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Como Uma Canggu arrives in Bali

All eyes are on the breaks framing the surf-focused resort of Como Uma Canggu on Bali's south-west coast.

By Helen Anderson
The lagoon pool at Como Uma Canggu, Bali
The lagoon pool at Como Uma Canggu, as seen from above,

Executive chef Dwayne Cheer surfs before work ("though not as often as I'd like"). So does restaurant manager Maggie Kennedy and several of their staff. Their waterfront workplace – the new Como Beach Club at Canggu, on Bali's south-west coast – is framed by the breaks of Echo Beach and Old Man's, so surf conditions are scrutinised by staff and guests from breakfast lattes to late-night Negronis.

Flanked by an infinity pool and a surf school run in partnership with safari operator Tropicsurf, the beach club is the showpiece bar, restaurant and lounging venue of Como Uma Canggu, the hotel group's third resort in Bali. It's the beachside complement to Como Shambhala Estate, the group's pioneering wellness retreat, and the jungle hideaway of Como Uma Ubud.

A private pool deck of a penthouse suite
A private pool deck of a penthouse suite

Interiors in the 119 rooms, suites and apartments by Japanese designer Koichiro Ikebuchi are pared back and elegant, in blues and sand. Penthouses have rooftop pools with stunning ocean views from dramatic scooped-out rooflines. Some rooms have courtyards with outdoor showers; others have swim-up access to the central 15-metre lagoon pool or balconies overlooking it.

The lagoon pool doubles as the venue for beginner surf classes; Tropicsurf's instructors cater for all skills and ages, and hire out Firewire boards. In contrast to the serene rooms, Italian designer Paola Navone's work on the beach club is characteristically bold: black and white stripes and colourful batik prints teamed with hand-made sea-blue tiles and a surf-shack aesthetic.

Como Uma Canggu is the first beachfront resort in the once sleepy village of Canggu, about 11 kilometres north of Seminyak and a fast-growing hub of co-working spaces, juice bars and yoga schools.

The pool at the Beach Club
The pool at the Beach Club

A perfect day at the resort might begin by paddling to the break off Echo Beach, wandering back to the beach club for a Como Shambhala juice, grain bowl and fresh pastries for breakfast, and complimentary sessions in the gym, or the Pilates and yoga studios (including aerial yoga). Segue from poolside salads to sundowners on the beach-club deck, followed by dinner from the "monster" wood-fired grill, perhaps a whole snapper or a 30-day whiskey-aged rib-eye with oxtail "marmalade" on brioche. Then settle in with a Dark and Stormy on the deck and wait for the next surf report.

Rooms from $326. Como Uma Canggu, Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan, Echo Beach, Canggu, Badung, Bali, comohotels.com

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  • Author: Helen Anderson