On our recent trip to Bali to attend the Toast Around the World event on Kuta, we decided to extend our trip, just a wee bit longer, so that we could check out Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran. This hotel was supposed to be rather new ( launched sometime in May), and rumor had it that it had a rather unique, artsy-fartsy interior and deco, worth checking out.
We decided to put that rumor to the test… The theme of the resort you see, was Aqua Marine. And it had a total of five floors.. but one is never supposed to walk that far, when one is on holiday in a 5 star establishment and so, and there were buggies to ferry one’s self and luggage, from the arrival area to the lobby, for check in.
We arrived on the 1.5 hectares of property, in hot and humid weather, and I really could not wait to peel my clothes off and jump into the ocean, or the pool, or just any cold body of water for that matter. We had been busy doing the things that one does, on holiday in Bali, so you can imagine we were just dying to just put our feet up and do nothing.
Well.. as it turned out.. that would have to wait just a wee bit longer, as we were intrigued by the premises, and wanted to explore it first. The resort itself had something close to 120 rooms, with a 1,300 square meter lagoon pool that surrounded the resort’s centre space. So, technically you could jump into the pool in your room, and swim around the resort. And anyone could visit you in the same manner (I told my husband to make sure he remembered to draw the curtains just incase some stray swimmers wandered into our ensuite pool!)
The lobby area, is known as The Hub, of Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran. The Hub was a cool open concept reception area for guests to check-in and check-out. A pair of white and black statuette with gold accents symbolizing Yin and Yang was the first sight that welcomed arriving guests. There were interesting wood carvings, statues and furniture in odd corners of the hotel, and we marveled at the details and fine finishing of these products.
Cosy sofas and couches with bright colours, a number of flower-shaped wooden fans and water-ripples walls were all part of the swanky welcoming theme to the resort. With an open-air concept that overlooked the circular Aqua Suite Towers and the resort’s signature lagoon pool, I think I could have just jumped in and swam right up to my room!
After we check in, we head to our room..
contemporary, and painted a bright white and blue theme. Reminded me of the W in Maldives..
Walking around the hotel, you will see all sorts of modern design and funky art pieces hanging from the walls. I liked the fact that that it was cleverly done (not too over the top gaudy or so contemporary that it baffles you) – various art installations were tastefully exhibited to elevate the appeal of this resort, such as colourful photography works ‘Liquid Art’ by a Germany artist – Markus Reugels, an installation resembled face covered by hands made of drinking straws which is one of the masterpieces of a South Korean artist – Sang Sik Hong, and some paintings by Indonesian artists that embellished the walls with colours of grey, white and light blue.
And if you go upwards, it only gets better (and more costly!) There are 4 Sky penthouses, and they each have their own private rooftop deck with pool, dining area, etc and are deck out in perfect Balinese architectural style. These 4 are the creme de la creme of the resort, and have amazing views overlooking the Indian Ocean and Jimbaran Bay.The rooms have a very modern contemporary feel – i liked the blue theme plus the Indonesia-style, Batik-patterned headboard and bed-side hanging lamps inspired by fishing nets. The rooms all have direct access from their own balcony to the salted-water lagoon pool that surrounds the resort.
Honestly the top floor is where all the good stuff is. The Bale Banjar is an impressive events space, in the glass-encased Celebration Pavilion. It is located on the resort rooftop and has panoramic views of Jimbaran Bay.
Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran has an impressive meeting area – the glass-encased Celebration Pavilion and Bale Banjar Ballroom are so unexpectedly modern and artsy – not something you’d expect to find in Bali.
It is the most unique ballroom I have ever seen, with the capacity for up to 150 guests. This all-glass pavilion is an idyllic venue for weddings.. tres tres romantic if you ask me (Where was this place when I got married?!) If you look closely at the sandy floor, in the Celebration Pavilion, you will find perfect spheres of sand, in different colors. What attention to detail, I was so captivated by this place!
As for gastronomy, four on-property dining venues include Asian fusion restaurant Bamboo Chic, which sources ingredients from the local Bedugal Mountains, as well as Smoqee Lounge & Sky Bar, lobby lounge Latitude 8 and WALA, which serves coffee and gelato. A great place for pre-dinner drinks and for catching the Balinese sunset, would be the Smoqee Lounge located on the rooftop. It plays chill out lounge music and is very atmospheric especially when you are sipping a cocktail and watching the sun drop over the horizon. And when we finally got to meet the Executive Chef at Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran, we found out that he was actually no stranger to Kuala Lumpur. Hailing from Western Australia, Chef Paul Lewis has garnered in his time, a string of accomplishments including the Whitsunday’s Tourism Award for Best Restaurant in 2007 & 2008. He used to work in Renaissance Kuala Lumpur and was totally familiar with Malaysian as well as Asian cuisine. With his hands-on experience and exposure to the various areas of the food preparation operations, no wonder the food made an impression at Bamboo Chic. We had a great time chatting with him about his travels, and I had a great time photographing his tattoos;)
At Bamboo Chic, on the first night, I order the wagyu steak. It was served the perfect medium rare, with a nice, crispy seared crust
Chef Paul Lewis
Thai inspired spring rolls
pork knuckle.. divine crackling skin!
The burgers here are well made too – soft, fluffy buns with a good chewy texture, and a beef patty that’s freshly ground with meaty chucks in it
One final big plus point about staying at Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran – you can actually follow your nose, and the trail of BBQ smoke, to the renowned seafood restaurants along Muaya Beach in Jimbaran Bay.
It is really a mere hop across the road to the famous seafood strip. Incidentally, this is where we ran every morning as well, and witnessed many fishermen hauling in their catch for the day. It was really life in Bali, as we know it. Teaming with life, excitement and energy – an awesome sight and definitely not to be missed. Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran might not be located in as strategic a spot, or as close to the action as a hotel on Kuta, but it makes up for this by being a well designed and luxurious accommodation that’s soulful and inspiring. You will find enough features and artistic sculptures to intrigue you, and being on the resort itself is like walking and breathing art – therapy for the soul!
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