It’s impossible to know what to expect when you first see it’s unique angular red brick construction from the outside; the design doesn’t offer a hint at the chic luxury, exceptional dining, or the fabulous bar that lurks within. With no lobby, guests are warmly welcomed on arrival by the concierge at Akademi bar, before being escorted to one of just 58 suites set across five floors. Perhaps in part due to the minimalist exterior and the corridors that continue the angular theme, the impact is nothing short of spectacular on entering your suite. Designed by Takenouchi Webb together with the owners, the spacious suites are more apartment than hotel room and your eyes are spoiled for choice as they scan the gorgeously curated interior.
Art on the walls, a spacious sitting area with books scattered across the coffee table, plenty of space to lounge, a large outdoor terrace with coffee table and day bed and a very comfortable bed decorated with a hand-woven, hand-dyed indigo runner. The large terrazzo bathroom has dual vanity sinks, a deep bath tub and separate rain shower. With plenty of clothes space, clearly this is a suite designed to be enjoyed and, as you take it all in, the check-in staff utters the magic words: “Shall I call a bartender up to mix your welcome mojito now?” Why not? Let’s enjoy it all from the moment you arrive. In the room is a stunning full-sized, mirror-backed bar lined with hand-blown glasses, bottles of infused vanilla tequila, barrel-aged negroni, roasted pineapple arak, lemons and limes, more books, freshly ground coffee and designer tea. Crafts and craftspeople are clearly honoured at Katamama, whatever their art form. There are artisanal touches everywhere; in fact, the hotel is largely bespoke. Artisans in Bali and Java hand-made the 1.5 million bricks, the ceramics – from huge plant pots to soap dishes, the orchid vine woven containers and the hand-dyed cloth found in runners and staff uniforms.
Breakfast is served at MoVida, the ground-floor Spanish restaurant, and offers a range of Spanish-inspired hot and cold dishes, slow-pressed juices, coffee and tea. Lunch and dinner at MoVida revolve around tapas and fabulous creations from the Josper oven. The in-hotel cocktail bar, Akademi is exceptional, even by Bali’s high standards, and is more than just a place for pre-dinner cocktails; it’s a hub of creativity that draws cocktail connoisseurs and bartenders eager to enjoy and discuss the latest cocktail trends. Set just behind Potato Head Beach Club, where Katamama hotel guests receive exclusive access and privileges, the rooms are surprisingly quiet for bustling Seminyak. Katamama is unique in the Bali hotel scene and fabulously showcases some of the best Indonesian traditions in a global setting, providing discerning travellers with an arty, luxurious experience that they are sure to want to repeat.