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Katamama in Bali Labor of Love

Ask us about our favorite hotel in Asia, and chances are you will shout “Katamama!”for an answer. It is not often that you can find a hotel where simply everything … works. From the personalized cocktail cups in the hotel’s Akademi bar to the hand-woven bathrobes made by artisans from the village of Blahbatuh in Bali, the passion attention to detail at the Katamama Hotel in Bali makes this place very special.

Upon arrival at the hotel, it immediately became clear that no shortcuts had been taken to shape the hotel as it is today. The impressive outer shell of Katamama is composed of 1.5 million terracotta bricks cut and fired by hand in a Local Balinese village. Not a quick and dirty factory job, but a process of precision, dedication and know-how.

And these stones were just the beginning.

Traditional techniques, modern contexts

Katamama wants to offer a platform to Balinese artists and artisans, and oh boy-they succeeded. The team worked with international designers and local artists to create unique furniture for the hotel and its surroundings. The table runners were designed by the Balinese couple Tjok Agung Indigo, the carpets were designed by the Local textile workshop Tarum and the ceramics are the result of a collaboration between the Japanese Designer Hiroshi Fujiwara and the gaya Ceramics Studio in Ubud. From the orchid vine braided storage boxes to the bubble glass water bottles, there were hardly any objects in the room that we didn’t want to secretly store in our suitcase (fortunately, there was Canaan to pick up a few household items).

While Katamama’s handcrafted furniture steals the show, the rest is not too shabby either. All rooms are decorated with mid-century classics such as Arne Jacobsen’s accent chair from 1955, Bernard-Albin Grase’s Gras Lamp from 1921, Louis Poulen’s pendant lamp and a number of items from the owner’s private furniture collection.

Katamama does it better

Staying in a 5-star hotel comes with certain expectations: a welcome drink, some refreshments in the room and at least some form of enjoyment. Expect all this from Katamama, but better.

Simple chocolates on your pillow? Forget it. Fresh fruit and delicious eclairs await you in your room upon arrival. A shabby hotel magazine to flip through quickly? Not at all. The recent edition of Monocle will be placed on your bedside table. A Minibar? No-each room is equipped with its own wall-mounted cocktail station filled with a beautiful collection of infused spirits, homemade bitters, natural syrups and tailor-made cocktail equipment. After our check-in, one of the in-house mixologists came to our room and prepared a (free) Cocktail of our choice. Congratulations to that!

Even the hotel’s cafe and shops are special. Pick up a Comme des Garcons T-Shirt or a Sacai sundress at the Escalier multi–brand store, or sip some of Bali’s best Lattes at the adjacent 1/15 Coffee-which is also a perfect place to do something.

Food And Drinks

Katamama’s Bar and Restaurant were hard to miss because they also perform the function of the hotel lobby. The signature MoVida Restaurant is a Melbourne transplant that serves modern Spanish tapas in a beautiful setting. It also serves an à la carte breakfast. Expect modern breakfast classics such as homemade cereals, Eggs Benedict, Churros (!), a wide variety of fresh pastries and mixed juices to your taste. It goes without saying that the coffee is also top notch.

Quench your thirst at the Akademi “center of Mixology” in Katamama, where award-winning mixologist Dr. Masso prepares unique cocktails based on local ingredients. We loved the Cocktails with Arak, a strong Balinese moonlight. Prepare your cameras because the drinks are presented in the most beautiful custom-made ceramic and wooden cups.

The goodbyes were difficult, but the lucky bracelet, which the friendly general manager personally distributed to all the guests, kindly reminded us of our fantastic stay. We are told that the group behind the hotel, PTT Family, will open another hotel in 2018. We can’t wait.

Tip

The handmade pouch with room spray, facial scrub and body lotion is a gift box – feel free to take it home!
Take advantage of your privilege as a Katamama guest at Potato Head Beach Club: you will have first Dibs on day beds and no minimum expenses.

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