In the hip Seminyak district, Sheriden Rhodes feels right at home at its newest hotel.
It's Saturday night at a busy modern Italian trattoria facing the beach. I'm sipping a perfectly executed Negroni and the contemporary space, decked out in colourful murals by Dinosaur Design's Stephen Ormandy, is buzzing. Smartly dressed staff in bespoke Chossy Latu uniforms attend to well-heeled diners - women in bohemian kaftans and jewelled sandals - delivering drinks and shared plates of cured meats, crunchy bread sticks and house-made tortellini filled with veal, prosciutto and black truffle. Waves crash on the shore as the sun slips beneath the ocean. Couples fresh from a dip in the surf stroll hand in hand, eating gelato. If you didn't know better you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in Bondi, not hustling, bustling Seminyak on the Island of the Gods.
I'm dining at Seminyak Italian Food, the hub of the new Double-Six Luxury Hotel, a joint offering from Balinese entrepreneur Kadek Wiranatha, responsible for the iconic Ku de Ta, hip Cocoon and evergreen Chez Gado Gado, and Australian restaurateur Robert Marchetti of Icebergs and North Bondi Italian fame. No wonder I'm having deja vu.
Marchetti is responsible for the creative direction of all five food and beverage offerings at Double-Six, a property that positions itself as an entertainment destination with rooms, rather than a traditional hotel. Although he says the outlets are not aimed at an Australian audience in particular, this guy clearly knows what Aussies, (Bali's second biggest market), want. "I built this with me in mind," he tells me over a drink at the bar, "somewhere where I'd want to eat".
On the restaurant ceiling a Justine Missen graphic plots Marchetti's journey from his hometown in Italy to Double-Six Seminyak. He currently lives at Canggu, a popular expat village, in what he describes as an "amazing villa" but travels to Sydney and Canberra regularly for his work with QT.
All of Double-Six's outlets feel incredibly familiar, which again isn't particularly surprising given Marchetti has bought over key members of his Australian team.
At 1700 square metres, it is one of the world's largest rooftop venues and features a theatrical theme with a dash of Carmen Miranda thrown in for good measure. An enormous five-metre circular grill, offering the "United Flavours of Satay" grilling satay over coconut shells and wood, is a focal point.
Still under construction is Marchetti's piece de resistance, The Plantation Grill and Sling Bar. Showing us around the signature restaurant site, which opens next month, Marchetti is animated.
The huge space will flaunt '20s style with marble finishes; a vaulted double-height ceiling with plantation blinds looking seawards. The upstairs Sling Bar meanwhile will channel the Great Gatsby with martinis, dark spirits and classic bar food, Marchetti says.
With the heavy focus on wining and dining, you'd assume the hotel side of things is an afterthought, but this isn't the case. Spearheaded by Wiranatha and described as his most "challenging project to date", the chic property is an all-suite affair featuring 146 rooms, including eight penthouses.
On arrival at my ocean-facing suite, I'm met by my butler Deva and handed a welcome cocktail of crushed ice, lime and vodka (optional). The suite is 80 square metres - which is not unusual for Bali's villas but unique for a hotel in the heart of Seminyak. Double doors open to a curved deck that leads directly into the 120-metre pool, which wraps around the front of the hotel. All of the one and two-bedroom suites come with balconies, palatial bathrooms featuring a flat screen over a freestanding bath, espresso machine, 24-hour butler service, in-car check-in (so you can go straight to your room on arrival) and Hermes toiletries. Some have ocean views and direct pool access, others have private plunge pools.
My idea of heaven was waking up to a cloudless Bali sky (August temperatures in Bali are the pick of the year, hovering around 26 degrees with little humidity), and being served an in-suite breakfast featuring Marchetti's version of nasi goreng with shrimp, organic rice, organic 64-degree egg, coriander, coal-grilled free-range chicken on sugarcane skewers with a fresh coconut juice. The on-site Acqua Perla Spa meanwhile is futuristic-looking and offers a unique hydra trail (which frankly you either love or loathe) and excellent massages.
The hotel's location along one of Bali's best known stretches of beach, with beach club Cocoon as a neighbour, is both the best thing going for the property and the worst. The "doof doof" of Cocoon next door can interrupt the ambience of the spa, while a bar across the road on the beach made sleep near on impossible during Indonesian Independence Day celebrations that continued till 3am.
Staff quickly responded however and moved me to a quieter room in the north wing, so non-partygoers should request a room on this side of the hotel. The bar opposite is expected to go eventually, being replaced by Double-Six's own beach club.
Traffic in and out of the property meanwhile is a nightmare. Double-Six accurately positions itself as a destination unto itself and is best suited for travellers who, once they've arrived, are more than happy to settle in for the duration.
With the calibre of dining and bars on-site, the buzz of Seminyak on your doorstep and the beach opposite, you won't in anyway be missing out.
The writer was a guest of Double-Six Luxury Hotel Seminyak and Garuda Indonesia.
Garuda Indonesia flies daily from Sydney and Melbourne to Bali. Flying Sydney-Denpasar, the airline offers onboard immigration processing, meaning that on arrival you can whiz through immigration, avoiding the often-lengthy queues. See garuda-indonesia.com.
The new Double-Six Luxury Hotel Seminyak offers suites from $450 plus taxes a night, including breakfast for two. See double-six.com.
Order "The Russian" for breakfast - soft-boiled quail eggs, lemon vodka iced granita, sour cream, chives and wholemeal blinis with optional caviar supplement (for an extra $22).