InterContinental Bali blends entertainment with traditions

Published on : Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Candi BentarInterContinental Bali Resort is proud to showcase traditional Balinese architecture integrated within its dining and entertainment venues. Candi Bentar is the resort’s cultural stage. This enchanting open air theatre, heralded by the ceremonial split gate from which it takes its name, is used for cocktail events, weddings, and private dinners complete with cultural performances.

You will see Candi Bentar or split gates all over Bali, especially within temple architecture, where these huge, stone or brick structures represent the entrance from the outer realm. Each is an elaborately carved tower, open to the sky and cut clean through the middle to form two mirror-image halves of a solid, separated to allow entrance into the temple. The elevated gates are richly decorated, linked by a flight of steps, and usually flanked on either side by stone-carved temple guardians.

Candi Bentar at InterContinental Bali Resort is crafted from stone blocks with a pair of statues on either side, each pair supporting a triple-tiered Balinese temple parasol. In front of the split gates is an alfresco courtyard garden, with a manicured lawn bordered by two rows of fragrant, pink and white flowering frangipani trees. Here, dining tables and chairs can be set up in accordance with a classic Balinese theme utilising, for example the ceremonial black and white chequered ‘poleng’ cloth, which represents a balance between opposing forces or elements. Centrepiece on each table, traditional wooden puppets are exquisitely arranged with tropical flowers and banana leaf strips encircling candles, while the garden is beautifully lit at night with strings of spherical lanterns suspended from the top of the split gate structures. Other outdoor decorations might include ‘plengkung’, elaborate arches of Balinese coconut leaves, strings of finely-cut palm leaves, the colourful tapered flags known as ‘umbul-umbul’, and ‘tiki’ fire torches. The festive atmosphere, meanwhile, will be enhanced by the sound of Balinese musicians playing the indigenous bamboo instrument ‘rindik’.

This majestic venue is perfect for a cultural dinner, such as an Indonesian ‘Rijstaffel’ banquet, literally meaning ‘rice-table’, and presenting traditional Indonesian fare dating back to Dutch-Indonesian colonial times.  As the guests are seated, a starter of Seared Tuna Salad and Coconut Soup Klungah, with shredded chicken and sticky rice, is brought to the tables. This will be followed by ten main courses served by Balinese maidens wearing traditional costume, and complemented by the subtle yet hypnotic strains of the rindik music. Steamed white or yellow rice is always the centrepiece, accompanied by an assortment of different meat, fish and vegetable dishes, such as Beef Rendang – slow cooked beef stew, Balinese Chicken and Coconut Milk Curry, Mahi Mahi Fish grilled in banana leaves with kemangi, Prawn Moilee, Satay Ikan Lilit – minced fish satay, Lamb Stew with soya and tomato, and the warm vegetable salad known as Gado-Gado. Dessert might be Jajan Pasar, a family-style platter of assorted Balinese sweets and exotic fruits. As dinner concludes and tea and coffee is served, a lavish spectacle will unfold on the outdoor stage with a reenactment of a traditional Balinese temple procession, led by dozens of Balinese girls in colourful costumes carrying offerings on their heads, escorted by a string of musicians. An all female group of ‘Joged Bumbung’ dancers will entertain guests with their extraordinary rapid fan, eye and feet movements, eventually luring willing participants to dance with them.

Consider Candi Bentar Cultural Stage for your next private cocktail or dinner, the venue accommodates a minimum of 50 or a maximum of 120 persons for a sit down dinner.


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