If you’ve been to Bali, you’ll be familiar with four words: Potato Head Beach Club. Like it or hate it, there’s no doubt the behemoth bar, restaurant and pool club has played a large part in cementing Seminyak as Bali’s most prestigious oceanfront district. After adding to the Potato Head operations with a Hong Kong outpost, the Indonesian-based hospitality group PTT Family have turned their attention to hotels with Katamama, their first opening.
While Katamama ticks all the lifestyle boxes for a hotel of its scope and style – a bar concept by a world-renowned mixologist, the first Bali outpost for dining juggernaut MoVida and an 130 sqm pool – it is the hotel’s concept for exploring Indonesian culture through a contemporary context that truly impresses. Through its architecture, art, design and craftsmanship, Katamama is a true celebration of Indonesian culture and design identity.
As a truly bespoke creation, the design behind Katamama is the sum of multiple design parts. Longtime PTT Family collaborator Andre Matin designed the hotel, while Ronald Akili, CEO of the PTT Family and his creative team developed the interiors alongside Singapore-based design company Takenouchi Webb.
The hotel’s exterior takes cues in form and material from the Balinese building practice of tri angga, a concept where the spatial structure reflects harmony between the building and its occupants, with an elevated lobby allowing guests to view the pool and surrounding landscape. Matin has ‘introverted’ the design, presenting a secluded view of the garden for guests to see a different angle of the landscape across the different levels of the hotel.
While Katamama draws heavily from Balinese culture and customs, it is complimented by a modernist aesthetic, with geometric forms and raw brick walls instantly evoking a 60s or 70s approach. In the suites, these elements are further complimented with wide boards of teak used for flooring and solid-timber slats for wall finishes. The furniture is similarly a mix of antique and new timber pieces; new furniture produced by a local carpenter using only Indonesian Grade-A teak sits comfortably amongst Hans J Wagner Rocking chairs and Louis Poulsen pendant lamps.
The blurred lines between traditional and contemporary, Indonesian and European, and interior and exterior spaces elevate the experience of Katamama to something very unique in a tourist market defined by over-the-top luxury. This is a real insight into the culture, heritage and design aesthetic of Indonesia, presented in thoughtful and creative ways. In short, there’s far more to enjoy than a poolside bar – but of course, they have that too.