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A Guide to Pererenan, Bali

Move over Canggu—Bali’s hippest locale is now just up the coast in neighboring Pererenan.

Poolside at six-villa hideaway Desa Hay; the lobby of the Canggu Yoga Centre in Pererenan.
Left to right: poolside at six-villa hideaway Desa Hay; the lobby of the Canggu Yoga Centre. (All photos courtesy of their respective establishments)

Since Bali reopened to overseas tourists in early 2022, the beachside neighborhood of Pererenan has turned from a sleepy village into a bustling enclave of top-notch eateries, bars, shops, and wellness centers. Unlike adjacent Canggu, however, the traffic here is calmer and the beach is more serene, making Pererenan a top choice for your next visit to the island’s southwest coast.

Coveting a keepsake silk dress, cotton playsuit, or linen onesie? Head to the eponymous boutique of American designer Myrah Peñaloza for a line of yoga-inspired apparel that speaks to the island’s heart and soul—sustainability, female empowerment (30 local women are employed as home-based tailors), and comfortable everyday fashion. The store is set in a traditional Javanese joglo house that imbues it with a gallery-like aesthetic, which also makes an ideal fit for displays of handcrafted jewelry from local labels like Elektra and Elppin.

Bali’s ubiquitous red clay bricks have been put to contemporary use at new Bar Vera, a buzzing wine bar and French restaurant right on Pererenan’s main street. Founder Benjamin Cross, a well-known figure in Bali’s food and beverage scene, has enlisted talented Scottish-born Kiwi chef Keir Ballantyne to blend French culinary techniques with locally sourced ingredients. The result is pretty special. Think: steak tartare with sambal and green mustard, prawns with warm polenta and lime, and pineapple mille-feuille. Drinks follow suit with a serious but creative cocktail lineup and happily Euro-centric wine list.

The semi-outdoor dining area at Home by Chef Wayan in Pererenan.
The semi-outdoor dining area at Home by Chef Wayan.
Home by Chef Wayan's pan-roasted pork belly; chef Wayan Kresna Yasa with the Balinese cookbook he co-authored, Paon.
Left to right: Home by Chef Wayan’s pan-roasted pork belly; chef Wayan Kresna Yasa with the Balinese cookbook he co-authored, Paon.

Down the road, the more modest Home by Chef Wayan is perhaps Pererenan’s worst-kept secret. With a simple streetside shopfront cluttered with motorbikes, this open warung-style eatery doesn’t stand out from the crowd, but the Balinese and Indonesian cuisine sure does. Chef Wayan Kresna Yasa, who can be seen rattling the pans most days, has headed up some of Bali’s best Indonesian restaurants. He’s also the co-author of Paon, the lauded Balinese cookbook that hit the shelves last year. He and his business partner and wife Mary have mastered the art of keeping things simple while plating to a five-star standard. Their pan-roasted pork belly (babi guling) is a fine example.

Devotees of more energetic hot yoga styles point their mats in the direction of Pererenan’s concrete-and-glass Canggu Yoga Centre. The timetable can make you sweat just looking at it, with Bikram Yoga, Hot Warrior Yoga, and Hot Sculpt being the classes of choice. Cool down the pace with hatha and ashtanga classes or just hang in the lobby café under the neon sign that says HOT, even if you’re not.

Closer to the beach, Barō Bakery is an unassuming but comfortably cool café and patisserie. Owner Emerson Manibo’s bigger, bolder Starter Lab was the first bakery in Canggu, but this more local offshoot is all about sipping on a Melbourne-standard coffee and munching on a sticky cardamom bun, before picking up an ancient-grain sourdough loaf to take home for lunch.

Barō Bakery’s Emerson Manibo; pork jowl skewers at Bar Vera.
Left to right: Barō Bakery’s Emerson Manibo; pork jowl skewers at Bar Vera.
A Batak-inspired jabu villa at Desa Hay, Pererenan.
A Batak-inspired Premium Jabu villa at Desa Hay.

Accommodation options in Pererenan tend to be smaller and more intimate than their Canggu counterparts, with architecture and landscaping that blends into the tropical surrounds. Desa Hay (doubles from US$400) slots in nicely. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s eco-minded Considerate Collection, the property has just six villas inspired by the traditional Batak jabu houses of North Sumatra. Impeccable modern amenities and furniture have been effortlessly fused with locally carved wooden doors and fittings and stonework bathrooms. If the in-villa plunge pool and cocktail bar don’t monopolize your time, the breezy pavilion restaurant by the main pool will.

Such are Pererenan’s streetside attractions, it can be easy to forget you’re on the beach. Not so at Sol Rooftop, a panoramic two-level bar and pool venue with golden glow sunsets to boot. Sit on recliners under thatch umbrellas to sip on jalapeño margaritas and lychee martinis, or gather at tables to nibble on small bites like mini fish tacos and aioli-topped calamari. On the lower level, the swimming pool sees preening party people partaking in a swim—or at least looking like that’s their intention.

Kitchen staff in action at Bar Vera, Pererenan.
Kitchen staff in action at Bar Vera.

This article originally appeared in the June/July 2023 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Next Beach Over”).

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