Katamama boutique hotel opens in Seminyak, Bali

Author: Helen Anderson

There's no lack of ambition driving Katamama, the first hotel by the Jakarta-based group behind the highly successful Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak.

"We're actively avoiding the Bali clichés," says Ronald Akili, the 34-year-old founder and owner of PTT Family. "We're looking at representing a modern Indonesian style that my generation can identify with, through design, art, cultural practices, food."

The 58-suite boutique hotel opened last month on the same plot of beachfront land as the Potato Head Beach Club and a "creative hub" of businesses including a gallery, fashion boutique, café and restaurants such as raw-food eatery Alchemy and the first international outpost of Melbourne and Sydney's MoVida, which opened in January in the hotel's lobby.

Akili says Katamama, three years in the making, is a showcase for the island's finest craftsmanship and art, with a focus on traditional methods, natural materials and "closing the gap between makers and users". A local family-run brickworks was commissioned to produce 1.2 million bricks for the hotel, tiles were handmade in Java, and an indigo workshop near Ubud produced textiles. Akili's own collections of contemporary Indonesian art and mid-century furniture appear in suites.

The lobby bar, Akademi, is the brainchild of former London barman Dre Masso, who stocks an impressive range of locally distilled arak - a liquor whose image Akili is determined to rehabilitate - and seasonal Balinese ingredients.

Akili's other projects include developing Potato Head and Katamama hotels in Asia, and recording culinary traditions across the Indonesian archipelago as research towards menus for Kaum, a series of restaurants planned for Hong Kong, Bali and Australia.

Katamama garden suites from $550. Jl Petitenget No 51B, Seminyak, Bali, katamama.com







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