Inspired from the elements in and around Bali, Katamama embraces the environment and shelters a bespoke design inside and out. Hamish Kilburn writes…
The 58-suite boutique hotel is a refreshing addition to the Bali hotel scene, with a strong focus on cutting-edge environmental design that incorporates a welcoming, inviting and comfortable atmosphere throughout. Architect Andra Matin is responsible for the striking façade. He, along with the Akili, chose multi-hued bricks and handmade tiles to offer a deliberately raw look. “I was inspired by my trip to desa Tenganan, East Bali, says Matin. “I think it’s very simple and amazing on how they use the natural bricks and applied them on the building façade.”
Situated on one of the last parcels of land in Seminyak, the hotel opened in March 2016 with the aim to offer understated luxury and a chance for guests to experience Indonesian culture. PTT Family, which also operates the world-renowned Potato Head Beach Club, gave its parent company a different and larger canvas to display its creativity and vision when imagining Katamama’s culture-based concept. Sourcing everything for Katamama itself – from across the archipelago, from the timber used to build the hotel to the soaps, shampoo and conditioner found in the suite bathrooms – Akili explains the challenges that come with such a project: “In addition to the usual complications of moving into a new field, we gave ourselves many challenges by trying to incorporate so many bespoke and unique features in the hotel.”
Contemporary design elements throughout reflect the Balinese lifestyle and capture the natural attraction of the island. Singapore-based design company Takenouchi Webb collaborated with Akili to portray the right atmosphere with a strong focus being paid to local art and furniture. “We wanted the interiors to be very much rooted in wherever possible,” says Webb. With the aim of the interiors to reflect a local home as apposed to a hotel, the artisanal elements are warm throughout and feel like a natural extension to the sister property, Potatohead Beach club. “The dominant hand-made, local brick material of the building was a strong influence in determining the mood and palette of the interior design,” adds Webb. “We wanted to bring the outside of the building into the space and so left this material raw on part of the walls. This, in turn, influenced the other internal materials.
The 58 suites are intimate, serene and offer some of the largest living spaces of any other hotel on the island. Filled with curated artwork, handpicked furniture and cherished collectables, many of which were originally part of Akili’s personal collection, there is an air of a home-away-from-home ambience in this section of the property mixed in with uncommon use of materials such as terrazzo. Akili explains: “We really pushed the boundaries of terrazzo in terms of colour and usage. We use only cement terrazzo, which is a more natural material compared to resin terrazzo, but is also more limited in colour. Katamama features 15 different hues, ranging from the traditional crème and grey to the uncommon blues, greens, reds and blacks, which is quite notable.
There are seven Rooftop Suites at the hotel. Positioned on two storeys – all of which offer direct access to a rooftop garden with stunning ocean views – the suites are the most luxurious. The jewel of the hotel, though, is undoubtedly The Katamama Suite, which houses two large bedrooms and a completely private rooftop garden.
From open architecture and thoughtful interiors, Katamama evokes thought and tranquility and PTT Family welcome guests into its home.