Indonesia Travel Guide
Hotel Spas / Funky Spa Treatments / Sumba Hotels / West Sumba Hotels / Hotel Heaven / Indonesia Hotels / Island Hotels / → All Tags
The view from your bale
Safaris and spas – two hotel-related things that we either love (the latter) or know we would love (the former). So we’re all over the Spa Safari that Nihiwatu on Sumba - an island in the Indian Ocean 250 miles south-east of Bali, and an hour’s flight from Denpasar – will launch next month.
It’ll take an entire day, the spa safari, crossing the island to Nihi Oka, a clifftop bale (traditional open air pavilion) overlooking the ocean below. You can get there either by foot (90 minutes) or – the luxury option – by car. Because why would you work up a sweat when you’re about to get slathered in fine oils?
Here’s why you should stay at Alila Manggis:
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A heavenly pool, manicured grounds, the sea just beyond the grass, and yet totally affordable rooms. So what’s the catch?
This is the view from our room at the Alila Manggis hotel in Manggis, East Bali. As we said yesterday, Bali is chock full of luxury hotels. Alila is one of those luxury brands, with real bucket list hotels like Alila Villas Uluwatu and The Soori Estate.
But with prices well into the $600s for those bucket list properties, they’re not exactly affordable. But there is one “budget” Alila: Alila Manggis. Over here, in less popular East Bali, our room cost $153, including breakfast, an hour-long spa treatment of our choice, and transfers to and from the airport.
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.
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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:
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Not only did a kind tipster point us to The Ritz-Carlton Bali missing from our list of hotels opening this month, he also provided us with a set of photos of the days-old hotel. We first looked at the beachfront / cliff-side hotel last summer, now we have much more detail on the return of Ritz-Carlton to the Indonesian island and can compare rendering to reality. Speaking of Ritz-Carlton, Bali, and renderings, we also have a whole bunch of new ones for Mandapa, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve that will open in Ubud next summer.
Our tipster was at the resort a day after the first guests arrived, but noted that while it looked stunning, quite a few rooms and the spa weren’t ready. The above shot is taken from the top of the cliff overlooking the majority of the resort down to the beach, and construction is still visible on the left, although in the aerial view we saw last year all there was meant to be were trees.
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.
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Just the mere mention of Bali evokes thoughts of a lush paradise, doting service and poolside cocktails. It's truly hard not to love everything the Indonesian island has to offer and now with Sentosa's brand-spanking-new resort, those little bits of tropical heaven are just icing on the top of a perfect vacation.
Opening by July, Sea Sentosa will blend European styling with Balinese warmth and plop it down right in the middle of one of the island's best surfing beaches, Echo Beach. Each of the one- and two-bedroom apartments will have either a lagoon swimming pool for a 'front yard' or Indian Ocean views.
Aside from killer views, the designers have outfitted each apartment with exotic details like mother of pearl trim and coconut shell wall coverings as well as a fully-equipped kitchen with all the tech comforts of home. Even the smaller garden studio rooms offer a tropical feel with private balconies and internal walled gardens to remind you that you're near the Equator.
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.