Review: One Eleven, Bali

This resort in Seminyak, Bali, has no pool, no spa and no all-day restaurant. Instead, it brings everything to your own villa

There are hotels where you check in and sort of forget to do much of anything other than enjoy the facilities; One Eleven in Seminyak, Bali is just that sort of place. If you truly want someplace to live a life less ordinary, if only for a little while, then this is just the ticket. Now you have to consider this carefully because One Eleven is not for everyone. Take a look at the official website and you will understand. If this strikes your fancy – you will know immediately – then come back and read on for my experience of the place. If not, you have just saved yourself some time.

So then, what kind of resort in a tropical paradise does its presentation in stylized black and white? Clearly, the people behind this resort are not interested in being another Four Seasons or even an Aman, no disrespect to either of those places. It so happens that our team recently acquainted itself of the Four Seasons in JimbaranBay and rediscovered Amandari in Ubud and have nothing but good things to say.

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This is what One Eleven looks like from the outside. It is a bit fortress-like...

To return properly to One Eleven, I have gotten a little ahead of myself and I hope you have indeed looked at the resort’s website or you will be understandably perplexed. A familiar promise contemporary hotels make is that you will find yourself in an oasis of serenity and seclusion while being in the thick of the action; fortresses of solitude if you will for the smartphone toting post-3G generation. One Eleven makes the same promise but, I dare say, it keeps it.

O Neighbor Where Art Thou

Throughout my stay, I did not so much as bump into another guest on the way to breakfast. Ok, that is mostly because breakfast is both made and served in the villa. Yes, each of the nine villas has its own kitchen and yes, there are only nine villas spread across the 5,000 sqm property.

Arriving at One Eleven, you will not fail to notice how close it is to the heart of the action; this is Seminyak of course and Laksmana street – home to Ku De Ta amongst others – is a short walk away. Of course, the hotel can arrange transport if you prefer but old Bali hands know that walking is better, if possible, given the chaotic traffic of virtually every main street in Seminyak.

One thing you may fail to notice actually is One Eleven itself. The façade is entirely inconspicuous and so low-key that the image most used to introduce the place is a path inside the resort! Again, remember the One Eleven website…

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The pool in front of the villa is no mere water feature. Each villa looks pretty much like this

Walking in, just before you hit this path, as you pass the contemporary wood façade and detailing, you might wonder where the pool is. Well, it is actually in your villa so there will be no swim meets here with other guests; one less opportunity to mix it up with the neighbors. About that façade, one commentator likens it to a Balinese take on the Japanese ryokan concept but I am just not sure. Whatever the case might be there, One Eleven tells me that there are more than a million pots in the vertical garden that maintains the resort’s quietude, which is very impressive indeed and a totally random bit of information.

Your Own Private Bali

When you do get to your villa though, which is set in a row alongside the other villas facing the vertical garden, you finally see the properly made-up ‘face’ of the resort. One Eleven saves its best for the interior each villa so you could say the best part of the resort is what is in your room. This is of course vitally important if you plan on staying in as much as possible.

To recap a little, do recall that each 350 sqm villa comes with its own 14-meter long pool, fully equipped kitchen and an outdoor living room. The whole setup (excluding the room and attached bathroom) is open to the outdoor area and does not have curtains or screens and such. In a way, it is the kind of home some people truly fancy, practical considerations aside. Privacy is assured so there is no need to be coy at all here; there is nothing at all to stop you from diving into the pool from the living room if you so desire. There is also a 35 sqm spa gazebo in place, which I will come back to in a moment. 

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While it looks like the world can look in on you easily from this picture, it simply isn't possible

 

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The bedroom and bathroom are the only air-conditioned areas in the villa. You can open the door and jump right into the pool 

Seminyak is known for its upscale spa options and here is another way One Eleven is totally different: there is no spa. Well, the spa is in your villa and to arrange a treatment, you call the front desk or speak to your personal assistant. As is essential to most such all-villa propositions, a personal assistant or butler is assigned to each villa. To borrow a phrase from Bill Murray in Mad Dog & Glory, this is the expediter of your dreams. There is an extensive menu of spa offerings encompassing treatments, massages and facials. To enjoy any of them, all you have to do is select something, set a time, make a phone call and everyone comes to you. It is like a magic trick, in the best sort of way, and it happens here on-demand.

Dreams, Expedited

Let us get into this on-demand matter a little further. Like so many other things, there is no bar (sort of) at One Eleven because it also comes to you. Call out and the team will drop by at a time of your choosing and make a lovely refreshing drink for you and your party. Rest assured, it is your party because it is in your villa, not some kind of common space. It is like having a bartender drop by and make you a nightcap, if you feel like having one.

Meals are also prepared right in your villa’s kitchen, with an entire crew coming over to do a pleasantly elaborate table setup and create the meal itself. Once you have finished your meal, the crew comes back and cleans up, although they do clean up immediately after cooking, if that sort of thing is important to you. To sum all this up, the experience is very romantic indeed and honeymooning couples in particular will appreciate all the in-villa magic. Well, any couple really into each other’s company will dig on One Eleven.

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Shiro as it appears without staff or customers. Note the impressive wood detailing

There is one restaurant in One Eleven that even the most embarrassingly intimate of couples should drag themselves out of bed for. Shiro is a sushi and sake bar (thus explaining the sort of earlier) where the chef is able to personally pay attention to you. The place is very cozy so there will never be so many guests that you will feel crowded out.

Once more though, the One Eleven experience is what you want to make of it and there are some downsides. Inside your villa, you are ensconced in your own world, without anything separating you from the outside environment. For city slickers, being unboxed like this is a little unsettling and it is the tropics so there are some consequences – it is hot, humid and the mosquitoes will come for you. As is the usual practice in high end places, fogging does take place and the turn down service includes the placement of mosquito repellant coils and such. I can honestly report that insects of any kind were not a serious problem and I did not need to cover in fear under mosquito netting at night.

The heat and humidity though are a problem. In the open area, there is no air-conditioning of course and you get by with a ceiling fan. Since I spent nearly all my time in the villa, I admit that I was either forced into the bedroom where there is air-conditioning or threw myself with wild (and repeated) abandon into the pool. The pool will also be your one source of exercise because – wait for it – there is no gym and One Eleven does not magically conjure up exercise equipment for you. Well, you cannot have everything you know… 

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The view of One Eleven when you arrive and leave, giving nothing away about wonders within

Address

One Eleven
Jl. Pangkung Sari No. 3
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia

One Eleven

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