Manarai Beach House
Words: Kirsten Durward Photos: Monica Tindall
Manari Beach House typifies everything that is wonderful about a beach experience in Bali. With two pools, three bars, a divine expanse of beachfront on Nusa Dua, an all-day menu and cocktail list that balances old favourites with new tastes, really what more could you want? A 200 label wine list? And one of the friendliest hosts on the island? Those too, are right here.
Best Beach Club Bali
A cleverly designed space means that Manarai Beach House benefits from three separate areas, all with a slightly different vibe. The beachfront pool is friendly and inviting, exuding a relaxed liveliness during the day which ramps up later in the evening for night owls and party seekers, with poolside DJ and holiday feel-good fun. The centre pool is more serene and features a dramatic swim up bar. To the back of the property is an elegant restaurant space, fully air-conditioned, with yet another bar and display of Manarai’s extensive wine collection. The interior is light and airy, the floorboards are upcycled Indonesian railway sleepers which give resonant energy to the space. We were very happy to spend a few hours here tasting and chatting, generally feeling at home.
Manarai Beach House Wine Shop
With our charming host Moe, who exudes enthusiasm about all things wine we have a sneaky peek inside the cellar. We taste a snifter of the delightful Santa Carolina Merlot which manages to be both light easy drinking, and rich and resonant at the same time. Manarai Beach House has a great wine list, 200 bottles in total, with a range that will suit most tastes from the budget-friendly to the palate conscious. I am happy to see a good range of wine by the glass, something that is important to the single traveller. As the outlet operates as a wine shop, the prices are all retail, and just for a bonus on Tipsy Thursdays, selected bottles are two for one, so you can take one back to your hotel room too.
Craft Cocktails Nusa Dua
The friendly bartenders at Manarai Beach House will be only too happy to mix you one of their fabulous signature cocktails, blend you a classic or just pour a shot from their extensive range of liquors. Between the three bars, I spotted some rarities for this location, so if it is an unusual tipple that you like, you could be fortunate here. We are encouraged to try a couple of the more fun, holiday style signature cocktails.
We can see why C-Cups (IDR 155,000 ++) is a popular choice with visitors. The rustic presentation makes you feel happy and relaxed in the holiday vibe before even taking a sip. The combination of vodka, coconut sorbet, coconut water and vanilla syrup would be very pleasing to those with a sweeter palate. I love that the straw is made from potato starch and fully biodegradable; Ismaya group embraces sustainable practices wherever possible.
Being rum aficionados, both Monica and I were immediately drawn to Jamaican Me Horney (IDR 155,000 ++). The refreshing blend of rum añejo, Jamaican rum, Cointreau, pineapple, honey and bitters brings smiles to our lips. This is summer sipping that I could get used to.
Locally made arak will vary in quality so be careful what you get yourself into. The arak rum at Manarai Beach House is of high quality and very smooth. Combined with lychee liqueur it is used as the base for Manarai Sangria Punch (Bowl IDR 550,000 ++). Even though we restrained ourselves with just a glass, we could imagine an afternoon with friends tippling a little more of this refreshing and clear concoction.
Manarai Beach House Menu
Whether you want a late poolside breakfast, a light lunch, an afternoon snack or a full-on three-course dinner, there is sure to be something on the menu to catch your eye and please your tummy. We ordered fresh and light but noted a lot of choices on the menu if you want something more filling or meaty. Manarai Beach House also features monthly and seasonal menus to make the most of what is freshly available locally.
Everything is made from scratch and it shows. Our first dish, Freekeh Grain Salad (IDR 150,000 ++) is a delightful tumble of freekeh, quinoa and barley, substantiated with chickpeas and pumpkin chunks. Capers give a salty tang, while raisins and pomegranate add little sweet pops in the mouth. The whole dish is bound together with a light cumin yoghurt dressing, which adds just that hint of spice. It’s accompanied by buttered flatbread, which is herby with tastes of thyme. This dish scores a resonant yum from both of us!
Pan-seared Salmon (IDR 175,000 ++), arrives atop a light and tasty salad. The sushi grade salmon is just north of rare, falls apart to the touch and literally melts in the mouth. Stirring up the salad components is good fun, but it is the combination of textures and flavours that keeps us happily munching! Wakame, edamame, pickled ginger and a gorgeous sesame dressing; the combination makes this dish both healthy and moreish.
We have been twice recommended to try the Manarai Beach House Signature Sushi Roll (IDR 145,000 ++) so we dutifully do so. And after tasting the mouthful of chunky delectability, we are glad we did. Soft crab melds with avocado and tobiko in the centre, while salmon rests atop slathered in dynamite dressing.
Dessert on Nusa Dua
We are tempted by two exotic sounding desserts and are in raptures at the artistic and playful presentation. Banana Kolak Spuma (IDR 100,000 ++) is a whimsical take on an Indonesian classic, bringing together crispy banana blossom with passion fruit, caramel and little pops of honeycomb. A dessert with a little crunch, a little sour a little sweet and a whole lot of lighthearted deliciousness, this creation is happiness on a plate.
Wingko Babat (IDR 135,000++) is a rather luxurious interpretation of this traditional Indonesian coconut rice flour cake, enhanced by a rich chocolate ganache, fresh berries, and coconut ice cream. Delightfully indulgent.
Manarai Beach House Review
More than a regular beach club Manarai Beach House welcomes both in-house guests from Sofitel Nusa Dua and drop-in guests. Unlike most beach clubs, there is no minimum spend and guests are welcome to enjoy the beachfront and pool throughout the day and into the night. Somehow the wonderful staff manage to combine a family-friendly atmosphere with a relaxing beachside experience, which appeals to a range of age groups and tastes. If you want a day relaxing beachside, some night time fun, or if you just fancy some sensational food in the Nusa Dua area, then Manarai Beach House is the place for you.
Reasons to visit Manarai Beach House: inviting setting; no cover charge to enter; friendly staff; fresh and creative menu; retail priced wine.
Manarai Beach House
Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Resort
Lot N5 BTDC, Nusa Dua 80363
Jl Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
+ 62 361 4222727
Manarai Beach House Opening Hours:
Monday – Sunday: 9 am to 1 am