Ondy Sweeting enters the pleasure dome. Images Lucky 8.
Legendary Ibiza beach club Café del Mar has thrown open its ultra glam archways to the hippest humans in town and is serving some of the island’s coolest cocktails.
Internationally adored by lovers of house music and summer beats, Café del Mar Bali comes into its own as the sun sets into the Indian ocean along the Berawa coast.
Exotic libations set the scene along with café classics including mules and margaritas. Expect a del Mar move made on each and every offering. It could be anything from a dash of pro-biotic apple cider, apple compote or candied banana gin.
As the sun goes down the phantasmagoric beauty of Café del Mar’s design and architecture kicks in with curated lighting that assembles an ambience like no other. Pink and orange shards of light reflect from the sky onto the white canvas-like buildings and lighting angles are used by the in-house creatives to an almost hallucinogenic effect. Settle in and enjoy a show that lasts for about an hour as the famous sounds slowly increase in volume. This is what has made the franchise so profoundly successful.
Four thousand people can simultaneously immerse into the sensory dreamscape that is expertly transmitted into the zone.
According to the original Café del Mar founders Carlos Andrea, Jose Les and Ramon Guiral: “The best ideas are those which gather simple and universal concepts, such as enjoying a drink in a unique natural environment with music as a soundtrack of that special moment.”
And given the concepts on the cocktail menu, the Bali operation has not strayed from the notions of the three founding fathers.
Four types of sangria – which is sold by the jug – include a bubbly version with sparkling wine, mango and citrus juices, passion fruit and vodka alongside more traditional white or red wine-based sangria. Another bespoke version includes tangerine, pomegranate and liquorice syrup to the mix of red wine and spiced rum.
The cocktail menu is sliced into four sections: Long & Fruity, Short & Intense, Long & Light and Blended & Frozen, which helps prevent overwhelm that may be experienced from being confronted by so many luscious sounding mixes.
Think of breakfast with a Morning Mango Colada with white Dominican rum, mango, fresh banana, lemon juice and ‘crazy coco mix’, a secret brew that the team will not reveal.
Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy the Red Candy from the Long & Fruity menu with its mash up of vodka, ginger, rosella cordial, lychee liqueur and Red Bull. This tingly taste sensation unsurprisingly took out a gong at Red Bulls’ cocktail competition.
Unique Indonesian ingredients have been integrated into the mixology and include the use of pandan – as in the Summer Nutter – that has a base of soursop juice paired with elderflower cordial, white rum, lemon juice and meyosi bark that is part of the cinnamon family.
Sunset Punch whips up red dragon fruit with soursop, spiced rum, dark rum, citrus juice and pineapple jam. This is a summer sunset winner.
As a nod to the spice trading past of Indonesia, the mix team at Café Del Mar Bali has created a Spice Route Sour that comprises bourbon, vodka spiced with salak or snake fruit, peach liqueur, liquorice syrup and lemon juice.
Spend a day in laid back luxury at Café del Mar Bali and you’ll find that Spain is never far away when it comes to the style and ambience of destination. Smooth white washed walls and sweeping arches crafted by architect Rafael Pasaribu and local firm Aboday Architects. Expect to experience Iberic, Hispania and Andalusian traditions pared down and teleported from the Mediterranean to the Indonesian archipelago.
Café del Mar Bali is heavily inspired by its Balearic island origins of white with blue accents that dominate everything from the architecture to pool pods, cabanas and the famed blue and white striped sail shades from the original club at Sant Antoni de Portmany in Ibiza. Once you are immersed into your spot by the 700 sq metre pool, you will not forget for a moment that you are at Café del Mar.
Poolside dining has been thoughtfully drafted to keep guests satisfied on delicious delicacies including pizza topped with wild mushrooms, truffle, parmesan and parsley or larger plates filled with scotch fillet steak with Café de Bali butter and greens or a choice of tapas-style small plates with Moroccan lamb meatballs, local charcuterie, octopus in squid ink yoghurt and jackfruit sung choi bao, to name a few dishes. Burgers and fish and chips are also on the menu.
Grab one of 13 cabanas, three semi submersed pool pods, four sunset booths and swim-up bars, 58 sun loungers, 37 day beds or three deluxe suites that have their own pool for a superb day in the sun.
Major artists, international DJ’s and huge events will be part of the rotating line-up of entertainment for the fabled venue that is rapidly posting its imprint on the Bali beach club scene.