The West side of Bali, in particular, the not-so-sleepy Seminyak area, is scattered with great restaurants, cool cafes and beachside bars. Included amongst these are a couple of world-famous beach clubs. Most people who have ventured to Bali will have heard of, if not visited, Ku De Ta. It's the original, and as such, somewhat of a Bali Institution. From what I hear, it was THE place to go to see (sunsets) and be seen. These days it's got some hot competition, and the strongest of these contenders is Potato Head Beach Club, just a ten minute stroll north up the beach.
On this trip we decided we'd check out both and try to work out, which is better Potato Head Beach Club or Ku De Ta?
The result was unequivocally Potato Head!
Reasons why and plenty of pictures after the jump...
Location - Both Potato Head and Ku De Ta occupy prime beach front locations, but Potato Head just does it better. You can get a good idea of what it's like from the pictures but I'll tell you more about it under 'Style'.
Food - I can't rave about the food here, it's the only thing we didn't think was that great. We opted for a chefs salad and a club sandwich. The portions were okay and the price more reasonable than I'd expected (110k each). We shared a dessert (Valrhona chocolate mousse with sea salt caramel and chocolate chilli ice-cream - 70k) which was actually quite good, a unique combination of flavours that really work together, however, overall the food was just so-so. But, you're not coming to a beach bar for the food are you?! You're coming for the drinks, the laid-back cool beach atmosphere and, as mentioned, the view.
Style - We found the design of Potato Head was a lot better than Ku De Ta. Although the place is one colossal semi-circular building, it has unique features and different sections which lend it a friendly, less imposing vibe. It was actually quite homely in places, with comfy lounge chairs and low hung lighting. Not to mention, it has a pool, which Ku De Ta doesn't. That's a big deal, especially when the sea is too rough to swim (which it often is on this side of Bali) or if it's night time. It also gives you something pretty to look at after the sun goes down.
Service - This is something that really contributes to the overall atmosphere of a place, and in some cases, makes or breaks it. This was definitely the case when it comes to comparing the two big Bali beach club players. At Potato Head everything feels organised, you're greeted at the door by friendly staff communicating via earpieces, they efficiently escort you to your preferred seat; tables in the restaurant, lounge chairs in the bar areas, or beds by the poolside (minimum spends apply) and your waiter greets you with a smile and menus in hand. At Ku De Ta, it was quite the opposite - we were left to wander around, trying to locate a waiter and a place to sit on our own. The staff at Ku De Ta were anything but welcoming; there seemed to be a distinct lack of care, and that awful air of pretension that belongs nowhere, but especially not in a beach club. In contrast we felt totally relaxed in Potato Head, ready for a night of cocktails, good music and cool sea breezes, exactly as it should be on vacation.
So there you have it. Potato Head is my favourite, Hands. Down. I can't wait to go back!
Have you ever visited Potato Head or Ku De Ta Beach Clubs? What did you think of them?