A Balinese beachfront beauty: design hotel Katamama

From the people behind Bali’s popular Potato Head Beach Club, the latest addition to Seminyak’s most fashionable beachfront, Katamama, is a 58-suite boutique hotel that puts artisanal Indonesian arts and crafts at the forefront of its design.

Designed by Indonesian architect Andra Matin, and with strikingly beautiful interiors by the owners in collaboration with Singapore-based Takenouchi Webb, the hotel is composed of Balinese bricks, teak, handmade tiles from Java and terrazzo made on-site. It mixes contemporary design with curated artwork, vintage or handcrafted furniture and collectibles inspired by the early to mid-20th century. All suites have an outdoor space, in the form of either a balcony, secluded garden, or private pool.

The designers have flouted hospitality convention by including nothing as boring as a lobby or reception area. At Katamama, guests are escorted via a buzzy library/bar area straight to their suites, where check-in takes place at a groovy mid-century desk – but not before the super helpful staff member talks guests through the cocktail bar, complete with everything needed to make a complimentary welcome cocktail… or have it made for them.

As the crowds gather early at the entrance to Potato Head, Katamama guests simply wave their room key and glide past the queues to take up specially reserved day beds in the front row at the beachfront. But if the groovy beach club scene is not for them, back at the hotel there’s a 130-square-metre swimming pool with a poolside bar serving the tastiest snacks, as well as Akademi (a ‘centre of mixology’). Melbourne’s renowned MoVida restaurant also now has a Balinese presence at the hotel, serving fabulous, inventive Spanish tapas-style dishes.

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