Bali is a more than idyllic setting for Cisco Tschurtschenthaler and George Gorrow, founders of The Slow, a boutique hotel, restaurant and gallery in the surf village of Canggu. We connected with Cisco for our inaugural edition of “The Local” series, to hear more about what makes Bali so special, her go-to spots on the island and how living near the ocean inspires a slower pace of life.
Describe Bali in three words or less.
Wild and beautiful.
What makes living in Bali so special?
We love living in Bali and are grateful every day to call this beautiful island home. The lifestyle we created here for our family is amazing. We live one minute from the beach, greet the local cows every morning, go for a surf, have a coffee and then start our day. We work from home and our house is a modern version of tropical living, so we feel very connected to nature. The locals here have special energy, their smiles are authentic and they have welcomed us and many other tourists with open arms.
How does living in Bali help you and your family embrace slower living?
Living in Bali reminds us to be present and to live in the moment. That’s what the locals do, even if we are stuck in mad traffic (which is the norm here) we understand to use that time wisely and play a game in the car or listen to nice podcasts instead of stressing out and not being able to change anything about the situation.
“The locals here have special energy, their smiles are authentic and they have welcomed us and many other tourists with open arms.”
You and your husband created a boutique hotel, restaurant and gallery experience in Canggu called The Slow. Tell us more about the inspiration behind this project.
The Slow is an immersive experience, a modern island escape that’s a collision of all our interests and things we’ve done in our careers so far – from music, design and interiors, to fashion, art and architecture. It’s a place we built to inspire ourselves as well as others, somewhere in which you can check out yet in a way check back into life by relaxing, getting re-inspired and having some fun in the sun.
Our concept offers a variety of different elements under the one roof but centres on our personal art collection, which is currently more than 100 pieces. A lot of it represents special moments in our lives. All the artists are great friends or people We have worked closely with over the years. For us, walking through the different spaces in our venue is like walking through a photo album.
We did the same with the music: the sound throughout the venue is solely curated by our friends at Reverberation Radio. This concept of a single sound encourages guests to discover new artists and expand their understanding of music.
How is sustainability woven throughout The Slow experience?
We follow a strict zero plastic policy at The Slow. We try to reduce waste as best as we can. Our glasses are cut off bottles collected around the island and our straws are made from glass. We source our food from local suppliers and use what is in season. Our fish is line caught and we try to keep our menu selection as sane as possible, nutrient dense and high quality.
YOUR BALI GO-TO’S:
Cafe Ruko – it’s in Berawa and my daily local. The owners Maya and Max are great friends, and we love to support other expat businesses. We also love Baked in Canggu. Little Cisco loves the homemade banana bread and specialty sourdough bread.
Sunday brunch at the Como Canggu is amazing. They offer a la Carte or a stunning buffet that is next level and goes all day.
A quick bite:
Bottega is great for a quick Pasta or salad, they offer gluten-free buckwheat pasta that I really love and a variety of different sauces to choose from.
Lunch with the kids:
The Como Canggu—they have a great kids club and chef Amanda Gale is a friend and her food is delicious and of highest quality. She is hands down one of the best chefs on the island. The Como has lots of lovely staff and amazing beach views.
Dinner with friends:
Riviera, a new place that just opened up around the corner from us with really nice Italian share plates with some great mains and awesome wine selection. Mason in Canggu has great selection of food and drinks—Chef Benjamin Cross never disappoints.
Hidden Beach Bar in Berawa. It’s a simple beach shack and reminds us of old Bali days.
Favorite shops—what should we take home with us?
Cove Island Essentials – It’s full of every kind of island treasure. She has a wonderfully curated store, from tiger frame crystal jewelry, to local sarongs, ceramics, rattan hats and bags, you will not walk out empty handed.
Aleph Geddis is a great friend who creates wood sculptures from the states. He has a wood workshop in Bali and creates one-off amazing pieces but he is by appointment only. We are showcasing some of his pieces at The Slow.
Craft district showroom – Incredible handcrafted wood pieces and objects. You’ll find plenty of interior design products such as bowls, vases, stools, tables, artefacts and they have a whole range of antique pieces from around Indonesia. It’s top quality craftsmanship. Almost all pieces are made from sustainable or recycled wood.
Favorite hidden beach.
It’s hard to find hidden beaches in Bali these days but my favourite beach hands down is Bingin Beach. The sand is white and when the tide goes down these beautiful turquoise water holes appear and you can literally just sit in them—it’s perfect for kids. On top of that you can enjoy a front row seat to Bali’s best waves.
“We live one minute from the beach, greet the local cows every morning, go for a surf, have a coffee and then start our day.”
Living in Bali is a dream, but where are you dreaming of traveling when the world opens up again?
I’m keen to see my family in Germany and do a long European summer… Croatia, Italy and Spain. We have so many great friends living in many parts of the world and we want to visit them all.
How will you travel a little lighter and more consciously in future?
Well with two kids I’m not sure how light one can travel but in general we are always on the lighter side. Just the essentials.
Cuddles in bed with little people. Morning hot water with ginger in my favourite Cisco & the Sun Home ceramic mug. Walk to the beach with the dogs, surf or play in the sand with lil Cisco and grab coffee on the way home. Practice some sort of daily movement or go to an exercise class (usually yoga or pilates). Have a productive and creative day . Explore some new music on Spotify. Cook some yummy food. Have a long bath and story time with kids. Netflix and bedtime.
Describe your perfect Sunday.
Sundays are fundays and belong to little Cisco. We start on the beach like every day, go home and do some drawing and play with tools in the garden or have long swims in our pool. After naps we usually venture out and meet friends for a long lazy lunch and end up having a sundowner down the beach with coconuts and cold beers and watch the waves. Followed by a long bubble bath at home before bed to get all the sand out of our hair.
Bikini and a sarong. If I have a work meeting I throw on a light cotton jumpsuit or denim cut offs and linen shirt.
Philosophy to live by.
Practice gratefulness, meditate and take it one day at a time.
Photo credit: Tommaso Riva Photography (images 1-6), Kan Skenner (image 7) + Hans Van Brakel Studio for Vogue Living (images 8-9)
Dreaming of a trip to Bali?
Explore Bali’s most luxurious and conscious hotels and retreats.
You might also like:
Nestled on Mexico's rainforested Pacific Coast, the gypset surf town of Sayulita has been attracting surfers and barefoot dreamers for decades. Vancouver photographer Christie Graham is lucky enough to call the charming bohemian town home and shares her local perspective on where to eat, drink, stay and surf.
Best known for her insatiable appetite for adventure, we caught up with travel writer and recent Malibu import Amanda Blakley to hear firsthand all about her dreamy west coast lifestyle, favorite beaches, go-to restaurants and more.
We chat with stylist, event producer and entrepreneur Julia Khan Anselmo and get the inside scoop on exploring Amsterdam like a local, how living in Europe has inspired her creatively, her daily rituals and more.