Seminyak, Bali is the latest place to be charmed by the W brand’s appeal as Pete Harrison discovered.
Devotees of the Starwood hotels around the world will find W Hotel and Spa at Seminyak, Bali combines the contemporary aesthetic flair the group is known for with traditional Balinese touches and the friendly service that sees Australians continually return to the island.
On arrival at the lavish lobby with sweeping ocean views, guests are greeted by a number of smiling staff eager to make you feel at home.
W’s signature style ‘fits’ elements of Balinese culture such as traditional temples, with modern W twists. ‘Conceal and reveal’ is the design concept that brings said twist throughout the entire hotel, always serving to surprise and delight the guest, whether they’re sunning by the pool, relaxing in the spa or enjoying a drink at the bar.
The subtle and also not-so-subtle references to the letter W contribute to the resort’s uniqueness, be it the sizeable concrete W between sea and pool, to the less obvious ‘Wheels’ – an open air help desk ready to accommodate your every wish. This includes the ‘Whatever, Whenever’ 24-hour concierge service, there to organise a round of Bintangs, or a taxi or your very own driver for an island tour in a W branded black BMW X5.
Sweat, the aptly-names gym, is open 24 hours, as is the Away spa. The his and hers prep rooms boast hot and cold spas, steam rooms and oxygen therapies to relax you prior to treatments. Men’s Style tried the Morning After 90-minute massage complete with bamboo-balancing exercises that help acclimatise you to ‘Bali time’.
Rooms at this luxury resort reflect the group’s design-led desire to marry the functional with the avant-garde. Primarily ocean-facing suites include chic elements such as glass concealed shower and tub area, offering guests idyllic sea views while showering. The WOW and E WOW suites are uber cool and extremely sought after, eacj fitted with the latest Bose lifestyle sound system, LCD TV and customised W mood-lighting theme, and the W’s awards-winning iPhone app enhances our stay, allowing you to stream music directly to your room via Wi-Fi. The app also keeps guests informed of upcoming events at the hotel and can also point you in the direction of the nearest W hotel to your current location, should your indulgent experience here simply not be enough.
The most outstanding feature of W Bali though, is the hotel’s dining experience. The standout is Starfish Bloo – headed by Australian chef Kevin Chung, formerly of Sydney’s Rockpool, Longrain and the Westin in Melbourne. His modern, fresh approach to Pan-Asian cuisine makes it the rival any of the popular restaurants in the Seminyak area. The restaurant’s decor– inspired by the local fishing communities, with oversized cage nets serving as private booths for diners alongside moody blue lights next to the beach – continuing this chain’s detailed approach to creating a memorable experience for its guests.