HONORS CIRCLE: INDONESIA
The Apurva Kempinski Bali
Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
If the lobby is the first chapter in the story of your experience at a hotel, than this one is an undeniable page-turner. Perched on a limestone cliff in Nusa Dua overlooking the blue expanse of the Indian Ocean, the vast pendopo-style lobby of The Apurva Kempinski Bali is a remarkable space capped by a stepped copper-sheathed ceiling (an allusion to Mount Meru, the sacred mountain of Hindu cosmology) and anchored by four eight-meter-tall pavilions paneled in intricately carved woodwork, the labor of hundreds of Javanese craftsmen. Additional eye candy comes in the form of shimmering Mongolian marble floors, miniature terra-cotta temples, and a grand 250-step staircase that leads down to the resort’s beach-level grounds.
The sea views are equally arresting, especially from the privacy of one of the suites that are tiered down the cliff side like Balinese rice terraces; with elegant, understated interiors and their own plunge pools, they also come with access to the exclusive Cliff Lounge and its hydro-jet pool. Some 286 other rooms are located at beach level in stone-clad guest wings that border the central gardens and swimming pools. This is where you’ll find Pala, a glass-walled all-day restaurant and rooftop bar that also hosts an indulgent Sunday brunch; Koral, a subterranean seafood place built around an enormous saltwater aquarium filled with colorful fish; and, right next to the golden sand and with its own cabana-lined swimming pool, the Reef Beach Club, where chargrilled dishes are the order of the day. And The Apurva Kempinski’s culinary offerings don’t stop there. Back at lobby level, there’s Izakaya by OKU (a sister of the award-winning OKU restaurant at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta) for sophisticated Japanese fusion, and the casual Selesar Deli for Indonesian snacks, housemade bakery items, and herbal jamu tonics. Nearby, the latest addition to the lineup is Bai Yun, a hot pot restaurant where diners order premium meats and vegetables from the menu and cook them in individual bowls of boiling soup bases. It’s a DIY experience at its most delicious.
Between meals and visits to the beach, keeping the young ones entertained is easy at the tree house–inspired Jalak Family Club, which provides fun, interactive experiences both indoors and outdoors. Grownups, meanwhile, will want to browse the beautiful Indonesian craftsmanship on display at Asha Curated Boutique & Gallery, or visit L’Atelier by Cyril Kongo, the internationally acclaimed graffiti artist’s exclusive studio in Bali.
And when it comes time for some serious unwinding, there’s the Apurva Spa. Here, treatments ranging from herbal body scrubs to organic facials and essential-oil massages are delivered by a team of expert therapists alongside a collection of personalized, multiday Signature Journeys that, in accordance with ancient Javanese healing wisdom, revolve around the four stages of life: remaja (adolescence), dewasa (adulthood), mahligai kasih (married life), and tenteram (post-adulthood). A variety of complimentary wellness and fitness activities are also available, including Tabata training, aquarobics, beach volleyball, Pranayama yoga, and Pilates.
Even better, join the weekly visit to a shrine hidden in a seaside grotto below nearby Pura Geger Dalem Pemutih temple, where local priests will conduct a melukat purification ceremony. Should any guest not already feel blessed to be staying at the Apurva Kempinski, they will after this cleansing ritual.