BALI: THE NEW­EST RE­SORT

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - Chris­tine McCabe

Claim­ing one of the last slices of beach­front real es­tate in Bali’s fash­ion­able Seminyak, Alila brings its award-win­ning ar­chi­tec­tural style and eco smarts to this pop­u­lar precinct. Opened Oc­to­ber 1, Alila Seminyak has 240 gue­strooms and suites, in­clud­ing a stun­ning pen­t­house, and is the fifth prop­erty on the is­land for the Alila group.

Af­ter claim­ing sev­eral de­sign ac­co­lades for its clifftop re­sort at Uluwatu, Alila Ho­tels and Re­sorts has taken an equally in­no­va­tive ap­proach in Seminyak. The new prop­erty is styled as a pri­vate gar­den and built along strict en­vi­ron­men­tal lines us­ing lo­cal and re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als, so­lar energy and har­vested rain­wa­ter to re­duce eco foot­print in an area un­der in­tense de­vel­op­ment pres­sure.

The re­sort’s cor­ri­dors, lob­bies and public spa­ces are soft­ened with ver­ti­cal plant­ings and ven­ti­lated nat­u­rally by ocean breezes; gar­den ar­eas are ex­tended with the plant­ing of green roofs and land­scaped ter­races. Gue­strooms are ar­rayed in four-storey blocks and range in size from 46 to 177sq m. Ev­ery cham­ber is decked in sooth­ing colours and cool sur­faces and fea­tures a lux­ury en­suite with rain shower and sep­a­rate tub, king bed, satel­lite tele­vi­sion, free Wi-Fi, and DVD and iPod on re­quest. More than half the rooms boast un­in­ter­rupted ocean views; many have bal­conies or ter­races.

The clev­erly land­scaped grounds man­age to in­cor­po­rate sev­eral in­fin­ity-edge swimming pools in­clud­ing one for fam­i­lies, adults, and even a pri­vate party pool. There’s also a day spa and a chil­dren’s club, open 7am-9pm.

DON’T MISS: Book the re­sort’s very cool vintage Kombi van, com­plete with on board mini-bar, for a spot of clubbing, sight­see­ing or re­tail ther­apy in the com­pany of Alila’s per­sonal shop­ping concierge.

DIN­ING IN: Chef Ste­fan Zitja heads the all-day din­ing res­tau­rant, sprawl­ing from in­doors to the main pool. Break­fast fea­tures house-baked breads and pas­tries; at lunch and din­ner there’s an Asian noo­dle bar and grill and ro­tis­serie. Be sure to try the fish head soup, steamed oys­ters with black bean sauce or the minced pork balls with quail egg in black pep­per sauce.

DIN­ING OUT: You are spoiled for choice in this neck of the woods. Check out Bambu (In­done­sian dishes with a twist); Bar­ba­coa (Span­ish); Butch­ers Club Bali for burgers; Gro­cer & Grind for cof­fee; Merah Pu­tih (re­gional In­done­sian fare); or old favourites Sarong and beach­side La Lu­ci­ola.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Join the chef on a Spice it Up tour to the mar­kets and the re­sort’s or­ganic gar­den be­fore tak­ing a Ba­li­nese cook­ing class.

CHECK­ING IN: From $US265 ($376) plus taxes. More: alila­ho­tels.com/seminyak. ALSO TRY: The Li­brary, Koh Sa­mui; Alila Vil­las Uluwatu; The Mi­ami Beach Edi­tion.

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