Bali Travel Guide
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Every month, we tell you which hotel openings you need to know about (and which, inevitably, miss their deadlines). While we have a healthy list of arrivals around the world, there are a few places that are either consistently popular or having a bit of a hotel moment, so “new hotels for…” gives you a rundown of the openings you will want to know about for a particular destination.
Oh, Bali. Perennially popular you may have been indeed, but Julia Roberts cycling magically sweat-free through rice paddies must have really kicked it up a notch. Overcrowding be damned, the list of hotels we can think of that will come to your shores in the next five years (all to “unspoiled” and “pristine” corners, of course) easily runs up to the fingers on both our hands (and that’s with a bit of doubling up as you’ll find out). Here are ten hotels coming to the Island of the Gods:
Alila Uluwatu, which Langham Place is promising to beat
We already knew, of course, that Bali was home to some of the most luxurious luxury hotels in the world. But just as you thought there was no more space for any new arrivals, along comes Langham, announcing a Langham Place to open in 2017.
It won’t be in just any part of Bali, either; but in the Ungasan-Uluwatu area, to the south of the island. It’s not just in any part of Uluwatu, either – it will have a rather spectacular clifftop location, a mere seven-minute walk from Pandawa Beach.
The Bachelor / The Bachelor Hotels / Bali Hotels / Hotel Butlers / Reality TV Hotels / TV Set Hotels / → All Tags
We presume the butler set up the Fantasy Suite for each girl, shaking his head all the while.
Last night's episode of The Bachelor reconfirmed that the Fantasy Suites at The Mulia Hotel and Mulia Villas were one of the most exciting things we've seen from a destination this entire season. Although, we are still appalled that they held a rose ceremony in a Balinese temple. #NotOk.
As we mentioned yesterday, the suites at the Mulia Hotel and the villas all come with 24-hour butler service. And boy, did Chris Soules really like it. Here is his take on the butler service, which he shared on his People Magazine blog:
This season of The Bachelor is undeniably one of the best seasons in "The Bachelor" franchise.
The producers have propped up a mumbling, bumbling but very good-looking farm boy from Iowa while at the same time unleashing some of the craziest, funniest, strangest and most beautiful women upon him. Ok, that doesn't sound like that much of a variation on the tried-and-true Bachelor formula but still, it makes for very good TV.
But unlike other seasons, the drama has been unfolding in some of the most unexciting destinations and hotels. So far, the crew has only been to Los Angeles, Santa Fe, South Dakota, and Dubuque and Arlington, Iowa. True, the Hilton Santa Fe was pretty but the Deadwood Holiday Inn was not. We hardly even saw the Hotel Julien in Dubuque.
Then when Chris visited the girls hometowns in Shreveport, Chicago, Phoenix and somewhere in Nebraska, things remained fairly unglamorous. The only exciting thing we saw from any of the hometown destinations was an alligator in the swamp in Shreveport. Unless you count the no-name motel where Jade squirreled away to show Chris her Playboy video shoot. Eek.
However, the ho-hum trips should all change tonight when Chris takes Whitney, Becca and Kaitlyn to Bali and the possibility of a night in the Fantasy Suite comes up. Here's where the ladies and Prince Farming will stay:
The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas in Bali opened a signature Chinese restaurant called Table8 last June. It serves high-end Cantonese and Szechuan delicacies and is beautifully designed, but what will leave guests saucer-eyed is, of all things, the tea service. If tea doesn’t sound that exciting to you, perhaps you’ve been spending too much time with the Brits, and perhaps you’ve never been poured a cup by a Kung Fu Tea Master.
Called “The Art of Tea,” it is as much a performance as it is practical. When a guest orders the signature flower tea, it is served by a Kung Fu Tea Master, who has, according to the Mulia, spent months in China learning traditional kung fu moves and a year practicing the pouring routine before performing it live in the restaurant.
We were thrilled back in February about the announcement of Andaz Munich since we have
a hot and heavy love affair sort of a thing for Andaz Hotels. But somehow we totally missed out on the other news that Andaz dropped that month as wel--Andaz Bali.
There's not much info to go on but the beachfront Andaz Bali will open in 2016 (before the Andaz Munich). The property will be designed by Tierra Design and Japanese interior design firm Spin Design Studio. Here's a little more on the hotel set-up, straight from the Hyatt press release:
The hotel will be comprised of low-rise clusters and pavilions set within dramatic landscaping, and will feature 144 guestrooms and villas, small intimate meeting facilities, multiple dining options, a fitness center, several outdoor swimming pools, and a spa.
Sounds so very Andazy. And we're completely ok with that.
But aside from Andaz Munich and Bali, there doesn't seem to be any other Andazs on the horizon. We have to ask--Andaz, are you ok? Are you ok, Andaz? Or are you just taking your time with the foreplay?
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We can rattle off a handful of hotels opening in Bali in the next few years without much effort (there is the Regent, Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton again, Starwood (Luxury Collection and Westin), and Six Senses, among others), which, together with everything that’s already there, raises the pressure once again to slow down hotel development on the island.
While the discussion on overcrowding and what is right for Bali continues, so do the announcements of new openings, with this week the addition of a Waldorf Astoria resort in 2017. Only a short transfer from Ngurah Rai Denpasar airport, the resort will have 96 villas on a cliff facing the sea.
The question we've been asking about the Caribbean -- whether or not the addition of hotels to an island is a good thing or a bad thing for tourism -- is quietly being answered in Bali.
“Many tourists complain about the current condition of Bali. Too many buildings make them feel uncomfortable as it is too crowded. Buildings are everywhere and it is hard to find green areas,” Indonesian Tourism's Bali chairman Ida Bagus Ngurah Wijaya told Bali Daily last week.
As we speak, the Indonesian Tourism Industry Association (GIPI) Bali chapter is asking local governments to implement and invoice a moratorium on hotels. Bali currently has over 90,000 rooms and is facing both issues of space and demand.
Memorial Day is almost here, but if you're in the eastern United States, you've probably already noticed the arrival of higher-than-average temperatures and days streaked with the sun's rays. If you were in Bali, Indonesia however, that would be pretty much everyday, and your hotel's front yard would look a little something like this.
The name of the game on Bali is infinity pools, ideally spilling out not too far from the breaking surf. This pool, at the Anantara Resort on Seminyak Beach, ticks all the boxes.
Drooling yet? This is just a tease, as next weekbefore you scamper off to Memorial Day funwe'll have full photos galleries of this pool, this resort, and a whole slew more on Bali.
We're coffee junkies here at HotelChatter but we may have some hesitation about this latest caffeine offering at the Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali in Jimbaran Bay. The hotel's Dava restaurant is serving a rare delicacy, Kopi Luwa, which translated into English means Civet Coffee, which translated into layperson's terms means, Cat-poo-cino.
The coffee beans used to make this drink come from coffee berries," which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and passed through its stomach intact, before being defecated whole and collected by farmers. Sounds gross fersure but the beans/berries have been thoroughly washed, sun-dried, lightly roasted and then brewed before getting poured into your cup. Supposedly, the coffee is less bitter than your local Starbucks jolt.
We have nothing against Courtyard By Marriott Hotels. In fact, we quite like these places as they now sport stylish lobbies (some with media pods) with tasty cafe fare and the internet is free in the public space. But if we're going to make the trek to an exotic place like Bali, we're not so sure we'd want to stay at Courtyard. Yet, the option is there.
The newest Courtyard has opened in Bali Nusa Dua and features 250 guestrooms with 32-inch LCD, your choice of rainshowers or deep soaking tubs in the bathrooms, a private balcony or terrace and even robes and slippers.
The hotel is not on the beach but the website promises the waters of the Indian Ocean are just a 10-minute stroll from the hotel. Should you want some immediate hydration, the hotel has its own lagoon swimming pool.
And as for those cafes we love so much? They get a different twist here:
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in.
We fished this snapshot out of the HotelChatter Flickr Pool and, upon first glance, this photo of an Ocean Cliff Villa at the Bulgari Resort Bali looks gorgeous, no? From the looks of this photo, we'd be down for staying here.
But, um, reader who submitted the shot hotel maven lyh1 sheds a little bit of light on fashion house Bulgari's Bali property and we were let in on a secret: it may not be as awesome as we think it is.