Standing in the palatial opulence of the Double Six Luxury Hotel Seminyak lobby, I'm struck by the way Balinese design firm H2C has played with the concepts of ground and sky; the light tiled floor with a recurring kupu kupu (butterfly) theme seems to float and drink in light, while black, jagged tiles reminiscent of Bali's volcanism form an inverted mountain overhead, held aloft by four pillars of heaven. It's sleek, modern and distinctly Balinese.
Instead of the oft-laborious check-in process most hotels employ I'm greeted by the staff and taken immediately to my room - a huge 100sqm light-filled space overlooking the bright daytime splendour of Seminyak's relaxed surf beach.
As we reach the door to the room I'm greeted by Anom, my butler for the duration of my stay. The hotel's butler service runs 24/7, offering services from in-room dining to an on-demand ironing service. Anom offers me a welcome mocktail of effervescent blended mint and lemon, as I take in the view my check-in is completed in-room.
Relax and unwind
Wallow in the hotel's 120-metre long pool, which meanders along the beachside frontage covered by friendly and attentive staff from the ground floor Lagoon bar. Stroll across the road to Double Six beach for a dip, surf or wander along the shoreline. Recline on the Double Six's own beach furniture - the staff will bring a cocktail or bar snack your way. Nearby, many beachside shack-style restaurants serve up inexpensive local favourites such as Nasi Goreng and Sate Ayam.
The hotel's Aqua Perla spa offers guests a range of wellness treatments, including a rockstar treatment of the sensorial hydro trail followed by a traditional Balinese massage. After a long day lounging by the pool or learning to surf it's a perfect way to ease away any niggling doubt that you're in paradise.
Dining experiences by Robert Marchetti
Globetrotting Australian chef Robert Marchetti has brought his immense knowledge and ideas to The Plantation Grill and to Double Six more broadly.
With The Plantation Grill he seems to have created a paean to the 1920s jazz age. Decked out with 1920s Gatsby-like flair mixing leather, brass and glass, the venue's slick, opulent interior is as rich and rewarding to the senses as the food itself. Lounge in the lush leather booths or take a cocktail liberally laced with rum in the Billiard Bar. A spiral staircase leads up to the seductive Sling Bar, open 'til 1am for fine booze, raucous partying or intimate conversation. Jazz drifts through the air and once the party is in full swing the venue would give Babette's in Boardwalk Empire a run for its money – except here prohibition's been soundly dealt a finishing blow.
Marchetti’s stylish influence is also evident at Seminyak Italian Food which delivers high quality, fresh Italian inspired food throughout the day. While breakfast features a full a la carte menu, a real highlight is a waiter carrying an old-style shoulder tray offering diners a selection of fresh, buttery pastries to accompany their early morning coffee. For the health conscious try the superfood omelette of egg whites, shitake mushroom and asparagus, along with a selection of fresh juices. The avocado mousse with feta on seeded bread is served cool and delivers an amazing texture – the mousse is smoothed to perfection and the fresh feta adds a beautiful richness to the dish. Looking for something more decadent? Try Seminyak Italian's take on Eggs Benedict, served in a semi scooped brioche with smoked ham and organic spinach, or the chocolate and cinnamon bomboloni (doughnuts) with frothy cacao dip and chocolate milk.
Dinner is simple food done beautifully. Choose from fresh house-made pastas, high quality salume (smallgoods), seafood and red meat options – come hungry as the portion sizes are generous. A must-try is the Mozzarella a la Caprese – Marchetti has secured a wonderfully textured, clean mozzarella from the neighbouring island of Java of all places. Other favourites include the Spaghetti Marinara Marche style (cooked in a paper bag), the huge parmesan-crusted Cotaletta Milanese and for dessert, a rich ricotta dark chocolate tart or the Crostata di Lampone – a moreish tart of fresh strawberries, raspberry cream and pearls of chocolate. Menno – Double Six owner Kadek Wiranatha's in-house sommelier, has crafted a balanced wine list featuring a solid selection of Italian and Australian varietals. Also featured on the list is popular local brand Plaga who source their grapes from Western Australia and Chile.
Take in the evening breeze...
Completely bliss out at Double Six's rooftop bar, one of the largest rooftop venues in the world and certainly one of Bali's top nightspots. Moreover, wander out onto the deck and you can kick-back in one of the more spectacular bar concepts on the planet. Sunken lounges or pods, set in an infinity pool, seem to float like circular galleons on a tranquil sea. It’s the ideal way to watch the Bali day draw to a close. For those who are a little peckish, a circular fire pit roasts, tasty and diversely flavoured satays over glowing embers of coconut shells and wood.
The venue does close at 11pm but for those keen keep the party going, head downstairs to Sling bar.
As for the Double Six experience - a combination of supreme comfort, attentive service, fine food melded with a couple of cool nighttime haunts as well as excellent facilities makes it a friendly, accessible luxury stay on the rim of Seminyak beach.