Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran offers a modern take on Balinese resort design with pop art touches and a novel layout.
Designed in part by the prolific Indonesian architect duo Anthony Liu and Ferry Ridwan behind such Bali relics as the IZE Seminyak and the Anantara Seminyak Condotels, Le Méridien ignores conventional Bali resort design and aims to achieve something entirely different.
From first entrance into the hotel guests check into “The Hub”—and please don’t call it a lobby. Mismatched whirling fans and a seemlingly haphazard selection of modern pop art and Balinese paintings flank the open reception-cum-lounge area. It gives the impression that a drunk gallerist did the art selection, but the intrigue of each piece is enough to appreciate the space as a whole.
Immediately apparent is the stunning upper lagoon area, a reimagined amoeba-like infinity pool with jutting palm trees and a view of the hotel’s signature sails atop the suites. On the lower level the lush saltwater lagoon informs the central layout, with lounge chairs aplenty and a swim-up bar.
We recommend booking a room with lagoon access—swim-up steps lead directly into the room, with a small poolside patio in each suite. Rooms adhere to a similar modern styling with cool colors and luxe amenities. The pop art touches are still apparent from subdued patterns and angular furniture, but also present are small Balinese touches such as wooden statues to batik latticework
Rooms contain the expected amenities from deep soak bathtubs, iPod docking station, SMART 3D LED televisions, to Le Méridien signature bedding.
The four Aqua Pool Sky Penthouses are a sight to behold with the first floor serving as the dedicated living quarters and the second a rooftop lounge beneath the hotel’s sails. The expansive entertaining area rivals the nearby Smoqee Sky Bar, a rooftop lounge that boasts a great view but not the exclusivity of the penthouse hangouts.
Bamboo Chic on the ground floor, just a few steps from the lagoon, offers guests all-day dining on an international scale. The extensive breakfast buffet boasts a hot breakfast from all corners of the world: Balinese kue, dim sum, charcuterie selections, and fresh roti canai to name a few. When you tire of Jimbaran’s vaunted seafood fare, the Asian fusion cuisine allows guests an accessible variety.
The hotel’s signature pork hock dish is a massive undertaking, slow roasted for hours before being served in a sweet, light sauce with a sprinkling of local flowers. The crispy skin gives way to tender meat rivaling the island’s famous babi guling.
Though not all itineraries will include wedding plans, you may have the urge to elope after seeing the hotel’s celebration pavilion. Located on the top floor of the hotel and looking out to Jimbaran Bay, the glass structure was designed with sunset weddings in mind. Playful bubbles decorate the façade while guests can stick their toes in carefully manicured sand. Fitting only an intimate gathering of 50, the room can also double for banquets and meetings, though a wedding is likely the only celebration that can do the humbling sunset justice.
Jalan Bukit Permai, Jimbaran; 62-361/8466888; lemeridien.com/balijimbaran; doubles from US$450