Alaya Hotels & Resorts has opened its second boutique hotel in Bali, adding art, design and gracious living to the refreshing spirit of the island’s most colorful resort district, South Kuta.
Alaya Resort Kuta, offering 116 rooms and suites with Alaya’s own DaLa Spa, held a sneak peak opening this month and will be fully online in Bali’s high season of July, ahead of a grand opening set for September.
“Kuta, love it or not, is still Bali and we wanted a property styled for upmarket travelers, but also one that both fits and complements the neighborhood,” said Jimmy Gunawan, CEO of Alaya’s parent company, AIM Hospitality. “We’ve kept in sync with the district’s tropical vibe along with a touch of its bohemianism, adding fine design, surprising ceramic and metal art pieces and every comfort and amenity…all just down the lane from a multitude of entertainment spots and urban-styled shopping.”
The resort was designed by Perth-based Grounds Kent Architects, creators of fine resorts across Asia, along with landscaping by Bali’s own Made Wijaya and a showcase work of art inspired by a Formula One car in the lobby by Indonesia’s lauded sculptor, Pintor Sirait. It is easy walking distance from Kartika Plaza Street’s malls and shops, beachfront activities and Waterbom Park, recognized as one of the world’s top water parks.
Kuta, just 10 minutes from the airport and famed for its surfing beach and sunsets, is Bali’s favorite destination for visitors, thus has the island’s broadest choice of cuisines and a well-developed nightclub scene.
Grounds Kent Architects, two-time winner of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Hotel in the World” award, counts among its Indonesian resorts Four Seasons Jimbaran, St. Regis Bali and Karma Group. From Fiji to the Caribbean, from China to the Maldives, the firm has designed large hotels, resorts, wineries, spas, golf clubhouses, cultural centers, private residences and villas, consistently winning awards.
“Our architecture attempts to provide something that uplifts and enriches the spirit,” said the firm’s partner, Martin Grounds. “We are more inclined toward romanticism than pragmatism, but it is critical to us that our buildings are functional as well as romantic.”
The firm also designed Alaya’s sister resort in Ubud, opened in 2013.
Made Wijaya, Bali’s unquestioned garden authority, actually was born in Australia, jumping ship during a storm as a teenager and following adoption by a Brahman family, took his Balinese name. A number of books and hundreds of gardens followed. In addition to indoor and outdoor plantings for Alaya, he created the hotel’s Sukun Restaurant, named for the breadfruit trees that grow adjacent to the lobby. Adjacent to Sukun is a 25-meter lap pool, featuring at one end a soothing wall relief designed by Wijaya.
“It was fun restyling the Alaya Kuta gardens and restaurant; to introduce some cultural reference to the modern design touches all turning out quite striking and glamorous, which is, after all, the spirit of Bali.”
The hotel and is also equipped with a gym, a multi-purpose meeting room and library-lounge with free iPad use.
Another foreign-born Bali resident, behind Alaya’s lavish DaLa Spa, is Zohra Boukhari, a Moroccan-born interior decorator working in island design for more than 20 years. In the six treatment rooms, she honors the traditions of local healing and beauty practices with a treatment menu embracing locally made oils and other ingredients.
Alaya Hotels and Resorts is managed by AIM Hospitality, a privately held Indonesian-based holding company that operates several leisure brands, among them Villa de daun, Tanaya Bed & Breakfast, and DaLa Spa.