PHOTOS BY Scala Doc.
Prompted by its overwhelmingly growing supply, accommodation spots strive to be more than just a place to lay one’s head at the end of the day by continually rebranding themselves as a significant part of a traveller’s journey. Discerning globetrotters are searching for that wholesome, authentic and unique experience of what their destination has to offer and naturally, their home away from home of choice must serve this purpose. Scala Bed and Beyond is a quiet, undiscovered spot near Bali’s lively Seminyak area with an artsy interior and contemporary form that offers an authentic experience in its own right.
In an era where designers strive for the sterile aesthetic that has resulted in a bland confluence of style worldwide, Scala relishes in its idiosyncrasies. Each of its 20 rooms has been designed and decorated distinctly to visually evoke their unique personalities. Scala’s owner Zhou Fuyuan, an architect, designed his three-star four-storey hotel while posing himself a specific challenge, that is for Scala to stand out and not reflect the prevalent sameness of aesthetics worldwide.
One of the ways Zhou achieved this was by channeling his art savviness for Scala’s interior. The Bali retreat is peppered with curated statement artworks that not only complement the design, but also give an edge to their otherwise ordinary surrounding. A diverse range of Indonesian-inspired sculptures, paintings and carpets as well as world renowned furniture pieces breathe life to the common areas in the design hotel. The majority of the art collection resides in Opus Art Gallery and the mini library above the quaint lobby.
The bedrooms are almost always decked in a neutral palette of blacks, whites and greys, but not without a focal point of colour. This ranges from a turquoise cabinet, a blue ethnic credenza, a vintage red wardrobe, a green Chinese end table, to a modern yellow chair — furniture pieces clad in an eye-catching shade to juxtapose the subdued hues of the room. Additionally, rooms in Scala have walls painted with contemporary strokes from corner to corner, or covered with more simple black-and-white landscape photographs or portraits that help create an illusion of space.
Some guest rooms come with a part alfresco bathroom, inviting guests to enjoy a long, relaxing bath in daylight or under the moonlight. Another way to unwind in Scala include sunbathing by the poolside or taking a plunge in the pool. The restaurant nearby, a departure from other austere modern-day dining spots, charms with its eclectic, mismatched interior. Vibrantly coloured plush sofas are ideal for lounging, while the patio seating is ideal for those who prefer observing the streets in between refreshments. Way up high, the rooftop terrace delights in Bali’s generous daylight and at night, intimate mood lighting.
Scala’s contemporary Mediterranean exterior is predominantly white and creatively asymmetric, reminiscent of Santorini’s picturesque houses, half-landing staircase and romantic terraces that have the Greek island frequently touted as one of the world’s most beautiful places. Meanwhile, the composition between the outer and the inner parts of the property is inspired by Beijing courtyard houses and their inner courts. With a Mediterranean façade and an Asian layout, Scala showcases a harmonious east-meets-west design.
Here, guests and visitors are no longer confined in spaces that are rectangular and underwhelming. Offering both the right ambience and functionality may be a challenge for architects and designers, but Scala shows an establishment can be more than just another accommodation option, but a part of the larger travel experience.
Scala, named after Zhou’s architecture firm, merits the “bed and beyond” part of its name. It goes beyond providing the standard bed and breakfast to offering a memorable experience. Access the Kerobokan gem via a short car ride from Berawa Beach and Batu Belig Beach, and a walk through its traditional Balinese hut-like entrance.