Rent it All
The old saying, "a man's home is his castle" may have to be up-dated. The word "man" should probably be updated to "person", just so we are politically correct. And best not to forget our four-legged friends as well.
Everything from castles to creative coziness is popping up on the Island of the Gods – Bali. The streets are teeming with holiday-makers from every corner of the universe.
Their impact is profound. Attempting the simple act of going out for dinner in a popular restaurant without a reservation could leave you going to bed without supper.
Down in Seminyak is Luna2, which has positioned itself as a "Private Hotel". Directly on the beach near the trendy Ku De Ta and Potato Head restaurants, the location remains one to die for.
Entering the five-room hotel, it is immediately clear why owner and designer Melanie Hall describes the decor as "funked up modernism". It's like peering into Alice's looking glass.
At US$4,000 a night, the experience is complete with 26 staff at your beck and call 24 hours a day. Hall, who has a background in visual merchandising in fashion brands including Calvin Klein and Polo Ralph Lauren, has an acute eye for the stunning, subdued and ironic.
Walking over a fish pond on the veranda, you can see that even the fish – which come in two distinct colors – have been thoughtfully installed to add to the ambiance.
Manager and Executive Chef, Danny Drinkwater is on hand to say hello. Danny worked with the global chain Hyatt for a number of years, with his last posting being at the Park Hyatt in Sydney. There he headed up the wildly successful Harbour Kitchen & Bar, which was created by iconic creative talent, Tony Chi.
In the Private Hotel are two full-time chefs to arrange breakfast, lunch and dinner
Guests are encouraged to throw functions and parties, and the chilled atmosphere has been the scene of some very high-profile gatherings.
One thing Danny clearly points out is that this is not just a villa, but a hotel where you, and whoever is lucky enough to be in tow, are the only guests. He shows me the well-stocked wine cellar and large walk-in refrigerator, and I am comforted to know that everything under the sun is available here.
Rooms have been themed with specially designed carpets by Melanie. Philippe Starck Cube toilets and Ghost chairs add to the flair for the unusual.
Features include an in-house theater and a special kids entertainment room with all the mod cons and an inlay of Marilyn Monroe on the bottom of the swimming pool. But be warned: it's not garish. Instead, it's thoughtfully inspiring and quite cool.
A new expansion nearby will house 14 Luna2 studios, or what they are calling studiotels. Set to open by mid next year, the vision will be extended to smaller spaces but will have an intimate 30-seat restaurant and underground member's only private club. Now that sounds interesting.
There are plans for the group to move overseas and expand the Luna2 brand and Private Hotel concept. The unique selling propositions of this property are too many to list.
Outside is a small fleet of Lunamobiles and a Smart Car.
Bali continues to have an inspirational effect on the region's resorts. Two other properties here – Istana and The Edge – have moved into similar territory by creating a niche in providing small, private and priced-up experiences.
Stepping into the waiting Lunamobile, I'm off into the blazing tropical afternoon, and can't help but wish I was sleeping at Luna2 tonight.