|Entrance to the W, Retreat and Spa, Seminyak, Bali|
W, Retreat and Spa, Bali
Words and Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
The W, Bali, is the personification of a vivacious 13-year-old. Caught in a muddled wonderment between prepubescence and young adulthood, the W beats the drum for a colourful playground of fashion, food, music and fun. A fraternization between Alice in Wonderland and reality MTV, the concept begets a recreation centre for hedonistic pursuits.
It wavers between those terrific imaginative years of make believe and daydreams filled with giant teacups and towering rainbow cakes, yet whiffles into adolescence when aspirations of ‘being cool’ dominate and the possibility of becoming a pop star seems real.
The overblown fantasy begins with grandness. A lanky bamboo tunnel routes the way to a security checkpoint where all are given smiling scrutiny. An enormous W, sprouted with shrubbery, sits in front on a lily pond and provides a midway point to the entrance. Arching trees and, tall, dark and handsome pots fringe a broad stone path that guides guests the rest of the way to the lobby.
The lobby is immense and bustling with positive energy. Staff buzz around with earpieces in constant contact with the hive. Uniforms are designer and, jibe with the hip beach atmosphere. Tattoos, (not the just got out of gaol kind, but the I’m a hip surfer dude type) are proudly worn. Men are in board shorts, sandals and grey and purple patch-worked shirts. Petite figures of the local gals fashion favourably in contemporary dresses with simple, yet elegant lines.
The ocean roars in the background reminding guests of why they came. This is a beach with surf. The energetic rhythms of the sea mimic the effervescent vibrancy of the hotel (or is it vice versa?).
Reception is bantam, a wallflower off to the side of the dramatic entrance. Secondary colours catch the eye. Pinks, oranges, greens and purples speck the resort in the form of cushions, beanbags, umbrellas and lounges. An endless mélange of seating areas await.
The lounge bar literally glows. Illuminated from within with LED lighting, furniture gently morphs through a succession of colour. Oversized cakes and ice buckets of Champagne gussy up the counter set for afternoon tea.
The pool dips down from the lobby as a terrace of rice paddies cascading towards Seminyak Beach. Giant red lips act as neck pillows on the canopy beds, hammocks swing from trees and a splash pond for the little ones is filled with toys and floaters.
With names such as, “Extreme Wow Suite” and “Marvelous One Bedroom Pool Villa,” expectations are high. Our room, the “Spectacular Ocean Facing Retreat,” is on the top floor.
Bright, happy and ready for a party, the room accords sweeping views of the sea. Polished wooden and terrazzo flooring is given a splash of spring with a palette of light greens in the carpets, pillows and bed coverings.
Modern lampshades soften the lighting. Strings of silver balls drape the bed bulbs and a standing arm light illuminates the corner sleeper sofa.
The room can be made open and free, or closed and private, through curtains, sliding dividers and vertical blinds. A skylight in the bathroom with funky metallic weaving and an automated shutter allows further natural light with a flick of the remote control.
Plush pillow-topped mattress, 350-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and a goose-down duvet look promising for a good night’s sleep. A choice of pillow – down feather, hypoallergenic, neck or body pillow – supplements the idea.
A flat screen TV hangs on the wall hidden by a sliding ornamental mirror. Complementing the electronics are a DVD player with a list of borrowables, music player dock and high speed Internet.
Childhood fun is carried through to the room with a tray of brightly hued lollies and a kaleidoscope to marvel through as welcoming treats.
A freestanding tub in the shape of an army barge sits in the corner of the bathroom. Fluorescent bookmarks suggesting merry tub options, such as champagne and strawberries to accompany your bubbles, rest beside some bright green bath frogs (a twist on the rubber ducky). Walled with glass and floored with earthen tile, the bath cube also features an enormous rainforest shower.
Most room packages include breakfast and the sense of play infused into the W is equally evident at the first meal of the day. The buffet at Fire begins with guests choosing their own beverage mug from a marvelous assortment on the entry wall. A spread of international cuisine and a menu from which to request a la minute dishes is tantalizingly tempting. Foie gras, lollies, steak and a chocolate fountain are options encouraging more than a little bit of decadence to begin the day.
Other food and beverage choices too carry on cheering for joviality. The Woo Bar, looks like a gargantuan bag of Licorice All Sorts, with its pink, orange and black seating. Round lanterns dangle from the trees making the changeover from day to night magical and live DJs lay the air with deep beats.
Starfish Bloo is the W’s signature outlet by the sea. Icy blues and beige sandstone fuse the restaurant with its surrounds. Giant fish traps frame the tables and even the menu is fun, with one of the highlights being cooking your meal on a Hot Rock at your table.
From candy at breakfast to champagne with high tea, frolics in the pool to bopping to the DJ’s rhythms, splashes in your skylight lit bubble bath to dinner in a fish trap, W Bali promotes decadent indulgence of all of your fantasies.
W, Retreat and Spa, Bali
+62 361 473 8106