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Mamaka by Ovolo

Riding the Retro Wave: Inside Kuta's Mamaka Revival

Reviving the Spirit of Kuta

Bali’s Kuta Beach has always embraced transformation. Originating as a surfer’s paradise, it has witnessed many trends ebb and flow. And just when everyone thought Kuta might be left in the past, Mamaka by Ovolo enters as a reborn icon. Crafted by ara Design, it’s a fresh, lively addition that marries retro fun with the timeless spirit of Bali.

Kuta has always been about the laid-back vibe, but in recent times, it felt overshadowed by the glitz further up the coast. Ovolo recognized this and decided Kuta deserved a revival. Thus, Mamaka was born – their first property in Indonesia – proving that Kuta still has a lot to offer.

Balinese and Javanese Collaborations

A significant part of Mamaka’s charm comes from its local collaborations. Building during a pandemic meant overseas imports were tricky, but it led the team to work closely with Balinese and Javanese craftsmen. This has essentially given Mamaka its more artisanal personality, local and natural materials are now highlights of the property’s design features. Rattan core pergola, scored brick, lava stone, and even seagrass find their way into the walls, pillars, façades, and decor.

Coastal Charm and Nostalgic Vibes

At first glance, Mamaka’s façade shouts out to the beach lover in everyone. Drawing from the ocean’s palette of blues and turquoise, it’s a clear nod to Kuta’s surf roots. Step inside, and the ground floor is a hive of activity. It’s specifically designed to be the heart of the hotel, seamlessly connecting the lobby, restaurant, and surf school. We chose a blend of earthy tiles, wood, and bright ceramics to match the hotel’s energy.
Tucked away, there’s a library that feels like a delightful step back in time. Classic vinyl records, action figures, and old hi-fis tell of times gone by. As Karlyn Cerdeña of ara Design shares, Ovolo loves retro patterns, and so they breathed new life into them, adding that unique Mamaka twist. But it’s not all about the past. Right next to these nostalgic spaces, Street32 Cocktail Bar & Eatery oozes a modern elegance. Its dark wood contrasts beautifully with rattan elements, and vibrant color accents are inspired by Bali’s traditional kebaya.

Innovative Design for Cozy Comfort

But perhaps, the crown jewel is the rooftop. Kuta Social Club, its design inspiration, hails from the beaches of Tulum. This space promises both serenity and a social buzz, making it a must-visit spot.

One of the design challenges was the room size, but constraints often lead to the best innovations. Open wardrobes, smart furniture placement, and huge windows all create a feeling of space. The result is rooms that not only feel spacious but also fun and full of personality. Natural elements like woven headboards team up with funky wallpaper, creating a balance of old and new. The premium suites, dubbed ‘Swagger’ and ‘Top Gun’, dial up the experience. Resembling chic urban lofts, they come complete with retro amenities that add a touch of luxury and fun.

As you step out of the hotel, there’s a burst of art from LA-based artist, Punk Me Tender. It’s playful, colorful, and just feels right for Mamaka. The vibrant butterfly motifs seem symbolic, hinting at the hotel’s transformative role in Kuta. 

The hotel’s vibrant charm injects a fresh, youthful energy that could set new benchmarks in the locale. Indeed, this modern twist might be the revitalization this coastal stretch has been yearning for.