The Slow in Canggu Bali offers much more than ultra-stylish boutique accommodations, as it soothingly bathes guests in a curated experience that extends across multiple disciplines.
Founded by award-winning designer and creative director George Gorrow and his wife, Cisco – who is an internationally acclaimed model, avid surfer, certified raw food chef and yoga teacher – the hotel is, above all else, a concept space. It is rooted in art, architecture, design, local culture, fashion, music, retail, food and drink, providing an immersive experience that blends Indonesian and contemporary island vibes.
Modern, cool and current, The Slow combines dynamic architecture with compelling contemporary spaces. The eclectic interior aesthetic of the hotel balances warm and welcoming minimalist design with a contemporary art collection and traditional Indonesian craftsmanship. Every piece of furniture and art is a considered statement by the hotel’s owners.
With 12 suites, an all-day dining venue, a bar, art gallery and boutique, The Slow is a soothing retreat for the senses.
With Bali’s iconic rice paddies and the leafy hills of Ubud rising behind, plus Canggu Beach steps away, The Slow is tropical yet trendy, eclectic yet quietly elegant.
Design aesthetics: Tropical brutalism meets warm minimalism
Stunning in its conceptualisation and execution, it is the product of George Gorrow’s collaboration with architect Rieky Sunur of GFAB Architects – a modern island retreat with an ultra-chic tropical vibe.
With a design aesthetic that might be eloquently defined as tropical brutalism meets warm minimalism, the well-styled hotel masterfully balances modern and soothing earthy elements, both in materials used and the organic interior and atmosphere created. The stylish informality of the place is deliberately and deceptively unassuming, in keeping with the relaxed vibe of Bali.
Brutalist and modernist Brazilian architecture and tropical minimalism were all strong inspirations for the design. References were also made to Japanese furniture designer George Nakashima, Japanese architect Tadao Ando, and artists Brett Wadden, Romon Kimin Yang aka Rostarr and Richard Serra. All in all, the hotel manages to harness the strength of brutalism and the grace of local workmanship simultaneously. Thanks to Bali’s many artists, everything is custom-designed and artisan-crafted.
Adding depth to the design, the palette features a variety of materials and textures. Sustainable native woods and wood veneer panels, local stone and natural sand-mixed tiles, juxtaposed with raw and polished concrete, result in a bold, modern and inviting aesthetic, without overwhelming or breaking the property’s identity and visual harmony. Muted natural hues and plenty of lush greenery give the light-filled space a calm, organic appeal.
The design incorporates elements from traditional Balinese houses, with an abundance of tropical plants, wooden features and perforated partitions and vertical screens, yet reflects a modern presence with large void spaces, floor-to-ceiling windows and internal inverted gardens.
Local artisan-produced furniture, crafts and natural textiles are paired with one-of-a-kind art pieces, classic collectables, industrial elements, custom pieces and artwork made by the owners’ friends. The finer details in the gorgeous textiles selected for the furnishings were also carefully curated with a selection of linen canvas, cheese cloth, vintage fabrics, cow leather, used military tent for the upholstery, teak screens, power-coated metal and blacked mahogany furnishings.
The Slow in Canggu has a tangible sense of place, a pared-down, contemporary edge and a simplicity that is in keeping with the local culture.
An exciting, uniquely curated art collection
The stunning decor is the perfect backdrop for the display of works from the owners’ eclectic personal art collection that they have amassed over the years. The photography-heavy collection showcases more than 90 pieces by their friends, as well as by up-and-coming and established artists from around the globe.
Art is displayed throughout the property and clustered heavily in the gallery space of Room 13, which has been curated by acclaimed Sydney-based art gallery China Heights since 2018. Parts of the collections change seasonally, whilst the permanent collection includes artists such as Daniel Askill, Chris Searl, Rostarr, Xu Zhen, Simon Lekias, Kate Bellm, Mike Piscitelli, Dmote, Johnathan Zawada, Brad Gerlach, Jared Mel, Dion Anthony, Mark Gonzales, Mad Saki, Ozzie Wrong, Bast, Jason Pietra, David Mandelberg, Kiku Ohe, Mr. André, Fraser Anderson, Kane Skennar, Woody Gooch and Daniella Rech.
The Slow features some of the coolest contemporary art on display anywhere.
Cool, eclectic music
The ambient soundtrack drifting through The Slow in Canggu is curated by Reverberation Radio, the much-loved internet institution formed by the Los Angeles band, Allah-Las and Friends. They play a selection of uplifting, sing-along hits, which are soon-to-become favourites as a selection of lost-gem tracks ranging from psychedelic rock to vintage bossa nova.
The 12 capacious suites carry through the same exquisite aesthetic of tropical brutalism for which The Slow has become renowned.
Welcoming and beautiful with a wonderful sense of luminosity and airiness, the suites feature slatted-wood walls that channel in the breeze. They are decorated with locally made furniture and soft lighting that juxtapose unique art pieces from the founders’ personal art collection.
A unique library of fashion, surfing and art literature, king beds, walk-in rain showers and organic bathroom amenities are all enjoyed to the in-house sounds from Reverberation Radio. Designed as peaceful retreats, the suites are TV-free.
There are two kinds of suites: the Grand Suites of 60m2 on the upper level have floor-to-ceiling windows with custom screens that swivel open to views of the neighbouring village; the Pool Suites of 80m2 on the lower level feature floor-to-ceiling windows flanked by palm trees, overlooking a private plunge pool enclosed by lush jungle greenery.
Fabulous eating & drinking
The hotel’s all-day restaurant, simply called Eat & Drink, is a destination in its own right. Chef Robbin Holmgren draws upon his international career at the helm of world-renowned kitchens, creating an ever-changing menu of revamped classics injected with bold, exotic flavours, plus his iconic contemporary European style. Other than the international wines, beef and lamb, everything else is locally sourced and organically grown. The entire menu is based on seasonal produce and the founders have a co-owned farm for their fruits and vegetables.
A café by day with informal dining during the afternoon and evening, Eat & Drink’s menu focuses on wood-grilled meats and seafood, local vegetables, farm greens and field grains.
With its artsy, chill-out vibe, the stylish dining space is seamlessly embedded in the overall design concept. It features an airy industrial-chic space with smooth concrete floors, Scandi-style dining tables and tropical plants hanging in terracotta pots. Everything from the furniture to the crockery was designed especially for the place. Unique art pieces are beautifully integrated in the decor as well. No wonder the space is full nightly with a mix of hotel guests, locals and walk-in customers.
The inventive drinks selection, inspired by mythology and history and designed by London bartender Maya Jaworska, highlights specialty batch spirits, extractions and tonics, with all cocktails pre-batched in-house. An expertly curated wine list presents small growers, regional styles and lovely vintages, encouraging guests to try some of the best old- and new-world wines to be found anywhere on the island. A small collection of local craft beer completes the thirst-quenching offerings.
Artistically and aesthetically gorgeous public areas
The restaurant connects to Room 13, The Slow’s gallery, which features a barista bar serving freshly roasted Balinese coffee and organic freshly baked cake. A rotating art collection graces the walls.
Room 14 is home to a concept store that carries the Non-Type’s clothing line. Non-Type is the latest creation by Gareth Moody and George Gorrow, the founders of the world-renowned and iconic fashion label, Ksubi.
The Slow also features a passion project of Cisco Gorrow’s – her own ceramics line, Cisco & The Sun Home. The insanely beautiful homewares and ceramics are from her work with local artisans on the island of Bali who were taught the ancient art of ceramic in Sapporo, Japan. Mixing both Asian and Western sensibilities, the pieces, on show at Eat & Drink, have been crafted by the sixth sense, or what the Japanese refer to as “wabi sabi” – a philosophy of simple aesthetics that appreciate imperfect beauty from objects through natural materials and the work of craftsmen. Cisco could colour-match everything to the woods, the concrete and the earthiness of the hotel. Eventually, the range will be available for sale.
The rooftop is one of the favourite spaces at The Slow. One really cannot beat a sunset viewed from up there, with the beach in one direction and the mountains in the other.
The location could not get any better: The Slow is situated in the heart of Canggu, a quaint coastal town of artists and surfers, and is surrounded by trendy cafés, quaint boutiques and gorgeous yoga studios. The famous Batu Bolong Beach, with its surfing waves, bars, and upscale beach clubs, is just 300 metres from the hotel.
Beyond the town itself, the stunning Tanah Lot temple is a few kilometres to the north, and a not-to-be-missed spot from which to take in a Balinese sunset.
A harmonious combination of modern lux and ultra-stylish looks, with a dose of haute-hippy vibe
Embodying the very essence of stylish tropical luxury, The Slow, an intimate boutique hotel, is sure to capture the artistically and aesthetically inclined traveller’s attention for that unforgettable Indonesian getaway.