BALI – When a hotel is inspired by royalty, you know it’s going to be a cut above the rest. Perch on the edge of a skyscraper-high cliff on Nusa Dua’s crystal clear coastline, Bali’s newest five-star resort, The Apurva Kempinksi, is just that – both in height and grandeur.
Inspired by Indonesia’s lavish Majpahit kingdom, the newest opening from the German-owned Kempinski group is a nod to both its roots and its location. With impossible high ceilings, seriously lux finishes and a sweeping square meterage (it takes a good 15 minutes to walk from one end of the property to the other), the hotel might be Bali’s grandest yet.
Designed by Rudi Dodo of Trivium Design Group, the massive, tired hotel, was inspired in part by the region’s famous rice paddies, which zig zag up hills to create an architectural effect iconic to South East Asia. Just like fields in the surrounding area, the Apurva stacks suites one on top of another for an impressive visual finish, lending itself to a Brutalist, Box-like final effect. Inside, the décor is considered while still remaining luxurious and opulent.
The pendopo-style lobby, a peaked roof traditional of Javanese architecture, gives an incredible first impressive with the expansive and soaring space offering the best view of the resort below. The floor is finished with an exquisite granite marble made in shades of blue and green to represent the ocean. Finished with delicate lattice work from local artisans and terracotta towers on adjacent sides, the imposing entryway proves a design – focused welcome into the wider hotel, spanning a massive 14 hectares.
Suites and villas are understated and elegant, drawing on traditional Balinese materials including rich woods and soft lines. With all suites equipped with personal plunge infinity pools, there’s almost no need to venture to one of the property’s many, many common area pools. Standard rooms don’t come with a private pool, but are located in easy walking distance to the main pool and dining areas.
While Nusa Dua remains a resort-heavy area with not much in the way of centralized town, the Apurva makes it hard to want to leave, what with six dining destinations and its own spa. From Japanese fine dining which, from our experience was world class – to a more casual outdoor setting on the beach, there are enough food options to please everyone in the group. And with a dedicate kids club and a children’s pool, families are more than welcome. For a special treat, the weekly Sunday brunch at the Pala Restaurant is a must. Truly extravagant, the spread features almost every cuisine possible, including dedicated seafood and dessert stations. Indulgence at its best.
Laid back and relaxing while still maintaining a high level of luxury, the Apurva retains all the hallmarks of a world class hotel while still seeming personal. Staff are considerate, kind and helpful – trademarks of Bali. Rooms are generous and for the price, extremely good value for money. Opt for a room with a private pool for the full experience, and make sure to book at least one night at the Japanese restaurant, Izakaya by Oky, for a truly special meal.