Checking In: Katamama, Bali

The first boutique hotel of Jakarta-based Potato Head Family is one sexy beast with great design and dining to boot.

Upon arrival, one enters a Brutalist-like, geometric building crafted from sacred temple bricks, its entrance emblazoned with a gold signage.

The Look

As the first boutique hotel of Jakarta-based Potato Head Family, Katamama exceeded expectations — from thoughtful service to impeccable design. Beyond its unapologetically cool vibes, the all-suite hotel is essentially a celebration of Indonesia’s artisanal culture. Upon arrival, one enters a Brutalist-like, geometric building crafted from sacred temple bricks, its entrance emblazoned with a gold signage. Warm greetings of “welcome home” erupt as one is led to a reception area that’s really more of a living room than a lobby. Inside, an atmospheric space is brought to life by custom-made furniture decked out in locally hand-dyed and cubbyholes filled with coffee table books, a record player, and stacks of vintage vinyl albums. Venture further in and you’ll find intimate lobby bar Akademi, the namesake restaurant, and a pool bar.

The Island Suite in all of its glory.

The Rooms

Like its communal spaces, each of the 57 suites in Katamama feature carefully curated details that reflect the crafts and traditions of Indonesia, reinterpreted in a modern manner. Check-in was done in the comfort of my Island Suite, an 82-square-meter space dressed in deep tones and hand finished textures. Staying here is a tactile experience, from the rugs and bed throws in naturally dyed indigo fabric, to the locally-made, hand-woven bathrobes, and even a wall art with raised Dutch text from Max Havelaar.

The rustic-looking brick walls in the bedroom and living area create the feel of a chic studio apartment.

The rustic-looking brick walls in the bedroom and living area create the feel of a chic studio apartment, a nice contrast to the brightly lit, terrazzo bathroom. My favorite part of the room had to be the Akademi-designed bar station, where my welcome cocktail of lemongrass gin was prepared on the spot. Other thoughtful touches include a handmade amenity pouch with room spray and face mist to keep one feeling fresh all through the day.

Ijen, the newest kid on the block, claims to be Indonesia’s first restaurant to follow a zero-waste philosophy.

The Food

Within Katamama, guests will find punchy cocktails from Akademi — made with native Balinese ingredients, as well as international classics from the namesake restaurant.

A hearty breakfast spread at Katamama Restaurant.

For breakfast, try the refreshing dragon fruit smoothie bowl and the hearty croque-madame. Just steps away, the Potato Head Beach Club offers a whole other world of dining experiences within its semi-circular building clad in antique wooden windows sourced from old homes across the country. Ijen, the newest kid on the block, claims to be Indonesia’s first restaurant to follow a zero-waste philosophy. What this really means is that they source their ingredients from a sustainable local seafood market, use all parts of the fish (the scales are used in crunchy crackers), and the glasses are made from discarded bottles. Among the dishes we ordered, the fish fillet with garlic and candlenut stood out; as did the red rice parcel, which was full of bite and flavor.

Some of the best sunset views in Bali.

Don’t Miss

The golden hour calls for beachside hangs at the Potato Head Beach Club, where one can marvel at some of the best sunset views in Bali either at the infinity pool or the lawn. As a guest, you’ll enjoy priority access to the daybeds so your best bet is to book them a day in advance. Katamama also offers specially designed island experiences for its guests, including eco-friendly village tours, surfing masterclasses, and even Balinese cleansing rituals. Each of these private tours allows one to enjoy an insider look at the Indonesian island, from culture to nature. 

More information here.

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