In desperate need of a surf lesson, I’ve been told Anantara is the place to stay. Although I don’t expect to be up to Kelly Slater’s standard by the time I leave, these guys have teamed up with Tropicsurf to provide coaching lessons for absolute beginners (like me) to seasoned veterans.
My arrival is understated, and I like it. I’m grateful for the simple warm smile of my host and the ice cold towel and drink offered as I check-in.
The contemporary design of the lobby is eye-catching. One large, long space of wood, stones and water features bold, colored, mod-designed furniture and tricked out with clever wall partitions. The result is a series of open but intimate spaces that flow easily from the concierge desk to the indoor dining area and outside to the terrace restaurant and infinity pool.
It’s this flow that gives off a great energy and sets the mood for the Anantara. The hotel is hip and so is the crowd. Younger than I’d expected, but not off-putting youthful like so many hotels in the area catering to this crowd. It’s laid-back, cool and accepts that I am grown up. I know I’ve made the right choice.
Five minutes from all that Seminyak has to offer and set on a beach front enclave, the hotel consists of 59 suites and a rock star penthouse. Not all rooms face the ocean, but I haven’t come this far not to see or hear the waves so I’ve snagged an Ocean Suite. Plus the sunset from Seminyak beach is breathtaking, so it’s worth knowing the crashing waves will require earplugs to get to sleep.
My suite, again, is one long partitioned room. It’s some 800 square feet of style and luxury, including a huge wall TV, a Bose stereo system, a terrazzo tub (marble is a big feature in the entire hotel) and an additional tub on the terrace, along with an outdoor lounger.
But it’s the little touches that make this room work. The brightly-colored silk cushions, an individually-controlled air conditioner, cloth-covered notebook and the sketch pad with pencils. For a moment I have visions of sketching the beach scene below, but that’ll never happen, although it’s nice to know I could if the sudden urge to be an artist took hold.
Getting to my surf lesson proves easy. The staff arrange all, including making sure I eat properly before I leave and that I have sunscreen. Nothing about the service is overdone or pushy. It’s genuine and sweet.
While I discover about two hours later that I have no balance or skill when it comes to surfing, I have a blast and a story for my mates back home. Being on Seminyak beach provides all the balance my stressed out urban brain needs.
I hand back my board and head for the pool area loungers where I happily kick back, watching the afternoon unfold as I enjoy all this hip little corner of Bali has to offer.