Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bali 2014 - Potato Head Beach Club

If you are lucky to be staying at the W Bali - or even if you are visiting - don't forget to step in to the Potato Head Beach Club next door. It is just a short walk down the beach. This is one of the most unique F&B venues in Bali - worth a visit just to admire the design.

If you come in from the land side - you are greeted by this amazing  curved wall made out of recycled wooden shutters. It is an impressive feat of design and craftsmanship - the panels are so perfectly put together, and the mix of colours create a mesmerizing mosaic-like effect.

Pass the impressive entrance, you will enter into a double-storey main area that is divided into different sections. There is a main bar area, an Asian tapas restaurant called Lilin, and a French restaurant called Tapping Shoes helmed by a Japanese chef who cut his teeth in Michelin-starred restaurants. 

The building itself is u-shaped and wraps around a large glass lawn. Next to the beach is a swimming pool and pool deck where most of the guess were relaxing.

The crowd seems to be a mix of locals, expats and tourists. With great design and setting - this is no doubt a wonderful place to spend a few hours. Prices here are high by Bali standards, so bring your credit cards.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bali 2014 - W Bali

Seminyak is home to some of the best hotels and resorts in Bali, and about 3 years ago the much awaited W Bali opened at the upper end of the area. I always enjoy visiting W hotels as the design-focused developments never cease to surprise and delight. Not knowing what to expect, we ended up in a journey that took longer then expected, entering into some small unmarked roads, ended up in the driveway flanked by water features on both sides - and then finally the sight of the hotel.

The building itself looked quite tame compared to the other W's I have visited. The only thing that gave it away as a W hotel was the quirky flying-saucer like entrance canopy.

Once you enter the lobby though - the W touch is unmistakable.

The most impressive feature of the hotel is the pool. It is huge - and divided into several different zones - but the overall emphasis is on chilling.

Like all Ws, there is also the signature WooBar. The one here is pretty unique with a Moroccan inspired design.

If you have the money to spare - staying at a W Resort is quite an experience.It is one of those places where once you check in - you don't want to leave !

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bali 2014 - Jalan Kayu Aya

If you are planning to do a bit of shopping and dining in Bali, then Jalan Kayu Aya in Seminyak should be on your list. This is the main shopping and dining street in Seminyak, literally chock-a-block full of boutiques, shops, cafes, restaurants, pubs, etc. Some of the best restaurants in Bali can be found here. It stretches for about 1.5km from Sunset Road to Jalan Laksmana. The development is also pushing further North - continuing in Jalan Petitenget which is seeing a lot of interesting venues cropping up.

Plenty of boutiques and lifestyle shops. Don't expect cheap price tags though. The prices here are comparable to Singapore or KL.

Even if you are not planning on shopping, walking along the street  - doing a bit of people watching is also quite enjoyable. You may even spot one or 2 models - and even movie stars on their break. We thought we spotted Pierce Brosnan - but maybe not. We definitely spotted a Malaysian VJ
in a sexy bikini top.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bali 2014 - IZE Hotel Seminyak

The choices for accommodation in Bali is so bewildering that making up your mind can be a arduous task. I spent quite some time researching for a nice hotel in the Seminyak area, and the first shortlist was more then 10. Finally it was the location that decided for me - and IZE Hotel Seminyak was it. When we arrived at the hotel, I was really happy that I had made the right choice.

Besides the great location which is right on Jalan Kayu Aya - the main shopping and dining street in Seminyak, I was also attracted by the cutting-edge modern design. The open reception lobby is protected by a beautiful metal screen which provide shade from the sun and rain. The angular design is carried throughout the building - achieving a coherent overall visual language that is unique and pleasing.

The is a pool deck at the roof top with views toward the beach.

The room is quite generous in size and also beautifully furnished with thoughtful modern design. The frosted patterns in the glass panels behind the bed is especially striking.

The cafe is on the ground floor next to the road. This is where breakfast is served. The selection is not as wide as in a typical large hotel, but of high quality. You can even select the eggs off a menu and it will be served at the table - a nice touch.

The IZE Seminyak is a really nice hotel in a great location. The service is always friendly and with a smile, and the pricing is very reasonable. Highly recommended.