TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Cisco Tschurtschenthaler and George Gorrow
TRAVEL - INTERVIEW
by Melisa Kaya
Sometimes it is hard to decide where to go on your holiday. Go to a city with beautiful beaches or to go to a city with historical and cultural buildings, this has always been a difficult choice. Of course, there are cities that meet the two demands with their historical heritage. However, if you would like to stay in a hotel that has an atmosphere that filled with full of art, The Slow is taking place at this stage. With its location, The Slow provides guests the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Bali. And thanks to its unique concept, you can see carefully selected artworks from the moment you wake up in the morning. I talked with George Gorrow, Founder and Director of The Slow, about the concept of The Slow.
Cisco Tschurtschenthaler and George Gorrow
George, before talking about THE SLOW and Bali, could you tell us about yourself?
My wife, Cisco and I have been living in Bali for the better part of a decade, living a slow and steady life in Canggu with our 2 dogs. Before starting The Slow, I co-founded a denim brand called Ksubi, which was available in 22 countries around the world, and a surf-wear label called Insight, which was available in 44 countries around the world. I also owned a creative agency with offices in New York and Bali. I've been lucky to work on a diverse range of brands, concepts and collaborations for forward-thinking clients like Jimmy Lovine, Kanye West, Steve Aoki, and Will.I.Am., and to see my fashion works on the covers of Vogue, iD, and Pop magazine, and worn by celebrities such as Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and Kate Moss.
Kate Bellm - The Slow
THE SLOW is an Art Gallery, so you may feel like an art director too. How does it feel to manage a hotel that host an art gallery?
When we were first dreaming up the concept of The Slow, its primary purpose was to act as a place to display our personal art collection. Art is a really important aspect of what we do, and doesn't feel secondary to the food or the drinks or the comfort of the room. I've always enjoyed flipping between various projects in my career, so having art, music, food and fashion as central themes within The Slow allows me to continue rotating my attention from project to project.
How did the idea of THE SLOW was born? What inspired its name?
Before coming to Bali, Cisco and I did a stint in New York that was very fast-paced, built around the motto of 'live fast die young'. The Slow is the antithesis of that, and nods to our inkling to unwind and slow down. We like to think The Slow stands amidst the small group of boutique hotels that are part of a new era in accommodation; places that are intrinsically sustainable and offer a stay for the senses.
Could you tell us about THE SLOW and overall Concept?
The Slow is a project that is all-encompassing, fusing all aspects of things my wife and I have done in our careers, and things we are passionate about. Arrogantly, I feel like back in the day a hotel was a bed where you rested while you explored the destination, where as with The Slow, we want to put the hotel ahead of the destination. We want to offer an enhanced experience of the destination its self, still strongly linked to the site and the culture and the people of the place, but also taking the experience to another level and dimension.
THE SLOW is located in the heart of Canggu. What are the advantages of being in Canggu for your art business?
There is no one type of traveler to Canggu. It attracts such a diverse crowd of creatives who are eager to sample new ideas and concepts, which makes it the perfect place for a contemporary art space.
What kind of exhibitions do you host throughout the year in THE SLOW?
Our exhibitions are curated by China Heights gallery Surry Hills. We've had a varied collection of solo exhibitions since opening, from established and merging, graffiti artists to photographers, installation artists to calligraphists, from international artist to internationally acclaimed local artists only.
Could you tell us about the current and the next exhibitions at THE SLOW?
We are currently showing Australian artist and surfer, Otis Hope Carey, who is admired for works which depict personal narratives and detailed experiences with an ode to his indigenous heritage. On the 22nd of December we launched an exhibition by Illustrative lettering artist Gemma O'Brien. we have a 6 week to 2 month schedule for each year, and in March we will host Max Berry, and locally acclaimed artist who will be also featured in the Venice Biennale, name is Syagini Ratna Wulan.
How do you combine art and stay in the same building? What are the difficulties and advantages?
For the most part, the guests that book to stay at The Slow are interested in art in some way, shape or form. That's an advantage for us, because we're attracting people who will enjoy the commotion of an exhibition launch; people who are likeminded and will feel at home within the space. We've not yet felt any disadvantages of integrating art and stay, it's so central to our concept that we can't even imagine one without the other.
Room 13 is looking like a conjunction point of Art, Eat, and Stay. Could you tell us about Room 13?
Room 13 is the space that hosts solo exhibitions curated by China Heights Gallery Surry Hills. It showcases contemporary artists both undiscovered and at the top of their game to bring a fresh perspective of art to the island. Room 14 is our concept store, which hosts our artist collaboration label, entitled "THE SLOW PERMANENT." It is also home to our in-house contemporary men's surf-wear label, Non-Type and our in-house ceramics brand, Cisco & the Sun Home.
Could you tell us about your suits? What are their features and design details?
The suites have been designed with the current generation in mind, taking elements of the tropical Indonesian setting and blending them with modern pieces in a masculine and minimalist setting. We have traveled intensely in our careers and we have seen and felt what we thought was needed from a hotel room. We removed TVs, desks, and spaces that can't be used to lounge around. We oversized the space, making it overly spacious with multiple places to relax and unwind. We supply one single channel for music curated by our partners at Reverberation Radio, so all rooms and spaces in the hotel vibrate on the same vibration. It's an experience for all of the senses.
What kind of services do you offer to your guests?
We're here to help, if it can be achieved, we'll do it.
What kind of gastronomic experience can your guests live in THE SLOW? Please tell us about The Restaurant and Chef Shannon Moran.
Shannon Moran drew upon his travels through Europe, South America and Asia to create a menu of revamped classics, injecting exoticism and bold new flavours into dishes, with an emphasis on seasonality, sustainability and sane eating. It's a contemporary take on ingredient-focused cooking with an island accent. The kitchen has recently been taken over by Robbin Holmgren, who just spent 3 years in the coveted role of Head Chef at Jamie Oliver's iconic London restaurant, Fifteen, and has worked in numerous high-profile restaurants around the world.
THE SLOW have different menus for different hours. What are their details, common features, and inspirations?
The concept is sane food with an island accent. You'll notice share plates from various corners of the globe, all made with plenty of fresh local ingredients with an eye for sustainability and punchy, unexpected flavours. Our menu is much like the hotel; very curated and not limited to one category. It allows full culinary exploration and keeps customers interested.
How could your guests spend time at THE SLOW?
Lounging by their private plunge pool, drinking cocktails on the rooftop, shopping in our retail space by Cisco and the Sun Home and Non-Type, consuming share plates at Eat&Drink and soaking up the art in Room13 and around the communal areas of The Slow. When that's all done they can trial mixed drinks at what we call our Drunken Botanists Bar whilst taking in the eclectic sounds of Reverberation Radio.
The Slow Rooftop
What can your guests do when they step out of THE SLOW and step into Canggu?
We're surrounded by numerous international boutique shops, plenty of cafes, tattoo shops, a world-class surf break, high-end day spas, a bowling alley, beach clubs, co-working spaces...there's not a lot you can't do in Canggu.
What kind of additional services do you offer for business travelers?
We have free wi-fi and space to whip out a laptop, though we find most guests are at The Slow to unplug rather than get work done.
How can travelers make their individual or business/group reservations? Do you have any advantage packs that you offer to your regular and long-term guests?
We have a specialized Stay Curator who can work out details of special bookings.
Which is the top season for travelers who want to visit Canggu? What is the reason?
Bali doesn't seem to be impacted by seasons the way it used to. Despite the rainy seasons there is a fairly consistent buzz all year round
What are the most famous attractions near you?
The waves at Old Man's, the ever-expanding local food and health scene, and Yoga centres such as The Practice next door.
Thank you George for your time.