[BALI] Klapa Cafe, Dreamland - A Surviving Hotspot

Klapa Cafe, 2021.

Back in 2011, when Pecatu's Dreamland area was still developing, and projected to be Bali's next prime spot, there was one place that already became a favorite. It preceded today's Balinese famous beachside cafes, the early adapter of the concept of lounge bars. Today, when Dreamland seemed to meet its dead end, overshadowed by the buzz of Canggu, and even worsened by the effect of Covid-19, that ONE place surprisingly survived, still having its loyal fan, still living. The place is Klapa Cafe.

Besides Karma Kandara (and Ku De Ta way back in 2007), Klapa was one of the early-on 'fancy' places my family and I visited during our Bali trips together. Oh how it really was FANCY by that time. I remembered we had to pay somewhat 100k or 200k per person to enter Klapa as an admittance fee (which we could spend inside), a concept I had yet to know back then. Of course it wasn't surprising they had such rules because the cafe itself was equally fancy. Huge, with indoor and outdoor seatings, infinity pool where everyone can jump in after eating, day beds just by the edge of the outdoor terrace, and, the best part was, the access to the beach down there.

All pictures above are from 2011 -- don't freak out, it's not this crowded today!

Bonus: a photo of young me.

I'm a type of person which, once I visited a place when traveling, I'd not go back there to spend my time for something else. So after that visit to Klapa in 2011, I never heard anything else about the place. Until the day I had this plan to meet my friend in Bali, whom I hadn't met for more than a year thanks to the pandemic. I just returned from my waterfalls visit in Gianyar so I felt like okay, just take me anywhere and I'd just say yes (plus he was driving so I couldn't complain) -- and when he mentioned Klapa, I was like hypnotized. Surprised, to be exact, because never had I thought that the place would still exist today.

The whole visit to Klapa was like paying a pilgrimage to a past event. Everything remains the same: the rock-covered entranceway to the building, the inner restaurant which are now empty because I'm sure it was a part of covid prevention protocol, the outer terrace where all the seats were, the pool, the beach below with all the people swimming and surfing, the hillsides just across the cafe where locals and pop-up drinks and snack carts contrastingly existed -- it was all like just how I remembered it ten years ago!

What's different now, was anything related to price. We didn't get to pay that entrance fee again now when we entered Klapa, maybe there was a change of policy post-covid. And now about the menu. To be honest I couldn't remember exactly how the menu was like back in 2011 but I'm pretty sure foods went up to 100k and 150k-ish. Of course, because Klapa was a new, upper-class-ed beach club, and international tourists swarmed the place like bees in a hive so, no wonder the price was so high. This time, it changed. Food was no more than 100k, and drinks were all in reasonable prices under 50k. I was purely shocked to see how much more affordable everything was, It was as if I came to a local cafe where no international tourists ever laid an eye on!

Range of menu was unfortunately a bit limited, though what I ordered was a delicious one (I hadn't had rice that day, though I was from a waterfall, so I ordered a chicken teriyaki ricebowl for Rp70.000). My friend had a grilled fish fillet with rice and it was also around Rp70.000. Choices of drinks were just a so so one, including iced tea, coffee, juices, and beers. But hey, honestly, you come to Klapa not for their drinks. But for the view.

If only I brought my swimsuit (and I wasn't so tired from my waterfalls trip) I'd go down and swim!

This was what didn't change, and I was so grateful of that. The upper view of Pecatu's Dreamland Beach from Klapa was really incredible, and being in the west shoreline of Bali, of course we'd get to see the sunset. The two times I visited here, both were during the sun down. And both were equally amazing -- to see how the sun sunk through the horizon, with my family and my friend chattered around me, and typical relaxing tropical-vibe beach club music softly playing on the back.

Oh, did I mention that there's a hillside just across Klapa? Yep that's what you could get on the south. I also realized about the view during my first visit because our seat was on the left wing of the restaurant, which faced the south. This time I sat on the right side of Klapa, heading north, and I don't know if it's usually there or it was because the sky was so clear that day but... we got to see some mountains! I wasn't quiet sure which ones, but since I was in the west, I guessed it would be Mt. Sangiang and its neighbors (Mt. Merbuk and Mt. Mesehe).

The mountain was extremely visible from where I sat!

Apologize for not taking more pics of today's Klapa (especially the menu and the cafe interior -- but I swear it's just the same with the look from my first visit in 2011!) because I was drowned in a deep catch-up conversation with my friend -- we hadn't met for more than a year! That being said, Klapa Cafe is a perfect place to chill and relax with your family or friends, be it just sitting around or laying down by the lounge, swimming in the infinity pool or down below just with the waves of southern Bali.

And the fact that now it comes with more affordable prices, along with friendly local staffs, and vibes of a typical Balinese beach club, and on top of all, such sick nature view, I must say this time that I'd go back here again.


Address: Jl. Raya Uluwatu, Pecatu, Kuta Sel, Kabupaten Badung
Price: Rp250.000 ($17) for 2 persons