HOTEL INDIGO BALI REVIEW
I’m such a banana. I really am. Once again I’m guilty of judging a book by its cover.
But what are we, as human beings, without our frailties and imperfections?
The good news is that this story that has a happy ending.
Mark my words, Hotel Indigo is up there with the best of the best! It is a click away from being on the dais sporting a gold medal. I just haven’t had time to experience the full property.
Months ago, I was sent an artist’s impression of the Hotel Indigo and it all looked fanciful and sun-setty and Balinesey. It was an artist’s rendition of what I absolutely hate: fake sunsets; chopped down forests; really good-looking people (looking better and thinner than me). In bikinis. Drinking cocktails. Blue sky. No clouds. Yeah, right! This is Bali.
At that particular, pin-pointed moment, I would have accepted deforestation and ecological devastation, just to escape onto another hotel brochure.
But I didn’t.
What I ultimately bore witness to was an unreal vision that became a reality. The story board gained lungs and life. It really happened.
And I was there to witness it.
I’ve written a lot of hotel reviews in three and a half decades, but let’s just say this: I have never enjoyed an arrival as much as I did at the Hotel Indigo.
It was not what I expected. There was no kerb-side flop, a disembowelment from a taxi into subservient hands. No big canopy guarding an entrance.
Here everything was Imperial. Majestic. Towering, non-descript, staggered and terraced walls. A giant courtyard of planned conformity. Striking trees glowing from the up-lighting. Something befitting of royalty. Even lowly subjects like me!
A short and broad staircase led upwards and into the bosom of the property. I saw nothing but a vertical escalation and into a glint of dangling ceiling lights. I was lured upwards with nervous trepidation. I knew something special was about to unravel. But I was flummoxed by what?
And then it happened.
I peaked and crested into the lobby. It was breathtaking. Staggering.
For one fleeting moment in my life, I had indeed become royalty.
THE LOBBY – THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
The lobby is an immense and prodigious testament to local design with artefacts clustered into lit alcoves, each one telling its own story. Furniture is tastefully thematic to its culture with dabs of colour breaking the norm of dark woods. Delicate wicker contrasting with heavy frames.
Sculpture, china, variety and humour is pervasive in the theme.
Even the ceiling is an incredible design of interlocking latticework, a disparate array of pendulous lights hanging from a puzzle of crafted woodwork.
And then there was the view, drawing your eyes over the enclosed resort and swimming pool below, onwards and outwards to the ocean. There was only one word for it: wow.
Every process at Hotel Indigo is effortless including the check-in. Before I blinked I had a room key in my hands. In fact, I nearly forgot to give them my credit card to guarantee my stay, even though I was there as a complimentary guest. I must have been all-absorbed by the moment.
Interestingly enough, the reception desk is not in plain view. You had to meander to the right and around a corner to find it. It’s as if the architect purposely wanted it and everyone to be out of sight and out of mind. To maintain the integrity of the impression, the “painting”, devoid of human clutter.
HOTEL ROOM #3225
Getting to my hotel room was another amazing experience. When the elevator doors opened on the third floor, I stared down into a vast courtyard of giant palms. The hotel rooms encircled it on all four sides. Walkways were al fresco, propped up by columns marked by grey volcanic stone colours. It felt almost industrial, yet incredibly quiet. I barely saw another soul. I only heard the echo of my own footsteps, as I approached my door, inserted my key and entered.
Bursts of colour and light suddenly greeted me again. Like a sandwich, I’d gone from the vibrancy of the lobby, to the solemnity of the walkways and now back into a gush of colour as I entered my room. A small foyer, more alcoves, more warm light. A Nespresso coffee machine, decorative coffee and tea mugs, fresh oranges, opulence, action. It was an interior decorator’s paradise with cutting edge accessories.
I plunged onto my bed, somewhat exhausted and sticky. I’d just reviewed three other hotels and my body was verging on shut down mode. I wanted the soft linen and pillows to envelope me and they did. I was in paradise. I even clicked on the widescreen TV (being an ex-political reporter, news is my staple diet, even on the road).
I loved the clever, really intelligent use of pictures and lights. The striking, bold colours were not lost on me. They predominance of blues and yellows worked and blended incredibly well from the stripy bed cover, to the damask-type carpet. Even the garish yellow message pad beside the phone felt at place.
BATHROOM BLISS AT HOTEL INDIGO BALI
Stepping into the bathroom was another journey of mystery and intrigue. It had an almost arabesque feel with black and white mosaics and this unusual, golden washbasin or chalice and hanging ladle in the middle of the shower.
“Wouldn’t this be decadent if filled with champagne,” I thought to myself.
And then you could step out onto your own private balcony with suspended sofa hammocks. Close and intimate.
My only negative was twofold: first having no one to share this moment with; secondly that the view was blighted by a derelict, unfinished construction site. Apparently, it was going to be a hotel, but the developer went broke. At least the hotel was growing creeper vines up the walls to somewhat blot out the horrible view.
THE TREE BAR
I like to judge hotels by their bars. It gives you an arterial feel to the pulse of the place. And the Tree Bar should have been just that. But it wasn’t.
Set on the lower level, the sunken Tree Bar offers a stunning view of the resort across the verdant lawns and tropical gardens, towards the feature swimming pool and ocean. The interior is modern and in keeping with the pendant, hanging lights. The namesake “tree” is conspicuous and dominant, rising through the lattice framing. But the bar lacked soul.
I was with a group of 20 or so travel professionals and we were the only token imbibers in the evening. For a five-star hotel, this was odd, especially when the bar closed at 11pm! This left a few parched and upset travellers scratching their collective heads.
As far as I was concerned, The Pottery Café was the saving grace for Hotel Indigo even though I had a redeye flight to catch and never got more than a croissant and take away coffee before catching my flight.
The decoration is superb and stylish with mezzanine black and whites creating that upmarket café ambience. Kevala pottery fills the shelves injecting more colour and local flair back into the place. I loved the originality and the clever, modern design from the furnishing to the household accessories.
I love surprises and when the Hotel Indigo offered me a free massage I was not going to disappoint them.
The Spa is situated at the front of the property, in what they call a “calming oasis inspired by the rich culture of Seminyak.” Like the rest of the hotel, it is steeped in local tradition providing a wide range of unique wellness journeys. All-natural Asian lifestyle products are on offer too.
I opted for a one-hour massage and after signing away my medical questionnaire, I was led downstairs for my treatment.
I prefer a deep tissue massage to knead away my stresses. The old rugby and sports injuries never lurking far from resurfacing as my body ages.
My lovely masseuse hit the spot and I can hardly say that about my last few experiences around Asia. I left them with bruises and in more disrepair than I started with.
Not the case here. My treatment was one of the best I’ve ever had. The setting and mood was perfect, the staff incredibly professional and friendly. I actually walked out with a spring in my step.
Hotel Indigo is by far the best property I have stayed at in Bali. If the Mulia wins on class, then the Hotel Indigo wins on style. It is younger and more funkier in temperament and is truly an oasis right off Double Six Beach.
You have the ocean at the end of the resort and the local Seminyak neighbourhood to the rear. In between you simply have your own private bliss.
Mark my words, Hotel Indigo is going places.
HOTEL INDIGO DEALS
For the latest and best deals for staying at the Hotel Indigo in Seminyak, it is worth checking out BlueSun Travel. Often the Hotel Indigo is featured every month with fabulous travel packages.
Click here for more information: BlueSun Travel or call 1300 799 758.
HOTEL INDIGO FACILITIES
Number of Rooms: 289
Number of Suites: 23
Number of Non-Smoking rooms: 289
Number of rooms for the physically challenged: 3
Number of floors: 4
Total number of Rooms with One Bed: 249