Katamama Bali | Yellowtrace
Dramatic entrance at Katamama Boutique Hotel in Bali. Image courtesy of Katamama.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Entrance details at Katamama Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Alchemy bar at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Alchemy bar at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
MoVida Restaurant at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
MoVida Restaurant at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

MoVida Restaurant at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Details from MoVida Restaurant at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

It’s a warm and humid mid-December afternoon when our plane lands in Denpasar. Our driver greets us at the airport dressed in a beautiful relaxed indigo dip-dyed kimono (I notice even though I am desperate to pee, and I’m feeling hot & bothered from the instant effects of Balinese humidity). He is friendly and smiling, enquires about our flight while escorting us to our car. Fresh face towels, cool drinks and yummy snacks are served, and the three of us embarrassingly devour everything at once as though we hadn’t eaten in days. Tres uncool.

45 minutes later, we were concluding our car trip down a very long driveway towards Potato Head beach club in Bali’s Seminyak, which shares the same access with Katamama Hotel that’s located next door. We are greeted with more friendly and smiling faces, and I instantly remember how much I’ve missed Bali and the genuinely friendly and warm people who live here.

“Welcome home,” we are greeted by one and all. Luka, our 5-year-old son, begins squealing with excitement, as he now believes we are moving into Katamama for good, which – let’s face it – would be a top quality life plan.

We are transferred into our own buggy which takes us towards the entrance of the hotel. We admire the hotel grounds and the procession of interesting little stores that sell local art, craft, coffee etc, but once we find ourselves at the mouth of Katamama, the hotel’s dramatic all brick entrance, my heart literally starts to beat a little faster.

We’ve reached handmade brick utopia (without realising such a thing ever existed)!

 

Katamama Bali | Yellowtrace
Katamama’s brick corridors. Image courtesy of Katamama.

Katamama Bali | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali | Yellowtrace

Katamama’s brick corridors. Images courtesy of Katamama.

Katamama Bali | Yellowtrace
Details from Katamama Bali. Image courtesy of Katamama.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photo by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Entrance details from Katamama Bali. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Our Island Suite at Katamama Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Cocktail makin in our suite at Katamama Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Details from our Island Suite at Katamama Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

The 1.5 million special Indonesian bricks that make up Katamama all seem to converge at the entrance. The arrival feels as though it was designed to literally pull people into what feels like a mini material vortex. But of course, these are no ordinary bricks. Each one was handmade by local craftsmen in the most perfect shades of terracotta, presenting as elegant shapes – long and thin – carefully dry stacked with no visible mortar anywhere to be seen on the colossal walls that rise in front of us. Coupled with the sheer scale of the space in contrast to the fine grain of bricks and pavers, the effect is monumental and subtle in equal measure. Pure architecture porn. I was floored.

Alas, turns out the feeling I had reached peak architecture excitement was too early to call at the entrance, as the initial journey through the entire property, via the Alchemy bar, through the beautiful hotel restaurant (MoVida, no less!), up the lifts and through the corridors where more amazing bricks await, and finally into our suite – every single space revealed a different facet of this special little hotel, and communicated so much through omnipresent tactility. I could literally feel this was a place that’s been designed and built with a huge amount of passion and love. Evidence of time-honoured skills was palpable and could be witnessed in every single detail – from the building itself and all of it’s finishes, to furniture, art, the clothes staff wore, the baskets and hats in our rooms, etc. Everything was considered and felt very special.

And as though things couldn’t get any better, shortly after we settled into our suite, there was a knock on the door. Our personal barman was there ready to make us welcome cocktails in our room. Jackpot!

 

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Pool view and private balcony at our Island Suite. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Island Suite bathroom at Katamama Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Poolside action at Katamama. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
More amazing brick corridor goodes at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Rooftop Suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Rooftop Suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Rooftop Suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Rooftop Suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Rooftop Suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Rooftop Suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

More great corridor moments at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Katamama officially opened in March 2016, under the ownership of PTT Family, the Indonesia-based group behind the world-renowned Potato Head Beach Club. The culturally led five-star hotel was created to offer an experience unlike anything else on the island by showcasing the best of Indonesia’s rich heritage.

Renowned Indonesian architect and long-time PTT Family collaborator Andra Matin is responsible for the overall design of Katamama. The interiors are a marriage of pieces from the owner’s personal collection and timeless interiors designed by PTT Family Creative Team and Takenouchi Webb. Many decorative elements in the hotel were created by the finest local craftsmen, utilising traditional artisan practices native to Indonesia, particularly Bali.

Katamama offers some of the largest living spaces of any other hotel in Bali. Indigenous materials, such as Balinese bricks, teak, handmade tiles from Java and terrazzo made on site, feature prominently throughout the hotel, while the rooms are filled with curated artwork, handpicked furniture and cherished collectables. There are more than 100 pieces of contemporary Indonesian art throughout the property. Many of the amenities found in the rooms, including textiles, woven elements and ceramics, were created by local Balinese craftspeople.

 

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Two bedroom suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Two bedroom suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Two bedroom suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Two bedroom suite at Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The majestic Katamama gruonds. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
View towards Potato Head Beach Club from Katamama. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama entrance. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Potato Head Beach Club Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Potato Head Beach Club Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Katamama Bali. Photography by Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Famous sunsets at Potato Head Beach Club Bali. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

During the 4 unforgettable nights spent at Katamama, our initial “arrival-high” literally never left. If anything, we grew to love and appreciate the hotel even more during the course of our stay. From the gym, the pool, the food (OMG the food!), drinks (both alcoholic and non), toiletries, laundry service, bed linen, bathrobes, furniture, lighting – like, you know, everything was just flipping amazing, I literally cannot speak of our stay highly enough. But perhaps the most impressive experience of all was the fact out 5yo felt very much at home, even though this place isn’t technically marketed as a “family hotel”. Every single staff member made an effort to make him feel welcomed and special, Luka was soon off making friends literally everywhere we went.

I think the ultimate proof came when it was time for us to leave, as Luka was virtually inconsolable (and so was I) – heartbroken and crying big crocodile tears he claimed he didn’t want to leave Katamama. I tell you this because, to me, the real success of any hotel lies in their ability to make a guest feel like they are the only one they’ve ever looked after, or at least, their favourite gest yet. And the youngest guests like Luka – while they appreciate good architecture and beauty all around them – worry a whole lot less about a perfectly mixed cocktail, nutritionally balanced healthy breakfast that’s also impossibly delicious, design pedigree of furniture and certain makes or brands of stuff etc. All they really know is if someone makes them feel super special and taken care of, as that’s the sort of place they don’t ever want to leave. Katamama was truly that and so much more for our little family of three. Hence why we are already hatching plans for our return.

 


Accommodation at Katamama Bali starts from $350 AUD per night. Team Yellowtrace were guests of Katamama Bali during our trip. All related thoughts, ideas and text in this post reflect our genuine opinion.

 

Related:
#YellowtraceTravels: Villa Sungai, Cepaka, Bali.
#YellowtraceTravels: Alila Uluwatu, Bali.

 

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace & courtesy of Katamama as noted.]

 

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor
Google+

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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