With two striking luminous towers, an azure sea backdrop and classy French cuisine, this sprawling venue is where glamour sparkles in South Bali
Sitting at the tip of Tanjung Benoa peninsula, SAKALA offers options to those who like to come in style. You can drive there straight from the airport passing Jimbaran and the Bypass Nusa Dua Road, taking around 40 minutes or so. The upcoming shortcut road though will reduce that time to roughly 20 minutes. There’s no fuss about parking; a valet service is at your beck and call. If you stay at one of the hotels in the vicinity, just stroll along the beach until two kulkul (bell) towers piercing Bali’s quiet sky get your attention. Alternatively, make a splash and arrive on a yacht. SAKALA is huge, so finding it from a distance is a piece of cake.
The 3,000-sqm total area is designed with class, so to speak. The big main pool that separates the two towers looks resplendent during the day. Flanked by many a cabana, SAKALA’s multilevel Sea Terrace is an exclusive “beach club” overlooking Benoa Harbour. But under the towers is where the magic happens. Business deals are done in the 32-seat VIP Lounge, all set with a state-of-the-art projection wall and sound system. Meanwhile, the air-con restaurant, catered by chef Frédéric Boulay, gets the romance going. The extensive wine menu also doesn’t hurt, and the bar is innovative, serving its own versions of exotic concoctions. Try the Salak Bali. Otherwise the Chilli Chocolate Martini should do the trick.
For a full view of the panorama, head up to the Sky Decks. Throw a glance beyond the sea and you’ll make out the majestic Mount Agung standing erect on the horison. This backdrop serves as a natural landscape for weddings and corporate events alike. During sunrise is the best time to have your pre-wed photos taken. And if height is not an object, the private Kulkul towers might entice those seeking a one-of-a-kind wedding chapel in Bali, with 25 guest seats in cosy air-conditioning.
SAKALA is pretty much an all-rounder venue. I’ve come in the evening when a band is serenading diners with soothing soundtracks, or when a fashion party is kicking off, summoning models to strut their stuff on the floating catwalk over the pool. The deft waiters are prompt to take your orders and subsequently deliver them to the table. Considering the chef’s reputable distinction, suffice to say that good food is right up SAKALA’s alley.
in a nutshell
SAKALA simply fits the bill as a place where highbrows and the crème de la crème rub elbows should you prefer something that’s practical and housed outside major hotels on the island. That said, the flexibility to plan your own event thoroughly from start to finish is possibly limitless. No strict five-star rules will restrict your ideas. Even if you opt for wearing no highheels, the venue’s sandy frontage will welcome you with wide-open arms. Indoors or outdoors, the choice is all yours to make.
Jl. Pratama no. 88, Tanjung Benoa, T: +62 361 77 4499, www.sakalabali.com
By Chris Andre. Published in Hello Bali, May 2013.