Cool and slow
You might need a coat at The Slow, it’s so cool (metaphorically only, the air-con is fine), an arrow piercing the heart of Canggu’s hipstaville since it opened in December 2016.
The style is paradise-meets-urban-industrial or as they describe the aesthetic, “tropical brutalism”, which continues from the excellent street-front restaurant (go, eat!) and into the sophisticated suites beyond and above in the three-storey building.
This small but luxurious boutique hotel haven’t just got it right with its good looks and food, the staff and service are friendly, charming and understated, and even the most unhip guest (TravelFish writers) will be made to feel welcome.
We’ll say upfront the only thing we thought lacking was there is no communal swimming pool, so unless you bag one of the four pool suites, you’ll have to swim at the beach. The Slow offers twelve cavernous rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, polished cement floors, stone-clad walls and golden native woods. It’s raw, but warm and calming, and invites you to go slow.
An eclectic art collection throughout, the two rooms we viewed were both graced with large works by queen-of-hip photographer Kate Bellm as well as traditional Indonesian craftworks. Beds and custom-made furnishings are comfortable as expected, and we love the hand-crafted rattan lounge chair.
Jade-coloured plunge pools in the Pool Suites run the length of the room flanked by palm trees and tropical greenery within high cement walls. It’s a courtyard outlook so no view beyond which we found a little claustrophobic, but flooded with light.
For more of an outlook (but not much to see), you’ll have to move upstairs (note: no lift) to one of the even more generously sized Grand Suites with custom screens that swivel open to views of the neighbourhood. So switch off the air-con, flick on the ceiling fan and let the fresh frangipani-tinged (hopefully not burning plastic) tropical breeze waft in.
Feeling peckish or fancy a nightcap? The artisanal snacks and spirits in the minibar are something special, but for a cold drink you’ll have to head to the bar, as we didn’t see a fridge (it may be coming, as was newly opened when we dropped in). Walk-in hot-water rain showers in the spacious ensuite bathrooms are made even more refreshing with locally made organic bath lotions and potions.
As twilight descends, hightail it to the open-air rooftop lounge for views and drinks (though not on a wet night) before a meal in the excellent and innovative restaurant below. The slow is a solid top-level pick, clearly a league apart, but if it’s tropical gardens, views and large swimming pools you desire from a luxury stay in Bali, this is not the place. Otherwise, as they say: get there fast.
For more tradition-style luxury in a clam setting, Puri Beji B&B offers stylish rooms around a communal pool or for opulence and extravagance, Hotel Tugu Bali is our top Canggu pick and you can mix it with a downward dog at a yoga retreat at Desa Seni.
By Sally Arnold
Last updated on 15th March, 2017.
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