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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - NEWS -

Known for oper­at­ing de­sign-driven bou­tique ho­tels in lively down­town neigh­bour­hoods, In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal’s Indigo brand has opened its first re­sort, at the south­ern end of Me­sari Beach in Bali’s Seminyak.

With 270 gue­strooms and 19 pool vil­las laid out across 4.7ha, Ho­tel Indigo Bali Seminyak Beach will add Su­garSand later this year on the beach­front, cater­ing to 400 guests and vis­i­tors, with res­i­dent DJ and a seafood restau­rant serv­ing ro­batayaki (Ja­panese-style char­coal-grilled dishes).

Indigo’s de­sign re­mit looks to the neigh­bour­hood for in­spi­ra­tion, de­liv­er­ing a con­tem­po­rary in­ter­pre­ta­tion where the em­pha­sis is on fun. There are lots of de­light­ful touches such as lo­cal good­ies in the mini­bar and room ser­vice de­liv­ered in tif­fin car­ri­ers (tra­di­tional lunch­boxes). Each light-filled gue­stroom comes with a day bed and spa-in­spired en­suite, lo­cal fab­rics and ob­jets-d’art; the 19 vil­las fea­ture pri­vate out­door pools and mar­ble bath­rooms and are laid out like a typ­i­cal Ba­li­nese house.

The stylish lobby dou­bles as a gallery with large works by lo­cal artists; the trio of swim­ming pools in­cludes one for chil­dren.

A large day spa, open­ing this month, uses lo­cally sourced spa prod­ucts in its 10 treat­ment rooms; there’s also a re­flex­ol­ogy lounge, “nail beauty” lounge and 24-hour health club with personal coaches.

DON’T MISS: A drink at the Tree Bar; ex­pect arak­based cock­tails and a sig­na­ture espresso mar­tini us­ing white choco­late liqueur, turmeric and vanilla.

DIN­ING IN: Dan­ish-born ex­ec­u­tive chef Mads Wolff has his hands full with no fewer than seven restau­rants and bars to wran­gle, in­clud­ing the sig­na­ture Salon Bali where babi gul­ing, or suck­ling pig, is served as part of a 12-course Ba­li­nese feast, and the con­vivial Makase cafe where shared dishes in­clude sa­tays, pa­paya salad and cur­ried but­ter­fish. At the Pot­tery Cafe, find lo­cally roasted cof­fees along­side pas­tries, crusty breads and char­cu­terie. There’s house-made ice cream (us­ing lo­cal vanilla beans) avail­able by the pool and lob­ster dishes in the main restau­rant.

DIN­ING OUT: Drop by Tiger Palm in Seminyak for Will Meyrick’s in­spired take on Malaysian street food (be sure to have the roti canai); or go Ital­ian and pop into Da Maria Bali for an Aperol spritz and late-night bowl of pasta.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Have the ho­tel’s “Neigh­bour­hood Hosts” tai­lor a tour, per­haps a sun­rise pic­nic on the slopes of a vol­cano, or get down and dirty with some mepanti­gan (Ba­li­nese wrestling), of­ten con­ducted in the mud of a rice field.

CHECK­ING IN: From $US350 ($441). Save up to 20 per cent un­til Septem­ber 30 for stays of two nights or more, in­clud­ing break­fast daily. More: hotelindigo.com.

ALSO TRY: An­daz Mayakoba Re­sort Riviera Maya, Mex­ico; Ho­tel Indigo Sin­ga­pore Ka­tong; W Bali-Seminyak.

CHRIS­TINE McCABE Club Med Ce­falu opens in a fish­ing vil­lage on the north­ern coast of Si­cily in June next year with 180-de­gree bay views, a “Zen Pool”, pri­vate air­port trans­fers and free-flow­ing cham­pagne after 6pm; an early-bird of­fer of $1875 a per­son a week on a twin-share ba­sis is avail­able for a lim­ited pe­riod cov­er­ing stays from Septem­ber 23, 2018 • Court­yard by Mar­riott Chang­sha South has opened in China’s Hu­nan Prov­ince, a five-minute walk from the Taskin City Plaza, with 260 open­plan gue­strooms and suites, 24-hour fit­ness cen­tre and top-floor ex­ec­u­tive lounge • Sher­a­ton Fiji Re­sort of­fers un­lim­ited golf for two adults in­clud­ing green fees and shared cart on the 18-hole De­na­rau course; pack­ages from $F356 ($224) a night plus taxes and in­clud­ing break­fast • Aber­crom­bie & Kent has char­tered a lux­ury mega yacht for a unique 10-day sail­ing of the Greek is­lands in Oc­to­ber 2018; book be­fore the end of this year and save $US1000 ($1261) a per­son on se­lected state­room cat­e­gories • The Hil­ton Mel­bourne South Wharf has re­opened as the Pan Pa­cific Mel­bourne; lo­cated be­side the Yarra River, the ho­tel of­fers di­rect ac­cess to the Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

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