A seamless blend of practical luxury and tradition, the new L Hotel Seminyak is designed for modern nomads looking for surprise and adventure. Huang Nickmatul has the story.
7 January, 2014
Designed by internationally acclaimed Balinese architect Popo Danes who is justly known for his love of Balinese architecture, it is little wonder that L Hotel Seminyak has such a seamless blend of clean modernity and rich Balinese elements.
Built from the ground up on a petite square of land, Danes’ aim for the site was manifold. These included optimising the space for the boutique hotel’s business needs, and to maintain an easily accessible modern style that is richly infused with Balinese tradition and culture.
Surprisingly, Popo found rich inspiration fodder in the changing profile and behaviour of tourists in Bali. While Bali tourists in days past might have been teenaged surfers and backpackers willing to fling their duffels down in a basic motel, today’s tourists belong in the 25-45 age group who enjoy adventures, experimenting and their comforts. They are also willing to spend more. Popo recognised that these visitors needed a space that engaged them, and carefully structured his space to provide intrinsic value to these guests.
His strategy: to go vertical instead of sprawling across acres as other hotels in Bali might do, and to create spaces and surroundings that would surprise, delight and intrigue the guests.
Working hand-in-glove with L Hotel’s Resident Tastemaker Adeline Quek and hospitality design expert Meriem Hall, the 30-suite hotel features warm and calm hues of grey and ivory, punctuated with rich timbers and dashes of bright colours. The building was carefully structured to ensure good ventilation throughout, and to easily capture even the smallest breeze. In fact, the lobby of the hotel doesn’t even require air-conditioning.
Traditional ornaments and handcrafted objects infused even more typical Balinese charm into the environment. The lobby and the lounge, for example, are decorated with bone carvings hung from the ceiling and on wooden love seats.
No expense was spared in terms of time, craftsmanship and aesthetics. As an example, Quek reveals, a mock-up suite for the hotel was done and re-done more than a dozen times to ensure perfection and consistency. The bespoke Balinese ceiling ornaments that are one of the architectural highlights in the hotel suites were separately handcrafted by village master artisans and then individually installed into the ceiling – a process that took months.
Practical considerations also came into play. With personalised service being a signature of the hotel, functional touches were discreetly added in. Every floor of the hotel boasts its own butler station, allowing for speedy response to guests’ queries and needs without sacrificing exclusivity and privacy.
Nine full F&B outlets, two private dining rooms, a spa and two pools (one indoor and one outdoor) were designed to be hosted in the hotel including a roofbar strategically positioned to allow for a spectacular 360-degree view of Seminyak, paddy fields and the sea. The hope is that this will allow L Hotel Seminyak to be fully self-contained, and if guests prefer to remain within the development, they can still find an incredible range of activity and dining options to suit their moods and needs.
The humid tropical climate, and salt-and-mineral-rich air of Bali was also taken into account; buildings wear down much more quickly in this environment. So every material used was carefully considered and implemented to ensure the building would be able to withstand the test of time.
L Hotel Seminyak
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