I travelled to Indonesia a fortnight ago to visit a friend building a luxury resort on the Island of Flores. Unfortunately the last flight leaving from Denpasar to Flores is at 4pm, the same time the flights from Australia land. This meant I had a night to kill in Bali and where better to do it than the incredible One Eleven Resort Bali located in Seminyak.
For those that haven’t been to Bali, the airport and the roads are chaos, which makes the chauffeured pickup and cool moist toilette a wonderful treat. The One Eleven staff are attentive and informative with a solid grasp of English and willingness to converse. Sometimes I forget how relaxing a chauffeured pick up is, hot and bothered, straight off the plane, not having to deal with taxi drivers looking to rip you off or directions to the hotel. When I arrived at the One Eleven property I was refreshed and eager to explore.
Like many of Bali’s villas and hotels the reception is open to the elements with a single check in desk, the perfect size for a reception that needs only accommodate nine villas at one time. Check in was swift and painless and before I knew it was being escorted down the path en route to Villa 2, my home for the evening.
When the door opened to the Villa I was greeted with a huge internal courtyard, pool and open plan apartment with full sized kitchen. The space is so large that it’s initially overwhelming and even though I knew it was just for me, I double checked just to make sure.
I was directed into the standalone treatment room for a foot wash and then presented the breakfast menu and told the chef would come in at a time of my choosing to prepare breakfast for me. After a quick tour of the room and its features I was left to relax with a dip in the pool and a lengthy session standing under the stairs in the outdoor shower.
Inside One Eleven, above the reception, resides Shiro Bar one of Bali’s top Sushi restaurants. The minimalistic space decorated in wood accommodates around 20 guests with chef Shiro-san preparing the food in front of diners at the bar. Interior architect Shigemasa Noi has created a warm and welcoming atmosphere despite the venue being very quiet. The menu features a host of individual plates as well as a choice of three set menus ranging from $60-$120 AUD, with the option to include Sake for an additional cost. Housed in one of the most exclusive hotels in the Seminyak, you have to expect to pay such prices and thankfully Shiro’s food holds its own with sublime sashimi, delicious grilled cod and delicate mixed tempura (including possibly the biggest king prawn I’ve ever consumed). I highly recommend booking a table for a special occasion evening in Seminyak even if you’re not staying at One Eleven.
When my alarm went off at 7am I pulled my curtains back and stepped straight out of the bedroom and into the pool. Having arrived at night the day before I was finally able to appreciate the room in all of its glory. Realising I’d made a mistake climbing out of the extraordinary bed so early I returned to write some emails and enjoy the view out onto my private villa.
A quick dunk in the huge stone bath was followed by the doorbell, at 8am on the dot, when the chef entered with two more staff and got to work cooking my breakfast and laying out an incredible selection of breakfast bites. It’s a surreal experience watching 3 people prepare a meal and fuss over you while you sit in front of pastries, smoothies, yogurt, fruit, coffee and then two individual hot meals (I was alone but because the room is for two they insisted I choose two meals). Semi bewildered I thanked the staff and then sampled the Eggs Benedict and Mie goreng – both sensational.
With a transfer back to the airport waiting for me I was eventually faced with the depressing task of packing my bag and the depressing realisation of leaving. I threw everything into my bag as quickly as possible and spent every last minute I could in the pool before climbing out, putting my clothes on and exiting in one fluid movement.
When I climbed into the car to go back to the airport I thought about the two biggest issues of my stay at One Eleven. The first was that I’d wasted it alone, the second that I only spent a night. One Eleven is a phenomenal resort, one that absolutely must be shared with someone special and I won’t be making the same mistake next time!