Katie Truman gets spoiled at The Trans Resort Bali, where luxurious attention to detail transcends the norm.
Driving along Sunset Road, The Trans Resort Bali looks pretty impressive and once past its high walls, this multiple award-winning resort – owned by Indonesian mega group CT Corp – is, amazingly, even more so.
Where space is a luxury in Seminyak, The Trans bucks the trend; the resort and accommodations are huge – size does matter. Its world-class MICE venue (recently bagging the ASEAN Tourism Standard Award 2018) boasts underground parking and the largest ballroom in the hood. And the magnificent open-sided lobby, complete with chic lounge-bar, is monster-sized, totally dominated here by a specially commissioned duo of gigantic art works by celebrated Balinese artist, Nyoman Gunarsa – this maestro’s largest and final paintings.
The lobby’s sophisticated blend of rich Indonesian tradition and contemporary refinement and luxurious touches and décor, including lavish attention to detail and premium materials and finishes, sets the scene for what lies beyond.
The Trans may appear enormous, but is home to just 200, exceptionally-appointed guestrooms sprawled over tropical gardens; resulting in more spaciousness and highly personable service from the super-friendly staff to the hands-on, amiable GM, Alex Jovanovic. All 184 Premier and Premier Club rooms (65-square-metres) and Celebrity Suites (130-square-metres) frame the centrepiece White Sandy Beach Pool and are equipped with balcony Jacuzzis.
The biggest surprise, however, is the sumptuous ‘Balinese Kampung-style’ villa estate of 16 palatial pool villas hidden at the rear; a leafy, verdant oasis, a world away from nearby Sunset Road and Seminyak’s shenanigans. Who knew? At 350-square-metres, the 15, one-bedroom villas are some of the island’s biggest, but the crown jewel is the opulent, three-bedroom Villa, the aptly-named Presidential Suite; a favourite of corporate types and Asian celebrities, covering 700-square-metres with a 12-metre-long pool, dedicated 24-hour butler and exquisite living-dining areas decorated with Gunarsa paintings.
The Luxe Life
On arrival, I’m whisked away to my private one-bedroom villa by my female butler, who is thankfully on call 24/7. The pretty, high-walled gardens contain a lap pool, sun deck, two bales and ornamental water features and within, the alang-alang topped villa’s generous-sized living and bedroom spaces drip with plush bespoke furniture, woods polished to a sheen and striking art works by Indonesian artist, Sunaryo. Creature comforts run from a multi-media docking station and espresso coffee machine to stashes of candied fruits and house-made cookies.
This self-confessed bathroom snob is delighted with the oversized Italian marble bathroom, with an ample-sized, glass encased overhead rain shower, his ‘n’ hers wash basins, super-posh Acqua di Parma Italian toiletries and the biggest heap of bathroom amenities I’ve ever come across – all strikingly packaged. Bathrobes are made of silk and even the slippers are deep-pile fluffy; the ergonomically- designed Jacuzzi bathtub is a villa exclusive and the Toto Neorest, the ‘Mercedes Benz of Toilets’ (also available in the Suites) ensues hours of mindless entertainment.
Beyond this indulgent bolt-hole, there’s certainly enough to keep me occupied. After a dip in my divine pool, I drag myself off to The Club Lounge – an elegant, intimate space exclusive to Villa, Suites and Premier Club guests – in time for the complimentary Evening Canapé and Cocktail session. Butlers can organize in-villa BBQs or candlelit dinners, but I head to the pool-side restaurant; its global, strictly Halal all-day menu, ranging from comfort food and Dim Sum to French gourmet and healthy selections, keep the resort’s diverse guests happy. Dynamic kitchen duo – French-Algerian Executive Sous Chef, Amaury Belkhanfar (formerly installed at Michelin-starred restaurants) and Indonesian Executive Chef, Allen Stevano – quiz me on dinner preferences, which results in fluffy foie gras with freshly baked breads and succulent duck breast drizzled with rich jus – washed down with a crisp Australian Sauvignon Blanc.
Back at my villa, a long soak in the Jacuzzi is swiftly followed by sinking, literally, into my insanely comfy bed, complete with custom-made 320-thread-count Egyptian cotton and stack of goose down pillows. As throughout, The Trans founder-Chairman, Chairul Tanjung, has gone to extraordinary lengths on his quest for the best, including personally “researching” the finest mattresses.
After a blissful slumber, I’m up early for a yoga class, one of many complimentary guest activities available, before a well-earned “Celebration Breakfast”; the vast array of dishes almost leaving me dizzy (and obscenely full). Time for a lie-down and swim at the main pool, its shallow beach zone with dazzling white “sugar sand,” a Godsend for families and post-breakfast.
Burrowed within the villa enclave, the resort’s Balinese-style Spa is a convenient short totter from my villa. Here, I try the signature Wine Elixir treatment, whereby my therapist pours chilled red wine over me whilst lying in the tub – apparently, wine has excellent antioxidant and skin softening properties. Before check-out, I’m after some alcohol to actually drink, so cocktails at The 18th Rooftop Bar and the awesome 360-degree sunset and Seminyak views, seems the perfect fit.
Although I feel diva-worthy with all my villa’s extravagant indulgences, besides the different room sizes, most of The Trans accommodations feature much of the same features, especially concerning the bathrooms – ensuring everyone can experience the luxury touch at very affordable rates. All round very impressive.