Nothing beats slowing down, sitting back and savouring the sweet things in life. Good food, music, art – you know the stuff. The Slow is designed for just that. Rooted in Bali’s vibey Canggu neighbourhood, the alluring, multifaceted island stay offers ‘a place to rest your bones, stir your senses and expand your mind’ – an ever-evolving space housing all-day dining, drinks, art, local craft, boutique accommodation and interactive retail all under one insanely Instagrammable roof.
The award-winning project is the baby of achingly cool husband-and-wife duo George Gorrow, best known as co-founder of controversial Australian denim label Ksubi, and Cisco Gorrow (Tschurtschenthaler), model, mother-to-be and founder of ceramics line Cisco and the Sun Home. Cisco and George, co-founders of The Slow
The pair have carefully considered every detail of The Slow like it's their own home, shaping the place into a tropical Brutalist paradise you’ll never want to leave. Furniture made in the hands of Balinese artisans distinguishes the rooms; 90-plus audacious artworks from Cisco and George’s personal collection punctuate the walls; in-house beach beats curated by Reverberation Radio drift throughout the space. (If you haven’t yet stumbled across the internet music collective formed by Los Angeles band Allah-Las and friends, you won’t forget them after checking out their selection of lost gems.)
We took some time out with George to talk more about the space and the art of taking things slow. Kick back, wind down and enjoy the ride while you read this – it only makes sense.
Tell about us about The Slow – what it is, how it looks? The Slow is a boutique island stay in Canggu, Bali that was created to offer an immersive, sensory experience.
Who came up with the name, and what’s the inspiration behind it? Prior to settling in Bali, we did a stint in NYC, which was equal parts inspirational and intense. We consequently needed to slow down by the time we left, and my 'live fast, die young' days and mindset were shifting. The Slow was where I wanted to personally evolve to; that's how the name came about. It was a point of change, yet The Slow itself is a house of memorabilia of the faster times.
How much did your location (Canggu, Bali) influence the vibe of The Slow? Very much so. The once dusty dirt road to an uncrowded mellow wave had grown to become the epicentre of Bali, the fastest growing community. Rice fields were slowly becoming more and more sparse, cows started looking very out of place, and the lonesome mellow break was shared with a lot more people. We decided to go inward instead of outward, bringing the view internal through hanging gardens, planted areas, multitudes of artworks, a variety of textures and a diversity of spaces.
How do you like to take it slow, and why is it important to you? I have had a stack of fun in life, but I feel like in the past I was always racing to the next thing without fully taking the time to enjoy every part of the moment right in front of me. There was one trip to the USA in which we did a sculpture exhibit at Burning Man, then decided to race it across the country to NYC to get there for fashion week, towing it behind our RV, stopping only to take postcard shots of it in front of things like Rushmore, Yellow Stone and Salt Lake.
The idea was to get to NYC to put the sculpture in the window of Barneys. We had a tight window of time, so we had to do like 14 hours of driving a day. We were stuck inside this RV watching America pass us by, much like I had done in other locations at other points on my life. When we got to NYC Barneys said the sculpture was too gory and scary for kids and didn’t put it in the window, and the sculpture was too big to get into our shop. So, it ended up in storage and we raced past places we will probably never visit again. These days taking it slow is just a part of everyday life, done without too much thought.
The entire space is decorated with pieces from your personal art collection, which you’ve gathered over the years. Are you a firm believer in good things take time? Ahhh, I'm not sure what I believe. Sometimes I think time can give you too much headspace to overanalyse things, and to disrupt that first, instant raw idea or thought that is actually perfect and untainted. Sometimes you can be staring at something for so long you can’t even see it anymore. But then the opposite is just as true; you can also develop things, work them, live in them, alter their faults, and finally get them right.
The Slow is definitely getting better over time – it's hard to open something on a said date and plan it all out prior without ever really standing in the space or feeling it. That's what we are doing now. We are living in it and helping it evolve, and I'm not sure it will ever be finished. I think it will always be a work in progress, which could actually be a beautiful thing.
What do you look for when choosing pieces for The Slow? Art, furniture and ceramics included. I like bold statement things that also work as a group. I like things that have some personal meaning behind them or have been created by friends or family. I like the place feeling a little like a photo album.
A lot of time and love has gone into the bar and restaurant menus. Who are the heroes behind the artfully done food and drinks? The hero is Shannon Moran. He brings a rock 'n' roll attitude to food and a string of culinary accolades to his name. He's worked at Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy in London, as well as Nobu, Nahm, Bangkok, and COMO Shambala. He embraces local produce and sustainability and makes food that is bold, exciting and relevant.
Your go-to cocktail on the menu? A Batu Negroni or a Dirty Noni (bossed).
Music is key part of the experience. What made you choose Reverberation Radio as the soundtrack to The Slow? Music is certainly key, and these guys are certainly the right vibration. We set the entire venue to the one sound and put a dial in the room where you can turn it up or down. We encourage guests to listen with us and discover new favourite tracks that they may have missed over the years.
Favourite song on the playlist right now? Steve Monite – Only You.
You moved fast when spotting the opportunity to open up a boutique stay in Canggu. What advice would you give to anyone with an idea for their own project? My advice would be to always take a risk as long as it's not well beyond your ability. If you have a strong vision and you can really see it, then build it.
If you opened a sister hotel anywhere in the world, where would it be? We are working on our second Slow now in Indonesia, but outside of Bali. If I could, it would be Wategos Beach in Byron Bay – that's kind of a dream spot.
The best thing about a stay at The Slow? Let me know – we love feedback.
Listen to the soundtrack of The Slow
Can’t get yourself to The Slow right now? Bring tropical vibes to your own home with our botanical stationery edit.