Australian Fashion Guns Debut Modern Art Hotel
The Slow could be described as an immersive modern art experience.
Achingly hip is the best way to describe Bali boutique resort The Slow. It’s a place that seems more Palm Springs than Bali, yet somehow its sophisticated style blends into its setting of swaying green rice paddies and smoothie bowl-serving cafés effortlessly.
Dreamt up by the Australian founders and designers of the now-defunct Ksubi, Gareth Moody and George Gorrow, The Slow was intended to be more than just somewhere to rest your head; instead, it’s an immersive experience.
Their intention, Gorrow explains, was to create a space that would enhance guests’ time on the island and inspire them.
In addition to its 12 suites – some with their own pools – there’s a restaurant that doubles as a lobby, a rooftop that plays host to parties, and a chic gallery space next door. And, for those who loved Ksubi, a unisex apparel line called Non-Type, the guys’ first creative partnership since its demise, is sold in Room 14.
For Moody and Gorrow, The Slow’s concept – described as ‘a place to rest your bones, stir your senses, and expand your mind’ – came about organically.
“Our return to Bali came off the back of a stint in New York where the motto was to live fast and die young,” Gorrow said. “Our lifestyle was completely reversed on the island, and we found ourselves on a new wave of living slow.”
The Slow is in Canggu, an up-and-coming village tipped to be the next Seminyak. With its eclectic community of artists and surfers who epitomise ‘slow living’, the area was an easy choice for a neighbourhood.
“Canggu vibrates on a frequency all on its own – one that aligns closely with our own. The expat community here has such a forward-thinking mind-set, and the sense of freedom is a defining point of everyday life.”
Once they’d figured out what the overall vibe of The Slow would be and which area of Bali it would call home, next, they tackled the structure and interiors. For this, they called upon their frequent stays around the world for cues.
“The design reflects years spent travelling and flipping from one hotel to the next. There were elements of the traditional hotel experience that were relevant and admirable, but there was a lot that felt dated and needed reinventing.”
The result is two floors of expansive, minimalist suites discretely tucked away from open-plan communal areas. Many a digital nomad can be found perched on the lounges in its restaurant; its rooftop often sees a heaving, well-dressed crowd of expats.
“We kept things simple and made usable spaces; spaces in which you could both vanish and congregate, switch off, and be inspired. It’s a place to be introduced to the new.”
Realising vision wasn’t an easy task to undertake, but, with their combined array of world travels to pluck ideas from, Gorrow and Moody weren’t fazed.
Their inspiration came from the art galleries and rooftop gardens they’d come across in New York City; the design of buildings they’d seen in Brazil; the open-air island living they’d been surrounded by in Bali; and modernist architecture and greenhouses.
One of The Slow’s most memorable features is its eye-catching art decorating its walls. There’s a framed, underwater photograph of a naked woman swimming in one room; a photo of island boy carrying a shark in the next.
“Each piece is bold, brave, and inspires as a stand-alone. Everything you see at The Slow has been collected by us over the years from friends and people we’ve worked with; people who have inspired us.”
Like the rest of the space, the restaurant harnesses the power of natural light – so well in fact, it’s almost décor in itself. Sleek wood tables and chairs and pops of greenery throughout complete the rest.
In the kitchen, Chef Shannon Moran uses inspiration from his travels through Europe, South America and Asia to create an ever-changing menu of popular dishes with a creative twist.
Currently, highlights include a burrata served with orange marmalade, tiger prawns in yellow mung dahl, and soft shell crab tacos drizzled with pumpkin seed mojo verde.
So, what’s Gorrow’s favourite spot to spend time in? Could it be the restaurant, which radiates chill or one of the uniquely-decorated suites? Or, maybe it’s the ocean-facing rooftop? Gorrow says it’s none of those.
“Everywhere but the office.”
Published 05 March, 2018