Noku is a beachfront estate fitting for our times, says Ondy Sweeting.
Noku Beach House is set to disrupt the status quo of ultra luxe villas and the design lists dedicated to them globally. It’s time for a rewrite boys.
The extraordinary multi faceted six-bedroom ocean front villa has a private spa, waterfront pool and a tennis court. Noku is opulent six star luxury for the new jet set where dialing ‘four’ for room service is unwarranted.
All 24/7 whims are met by the unrivalled corps of staff trained in the art of high service by leading villa management and marketing organization Elite Havens, which was selected exclusively to handle the property. In fact, Elite Havens secured award-winning designer Alex Zabotto-Bentley to bring to life this important refurbishment that is integral to the famous landscape of Seminyak beach
Zabotto-Bentley has taken a Seminyak shell and created arguably Bali’s hottest new villa … make that estate. Moroccan flourishes are set into a contemporary Zen domain.
The house is to be the first villa in the Noku brand, which will span the globe starting with Bali.
“We want our guests to walk in and really connect with the space and make it their own,” says Alex, who caught up with The Yak while tending the villa before its launch back in August.
Noku has a curated colour palette of light turquoise and blue and is apparent from the woven deck chairs, love swings through to soft furnishings. Even the portable roll-out tennis court – which is a full-size court – is in camouflage colours of blue on blue with a drizzle of grey. This is the Noku colour scheme that will be used in each new property as they blossom.
The massive swinging entrance door of Noku Beach House is ancient teak carved with geometric patterns that breeze throughout the house – check the master bedroom wall and drinks coasters for the repetition of the design. A sleek pond and a jigsaw like sculptural wall of moveable pieces of polished teak reminiscent of Buddhist spinning prayer wheel walls border the minimalist entry hall. It offers a tantalizing peak into the spa room and oasis pool.
The spa is no ordinary massage destination but a full service retreat where serious facials, IV nutrition through to Botox and fillers can be booked. It is designed based on the riad’s of Marrakesh with a central tiled pool in Noku colours, hanging gardens and walls dotted with Moorish alcoves. At night a movie screen drops across the spa window and sets the scene for a movie night.
Noku’s immense living spaces are oriented towards the sea, which acts as the final frontier of the estate.
Three massive folding glass doors create an indoor/outdoors living for which Bali is famed. Deeply comfortable couches, tables made of 20-million-year-old fossilized wood, occasional tables, lighting, a dining table for 14 people and a full service bar of Italian travertine and all custom designed by Alex and his team. Everything from the teapots, serving plates and bowls are artisanal made in a small village in Bali, which took 18 months to appropriately fill the cupboards.
The garden is a rambling tropical oasis with a long column swimming pool – a shallow end hosts 20 sun bathers – the rest stretches the length of the garden to the beachfront. Extensive lawns house the tennis courts – or a game of football.
Swinging lovers chairs dot the garden, which has its own kitchen and dining area crafted from a 10-year-old Borneo pier with a charismatic patina from a century of dents from boats landing. The top floor is a cool rooftop space with a big sea view.
The art collection includes original Matt Neville photography and dazzling out sized tribal beads and shell work from Papua. More than 50,000 plants were gardened into the grounds over 6 months. The retro Tropicalismo lighting popularized in Rio in the 1970s turns the garden mint green at night.
Six contemporary and elegant bedrooms with beautiful bathrooms are on the top floor and have every luxury from marshmallow towels to cloud-like bed. Balconies embrace the views – water or kitchen gardens. In fact, the bathrooms have been herringbone tiled with tens of thousands of tiny finger tiles that are white in the master bedrooms and become progressively darker in the rear rooms creating a lush and leafy Ubud ambience. Toiletries are bespoke and a zero plastic policy has Noku water in glass bottles. Kimonos, headscarves and sarongs are of a unique Noku batik design.
A private bridal suite is set back from the bedrooms and has a private terrace and direct access to stairs to a long rooftop garden, which makes a perfect space for nuptials overlooking the ocean.
The Noku élan includes a smack down Void sound system, a private radio station spinning curated tunes from the some of the world’s most celebrated DJ’s.
The wine room is well stocked and the staff fabulously trained. The two kitchens are verging on commercial and will deliver cocktails at 2am or a health tonic at 6am. Gluten free, keto, vegan, paleo and haute cuisine are all catered for.
Noku Beach House can stage events from ten to more than 200 people ensuring it will be a sensation when it comes to fun in the sun for the awesome and affluent.