Desa Potato Head: Bali’s First Creative Village

What's On | Written By, Life on the Island |

When Potato Head Beach Club opened back in 2010, no one could have imagined what was in store. Fast forward ten years later and what was once a landmark destination for music, sunsets and cocktails, has evolved into an eclectic amalgamation of culture, design and sustainability with the birth of Desa Potato Head, Bali’s first creative village. 

Desa Potato Head Studios Bali
Façade of Potato Head Beach Club – photo by Tommaso Riva

Although, the beach club was never just a simple food and beverage hotspot. Its iconic façade, a colosseum of up-cycled vintage windows designed by renowned architect Andra Matin was the first sign that this was something different.

Then, as the place matured, new elements were introduced: sustainability events, cultural talks and shows, diverse musical performances and DJs. These became the building blocks for the future of Potato Head. 

Desa Potato Head Studios Bali NOW! Bali 2
Central courtyard of the Potato Head Studios

The village : Desa Potato Head

Today, the space is almost unrecognisable. Known as Desa Potato Head (desa meaning village), the complex encompasses the Beach Club, Katamama and now the final phase with the opening of Potato Head Studios, which lines the front of Seminyak Beach. ‘The Desa’ has been conceived as a multidimensional experience that goes beyond hospitality. 

Desa Potato Head Studios Bali NOW! Bali
Central courtyard of the Potato Head Studios

The experience is best explained by Potato Head Founder, Ronald Akili, himself. “We’re not trying to change the industry, we want to create an entirely new model for it.”

The Potato Head Studios were designed in partnership with Architect David Gianotten at OMA, the Dutch practice founded by Rem Koolhaas. 168 guest rooms; Tanaman, a plant-based Indonesian restaurant; numerous bars; an amphitheatre; and beachfront pool with daybeds are currently showcased in the contemporary, campus-like centre. 

Desa Potato Head Studios Bali
Beachfront pool at the new Potato Head Studios – courtesy of Desa Potato Head

This is just the tip of the ice-berg. Come May 2020, the Desa will feature an environmentally-driven kids club, a multifunctional gallery, a music recording studio and library (a permanent home for dance music’s Wild Life Archive) and a high-fidelity, subterranean discotheque designed in partnership with DJ Harvey. And this still isn’t everything. 

Future design : Potato Head Studios

Imbued in every aspect of Potato Head is sustainability, the same goes for the new studios.

There are four room categories – Sunrise Studio, Bamboo Studio, Desa Studio and Oceanfront Studio – each of which features furniture and amenities made from recycled plastics and planet-friendly materials conceptualised by celebrated British designers Max Lamb and Faye Toogood, whose work is brought to life by Balinese artisans using indigenous materials.

Desa Potato Head Studios Bali
Oceanfront Studio at Potato Head Studios – photo by Martin Westlake
Desa Potato Head Studios Bali
Oceanfront Studio at Potato Head Studios – photo by Martin Westlake

Yet even with modern design, the extensive use of wood, bamboo and red-clay bricks (leftovers from Katamama to reduce waste), with rattan fixtures and ethnic fabrics to add, the rooms still exude a natural warmth and tropical ambiance. 

Anyone checking into Potato Head Studios or Katamama will receive a zero-waste kit, which includes a water bottle, RPET tote bag, bamboo straws and other essentials, as well as refillable amenities like sunscreen, after-sun care and insect repellent.

The new Desa Potato Head is set to attract a lieu of conscious and curious guests, which – as the way the world seems to be going – will indeed be the future of travel. 

Desa Potato Head
Jalan Petitenget No 51b, Seminyak
+62 361 3029999
potatohead.co

Melia Bali

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