The trendy Starwood Hotels brand known for its urban city sojourns officially unveiled its latest addition to its list of hotels and beachfront retreats earlier this year.

W Hotels Worldwide officially opened the doors to W Retreat & Spa Bali on March 1, 2011. The identity of this modern retreat separates itself from conventional Balinese aesthetics. Instead it infuses its signature contemporary approach with a twist on traditional Balinese design to deliver its brand promise of Whatever/Whenever.

The W Bali experience doesn't only begin the minute you check in at the Welcome reception. It really begins the second you turn in to their driveway. Flanked by infinity ponds on each side with thrones of fire pits which are lit at night, the driveway leads up to a futuristic foyer where a terraced lobby space - the signature W Lounge - reveals a sensual vibe with vibrant pinks and purples, and oversized daybeds face a cascading 'WET' area.

W Bali's modern foyer

Whatever/Whenever: The hotel's vibrant reception desk is indeed welcoming.

The 'WET' deck was inspired by paddy fields

Tasteful chill-out music with danceable beats pervade the open-air W Lounge, contributing to W's efforts in incorporating fashion, style, and music to their brand. The hotel's music is carefully tailored to suit its brand. W Bali's marketing and communications executive, Ary Bestari, tells Homegazine that the music gradually morphs throughout the day to set the mood for morning, afternoon, evening, night, dusk and dawn. W Hotel's exquisite sense for sophisticated rhythms effectively eliminates the stereotype of regular hotel music (think piano ballads). Each area of the hotel emanates different DJ mixes to jive with its various surroundings.

At the W chain of hotels, attention to every single detail is taken into account. Designed by SCDA Architects, AB Concept, and Poole Associates Private Limited, the carefully selected flooring, monsoon screens, and stenciled ceilings are only a fraction of what you will discover at this beach escape. The contours of W Bali's descending pool terraces are attributed to the paddy fields that once occupied the extensive lot. Beyond it, nestled in a cozy corner, is the hip WooBar where hotel guests and walk-in patrons can take in the sunset while sipping creative cocktails on the alfresco deck.

“W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak redefines the resort experience in Bali and brings a distinctive product to the hotel market in Indonesia,” said Craig Seaward, general manager of W Retreat & Spa Bali – Seminyak.  “W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak – along with the Residences at W Bali Seminyak – brings a new dimension of cutting-edge design, contemporary lifestyle, modern comfort and a new level of indulgence to Bali.”

Inspired by Bali's surrounding seascapes, the guest retreats are concealed in aquatic green hues, where some of the rooms equipped with open skylights above their baths reveal the tropical weather. Bed throws in white cottons are stitched by hand to resemble leaf pattern; beaded pendant lamps are inspired by local fishing nets; and headboards are made of synthetic leather embossed in green stingray skin. W Bali boasts 158 retreats and suites at a minimum size of 64 sq. meters and a maximum of 532 sq. meters, and 79 villa retreats as small as 225 sq. meters (not small at all) and as spacious as 625 sq. meters.

AB Concept took cues from a uniquely Balinese checkered textile pattern in the design for feature wall panels, which slide to conceal the television.  The three-tone pattern known as “Poleng” represents good, evil and the space between; the studio reworked the concept here in mother of pearl.  Light weathered oak has been used for surfaces elsewhere, while bedside tables are formed with thick sheets of floating glass and framed with light. 

Starfish Bloo serves up a menu of delicious Pan-Asian cuisine by the beach

FIRE is a casual but stylish dining experience where guests can watch the chefs in action

W Bali isn't just a place to rest your head at the end of the day. It is a contemporary lifestyle experience complete with distinct concept restaurants such as FIRE and Starfish Bloo, and destination bars like WooBar and Ice. A state-of-art gym, SWEAT lets you keep up with your fitness schedule while AWAY® Spa provides 24/7 solitude and relaxation options.

SWEAT tempts you to get your dose of exercise during your stay at W Bali.

GLOW beds at the AWAY Spa

Designed by A.W. LAKE® Spa Concepts, Singapore, the interior of AWAY® Spa reflects two of Bali's most sacred elements - the wind and water. The most interesting features of Away® are its Blue Room, an oxygen-filled lounge where guests are served fabulous beverages before their treatments, and the CHILL Bar, which makes it the only spa in town with its own catwalk, the option to detox or retox with a couple of nifty concoctions before getting pampered in one of the seven stunning treatment suites complete with their very own Glow Beds™.

Needless to say with these amazing features and commendable services available at Bali’s most fashionable retreat, it was hard to bid the place adieu without already envisioning a subsequent trip to the mystical island in anticipation of the W Bali experience all over again.

Images: W Retreat & Spa Seminyak, Bali
Text: Stephanie Fang