Get Swiss-h At Mövenpick

A slice of legendary Swiss hospitality has arrived in Jimbaran, writes Katie Truman.

A slice of legendary Swiss hospitality has arrived in Jimbaran, writes Katie Truman.

After numerous international hotel brands have taken root in Bali – especially the last five years – it was just a matter of time before upscale Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts joined the hospitality gold rush.

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran Bali – Mövenpick’s first hotel for Indonesia and latest property in Asia – part of a big push in the region – has launched this January in what was an undeveloped part of Jimbaran, integrated Samasta Lifestyle Village, a new and still evolving open-air lifestyle and dining complex.

As Mövenpick’s seasoned General Manager, German Horst Walther-Jones, attests: “Mövenpick breathes new life into the community, part of a lifestyle destination experience that fills the gap for previously lacking culinary options in Jimbaran.”

The Swiss-born hospitality brand has adapted easily to tropical island life, successfully balancing classic Swiss quality and traditional values with Balinese inspiration – without going overboard.

References to five elements of Balinese design and subtle nuances of its artistic and cultural traditions blend with uber-contemporary design and latest technologies throughout the resort facilities and 297 rooms and suites.

The scene is set upon arrival at a cathedral-like lobby, designed in light woods and earthy, natural tones, its soaring rafters hung with giant hanging mobiles alluding to Balinese kites and all open-sided to catch the natural breeze. This airy space comes dominated by Katha Lobby Lounge & Library, designed as an ultra-sociable café-style hub with stacks of comfy sofas and reading materials (‘Katha’ is Sanskrit for storytelling) – extending down to a timbered cabana-style extension for glorious Jimbaran Bay views.

Mövenpick may not be a beachfront resort, but is happy to lead you down the garden path, literally; this five-star is a mere 100-metre toddle down a pathway leading out to the western end of Jimbaran Beach. It compromises big time with its oasis-like centerpiece, a whopping 2,900-square-metre lagoon-style multi-purpose swimming pool, edged with 200-plus sun loungers, landscaped palm trees and artificial beach – just so you don’t feel you’re missing out.

With Mövenpick brand originally a restaurant in the 1940s, typically for Mövenpick hotels, F&B is an important element here. Scrumptious Swiss influences cover a sinfully good “Chocolate Hour” served complimentary each afternoon at the lobby and exceptional buffet breakfast – a Mövenpick classic – with Swiss specialties like Raclette and Rosti, Mövenpick Coffee, with Swiss-roasted, superior beans and in-house baked artisan breads rare treats at signature all day-diner, Anarasa.

This seaside resort however is unashamedly family-focused, even during breakfast time, with a supervised kid’s dining corner at Anarasa, where everything is mini-sized, from the stools to the dishes. And amongst the seven room categories (which include elegant Premium Suites, “designed with discerning traveller’s in mind” and largest of ’em all, Jimbaran Pool Suites, with private pool and spacious balcony for one-upmanship entertaining) are non-smoking Family Rooms, designed loft-style over 56-square-metres, with the children’s sofa bed, bathroom and 43-inch LED flat screen TV, set above the parent’s den downstairs. Book the higher floor rooms with pool views.

Family Room rates include complimentary access to Meera Kid’s Club, one of the island’s largest and most impressive kid’s facilities, armed with a Worldwide Kids UK City & Guilds accredited programme, super-fun Pirate’s theme, the club designed as a three-storey high pirate’s ship with cavernous rooms dedicated to various pursuits and superior family-oriented activities.

Just outside, a toddler’s pool and adjoining playground and beyond, that ginormous pool with activity zones, are all a Godsend for families. However, as this singleton can attest, Mövenpick’s stellar pool is serious fun for anybody, taking practically all day to swim around, what with all the interlinked distractions of the Jacuzzi, beach-like shallow end, dedicated water slide zone and lap pool.

Best pace yourself; fortunately, there’s a sunken bar slap-bang in the midst, where bartenders kindly whip-up cocktails. Flop-out on squashy bean bags, swim-up hammocks or oversized floating cushions.

“Watch this space” openings include a rooftop restaurant and sky bar, Above Eleven Bali (this Bangkok franchise arriving soon), focused on authentic Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei cuisine, overseen by a resident Peruvian Chef. This, plus live DJs, innovative cocktails and awesome top-floor views of the pool and sunsets over the bay, promises another super-cool venue – and resort – for this lovely fishing community.