Like the spirals that dominate the architecture in the completely re-designed WakaGangga resort, Waka Hotels and Resorts has come full circle with the opening of this signature resort.
Focusing on rebuilding the brand, the pioneers of eco-tourism in Bali have taken one of their most spectacular properties and created a signature resort that draws on the traditional, the sacred and the local traditions to create a stunning, contemporary resort in one of the island’s most dramatic locations.
Just 45 minutes from Seminyak, the drive to WakaGangga in Tabanan’s fertile rice belt is where the experience begins. Leaving the urban sprawl the journey takes guests through pristine villages and countryside to arrive at a dramatic black sand beach.
Surrounding the resort are some of Bali’s most fertile and protected rice fields. Emerald green terraces stretch towards majestic volcanoes. The talents of renowned landscaper, John Pettigrew, has brought the rice fields into the resort and created privacy around each spacious villa without the need for walls.
Spirals and circular structures are a source of inspiration for Waka’s own Ketut Siandana, whose unique architecture is a signature of Waka resorts.
“ I love primitive objects and pieces which have been worn down by nature, either the elements or human hands. I incorporate these objects, ideas and shapes into the architecture along with locally created materials like tiles and bricks, stones and carvings,” he explains.
WakaGangga itself is built on a piece of land that has been formed by time and human nature and is naturally beautiful as a result. The mountains, the rice terraces and the dramatic coastline make this one of Bali’s most spectacular locations. The design of the resort takes advantage of the natural landscape to reveal one of Bali’s most spectacular resorts.
Built with distinctive rustic features, 27 spacious garden and pool villas are equipped with romantic four-poster beds, a day bed, desk and dressing room, they are beautifully finished with timber, tile and stone, high ceilings and abundant natural light. Each has its own unique view of the mountains, rice fields or the dazzling deep blue ocean.
Indoor/outdoor garden bathrooms are finished in palimanan stone, hand-made tiles and wood, the villas feature one and two bedrooms, complete with WiFi, docking stations, mini bars and flat screen TVs.
Waka Hotels & Resorts have undergone a major change in their corporate structure, which includes the vision of experienced hotelier, Kamal Kaul who is the group’s President & CEO.
“ This is an exciting project for Waka Hotels and Resorts as it marks a new beginning for the company. Building on years of experience and a wealth of talent, this resort has all the hallmarks of the brand. It is uniquely and naturally Waka,” explains Kamal Kaul.
“ We wanted to consolidate the brand to bring it back to its roots and focus on giving our guests a quality, Balinese experience. The brothers who own Waka created the company to pay homage to their father, who envisaged protecting some of Bali’s most beautiful and unspoiled areas with sympathetic architecture and development that involved local communities and preserved local arts,” explains Kamal Kaul.
Ketut Siandana, whose unique vision has shaped Waka Hotels and Resorts, explains that in the beginning budgets were tight.
“ Minimalism was dictated by budgets but slowly an identity formed. Now we have the budgets and the experience to do the things we really love. I am so excited to be working on this project with some international consultants whose work I really love.”
With John Petigrew on landscaping, a beautiful fusion of the surrounding rice fields has emerged. Integrating the natural terracing so that each villa has a unique view, without the need for walls to enclose each spacious villa property.
Working with Japanese restaurant designer, Nara, the Waka Bar and Restaurant has evolved, offering sweeping views down the wild, dramatic coastline. A modern classic, the fusion of ideas has resulted in a unique and creative space that will cater for the resort and outside guests. This is bound to become a destination for Tabanan and Canggu residents and tourists alike.
The WakaGangga Spa is also the result of a collaboration with international consultants Once again reflecting the spiral design that Ketut Siandana has employed in many of his former projects and in WakaGangga, the spa features both traditional Balinese and modern treatments along with state-of-the-art steamshower rooms, a gymnasium and a circular beauty room that overlooks the pool and the ocean.
The entrance is housed in a giant conical building with an amazing alang-alang roof. The entrance will house reception, a private meeting room, a gallery featuring the work of leading Balinese artists including Made Wianta, and a library for guests who want to enjoy a quiet place to read or work.
A natural stone amphitheatre is located on the beachfront, a venue for traditional performances, which will promote the local arts and preserve the culture in a way that will bring the local community into the resort. It is also a spectacular location for weddings and events on the dramatic shoreline of YehGangga.
WakaGangga is the signature resort of the new Waka Hotels and Resorts. It is the perfect example of how an experienced Balinese resort company envisages the future of resort development in Bali; A perfect blend of natural and unspoiled locations, inspired by local arts and traditions; a tribute to the land, its people and its creative heart. It is a resort worthy of superlatives, simply spectacular and uniquely Waka.