A masterpiece is usually associated with a work of art – something born through a meticulous creative process, resulting in a piece or material that touched many souls. We’ve seen paintings and sculptures, watched films, listened to records and read poems and books that falls into this definition. But can a form of architectural construction considered a masterpiece? Because we may have found one
Before I start this review, I have to tell you that I’m quite good with words. But I’m also a big fan of architecture greatness. So when visiting and staying a night at Balquisse Heritage Hotel (where it’s designed by their founder and interior designer superstar Zhora Boukhari) have taken all the words out of me, you’ll know that it’s such a flawless piece of work. So, let me try to arrange my words carefully so I can share you one of the most memorable.
Once I walked in, I was already welcomed by the semi-outdoor Asam Garam restaurant in all its simplistic splendour – the counter on one side and several packs of dissimilar dining table arrangements under its tall roof. Their kitchen was just on my right, straight across the rAestaurant, in the most unassuming façade of a large wooden container box. The first of three swimming pools comes next just after a long lounge area that’s decorated with handpicked antiquities from statues, long chairs to vintage suitcases. This first pool sets in front of a row of Balquisse’s prized curated rooms, where each and one of them were designed to be contrasting from one room to another.
Other set of rooms are built in front of the second pool, and both of these public areas ended with a wall in the East. Behind this wall though, is where I got astonished for real. A large eye pampering green grass area with a path made of a seemingly unorganized lime stones and hanging lights on the side leads me towards Shaba, Balquisse’s multi-function house. The old colonial architecture just gets me – thick white pillars, a terrace that goes all around the building and numerous wicker seats for afternoon tea overlooking the garden, and colourful vines covering parts of the roof and entrance. Then I stepped in, and I got even more star-strucked because there’s an actual Moroccan style courtyard inside – complete with a fountain in the middle, hanging plants and patterned tiles. Shaba hosts two luxury suites, two more lounges, a dining area and the third and last pool in the back.
My room was at the rear end of the whole complex. One of the two new traditional teak house, It only consists of three areas, from the front to back are the patio, bedroom/living room and the bathroom – but boy was it beautiful. Yet, it has everything that defines the signature Zhora. Natural wood dominating the room from top to bottom? Check. Vintage furnitures that came out of a niche flea market? Check. Earthy but nonetheless flamboyant fabrics? Check. An accurate set up of spatial arrangement? Check. The whole rustic feel from chipped woods, high ceiling, crumpled drapes and dingy rugs was surprisingly warm and attainable. Like coming home to my grandparents’ house, it was no surprise that I slept like a baby and woke up the next morning only to the sounds of birds chirping just outside on my porch.
It’s like living in a dream, really, to have experienced a stay at Balquisse Heritage Hotel. From stepping into the property until I left the following day, this place was a spoiling indulgence for my artistic senses. The various combinations of masterful craftmanship, subtle but stunning design, the perfect layout and site planning (which cohesively worked around the area’s natural challenges) with the brilliant details in textures, patterns, colours and materials, all the while caters different activities, culminates in something I would just simply describe as a jewel of a hotel – one to treasure for a long time.
Balquisse Heritage Hotel
Jalan Uluwatu No.18X, Jimbaran
T: +62 361 701 695