Robert Marchetti



When I sit down with Robert Marchetti to talk about his vision for Double-Six Hotel, Seminyak, I ask him about the reason behind Bali’s lure as one of Asia’s top culinary destinations. I mean, we’re just an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean, right? “We’re in an environment where success is embraced,” he explains. “Last night I met a nice Balinese gentleman for drinks, and after our dinner he says ‘I’m going home to my temple to pray for your success.’ Who says things like that? I’m excited about what’s going on here – it feels like a tipping point where everything is possible.”Having turned down several lucrative offers over the last few years from the world’s hippest projects, Restaurateur Robert Marchetti said ‘yes’ to helping conceptualize the new culinary landscape at Double-Six. Hailed in Australia as a culinary guru, it’s no secret to the owners of Double-Six that each restaurant Marchetti gets involved with turns to gold. “The owners of Double-Six didn’t have to bring me here to Bali. And quite literally, with all the restaurants I’m already involved in, I didn’t have to come to Bali,” the Ray-Ban wearing restaurateur muses. “But the fact is, I’m excited about this project and there’s no better person I’d rather be working with right now than Kadek.  His integrity, eye for quality and commitment to sustainability are totally in line with how I do business and live my life.”

Marchetti is customizing an overall plan for the hotel, from the room service menu all the way up to the rooftop bar. “I travel a lot, and I’m conscious about what I eat. Sometimes I get back to my hotel room and just want something simple before going to bed. A heavy club sandwich on bad bread just doesn’t cut it,” he says. “At Double-Six, ordering room service and snacking from the mini-bar will be experiences. Imagine opening the fridge to find organic salsa and beetroot chips, a miniature bottle of Hendrick’s Gin to help end the evening in style while watching the news.”

The showpiece off the lobby is the hotel’s swimming pool, a seemingly endless infinity design situated 8-meters above the boardwalk to showcase the property’s hot commodity: Double-Six beach. Imagine a massive lagoon complemented by gradual terraces starting at the garden and winding up to private lounge areas. Charming trolleys stroll by offering you a gelato or blood orange granitas. An icy limoncello is never out of reach. The menu is fresh, healthy and succulent. “Why can’t we eat healthy and still have a good time?” says Marchetti. “Sometimes there’s nothing better than a wild fish carpaccio drizzled with homemade extra virgin olive and lemon. My goal is for guests to stay at Double-Six for a week and leave feeling better than when they first arrived.”

Inspired by his established restaurant, North Bondi Italian Food, Double-Six will feature a lunch and dinner venue that’s casually chic. Whether wrapped in a sarong straight from the pool or dressed to the nines in an outfit from Magali Pascal, the lifestyle at Seminyak Italian Food will be carefree and fun. Wine lovers will jump for joy at Marchetti’s plan to bring his artisan tap wine to Bali, a collaboration between the restaurateur and Australia’s Ross Hill Wines. “Of course, I enjoy an expensive bottle of wine as much as the next guy. But with a steaming bowl of fresh mussels or crusty loaf of bruschetta, we want to be able to pass on value as well as quality. I make wine that I would drink, and it will cost about US $4 per glass.”

Plantation Grill is Double-Six’s dinner venue, focusing on Bali’s seasonal produce and products including boutique-farmed heart of palm and hand raised shellfish. Set in a clubby, Raffles’ style setting that’s both masculine and feminine, the restaurant’s ocean and Bukit Peninsula views are expansive. “We are custom building a stunning wooden oven that will be the theatrical showpiece of the room. We will bring pasture fed beef, pork and lamb in from Australia where I have established relationships with farmers who raise meat in a sustainable and healthy way,” Marchetti describes. “Every bottle of wine, whether it’s priced at US $40 or US $500 will be decantered at the table. The bar will focus on sparkling wine, dark liquors and vodkas – we’re bringing the classic martini back. At the mezzanine bar, you’ll be able to order a steak sandwich with three kinds of meat on handmade sourdough bread. Our style is to let you craft your meal, not be married to the kind of sides or flavors that we like. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you control the experience and how much you want to spend.”

The 1800-square-meter rooftop deck will feature an Italian version of satay, cooked on a dramatic circular satay grill surrounded by a ring of fire. Very old school and theatrical is the way Marchetti describes Double-Six’s interpretation of the cocktail lounge experience. “We’ll incorporate elements of street food, but always in a stylish way: long skewers with small, fresh bites, taking bar food to the next level. There’s a place for complicated flavors, and my place in the world is about flavors that I can eat everyday. I cook food that I want to eat.”