the place to be seen, Potato Head Beach Club is an institution on the island. New for summer 2016 however, is their affiliated hotel Katamama which perches just behind the multi-coloured shuttered walls. Designed by Andra Matin and bringing a little retro-urban flavour to the normally tropical-chic balinese stylings, a stay here means you should have no problem snagging a lounger, while grabbing some tapas at their Spanish-themed restaurant Movida is a must.

And then there’s your own private pool

Image credits: Main, 1, 25

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Alexander Doerr

Adding a little Yang to the Wanderluxe Yin, this nomad can often be found riding his 1978 Vespa through the streets of the Big Durian. A lover of Javanese vintage, running, strange tropical flowers and brutalist architecture, he hates papayas, but is working on it.

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