Bali Travel Guide
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.
What's better than a trip to Bali? Well, if we had to say, maybe a spacious and secluded suite stocked with a personal assistant. Is that so much to ask?
Apparently not, according to the Conrad Bali. Starting October 1, the lush hotel will open 55 new suites, each boasting at least 360 square feet--which is, ahem, awfully close to the size of a studio apartment in some cities stateside--and surrounded by what sounds like a veritable tropical paradise (think gardens and reflecting ponds).
In addition to access to a personal assistant, each suite will have a separate living and dining room (though let's be honest, they must be tiny) as well as a private terrace equipped with a dining table and daybed (mmm...sunbathing in Bali, how tony indeed). Plus--get this--suites will also include a soaking tub accompanied by a TV. For when sunbathing gets too tiresome, we presume.
No word on whether that personal assistant can fetch you a bride or groom for the Conrad's sweet wedding chapel, but dream big, we say.
Weddings are usually held here, small party, 60 guests top, but you can have reception outside in the open. this is an amazing chapel. i would love to get married here one day...
Well technically we can't get married again (right now, heh) but we can check into the place which has rooms for only $170 a night in April. Now, we gotta work on getting over there.
In other news:
· Marriott gets geeky video-conferencing tools [Baltimore Sun]
· Travelodge UK will open 44 new hotels in Britain this year. Expect more wacky promotions and amenities from the eccentric brand. [Reuters]
· Similarly, Best Western wants to dominate Japan [Hotel News Resource]
· Even Mickey Mouse gets in on the eco-trend as DoubleTree Suites in Orlando goes green [Orlando Sentinel]
Cubicle Dreamin' is a feature in which we ask the hotel mavens to take some time out of their busy work day, surf the Internet, and tell us what hotel they wish they could beam themselves to right that very second--all on the slave driving companies dime, of course. Oh, like these people aren't surfing aimlessly anyway--at least now their purposeless clicking will be cobbled together into useful hotel stories--we hope. Have a destination hotel you are just dying to leave your cube for? Send the story our way.
In this episode, Hotel Maven JennM escapes the cold of NYC. Enjoy.
It's freezing in New York this week and there's nothing I can't stand more than having to brave the cold only to arrive at a cubicle. Plus, all this recession talk has me stressed out. I'm not sure why, because I don't work for or follow the stock market, but I know this can't be a good.
Which is why I'm wishing I had a few nights at Uma Ubud in Bali, part of Como Hotels and Resorts. From the hotel:
"Expect not to be disturbed by the sound of traffic, but the laughter of villagers...Light floods the open ground, picking out an orchid among the velvet grasses. At night, dew begins to settle, lifting softly with the wisps of morning cloud."
Sigh. Bali's 85-degree temperature is taunting me, as is the hotel's large Shambhala Suite that features its own infinity pool and private treatment area, the perfect place for the massage my tense body and dry, scaly skin so desperately need.
Plus, if I were to spend at least three nights in the Shambhala Suite, I'd be entitled to daily breakfast and two complimentary hour-long massages, all for the bargain rate of $410 per night. The hotel also offers guided walks through the surrounding rice paddy fields and free daily yoga classes.
That's frugal enough to justify such extravagance during a pending recession, don't you think?
[Photo: Proper Pictures]
[Ed. Note: Hotel Maven GEOmbfl is back from an unhappy stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bali and thinks you should pass on this spot and instead hit up the Bulgari or Aman hotels. Let's just say there were a few problems getting a club-level room.]
Click through for the full scoop.