Stone Me

December 1, 2012 frvtravel

The first Autograph Collection by Marriott International in Asia Pacific – The Stones Legian, Bali – makes its debut, successfully managing to stay  a  step ahead of the  competition with unusual twists and unexpected experiences.

Text: Katie Truman

Autograph Collection by Marriott International, a distinctive and exclusive portfolio of independent hotels, defines itself by ‘less predictable stays’ and ‘unexpected delights’ and strives to be innovatively alternative for the discerning traveler. Their first-ever hotel in the Asia Pacific region, The Stones Legian, Bali, manages to have ticked all the above boxes since opening this October – just as well, since it’s among a heap of swanky new hotels unleashed in not-so-swanky Legian and Kuta, blurring together on Bali’s southwest coast.

Luxurious The Stones succeeds in being different and unexpected, from check-ins with welcome popsicle (as opposed to drink) and ‘magic hand towels’ (miniscule bamboo cloths dipped in water to expand), to ‘pool butlers,’ multi-tasking pool boys and girls kitted-out in funky urban garb.

Surprisingly, given Legian’s increasing congestion, practically everything in this 308-room hotel comes Texan-sized; from the open-air, temple-like lobby to the jaw-dropping Presidential Suite – surely the island’s largest – dripping in retro elegance throughout its three floors and four bedrooms. Its exclusive rooftop raises the bar for presidential suites with private pool and bar and of course, a helipad – Legian’s first. Conference facilities, one of their main markets, covers two dividable ballrooms and meeting spaces sprawled over 3,000 square metres and two levels: the Grand Ballroom alone is Bali’s largest pillar-less variety.

And beyond the lobby, the hotel centrepiece, another whopping 3,000sqm of sapphire-blue, lagoon-style pool, as inviting as a bath and taking practically all day to swim across (well, it feels like it) – which means, despite guest numbers, you still have enough personal space. All surrounded by a five-storey accommodation wing and three in-house restaurants which take Legian’s previously uninspiring culinary options up a notch. Off the pool deck, there’s a sublime communal hot-tub (de rigueur after a hard day’s conferencing), a swim-up sunken bar and eclectic spots for lolling, including semi-submerged sun-beds, thatched cabanas and ‘hammock hill’ – a grassy mound with hammocks strung between palm trees. The poolside entertainment deck sets the stage for sunset performances, which feature a lone saxophonist followed by an alternative take on Balinese fire dances accompanied by African drums and didgeridoo.

Guestrooms are light, bright and kept deliberately minimalist, with blond tones punctuated by a few lime-green accessories. Continuing the surprises, bathrooms are entrance-positioned and guest supplies include kimonos and flip-flops (for smarter pool visits), Italian-made espresso machines with hand-painted demitasse, plus iPads and pre-programmed iPods, complimentary for guest use.

Most rooms face onto the pool and reveal The Stones’ most delicious signature – ultra-private balconies with daybeds and stand-alone bathtubs (or on the ground-floor, whirlpools taking-up the entire terrace), for sensuous, on-the-edge bathing. Playful touches, which The Stones other main market savvy and youngish fun couples of all persuasions and sociable singles, will surely appreciate. Memo to self: close the balcony curtains, otherwise you will end-up as the sunset entertainment.

This five-star isn’t a beachfront-sunset hotel, but that’s all there just a quick stagger across Legian’s beach promenade and it’s near to Legian and Kuta’s notorious nightspots, shopping, dining and more. Positioned far enough back from the beach, road and shimmering mayhem of these party-charged suburbs, The Stones welcomes like a vast urban sanctuary, another world away.

 

The Stones Legian Bali
Autograph Collection
Jalan Raya Pantai Kuta
Tel: +62 361 302 5888
www.stoneshotelbali.com

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