From soaking up some rays on a spectacular beach to tucking into delicious food, this island retreat has it all…
Words James Fuschillo
Relax, recharge and reinvigorate at W Bali Retreat
We arrive at Denpasar airport at lunchtime and are greeted by traditional Balinese architecture and many smiley faces – both common features throughout our travels. Our driver escorts us to an air-conditioned car and presents us with a range of chilled beverages before proceeding to make sure we were comfortable and ready to set off. Approximately 40 minutes later we arrive in the costal town of Seminyak, and so with our eyes peeled for signs of our destination, we observe the various restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Finally we see a gate reading ‘W Retreat Bali’… That is where the excitement truly begins.
Turning off from one of towns main thoroughfares and down a very pretty but long driveway, you instantly feel the weight and stress of your usual daily activities left behind as you escape into a very private and exclusive haven that has almost exclusively dominated your thoughts since you received confirmation of the trip. Upon our arrival, we drove into a very smart carriage driveway where we were once again greeted with many happy faces who could not have moved any more swiftly to help both us and our luggage out of the vehicle and over to the reception desk. Here you will also find the Whatever/Whenever team who are named very aptly as they take great pride in organising and delivering your ultimate experience, whatever it is and whenever you want it.
Boasting 157 guestrooms and suites within the main building, we were led to an electric buggy as our driver explained that we would be staying in one of the exclusive villas located a short walk away, before jumping in and being whisked away while even our luggage followed in it’s own personal set of wheels. Set around the tranquillity of a superbly maintained Yoga and relaxation garden, we walked through the doors of what we’d be calling home for the next 7 days and were immediately in awe of the private pool and cosy cabana set inside the forecourt, with each villa having it’s own BBQ facility and complimented by a Bose sound system throughout, the option to disappear from the rest of the world is yours without sacrificing life’s luxuries. Inside we found a generously sized bed befitting of a king and queen, as well as still having space for all of their royal subjects, a two basin sink area, rainmaker shower and a modern bath perfectly designed to soak away those tired muscles after a 16 hour flight from London. A very comfortable lounge area with flatscreen TV and a minibar stacked with premium brands also waste no time in making you feel at home in paradise.
As I’m sure many other likeminded people reading this will agree, food is always a huge part of any trip as you quite often take back flavours and textures as memories in the same way as a photo or souvenir. For us, W Bali boasts two of the best purpose built restaurants in the local area called Fire and Starfish Bloo, which look equally as superb and appetising as the food. If you enjoy an expertly cooked steak that literally melts in your mouth, you shouldn’t waste any time in getting down to Fire as you will not be disappointed, however, we also took great delight in tucking into the beef Rendang and chocolate melting sphere. Starfish Bloo offers a mixed menu in the same style as Fire, but with fresh fish featuring very prominently alongside other Pan-Asian delights, the serene setting, panoramic beach view and Indian Ocean soundtrack take this experience to an even higher level. Lastly, but by no means least, we enjoyed waking up to find our breakfast freshly cooked and delivered, floating elegantly on a multi-tier platform in the pool for us to enjoy. From coffee to champagne and pancakes to pork bacon, it was all there exactly as you would like, creating a memory that will forever live on.
THINGS TO DO
It doesn’t matter if you like keeping active on holiday or simply doing very little, W Bali accommodates both in exemplary fashion. With a large pool area, beautifully white beach, music mixing and live recording studio, 24/7 state of the art spa and gym, something is on offer whatever your preference may be – the 90 minute DETOX signature massage is a real must for us as the level or relaxation we felt after was something not even the those massage table veterans out there will not have experienced often. Another warm memory was created at the very cool WooBar which is located where the pool meets the beach. This vibrant but chilled environment is an exquisite place to watch the sunset while enjoying the gorgeous flavours of the famous Tapas on offer. Fast forward a few hours and Woobar transforms into one of the islands most suave nightclubs, offering amazing cocktails and attracting some of the worlds finest DJ’s if ever you fancy dancing those warm nights away.