You should never rush a work of art. And after more than five years, The Apurva Kempinski Bali luxury hotel finally raised its curtain earlier this year. They don’t compare the resort to an open-air theatre for nothing. And having experienced the show for ourselves, it left us in complete awe.
The Stage Setting
We were stunned by the four Javanese Gebyok standing eight-meters high, surrounding the lobby area. These hand-carved Javanese gazebo partitions are inspired by the Majahapit Kingdom period – the immaculately detailed Balinese and Javanese carvings representing their rich Indonesian heritage.
And right before your very eyes, lie beautiful majestic views of the Indian Ocean.
The Production House
We mean the suites. Boasting 100 sq meters, the Cliff Private Pool Ocean Junior Suites will stun you with their magnificent views of the Indian Ocean. Each suite is fitted with refined furnishings (pillow menu, check!) and Indonesian tropical decor style, including even the smallest of details, such as welcome refreshments and traditional Indonesian cakes.
What really caught our eyes was the Comfort Menu, providing a quick fix for travelers who always seem to be leaving something at home; a hair straightener for your humidity-induced curly hair, bobby pins, smartphone charger, eye drops, … check, check, check.
They also come with exclusive access to the Cliff Lounge and Cliff Lounge pools with their daily Happy Hour times!
The (Dining) Show
Thanks to its team of talented professionals, dining at The Apurva Kempinski Bali always feels like a celebration. For us, Izakaya by OKU takes the standard up several notches. This contemporary restaurant takes inspiration from the award-winning OKU Restaurant at the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta and draws its influences from the Japanese izakaya ritual where people gather for food and drinks after work.
Its signature are Karasumi Pasta ─ Bottarga, angel hair pasta and ikura or sea urchin; and the Truffle Gyu Don ─ chargrilled US prime short rib beef, truffle sauce, and onsen egg sauce – are two of our favourites. If you have time while dining, go for a cocktail pairing, and izakaya by OKU’s mixologist will impress you with their concocting skills, prepared next to you on what looks like a pharmacist’s table. Truly a show to enjoy!
The Cast: Lady in Red and a Priest in White
As a “theatre” production, The Apurva Kempinksi’s cast members are all in character, committed to providing a remarkable service combined with genuine Balinese hospitality. Dressed in red robes with traditional sarongs, the Lady in Red is a talented Kempinski brand ambassador you’ll not want to miss. A remarkable hands-on host, providing highly personalized and impeccable service to guests.
If you’d like to immerse yourself in the spiritual side, ask them to hook you up with a Melukat Ceremony. It’s a Balinese Hindu ritual designed to cleanse your mind and body, washing away any negativity or residual feelings from the past that may prevent one’s future peace. The Apurva team, your Melukat will take place on the beach, five minutes away from the resort. Led by a local priest, we warn you, he will really give you a warm fuzzy inner feeling, while he chants away while leading your ritual ceremony.
Visit the Asha Curated Boutique and Gallery and you’ll understand why all the talent from the Front Office, Restaurant and Spa staff are dressed in this elegant, yet chic style. The resort’s in-house boutique is a home for artisans to showcase their various arts and crafts inspired by the nation’s rich heritage – all made with genuine Indonesian craftsmanship.
After our enjoyable two-night stay, a standing ovation was the only way to bid farewell to this magnificent cast and majestic open-air theatre. Encore!