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Tropicola is Bali’s freshest beach club offering holidaymakers a 1980s-infused playground for long lazy days and fun, balmy nights. It’s owned by the team behind Bondi’s Bucket List, with the expertise of Motel Mexicola’s designer James Brown, to deck out their new Indonesian venue with clean lines, bright colours and cascading plants. With an amphitheatre that showcases views of Seminyak beach and beyond, Tropicola resembles a Slim Aarons picture brought to life. 

Tropicola has three bars that sprawl multiple levels surrounding two pools. The drinks menu is curated by award-winning bartenderDenny Bakiev and offers unique local takes on beachside classics. The Tropicolada uses jackfruit instead of pineapple; the Arak N Roll is made with the finest Bali Arak infused with Kintamani coffee beans and mandarin peels instead of traditional vodka for a unique approach to the espresso martini; the Tulum Bliss is a super refreshing poolside classic with Tequila, grapefruit, pimento and lime; and The Jungle Bird, a delicious mix of dark rum, Campari, pineapple and lime. “The challenge while creating a cocktail list for Tropicola was to have something in each drink that would make people curious,” says Denny. “I’ve got to play with ingredients that are only available in Indonesia. All these spices, herbs and fruits provided a huge opportunity to get creative and come up with local twists on the modern classic.” Denny’s menu also explores a myriad of other delights, including house-made Tropisodas, freshly squeezed juices and elixirs, coolades, freezies, shakes, cocktail jugs and ‘lageritas’. 

Talking food, Tropicola’s open kitchen is centred on wood-fired cooking. British born Chef Steve Skelly used his vast experience chefing on the island and took inspiration from his travels when designing the meals. “The menu is full of fresh seafood, grilled meats and simply handled vegetables,” says Steve. “Nothing too heavy or overdone, just great produce handled simply in an environment purpose-built for lounging and grazing day and night.” Seafood lovers can share fresh grilled prawns with chilli and herb dressing; a raw salmon salad, classic prawn cocktails and a selection of wood-grilled whole market fish or lobster with parsley and lemon. Vegetables come in the form of grilled king brown mushrooms with lemon and thyme; aubergine with lime yoghurt; and street corn with black pepper from the wood-fired grill. There’s also a dry-aged 1kg Tomahawk steak with fermented chilli butter and watercress salad. Poolside meals are delivered by way of the Tropicola “3 cut” Burger; an Al Pastor pork taco, spit roasted from a traditional el trompo spit roast with fresh pineapple, onion, coriander and jalapeno salsa; and a hot dog with raw + fried onion, mustard, ketchup and organic pickles on a freshly baked brioche bun from local Caangu bakery, Farin. To finish, there’s a banana split with milk chocolate ice cream, toasted peanut praline, whipped cream and toffee sauce; a passionfruit pavlova; or a selection of alcoholic or non-alcoholic ‘paletas’ (icey-poles). Tropicola Beach Club opened its doors on the 11th August, entertaining guests every day of the week between 11 am and midnight. Tropicola is a multi-stage beach-front development. Stages two and three will roll out beginning with a 60 seat restaurant by Chef Steve Skelly and a rooftop bar and event space with vast, uninterrupted views from the Buket peninsula to the south and Tanah Lot to the north. Completing the development will be a 60 room hotel bringing fun, affordable and accessible luxury to the island with room rates from $100 a night. 

- Via Michael Vane, Man of Many


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