"SINGAPORE — You have Ronald Akili to thank for setting up everyone’s favourite spot in Bali. He heads PTT Family, the company behind the so-hip-it-hurts Potato Head Beach Club in Seminyak.
These days, he is busy completing the much-anticipated hotel directly adjacent to it. Called The Katamama, which translates to “what mama says”, the 58-suite property will open in January next year. Akili said he picked the name because he found that it resonated with most people. “We set out to create a space that wasn’t just a luxury hotel — we wanted to differentiate ourselves by including thoughtful personal touches and creating more of an experience.”
He can understand why travellers simply can’t get enough of The Island of the Gods. “Bali has some of the most interesting and unique cultural traditions in the world. This is complemented by a younger, more global generation who has established great new restaurants, shops and other concepts,” he explained. “It creates a nice balance.”
Q: Potato Head Beach Club has become an iconic must-visit in Bali. What do you think are the reasons behind its success?
A: As a lifestyle brand, we take a holistic approach to everything we do at PTT Family. We put a lot of thought into everything, and work with the best people in their fields, from the architecture to the overall look and feel to every single dish and cocktail we produce. These original collaborations provide special products and experiences that you can’t find anywhere else. On the surface, our Beach Club definitely stands out thanks to its beautiful and unique design, but it takes more than that to succeed. We try very hard to ensure everyone who comes in, no matter if it’s their first time or if they are regulars, has a great time and an unforgettable experience.
Q: What can we look forward to in The Katamama?
A: The Katamama will be very different from Potato Head. It allows us to express our creativity on another level. Our aim is to showcase our own definition of bespoke luxury through design, cultural programming and service, and to be a contemporary interpretation of Indonesian culture. We worked with local artisans, craftsmen, designers and artists to build the hotel. Every detail of The Katamama is connected to Indonesia — from the over one million handmade bricks to 100-some pieces of art by contemporary Indonesian artists. We are sharing our culture, passion and communities with our guests.
Q: Personally, what are some of your favourite spots in Bali to chill and why?
A: When I’m looking for a change of scenery, I like heading to Ubud. I love stopping by The Green School. It’s really inspiring to see a new generation really take an interest in the environment, sustainability and making the world a better place. I love stopping by Locavore to see what’s on the ever-changing menu. I also love going to Will Goldfarb’s Room4Dessert. His innovative approach to dessert and love of indigenous flavours are really amazing. When I’m in a beach mood, I love going to Uluwatu in the south of Bali. It’s mostly a surf area, but the cliff views are amazing. In Uluwatu, my favourite beach is Suluban. It’s not exactly a secret, but you definitely don’t get the crowds that you would at Dreamland or Padang Padang. SERENE LIM"
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