Icon Bali: Sanur's Newest Shopping Destination Unveiled!

Many had heard about Icon Bali long before it opened its doors. Local journalists hyped up the anticipation, claiming it would overshadow even the island's largest mall, Living World, with Southeast Asia's largest floating market and other unique attractions, aside from just shops. While tourists rejoiced, locals expressed discontent. Many feared it was the first step towards turning the tranquil Sanur into another Kuta. Indeed, it's one of those projects aimed at attracting even more tourists to Sanur.
At first glance, Icon Bali appears to be just another shopping center, lacking the grandeur of malls in Bangkok or Singapore. However, this initial impression may be deceptive. Could it be that Icon Bali is simply biding its time? It seems the developers may have rushed the opening of this mega-project, as half of its venues are still under construction.
The opening date was postponed at least twice. Initially planned for April, it was then rescheduled for May, but even by then, the building's exterior was not yet complete.
Finally, on June 7th, the grand opening took place. Icon Bali stands tall at four floors, boasting a modern and intriguing design. From a distance, it resembles woven rattan rather than a conventional building, giving it a distinctly Balinese appearance.
But where are the promised 8 wonders of Bali? So far, the promised butterfly park, amphitheater, edible garden, floating market, beach gallery, promenade, and beach club have yet to materialize.
The Icon Bali complex has two main entrances—one from Jl. Danau Tamblingan and the other facing the ocean. While you can likely enter from the underground parking, it wasn't accessible on the opening day. Visitors had to leave their vehicles by the roadside.
Entering from the road leads you to the main hall, housing the core shops of the mall. These include Swarovski, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Emporio Armani, Marks & Spencer, Pandora, and Tommy Hilfiger. Some shops, such as Sephora, are still under construction.
Right at the entrance, you'll find an exhibition of retro cars by Tuksedo Studio. This Balinese company meticulously handcrafts legendary models.
Moving on, you have two options: go upstairs via escalators or head straight to the other wing. The first route will lead you to the gaming zone, the cinema, and stores like The Body Shop, Skechers, Giordano, Lego, and Kids Station. Besides these shops, there isn't much else on the upper floors at the moment. Heading straight will take you to the food court, restaurants, and additional shops, all offering an ocean view.
Most visitors, particularly school kids, gravitate to the Time Zone gaming area on the 4th floor, which offers a variety of arcade games for all ages, including racing simulators and even virtual horse racing.
On the opening day, schoolchildren flooded the gaming zone, particularly enjoying the horse-riding through the snow scenario.
Additionally, there's a photo booth and a flying saucer equipped with virtual reality goggles. Unfortunately, the VR setup malfunctioned just as we were about to try it.
Entry to the gaming area costs a minimum of 150,000 IDR. This amount is loaded onto a card, which you use to pay for the games. Most games cost between 12 and 15 coins, while the most expensive game, featuring virtual reality goggles, costs 30 coins.
Before you leave, remember to check the remaining points on your card. You can exchange them for souvenirs at the local store.
Next to the gaming zone, you'll find the island's first IMAX cinema! Two films are shown daily, with plenty of screening times. The last screening starts at 9:30 PM. Ticket prices are as follows: regular tickets cost 50,000 IDR, IMAX tickets are 65,000 IDR, and The Premier Studio hall tickets are 150,000 IDR.
At this point, you've covered the most exciting part of the shopping center. But what about the other wing? Among the shops there, Foot Locker stands out as the most popular. Vans also attracts customers by offering free tea for signing up on their website and free coffee with purchases.
In the same wing, you'll find Sports Station, Birkenstock, and tech shops like Samsung and Digimap, which stocks iPhones. Mango is still preparing to open.
Keep in mind that the escalators in this part of the building aren't operational yet. While some are accessible but require you to walk, others are cordoned off. Elevators are also currently unavailable.
On the fourth floor, there's a restaurant area that is currently closed. On the first floor is the much-anticipated floating market. However, if you didn't know it was there, you might not notice the water around the seating area.
As for what's on the menu at the floating market, the variety is interesting, though one might have expected more options.
Indonesian street food is served in a familiar format. The prices are oriented towards the island's visitors rather than reflecting street prices, with batagor (fish dumplings) priced at 55,000 IDR and two fried bananas at 25,000 IDR. You can pay extra to have them filled with coconut jam using a syringe right in front of you.
Here, you can also watch pandan sweets being made and try them while they are still warm.
If you're looking for something more substantial, there's a Korean restaurant, a pizzeria, Starbucks, and other cafes on this floor.
Ready-to-eat food, mostly sushi rolls, is also sold in the supermarket.
A downside to getting food to go is that there's nowhere to sit. Perhaps you're expected to eat your takeaway on the amphitheater steps or on the beach. Currently, though, there's not much to do on the beach. The entrance to the building from this side still looks like a construction site, so if you plan to venture there, you might want to wear your helmet.
The other attractions that this shopping center was supposed to surprise us with are apparently still in the works. On the opening day, we found no traces of the butterfly park, the edible garden, the beach gallery, let alone a beach club.
Has the opening of this Sanur shopping center made the area more attractive to tourists? Time will tell. However, in its current state, it's not a destination that we recommend traveling to from other parts of the island.
Messages will appear here soon.
You can add one right now!