Find out if this PTT Head luxury-resort venture in Bali is worth the hype (spoiler: it is). Tony Rice reports.
Potato Head Beach Club is a rite of passage for anyone travelling to Bali. The relaxed day club, with its theatrical entrance and alluring infinity pool, is one of the best places to relax, then party, then relax again in the Island of the Gods. But you already knew that. Did you know, however, that the group behind this sceney spot has just opened a resort right next door? The Katamama is the most talked about hotel in Seminyak right now and its mid-century architecture and stunning interiors are reason enough to visit. Here are six things you’re guaranteed to experience without any effort at this lush hotel. You’re on holidays, after all…
Sweet, sweet suites
A hotel with just 58 rooms, constructed with upwards of 1.5 million handmade bricks using no mortar is a certainly a sight to behold. Oversized rooms with custom-made, mid-century furniture and local contemporary art give each room a cool-yet-warm feeling. Impressive bathrooms carry bespoke travel kits and gowns dyed deep indigo using traditional Balinese techniques. All suites have a balcony overlooking tropical gardens and a long shallow pool – or book the rooftop suite with added ocean views, jacuzzi, day bed, dining table and outdoor cooking facilities for your chef.
MoVida morning, noon and night
Can you imagine breakfast, lunch and dinner at the acclaimed MoVida? Yep, it happens here. MoVida Bali is Frank Camorra’s first international foray, after opening five restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne. Chef Jimmy Parker’s Spanish tapas is a staple, but be sure to try the Espinaler sardinillas and share meats and seafood cooked in the Josper oven.
The golden ratio
Pop in and say hi to Yudha and his small but talented crew at One Fifteenth Coffee. Go safe and order your flat white, or venture into artisanal cold-drip coffee territory, infused with lime and served over ice with sparkling mineral water. Needless to say, it’s refreshing in Bali’s climate.
Katamama has a great neighbour in the Potato Head Beach Club – an imposing amphitheatre cladded in mismatched ancient window shutters sourced from around Indonesia and a drink, dining and cultural behemoth. Having keys to Katamama will get you dibs on the club’s highly prized daybeds overlooking the pool and the vast Indian Ocean. Go for the El Hombre Wagyu burger from the bistro menu and wash it down with a locally brewed Stark unfiltered lager. Or sip your way through the extensive cocktail list while the DJ does all the hard work.
Shake it up
Entering Katamama you literally enter Akademi – a self-proclaimed “centre of mixology”. One long, concrete bar table invites guests to sit and converse while award-winning bartender Dre Masso and his team of in-house schooled mixologists prepare the best Negroni you’ll find in Bali. Flavour and experience is enhanced by vessels custom made for each style of drink on the menu. Ready for a night out? Call down to Akademi from your room and have a bartender (or maybe Dre himself) prepare a pre-drink or two at the bar in your room.
Tuck in at LiLin
After those in-room cocktails, venture back across the way to Potato Head for sunset and pull up a seat at the long, lamp-lit communal tables at LiLin. Start with the lemongrass and mango sangria served by the carafe or, if you’re game, the bowl. A visit to LiLin is not complete without savouring the Asian chilli crab with soft steamed buns. Then finish proceedings with some sublimely rich cheesecake while you gulp the rest of your sangria.