Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak, Bali reopens after major expansion

If any venue defines the trendy Seminyak experience Australian travellers love, it's Potato Head Beach Club. When it opened in 2010 in Bali's most fashionable enclave, it was one of the first on the island with a rooftop bar, making it a hot see-and-be-seen venue for the boho and the beautiful from the get-go. And it didn't take a step backwards from there, with the hip 58-suite Katamama hotel opening next door in 2016.

Indonesian entrepreneurial owner Ronald Akili launched an expanded offering under a new Desa (village) Potato Head banner in early 2020, comprising the suite hotel, the 168-room Potato Head Studios, restaurants, co-working spaces, music and art venues as well as a significant expansion of the original beach club, all with an eco, creative vibe.

Then, of course, the unthinkable happened, and Desa Potato Head, like all of Bali's tourism and hospitality industries, was shuttered.

Now it's thrown its doors open again in line with the rest of the island, with Katamama renamed to Potato Head Suites – after all, the brand is Bali-synonymous for a good time.

While the hiatus in mass tourism prompted many other operators to consider how they could be more eco-forward, Potato Head was already ahead of the game and Akili is hoping it will inspire others to move from eco-thought to action.

In 2018 Potato Head took the United Nations' Climate Neutral Now pledge to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and made a policy of using rubbish in innovative ways, achieving close to zero-waste operations.

During border closures, the Sweet Potato Project supplied a plot and trained staff to grow vegetables, keeping them employed and fed, as well as feeding others in need.

"We wanted to focus on doing everything we could to help Bali and the Balinese people to get back on their feet," Akili told Tatler Asia.

"People have become more aware of not going back to mass tourism, but a better, more conscious way of tourism. We owe it to the destination we're in, we owe it to our team, we owe it to the local communities. If you're interested in a destination, don't just preserve it; make it better for future generations."

See potatohead.co/seminyak