The owners of boutique Bali property L Hotel say that the letter "L" comes with connotations of "love, life, luxury" and its intrinsic mantra "live life". It's also very much about location.
Set on Jalan Raya Petitenget in the heart of trendy Seminyak, L Hotel is close to the most fashionable haunts on the island right now. Potato Head, The W, Sarong and Metis are just minutes away from this stylish little haven, which is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.
The VIP personalised service begins at the airport where we are met by Retha, one of the hotel's many butlers, with a hassle-free transfer to the property. This attention to personalised service is a strong point from a team of young, enthusiastic and dedicated staff.
Each floor is equipped with a butler station where anything from planning an itinerary and arranging a spa treatment to golf sessions, sightseeing and restaurant recommendations are catered for, as well as the obvious such as unpacking suitcases and ironing.
Spanning three floors, the 30-suite hotel is helmed by L Hotels & Resorts resident tastemaker Adeline Quek and hotel manager Budiman Widjaja, and was created by Indonesian architect Popo Danes with a team of international interior designers. It has the feel of a slick city retreat.
Our Luxe Suite is one of six designed for romantic getaways. By Asian resort standards, it's not grand in size, but it does ooze sophistication with details such as a studded pearl-white bedhead and high thread count linens on the obligatory king bed.
The integrated open bathroom is a very sexy concept, but certainly not for those with inhibitions. The standard Lifestyle Suites offer a little more privacy in marble-clad bathrooms with double rain showers.
There are pillow and soap menus and Kiehl's toiletries and all suites come with iPod docks, LCD TV, DVD players, a safe and complimentary wi-fi.
"Here is your phone while you are here in Bali," says butler Retha after she has pointed out the other features in the suite. This is fantastic news. On the back of the phone is her number, so that we can contact her 24 hours a day.
The service also extends to driving us anywhere we wish to go and we just call for a pick-up from shopping, restaurant outing or whatever.
These features are all pluses.
On the other hand there is no resort-style pool, just a small lap pool on the enclosed mezzanine level in the Lola Restaurant and Bar space. However, I am informed that there are plans for a pool on land at the rear of the property. The nearest beach is five minutes away by car. A butler will take guests to a dedicated area on the beach near The W Hotel which comes with L Hotel sunbeds.
A sunset cocktail party at the Luna Rooftop Bar showcases the hotel's manifesto. A hip crowd sip on cocktails overlooking the paddy fields and distant ocean.
Young chef Rutger Nohl (formerly sous chef at Mamasan) heads up the kitchen where anything from teppanyaki barbecue favourites to tandoori chicken tikka and king prawns is available in a shared food concept, along with a variety of great food including foie gras on toast, Szechuan orange chicken and vegetables, black pepper squid and asparagus and Dutch pork bitterbals.
For more formal occasions there are two very stylish private dining rooms which open onto the Luna deck.
No Bali holiday is complete without a beautiful spa experience and L Hotel's spa facility offers a tranquil and superior service with all the trimmings.
During our stay we are reminded that, in spite of our contemporary surrounds, we are in a place of great spirituality and rich culture.
The entrance to L Hotel becomes the scene for an Odalan blessing ceremony. A temple, or padmasana, is decorated with golden umbrellas, burning incense and a procession of Balinese participants bearing tiers of offerings in remembrance of the gods and for continued prosperity and the safety of the people.Di Bauwens was a guest of L Hotels & Resorts.
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