‘L’ is for a little luxury
Cream checks in to the ultra-hip L Hotel in Seminyak, Bali.
Story by Antonino Tati
Situated in one of Seminyak’s trendier quarters, the L Hotel on Jalan Raya Petitenget offers everything the discerning Bali traveller could want in quality accommodation. While there is a definitive buzz about the place – butlers scurrying along corridors ensuring all is in place, hip music on rotation in the rooftop Luna Bar – once in your room, you can opt to shut the noise out completely and simply chill.
The first thing you notice in the popular Luxe Double suite is the stand-alone bathtub propped between the bed and bath areas: inviting you to pour in an entire contents of Kiehls bath gel and soak up the splendour.
Each suite at the L is designed with pragmatism in mind, and a touch of the traditional: pristine marble walls are juxtaposed with the more rustic aesthetic of a bespoke handcrafted ceiling ornament – well, monument might be more the word since the ceiling sculpture spans the size of the bed itself. Rich timbers and interchangeable lighting also soften the mood of what might otherwise be mistaken as a hotel rather modern for old-school comfort. Then there are the dashes of colour in the room’s bedding and lounging that lend each suite a unique ‘pop’ aesthetic.
Indeed, the hotel’s manager, when we tell him that L kind of reminds us of a “more intimate W Hotel” tells us he likes to use the analogy of the W being the ‘BMW’ of boutique hotels in Seminyak, while L is the ‘Mini Cooper’. Too clever a metaphor for us to argue with, really.
JUST ENOUGH T.T.D. TO FILL YOUR STAY
While L may not offer too much on the facilities side – even its pool is a brief shuttle ride away from the main part of the hotel – it does offer other leisure and wellbeing options the other hotels don’t.
There are occasional art-house film nights hosted on the rooftop where guests can enjoy a Mojito while catching the latest Almodóvar, and cocktail get-togethers every other night where guests can mingle with handsome strangers or swap war stories with ex-pat staff.
On the beauty and wellbeing side of things, L boasts a spa menu that is as extensive as those in Bali’s most reputable resorts. Here you can choose anything from a traditional Balinese massage (Rp 270,000 for 60 minutes, AUD$25) to the scrummilicious sounding Chocolate Body Scrub & Mask Package (Rp 650,000 for 120 minutes, AUD$60).
L is actually famous for its diverse list of body exfoliating packages. There is also a Coffee & Mocha Scrub for guests wanting that extra caffeine ‘lift’; a Kemiri Nut Scrub that focuses on, well, giving you a fuller scrub; and a Green Tea Scrub for extra toxin removal (Rp 580,000 each, AUD$50).
Sure, these treatments aren’t as inexpensive as the five-bucks-a-massage joints you get down the road, but far more attention-to-detail is there as of course is a certain cleanliness – obviously lacking in the grimier, cheaper ‘salons’.
For guests wanting to fill the gap between wellbeing or shopping and dinner with a bit of a pick-me-up, L hosts regular high teas from 4.30pm, with canapés crafted by its trusty Cordon Blue Chef, Puja.
DINING AN ADVENTURE IN ITSELF
If there’s one thing we’d immediately give five stars to L for, it’s the hotel’s clever use of the degustation concept in its main restaurant, Lola.
While Luna upstairs prides itself on a multicultural cuisine – offering everything from Modern European to Pan-Asian (teppanyaki and tandoor in one meal, anyone?), Lola downstairs takes a decidedly focused approach to its culinary presentation.
During one lunch sitting we enjoyed a satay-themed menu (or the Indonesian sate) that included quite possibly the most gourmet adaptation of a Nasi Goreng we’d ever sampled, each ingredient clearly visible – as opposed to the Nasi mess we’re more used to in factory-belt restaurants in Australia.
Even the simpler courses in this particular degustation, like the chicken and potato skewers were laid out all gourmet-style, the skewers cooking over a hot rock and various condiments fanned out like a rainbow of spices.
After four courses, we were pretty much satay-ed out but the chef insisted we try the Sate Telor Puyuh (quail eggs) – a delicate enough serve to just be damned and say yes to.
Now, the degustation concepts rotate at Lola, so you might want to check ahead of booking what’s on the menu for the days you’re there.
Head Chef Yan ensures the Lola a la carte menu is forever changing, utilising the freshest of local and imported produce available, but one item that’s pretty much always going to be on there, though, is his Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil. In a word, Mmmmm.
For those wishing for a more intimate dining experience, there is a separate table situated right above a small pool that, again, sees L injecting a certain hipness even into something as sacred as romance.
THE LOW-DOWN: L HOTEL
A half-hour drive from Ngurah Rai (Denpasar) Airport.
Offers transfers to and from the airport.
Three minutes from Seminyak Square.
Offers three suite options: Luxe (Double with bathtub and rain-shower), Legian (Twin & Double with rain-shower), and Lifestyle (Twin & Double with rain-shower).
Personalised butler service.
Plenty of in-house dining options (casual dining at Luna, casual and formal at Lola, teppanyaki at Kitano, or private dining in Labu and 1908).
Renowned for its cleverly themed degustation meals.
In-room amenities include a pillow menu and a seemingly endless supply of Kiehls toiletries.
Mod cons include in-suite coffee machine, iPod docking station, LED TV, DVD player, safe, IDD telephone, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Complimentary water and mixers mini-bar, evening cocktails and canapés all included (payable mini-bar also in-suite).
Has two pools, a small one that’s a bit too close to the main restaurant, and a second one that’s a brief shuttle ride from the main part of the hotel.
Part of the Small Luxury Hotels portfolio.
Has the ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ stamp of approval.
L Hotel is situated on Jalan Raya Petitenget, No. 8L, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.
Rates start from AUD$290.00 including tax.
Mr & Mrs Smith guarantees this rate and are offering a full‘Pamper Me’ package (see below):
Included in the ‘Pamper Me’ package is a traditional Indian Ayurverdic head massage per guest.
For more information or bookings visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or phone 1800 896 627.
THE ‘PAMPER ME’ PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Private Ubud day trip with personal butler
- One-hour spa treatment for two
- One three-course dinner for two, including two glasses of L house wine
- Free early check-in and late check-out
- Free upgrade to next room type
- Daily complimentary USD 15 F&B credit voucher
- Daily minibar with beer and soft drinks
- Daily laundry service for four garments
- Seminyak beach and shopping shuttle service
- Gift on departure
Photography courtesy the L Hotel.
Additional photography by Melina Tati.