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New in Bali: what to look forward to on your next trip

Feel like you can’t keep up with all that’s new in Bali? We’ve done the legwork for you, rounding up the latest property openings, new bars, environmentally sustainable attractions and tours across the island. JESSICA ZOITI reports for Traveltalk Magazine.

Tanaman restaurant at Potato Head Suites


Bali's new eco-warriors 

When Seminyak icon, Desa Potato Head, opened a decade ago, it was conceived as a multi-dimensional experience where music, art, design, food, sustainability and wellness collide. Already home to its famous beach club and the boutique, 57-room Katamama Suites, the project’s final attractions are finally being unveiled. 


Softly launched in January alongside the beach club, the new OMA-designed Potato Head Studios is built from recycled brick, reclaimed driftwood and poured concrete, and features 168 glamorous guest rooms. 


Furniture and amenities are made from recycled plastics and planet-friendly materials conceptualised by celebrated British designers Max Lamb and Faye Toogood, and created by Balinese artisans using indigenous materials and techniques.


Guests who check in to Potato Head Studios and Katamama receive a zero-waste kit including a water bottle, bamboo straws and refillable amenities like sunscreen, after-sun care and insect repellent.


Also new at Potato Head Suites is Tanaman restaurant, which comes hot on the heels of the opening of Ljen, Indonesia’s first zero-waste restaurant. 


The neon-lit eatery is wholly plant-based and dishes up local flavours using only native flora sourced directly from small, spray-free farms. The multi-course tasting menu reflects Bali’s most loved classics –think jackfruit rending, mushroom sate and bajagor (fried field mushroom dumplings).


Additional new bars, a multi-functional gallery, environmentally-driven kids’ club, several rooftop spaces, an amphitheatre, beachfront pool with day beds, music recording studio and disco will officially open in May, finally completing the project. 



Planting the seeds of sustainability

As part of Alila Seminyak’s ongoing commitment to the environment, it has introduced a hydroponic garden to the property, growing its own organic ingredients for use in dishes offered at the resort’s main restaurant, Seasalt. 


Hand-selected green goodies are also plucked from the garden to concoct the venue’s sustainable, ocean-inspired cocktails.


Hydroponic systems allow plants to grow in a porous, nutrient-rich solution that allows a better distribution of oxygen and food. 


Nutrients and water are fed directly to the roots enabling the plant to spend its energy growing, rather than seeking food in the ground. The system gives greater control over pests, diseases and growth rate, and eliminates the need for pesticides and herbicides.


Bali Dynasty Resort


Experience a new Dynasty

Bali Dynasty Resort – one of Bali’s most awarded family-friendly properties – is also experimenting with hydroponic farming. 


It now supplies its kitchen with a healthy supply of fresh, organic, hydroponically-grown products from an onsite farm that doubles as an education tool for staff and the wider community


Located within the resort’s duck pond garden, the farm currently provides the property with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that are totally free from chemicals. It uses 90% less water than a traditional garden, 70% less land and 50% less fertiliser.


In addition to its new environmental programs, Bali Dynasty Resort has also unveiled a range of upgrades that are sure to make family holidays even more memorable. 


In March last year the ever-popular Gracie Kelly’s Irish Pub received a fresh new look and location within the resort. Then in June, the resort began welcoming guests with late departures into its new Premier Lounge.


Sure to be a hit with guests is the new 109-metre lagoon swimming pool. A true oasis, the pool is surrounded by exotic palms and water features, and has a casual pool bar that serves cold drinks, lunches and dinner. 


The resort’s 17 family rooms have direct access to the new lagoon pool, which is tucked behind the property’s south wing.


Prama Sanur Beach


Grab a beach break

For a family-friendly break away from the frenetic energy of Kuta head to Prama Sanur Beach on the eastern side of the island.


The environmentally friendly five-star resort is located five kilometres outside the Sanur town centre on the white sandy Mertasari Beach. 


Its 428 rooms (including connecting rooms for families) are surrounded by almost eight hectares of lush tropical gardens that house an extensive range of facilities.


These include the new Splash Zone pool for families, a lagoon pool with a swim-up bar, a watersport centre, kids’ club, cycling, spa, private beach and a range of restaurants, bars and lounges serving everything from authentic Indonesian and Asian cuisine to Italian and other international flavours. 


The Apurva Kempinski Bali


Private ocean-side oasis 

Nestled among tropical gardens on the cliff tops of Nusa Dua, The Apurva Kempinski Bali is now fully operational following the launch of its final rooms.


The 43 one-, two-and three-bedroom, two-storey pool villas range in size from 200sqm of living space to a generous1,379sqm, and promise complete privacy.


Each features a spacious indoor-outdoor living area, outdoor terrace, plunge pool and hand-crafted Balinese-inspired furnishings. The larger villas also boast a kitchen and rooftop dining area.


The five-star resort now offers a total of 475 rooms, suites and villas (60% with a private pool), six dining outlets, a dedicated villa lounge with around-the-clock refreshments, a spa and collection of versatile meeting and event spaces including an ocean-side wedding chapel.


Ulu Cliffhouse


What's on the menu? 

Ulu Cliffhouse is offering discerning travellers the ultimate spot to drink in both incredible cocktails and Bali’s famous sunsets. 


Opened at the end of 2019, the new Clubhouse Bar is a sophisticated venue perched on the edge of Uluwatu’s cliffs. 


It is part of the Ulu Cliffhouse experience, a multi-venue attraction comprising The Clubhouse (a collection of seven luxury suites), a 25-metre infinity pool, open-air restaurant and cliff-side ocean deck that hangs precariously over the waves below. 


Inspired by mid-century modern design, the new Clubhouse Bar has attracted award-winning bartenders from around the globe, who are expertly creating experimental and classic cocktails. 


The Midnight Express(o), for example, takes the ever-popular espresso martini and warms it up with a generous dash of cinnamon. The tequila-based Fresca Platina pays homage to Uluwatu’s surfside location by blending vibrant lime and mint with sea salt water and cooling cucumber.


Beyond the beverages, the Clubhouse Bar is also offering a late-night food menu with bites including rustic fries to gooey grilled cheese sambos. 




Get Grill’d

Looking for a quality burger fix in Seminyak? Check out the new Grill’d. The Australian brand opened its first Bali operation in December and is now offering signature dishes such as the Almighty Burger (tasty cheese, crispy bacon, egg, beetroot and herbed mayo), alongside exclusive Bali-inspired sides and cocktails. 


In a first for Bali, the Grill’d menu also includes its famous Beyond Meat burgers –made from plant-based patties, they taste as ‘beefy’ and delicious as their real meat counterparts.  


Become a Djournalist

If you agree that life’s too short for bad coffee, skip the hotel breakfast buffet and head for the new Djournal Coffee in Petitenget. 


Opened in January, the outlet is the award-winning Indonesian company’s second in Bali and serves a variety of Indonesian-origin blends such as Bali,Mandheling, Papua, Aceh, Toraja and the signature house blend, Djakarta Roast.


The menu fuses local and western flavours and features all-day breakfast, small bites like a crispy pork belly bowl, and a dedicated vegetarian menu with wholesome choices including tempeh spring rolls and a couscous quinoa salad. 


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Written by: Jessica Zoiti for Traveltalk Magazine
Published: 22 April 2020

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