The vast reflection pond at the entrance of the Apurva Kempinski Bali is a deliberate separation between chaos and calm. For the impatient traveller, me included, it seems a long way around to reach the lobby but in hindsight, it’s a clever way to make an entrance. The designers of Bali’s Kempinski have employed many subtle differences in this resort, not all are obvious at first, but each is there for a reason.
Celebrating 5 years of their commitment to cultural diversity in January, Kempinski showcased art and artists, costumes and performances that highlighted the many ethnic cultures that make up the Indonesian archipelago.
If first impressions count, Bali’s Apurva Kempinski makes a bold statement from the start. Apurva is a sanskrit word that means unique, one-of-a-kind and this resorts ticks those boxes and more. The majestic lobby is impressive, with incredible Labradorite floors mirroring the ocean that laps at the white sand beach far below.
It is grand. Intricate hand-carved wood panels created by artisans in Java soar towards the copper burnished ceiling, while the soft sounds of a pianist herald the beginning of an experience that few resorts will match
Whether you’re a fan of large 5-star resorts or not, the Apurva Kempinski Bali is an extraordinary resort that breaks the mould. From incredible restaurants to indigenous spa experiences, graceful suites and villas that whisper with spiritual connections to Indonesia’s diverse ethnic cultures.
It stands above many of its competitors for its stunning design, its commitment to sustainability, cultural identity and the range of experiences that feel more boutique than its size suggests.
A Sustainability Campaign with Heart.
Bali is an island with its fair share of challenges as over-development and budget tourism threaten. Making incredible strides towards sustainability, a new 5-year campaign by Kempinski has introduced initiatives that embrace conservation and culture with innovation and passion.
General Manager Vincent Guironnet has made his home here for 16 years and is at the forefront of what makes Kempinski one of Bali’s leading resorts.
“Indonesia is one of the most diverse and colourful countries in the world, and I call this beautiful country home. This nation is beyond wonderful. Its heritage, natural landscapes, cultural identities, inspirational music and dance, holistic wellness, culinary diversity, and passionate people make Indonesia unique.”
With beautiful rooms, many with private pools and ocean views, the Kempinski brand is woven with local elements to deliver a stay that combines service and style that enchants with its myriad details. Inspired by the Majapahit era that embraced the creative arts, stories are told through architecture, performance, exhibitions and the culinary arts.
From Indigenous Spa Journeys to sustainable weddings.
I have stayed numerous times and visit the resort often for events, dinners and art shows. Each time I discover more layers to Kempinski. This is a resort that is constantly on the move, upgrading, redesigning, and adding new elements.
The spa is a highlight of the resort and counted among Bali’s best spa experiences, introducing guests to exotic and indigenous treatments that envelop the senses in creative ways, from chakra journeys to sound healing and Balinese blessings, in beautifully evocative spaces that reflect Indonesia.
Bali is one of the most popular places on the planet for weddings and honeymoons. The stunning seaside chapel at the Apruva Kempinski introduced sustainable weddings years ago. With living plants instead of cut flowers, beautiful menus sourced from local producers and creative touches that reflect the resort’s commitment, it’s an initiative that has been celebrated by couples and conversationalists alike.
The resort offers a collection of 475 iconic rooms, suites and villas with fascinating culinary journeys that reflect a global guest. The rooms are elegantly decorated and well-appointed with modern amenities and quality furnishings made to last. Guests can enjoy garden or ocean views from private balconies and many rooms offer private plunge pools.
What is most impressive is that despite the size of the resort which encompasses 14 floors and low-rise buildings across impressive grounds leading to a white sand cove, many of the experiences created within the resort feel intimate. Chefs visit your table, restaurants are intimate spaces and the diverse menus span the globe. The service is impeccable and personal and the elegant ladies in red
Wine and Dine in style.
The resort has five restaurants, each offering a unique culinary experience.
Bali’s first aquarium dining experience, Koral Restaurant brings the wonders of the ocean to your table. The menu travels the archipelago and has earned numerous awards for its beautifully plated meals accompanied by signature cocktails and a world-class wine list.
Combining fresh and seasonal products and the skills of Executive Chef, Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Baptiste Natali, Koral offers a la carte dining, artisanal set menus and a signature degustation menu.
Vegan and Vegetarian selections are also available.
You think you know Cantonese food and then you visit Bai Yun and discover how little you really understand about this ancient cuisine. Translated as ‘white cloud’ in Chinese-Mandarin, Bai Yun is best known for it’s Hot Pot experience. An interactive dining experience that focuses on fresh premium ingredients prepared at the table.
Malaysian-born Cantonese Chef Ho Weng Kit, grew up in his family-run restaurants and brings both skill and authentic flavours to both his Hot Pot menus and the weekend Dim Sum brunches that are a revelation for those who think they know Cantonese food.
The endless flow of dishes includes delicious vegan and vegetarian selections and if you’re lucky enough to meet the Chef, his knowledge and passion add another dimension to one of Bali’s best Chinese dining experiences
Izakaya by Oku:
Inspired by the award-winning Japanese Restaurant OKU in Jakarta, Izakaya by OKU at Bali’s Kempinski is like a culinary ballet. Against a stark black and white background, astonishingly beautiful plates arrive as part of the set menu or as a la carte selections. Watching the preparation unfold along with the revolving chefs and mixologists who arrive at the table to serve you is a magical insight into Izakaya cuisine.
Floating amid a long pool within the main gardens, Pala Restaurant is the resort’s main restaurant, home to breakfast, lunches, dinner and their famous Sunday Brunchcation. Wander among live cooking stations, and enjoy a feast of International food including authentic Indian and Indonesian dishes. It’s a great option for a quiet night in when rich food and endless culinary offerings have been exhausted and you just want a great steak and a glass of red.
The Sunday Brunchcation is one of Bali’s best brunch experiences and includes access to the pool and sundown cocktails on Pala’s rooftop.
Reef Beach Club
By day it’s an elegant beach club with floaty cabanas around the pool and sun lounges lining the white sand beach. By night it’s a beautiful spot to toast the fading light and enjoy an intimate meal. The hand-carved joglo is at the heart of Reef Beach Club and it offers some of the best wood-fired cooking on the island.
L’Atelier by Cyril Kongo
Nusa Dua can be a little stuffy but that all changes when you find the entrance to L’Atelier, the rooftop cigar and cocktail bar and Mediteranean eatery that overlooks the resort. An artist’s studio by day and an intimate cocktail bar in the evenings, a grand piano takes centre stage with acoustic tunes playing on the evening breeze.
L’Atelier by Cyril Kongo is an elevated lounge and bar that seamlessly combines Kongo’s artistic vision with magnificent ocean views and expertly crafted Mediterranean Tapas, premium cigars, ultimate spirits, and live entertainment.
For those who have eschewed large resorts in favour of a boutique experience, a stay at the elegant Apruva Kempinski may change your mind. It is large and yet there’s a very personal element here that embraces the visitors as it tells a timeless story of Indonesia.
It may be part of your Bali journey, a luxurious staycation or a place to enjoy an incredible dining experience or an evocative spa journey. In my experience, the longer you spend at the Apruva Kempinski Bali the more you will discover and chances are you’ll be as captivated as I am.
Check out their best rates now or book a table for one of their many excellent culinary experiences.