Ask us about our favorite hotel in Asia, and chances are high you’ll get “Katamama!” for an answer. It’s not often that you find a hotel where everything just… works. From the custom-made cocktail mugs at the hotel’s Akademi bar to the hand-woven bathrobes made by artisans from Bali’s Blahbatuh village, the obsessive attention to detail at Bali’s Katamama hotel makes this place into truly something special.
Upon arriving at the hotel, it immediately showed that no shortcuts have been taken to shape the hotel to what it is today. Katamama’s impressive outer shell consists of 1.5 million terracotta bricks that have been hand-cut and fired in a local Balinese village. No quick ‘n dirty factory work, but a process of precision, dedication and craftsmanship.
And those bricks were just the beginning.
Traditional techniques, modern contexts
Katamama aims to provide a platform for Balinese artists and artisans, and oh boy – did they succeed in that. The team collaborated with international designers and local artists to create furnishings that are unique to the hotel and its environment. Table runners were designed by Balinese husband-and-wife duo Tjok Agung Indigo, rugs were created by local textile workshop Tarum, and the ceramics are the outcome of a collaboration between Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara and Gaya Ceramics studio in Ubud. From the orchid-vine woven storage boxes to the bubble-glass water bottles, there were basically no objects in the room that we didn’t want to secretly stow in our suitcase (luckily, there was Canaan to pick up some homewares).
While Katamama’s artisanally-made furnishings steal the spotlight, the rest isn’t too shabby either. All rooms are furnished with mid-century classics like Arne Jacobsen’s 1955 side chair, Bernard-Albin Gras’ 1921 Lampe Gras, Louis Poulen’s pendant lamp and a range of items from the owner’s private furniture collection.
Katamama does it better
Staying at a 5-star hotel comes with certain expectations: a welcome drink, some in-room refreshments and at least some form of entertainment. Expect all that from Katamama, but better.
Simple chocolates on your pillow? Forget it. Fresh fruits and delicious eclairs are waiting in your room upon arrival. A shoddy hotel-magazine to quickly browse through? No way. The latest edition of Monocle is placed on your bedstand. A minibar? Nah — each room comes equipped with its own wall-filling cocktail station, decked out with a fine collection of infused spirits, home-made bitters, natural syrups and custom made cocktail equipment. After we were checked-in, one of the in-house mixologists came up to our room and mixed up a (complimentary) cocktail of our choice. Cheers to that!
Even the hotel’s cafe and boutiques are a cut above the rest. Pick up a Comme des Garcons T-shirt or a Sacai sundress at its Escalier multi-brand store, or sip on some of Bali’s finest lattes at the adjoining 1/15 Coffee – which is also a perfect place to get some work done.
Food & drinks
Katamama’s bar and restaurant were hard to miss, as they also serve the function of hotel ‘lobby’. Its signature restaurant, MoVida is a Melbourne-transplant serving up modern Spanish tapas dishes in a gorgeous setting. The a-la-carte breakfast is also served here. Expect contemporary takes on breakfast classics such as homemade granola, eggs benedict, churros (!), a wide range of fresh pastries and juices mixed to your liking. It goes without saying that the coffee is top notch, too.
Quench your thirst at Katamama’s ‘centre of mixology’ Akademi, where award-winning mixologist Dre Masso mixes up unique cocktails crafted from, you guessed it – locally-sourced ingredients. We loved the cocktails made with arak, a potent Balinese moonshine. Keep your cameras ready, as the drinks are presented in the most wonderful bespoke ceramic and wooden cups.
Saying goodbye was difficult, but the good-luck-bracelet, personally given out to all guests by the friendly General Manager, gave us a sweet reminder of our fantastic stay. We’ve been told that the group behind the hotel, PTT Family, is set to open another hotel in 2018. We can’t wait.
- The handmade pouch with room spray, face scrub, and body lotion is a gift set – feel free to take it home!
- Make use of your privilege as a Katamama guest at Potato Head Beach Club: you’ll have first dibs on day beds and no minimum spending requirement.
Jalan Petitenget No. 51
Seminyak, Bali 80361
0361 – 3029 999
Rates start at US$ 273/night (including breakfast) – Check availability
This stay was hosted by Katamama, but expressed opinions are 100% our own