A FRENCH PERSPECTIVE
One of Asia’s most respected architects is tapped to design Double-Six Seminyak, a glamorous, new hotel scheduled to open in early 2014 on one of the most iconic beachside properties in Bali. Renowned as the creative force behind many of the island’s legendary destinations, including Ku De Ta and Chez Gado Gado, FREDO TAFFIN talks to Asia Dreams about his most challenging project to date.
Asia Dreams: How did you get involved with the design of this new hotel?
Taffin: I’ve known Bapak Kadek (Bali’s foremost restaurateur and club operator) for more than 20 years now. We began to collaborate in 1999 and have created many wonderful projects together. We have a relaxed working relationship. He gives me the nuts and bolts of what he needs to have happen behind the scenes as far as the operations side of a development and then allows me to get really creative with the aesthetics. When he bought this land back in the day, he turned it into the famous Double Six club – where all of the beautiful people of Bali used to go and enjoy life. That was an enchanting time on the island. Being at the club was like being at our second home. We want Double-Six Seminyak to carry on that legacy in a way – to provide a comfortable, five-star experience for guests who love the Seminyak lifestyle.
Asia Dreams: What is the concept of Double-Six Seminyak?
Taffin: As this is the last piece of property available to be developed along this very popular beachside area, we wanted to create something totally different from what everyone else is doing. Most luxury hotels are going smaller and adopting that “beige box” look. Our concept is ‘Bold Play’, where guests can live large in a healthy environment enhanced by a bit of hedonism. We have decided to go bigger in every way. Our average suite size is 110 square meters – almost double the industry standard. The private terraces in each suite will be comfortable abodes of their own with outdoor dining and a chic daybed to soak up the stunning views. This will be the place to take a deep breath and enjoy a glass of Champagne. And the en suites might just be the most luxurious on the island with huge bathtubs, showers and personal vanity areas.
Double-Six will be a full service destination, where guests can expect to find everything they need right here. Bali’s best restaurants and VVIP club? Check. World-class spa? Check. One of the island’s best beaches at your doorstep? Check. Let’s face it, as Bali continues to get more popular, the island gets more congested. Double-Six’s guests won’t need to get mixed up with traffic jams.
Asia Dreams: Please elaborate on the lifestyle aspect offered by Double-Six Seminyak.
Taffin: From the moment our guests arrive on the island, they will have entered the world of Double-Six. From VIP service through customs to being picked up by one of the hotel’s luxury vehicles and experienced drivers, the holiday begins as soon as the plane lands. We’ve designed it so that a typical day looks something like this: wake up at your leisure and join one of the yoga or Pilates classes offered through the spa. Enjoy a freshly squeezed juice, then meet up with your personal trainer for a refreshing jog or walk along the beach. Revitalize with a massage or hydrotherapy treatment before showering and heading to the poolside restaurant for lunch.
Lounge by the pool with your favorite book or take an art class in our cultural center. Before you know it, it’s time to get ready for the evening. The salon is open for pre-party prep: hair, nails, make-up, it’s all available right there. Meet friends for a pre-dinner cocktail in the air-conditioned mezzanine bar, then head downstairs for a world-class meal prepared by an internationally heralded celebrity chef. Step it up a bit with a ride via the private, glass elevator where a stunning rooftop club showcases a guest DJ from London or Ibiza – inspiring you and your friends to dance until the wee hours. The club is Bapak Kadek’s passion and will be the crown jewel of the project. Finally, wind down in the intimate cigar lounge before heading home to the comfort of your turned down suite.
We have created a full-circle lifestyle experience. Many visitors to Bali divide their time between Ubud and the beach. At Double-Six, we provide access to the spiritual, cultural and health-oriented experience as well as over the top spa, food and beverage venues. Guests also have immediate access to our sister venues, Cocoon and Chez Gado Gado, two of Bali’s most popular restaurant and beach club venues.
Asia Dreams: Are you trying anything out architecturally that you’ve never done before?
Taffin: It was really important for us that every suite has a sea view. Why come to Bali if you can’t see the ocean? So structurally, we turned the entire building just a bit, to realize this dream. It was much more expensive to create this unique structural configuration, but luckily it was just as important to Bapak Kadek to facilitate the luxury of having ocean views throughout the building.
Asia Dreams: What kind of local materials from Bali will be incorporated?
Taffin: My design is all about minimizing long-term maintenance for the owner without sacrificing style. Due to our beachside location, which can easily weather natural materials, we took the look of solid timber flooring and added a 4-milimeter hard layer surface that will help make the flooring last forever. Rooms will have traditional Balinese elements treated in contemporary way. For example, we take traditional Ubud masks and finish them in a modern way. The entrance to the hotel very much incorporates Bali, as we have a traditional family temple there. We have enhanced this area even more with a lovely meditation space.
Asia Dreams: Ku De Ta is such a Bali icon. How can Double-Six Seminyak top what you were able to create there?
Taffin: I don’t think anyone will ever be able to quite top Ku De Ta, but it is definitely an inspiration for Double-Six. As this is the last beachside plot available for a project of this size, we really needed to focus on creating something special. The quality of the design and the service for which Ku De Ta is famous will definitely be here at Double-Six.