Opened in April 2016, Katamama is as modern, quirky and comfortable as anything you’d expect from the group behind Keong Saik’s Potato Head Folk. The hotel bills itself as a boutique and ‘bespoke’ hotel – everything is meticulously curated and handcrafted, from the designer furniture in the rooms to the rustic architecture to the crisp staff uniforms.
Katamama’s design is decidedly chic and clean, but its soul is still proudly Balinese. Led by renowned Indonesian architect Andra Martin with the aid of other collaborators such as Singapore-based design company Takenouchi Webb, the resort is also the handiwork of local artisans and craftsmen. The warm interiors, hand-pressed raw brick walls, ceramic tableware and even the textiles used are either thoughtfully handpicked or built to order.
Climb the steps to the hotel entrance and you’ll be ushered into Akademi. The cocktail bar, helmed by PTT Family’s director of mixology Dre Masso, is less a watering hole than a library devoted to spirits, with stacks of cocktail books scattered across terrazzo counters and the hotel’s vast collection of local premium liquors lining the walls. There are even a few shelves of arak (a type of Indonesian alcohol) infused with all sorts of good stuff.
After treating yourself to a welcome drink, check into one of seven suites (from $350/night). With the smallest one clocking in at 82 square metres, these rooms will put your cookie-cutter, big-brand ones to shame. We took the Garden Suite, where beautiful hand-dyed upholstery, polished olive floors, contemporary Indonesian art, Le Corbusier armchairs and Poulsen lamps skirt around a king-sized bed and a walk-in wardrobe. And that’s not even mentioning the private balcony that overlooks the property’s garden.
The bathrooms are as well appointed. Dominated by a marble bathtub beside a floor-to-ceiling window that peers out to the sands, the space comes with a monsoon showerhead, his-and-hers sinks and organic toiletries – designed in-house – that’ll leave you smelling like a tropical beach.
But the centrepiece of each suite is the in-room bar. This one’s the real deal, complete with cocktail-making instruments, a full-sized selection of infused spirits, bitters and an ice well. To help you shake up your own tipple, each bar comes with a copy of Masso’s Classic Cocktails at Home, an easy-to-follow recipe book. Of course, if you want to be pampered from start to end, you can always request for one of the Akademi bartenders to mix up a bespoke cocktail while you lounge on your balcony’s daybed.
Okay, let’s get the basics – a pool and a 24-hour gym – out of the way. You’ll be spending most of your time in Potato Head Beach Club. Only a couple of flip-flop steps away, the beach club is a chill-out joint by day and house music central by night. Pick a spot close to the sands, find yourself a friendly server and be prepared to while away many hours.
Besides Potato Head Beach Club, Katamama is also home to F&B establishments, shops and cultural programmes, including: Alchemy, a vegan café and juice bar; One Fifteenth Coffee, a caffeine joint; MoVida, a Spanish restaurant; and Escalier, a multi-label boutique that stocks such brands as Comme des Garçons and Undercover. If it’s more activities you’re after, check out Katamama’s rotating line-up of events, ranging from yoga sessions to traditional Indonesian art and design tours.