The Yak experiences the unprecedented and majestic Apurva Kempinski.
It has taken more than half a decade for Bali’s newest luxury hotel to rise from the limestone cliffs of Nusa Dua and The Apurva Kempinski Bali is absolutely worth the wait.
Majestic by name and nature, this resort is a temple of luxury and an open-air theatre of art. The word ‘Apurva’ translates from Sanskrit to both ‘unprecedented’ and ‘majestic’. The name is the perfect adjective for such a monumental foray into the rarified world of luxe destinations in Bali. It is a loving tribute to Indonesian style and an artistic confluence of Bali and Java.
The lobby is seriously grand with jaw dropping eight-metre high hand-carved Javanese gebyok partitions that reference the ancient times of the Majahapit kingdom. Hundreds of artisans worked for years creating these immense panels that hold both Balinese and Javanese motifs and serve to envelope lounges and sitting areas. It is not possible to ignore Indonesia’s royal heritage with the Javanese pendopo design of big open spaces and terraced canopies. The gebyok also draws the eye to the heavens where a stepped ceiling diffuses the light into burnished brass.
At night a fire ceremony ignites upon the forecourt held within the likeness of a giant glass lotus flower in the pools just beyond the porte-cochère. As the sun sets, look back on the stunning terraced building with a mighty 250-step grand staircase running down the centre of the building that is a clever reimaging of Bali’s most important religion destinations – The Mother Temple Pura Besakih on the slopes of Mount Agung.
Accents positioned throughout the hotel beam into the past. Check in desks are decorated with ancient artifacts or elaborate wedding crowns. Interior designer Rudi Dodd has enacted a masterpiece of restraint with elaborate and opulent form. The space draws from the elements with water in endless ponds and the vast ocean, which the lobby overlooks. Sophistication is key and the reception gives way to outdoor terraces and stairs.
The Apurva Kempinski launched with 475 rooms and villas in two wings. There are lagoon rooms with steps into the water from the private terrace. Club rooms have sprawling rooms with a private pool and balcony plus the club lounge and restaurant. Even the well-equipped gym makes the most of the big ocean views.
Within this design feat created by award-winning architect Budiman Hendropurnomo of UK-based Denton Corker Marshall is a ballroom able to host a thousand people and multiple restaurants including the international all-day dining at Pala that dishes up succulent steaks, crisp salads, Indonesian treats and mouth-watering luwak coffee tiramisu. It has its own roof top bar. The Apurva Kempinski is home to Bali’s first aquarium restaurant, Koral, which will showcase fresh seafood that is bred and nurtured within its own aquarium as well and fabulously fresh produce from outside.
The go-to place for Japanese cuisine is Izakaya by OKU, the Bali branch of the award-winning OKU in Kempinski Jakarta and glass-walled banquettes outside of the restaurant have epic views over the grounds to the sea which is perfect for a sunset dinner or afternoon tea. The club lounge on level nine is reserved for specific guests and has a bar, indoor and outdoor seating, a private pool and outdoor sun lounges as well as an exclusive 10th floor restaurant for breakfast accessed via an internal staircase.
Back inside the lobby is the Selesar deli with its resident expert of the famous herbal tonic Jamu who is happy to discuss the secrets behind his five different varieties of the drink, prepared everyday in his kitchen. They also sell delicious snacks and wondrous Balinese coffee. A gallery will soon open beside this deli as the go to place for arts and crafts exhibitions and purchases.
The resort has a beach club, kids club, conference rooms and a bride’s fantasy wedding location at the Apurva Chapel – a glass fronted sea sanctuary with 100 seats. Throughout the resort it is fun to spot subtle nods to local crafts from the replicas of batik stamps through to the use of jamu and pandan leaf infused arak – or rice spirit – cocktail called the Acaraki.
Nothing about the Apurva Kempinski will allow guests to think they could possibly be anywhere else but the Island of the Gods.
More than 475 room range from the 65 sqm to the 1,369 sqm beach front Nusantara Presidential Suite and all embrace exquisite lines of Indonesian design that verge on Zen. The pillows are cloud-like in their softness and the toilets seats are heated and automated. More than half of the accommodation has a private pool, while the resort has multiple places to swim including meandering lagoons at the central of the estate and a 42 metre ocean front pool plus a safe kids space complete with water slides.
Slip into the divine confines of the Apurva Spa where the philosophy is to achieve peace through a balance of inner and outer beauty and the choice is an array of seductive Indonesian massages and treatments performed by experts. Dip into sunrise yoga and a chakra mediation followed by a sacred Balinese purification blessing at a nearby cave temple –something that cannot be experienced anywhere else on earth.
The Apurva Kempinski is a community within a town crafted from the most beautiful woods and indigenous fabrics that celebrate local culture.