Bali

How to enjoy the ‘new fabulous’ at Apurva Kempinski

No doubt about it, we are all feeling a little anxious. Since re-opening this year, Bali’s Apurva Kempinski has created a number of programs to put their guests at ease and soften the effects of the pandemic. New on the menu is a mindfulness program that aims to balance the chakras and alleviate stress and anxiety.
The stunning resort on the white sand beachfront in Nusa Dua is designed as a majestic theatre that celebrates the history and cultural traditions of Indonesia, and incorporates features throughout that are designed to soothe the senses and inspire a feeling of wellbeing.  

We were invited to Kempinski to sample the new menu at Koral, Bali’s first underwater restaurant, and to spend a night at the luxury resort. When the staff suggested we extend to try the new mindfulness program that offers seven chakra-balancing activities including a two hour spa treatment that is literally the crowning glory (crown chakra balancing!), it wasn’t a difficult decision to stay. 

A modern resort in many ways, there are many features within the resort that begin to work their magic from the moment you arrive. Flowing water, natural materials, timeless architecture and a narrative that runs throughout the property, give you a sense of being connected, and trigger tranquility, that is never obvious but always felt. It is quite a magical place in many ways.  

Visiting in July to sample the new menu at the fabulous underwater restaurant Koral and test the new safety protocols, I was happy to see that elegance still reigned. There was no sign of hazmat suits or extreme precautions, instead there was a reassuring sense of safety. Temperature checks, a brief questionnaire on our health, a liberal sprinkling of hand-santisers and a run down on cleanliness protocols were part of the check in process. Everyone is wearing a mask and they are required throughout the resort.  

We were given a complimentary pack with masks, hand-santiser and gloves for our stay and asked to sign a waiver that staff would only enter our room on request. It takes a little getting used to but it’s a small step to ensure our safety and that of others.  

Our first night was worth getting excited about. Our junior ocean-front suite on the third floor had spectacular ocean views, a private pool and a marble bathroom with a view.  

Koral Restaurant – Bali’s first underwater dining

Dinner at Koral was a 5-course gourmet meal with wine pairing to introduce the Italian chef, Andrea Astonewho arrived in February and has been using the shutdown time to refine the menu.  

 With an emphasis on fresh seafood to celebrate the underwater theme, each dish arrived with a glass of wine that complimented the menu perfectly. From a fresh barramundi carpaccio with Balinese spices, a creamy red curry studded with tender lobster, a main course of lamb cooked two ways (my personal favourite), followed by a modern take on a brulee, with petit fours to finish, the dinner was elegant and delicious. Needless to say we slept well.  

Balancing the Chakras

At breakfast we were taken through the activities and spa programs on offer and spa director, Rahma, suggested we prolong our stay to try the new Mindfulness program, seven activities that focus on balancing the chakras. It wasn’t a tough decision.  

 Our first afternoon saw us at the spa to discover our dominant chakra and create an essential oil designed specifically for us. This is a first chakra exercise designed to unblock the root chakra and awaken feelings of safety and security . The second activity was a batik class. This second chakra exercise is designed to enhance creativity. It quickly became an exercise in focus as we dipped our pens in wax and created intricate batik patterns that would later be dipped in natural indigo dye and presented to us. I loved this despite having a complete lack of artistic talent.  

 Next up was a third and fourth chakra exercise focussed on the navel centre, our power centre, and the heart chakra. This involved an aqua dance class in the gym.  The flow of the water plays a role in releasing pent up emotions and achieving inner peace while the movement is designed to strengthen the navel centre, the third chakra. The instructor Kadek features in Kempinski’s online wellness classes, his confidence and sense of humour made this challenging exercise a lot of fun and he was to play a key role in our mindfulness journey. 

 The fifth chakra session, aimed at our communication centre, involves creating an offering from the leaves of a coconut tree and drinking the coconut water to purify and balance our communication centre. Coconut plays a key role in many Balinese ceremonies which we would discover in more detail the following day.  

 Sunset saw us enjoying the complimentary afternoon tea and cocktails at the Reef Beach Club before ordering dinner; perfectly cooked steaks with a glass or two of Pinot Noir. While not a chakra balancing exercise, it definitely enhanced our happiness levels. The food at Kempinski is world class. 

Day Two 

Day two saw us up early for a guided meditation with Kadek on the beach. This exercise balances the sixth chakra, the seat of intuition. Focussing on the third eye and awakening our imaginations, we are asked to focus on our dominant chakras while working through visualisations and attempting to master a singing bowl. My dominant is the root chakra, my friend Maria’s is the fifth, or throat chakra, we’d discovered on the first day, so we worked through those.  The singing bowls take a bit of practice but once you’ve managed to create the sound, it’s very satisfying

 Following that we were led down the beach where a Balinese priest gave us a private purification ceremony aimed at balance and focus. Normally this would be held at the nearby Nusa Dua temple but owing to the situation we were blessed to enjoy it on the white sand beach in the early morning light. Despite being long term residents this was a very special blessing for us, for those new to the island it must seem incredible.  

 The final part of our journey brought us back to the spa where the treatment corresponds to our crown chakra, the seventh. The spa is a vital part of the resort here and wellness therapies along with traditional beauty therapies work hand in hand.  

 A traditional lulur body scrub was applied, redolent with turmeric and sandalwood, and then massaged off to remove dead skin. Followed by an hour long massage with warm herbal poultices, it was a reminder of how traditional therapies are applied in a modern spa. It was an amazing and beautiful end to the program.  

The Grand Finale

Checking out of this resort is never easy. This is my third visit and each time I become more aware of the stories the resort weaves so brilliantly. It is a place that nurtures its guests in an extraordinary way and the staff play a large part. They know the stories and they quickly get to know you. They are intelligent and involved, and its definitely some of the best service I have enjoyed in Bali.  

 The resort tells a timeless tale of the Majapahit Kingdom which introduced Hinduism to Bali and many of the arts and crafts we have come to associate with the island. The stories are told through the architecture, the art and details that are incorporated in the design of the resort. The balance found here becomes a part of the guest experience and the Mindfulness program is just another element that is designed to translate the Balinese arts and leave you wiser and more balanced. This won’t be my last visit and the deals being offered now makes this a perfect time to book and experience you will transform your idea of a Bali holiday.  

 

 

Contact the Kempinksi to see the current deals:

https://www.kempinski.com/en/bali/the-apurva-kempinski-bali

 

Visit for a day and enjoy the Brunchcation, a full day of food, swimming and great deals on spa treatments and more. Rp700,000 for adults, Rp350,000++ for children 6-10. 

Served from 12 noon to 3.30 PM at Pala restaurant.