After taking any spare land at tennis facilities from England to Spain to Japan in the past five years, Padel has arrived in Indonesia and threatens to knock the popularity of both badminton and tennis into murky waters.
“Tennis is a hard sport to learn, which requires hundreds of hours of practice and serious investments to pay lessons. Not everyone is ready for that or can afford it,” said Dmitry Shcherbakov, who runs Liga Tennis, a hitting and booking app that serves several tennis clubs in Bali. “Almost everyone can play Padel from the first day,” Shcherbakov added. And from a business perspective, Padel courts are cheaper to build, and require less land and maintenance than tennis courts.”
In Bali, the Sanur Padel Club, with European standard courts, seasoned coaches and a stocked pro shop has become the premier Padel spot on the island. Founded by a group of Padel players from the UK, Sanur has quickly outplayed the competition: The Liga Tennis clubs in Umalas and Sanur, which have a total of five Padel courts between them. There is also Island Sports Club’s first Padel venue in Uluwatu; and Jungle Padel, the first official Padel venue on the island.
Sanur Padel Club arrived two months after Toni Montesanti, age 51, moved to Bali from London during lockdown and needed a place to exercise his passion. “I actually suggested we move to Thailand because they already had Padel courts, whereas Bali did not,” Montesanti told a local newspaper. “We take immense pride in having given back by training the first-ever Indonesian Padel coach and forming the first-ever Indonesian Padel team.”
“I think since Indonesia has this tradition of being a racquet sport country [badminton], I’m pretty sure Padel can reach local people who want to try something new,” said Robin Ekman, an owner of Jungle Padel in Pererenan. The country formed the Indonesian Padel Association (Perkumpulan Besar Padel Indonesia or PBPI) in June and has plans to introduce Padel at the 2024 Indonesian National Games. Bali now has at least 15 clubs with a total of 60 courts, compared to Jakarta currently with three courts and Banten with four.
When the Padel craze finally hit Bali, courts from Pererenan to Seminyak suddenly became booked out. Seeing the need for another club, a group of UK Padel fanatics started planning and building the Sanur Padel Club in September 2022 on the southeast coast and opened it in April 2023. Sanur’s three outdoor courts are surrounded by lush tropical views, a refuel and recharge area, a green garden oasis, and Padel racquet rental and shop with latest in gear, including Nox X-One, Black Crown and Drop Shot Padels.
Some seasoned badminton, squash and table tennis players still roll their eyes at the prospect of Padel devouring their island, but the demand has proved that the growing sport has come to stay — and grow further in Southeast Asia.
“Every day, it seems like we hear about a new club opening up somewhere new in Bali,” said Terry Omata, one of the owners of Island Sports Club. “We have already seen a lot more Indonesians playing compared to just a year ago. It is exciting to see!”
Sanur Padel Club, a new boutique sports club with world-class, courts and particular attention paid to surface and the glass-panel walls for perfect bounces and ricochet. Sanur caters to both locals and Bali’s significant expat population, offering a range of matches and coaching for every level.
For after a day of Padel…
Sanur is a seaside town on the south-east coast of Bali. It’s famously known to be laid-back and slower-paced compared to hipper spots on the island such as Seminyak and Canggu. With the recent additions of Sanur Padel Club and Liga Tennis Sports Club, as well as new hotels such as Andaz Bali, Sanur has become quite popular for those who visit the island looking to do more than just the usual wining and dining.
The main stretch of Sanur is Jalan Danau Tamblingan, the main street in the town, where you will find galleries, boutiques, cafes, and hotels along this stretch.
Where to sleep
The latest hotel to open on Sanur’s Jalan Danau Tamblingan Stretch. Part of the Hyatt Group. Beachfront property, beautiful rooms, and pool facility.
Bali’s first boutique hotel established in 1962. A more intimate option compared to the Andaz. David Bowie, Mick Jagger, and Yoko Ono were amongst those who have stayed there in the past.
Where to eat
Dining by Sanur Beach. Known for their traditional, authentic Indonesian dishes. A must try is their Nasi Kuning (yellow rice) which is served with a variety of side dishes as condiments.
Many locals treat this place as an extension of their home. You’ll find delicious Indonesian food (must try their Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Lontong Sayur (rice cakes and vegetables served in a special Indonesian curry). They also have international favourites (salads such as their Batujimbar Garden Salad, sandwiches, smoothies, juices, cakes (carrot cake, marble cheesecake.)
Beach side Italian restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Hotel (next to Andaz Bali). Good comfort food and delicious Sunday brunch.
Things to do
-Day trip to Nusa Lembongan (a neighbouring island) by boat for some snorkelling
-Traditional fishing boat (Jukung) ride off of Sanur Beach
-Paddle boarding on Sanur Beach
-Walking along the paved walkway on Sanur Beach at sunrise