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We noticed it right away: security is tight at the Anantara Resort in Seminyak, Bali, but of course that's the case around the island. The security stood out here, however, because the hotel occupies what is possibly the best position right on the beach and naturally people want to check it out. To gain the coveted access you've got to be a guest, and for two glorious nights recently we were.
As we said yesterday in our video tour, all rooms here are suites59 suites and 1 penthouse, with nightly rates starting around $450. So what'd'ya get for that? Flip through the photo galleries to see everything...
HotelChatter Video Tours / Anantara Hotels / Bali Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Sweet Suites / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Having just returned from the Indonesian exotic paradise island that is Bali, we are not only tan, but tapped out. It'd be so sad to come all the way herea 16-hour flight from New York, plus a layover in Hong Kong, plus another 5-hour flightto have to stay in a hotel less than breathtaking. So yeah, we went all out.
This week we'll be sharing peeks into the hotels we chose for our Bali sojourn. First up: the Anantara Resort and Spa, which sits right on Seminyak Beach, an area famed for its sunsets, its surfing and its superior resorts.
At this Anantara, even the lowest category of room is a suite, with a sitting area, balcony (with outdoor bathtub!), massive bathroom and so many little extras that we couldn't even manage to take all the soap bars (Lemongrass and Ginger or Ylang-Ylang Patchouli, yes there are several varieties of soap).
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.
Hotel Temples / Religious Hotels / Bali Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Anantara Hotels / COMO Hotels / → All Tags
COMO Shambhala Estate - Ubud
Traveling the world doesn't mean that your faith needs to have the out-of-office autoreply. Last year we showed you the hotel temples of Thailand. Now, we bring you the religious corners of the hotels we visited in Bali.
Bali, unlike other islands in Indonesia, is predominantly Hindu in faith and each hotel and resort in Bali has it's own temple to pay respect to gods. On our recent trip to the tropical island we took note of the prominently placed temples at our accomodation.
Warning: for serious hotel geeks only!
Step into a suite (they're all suites) at the Anantara Resort and Spa Seminyak, Bali as we did last week, and you'll notice the seamless smooth stone walls, the huge sitting area, the view to the ocean, the fresh passionfruit on the coffeetable...but in the bathroom it's a coffeetable of another sorta coffeetable book.
On the bath tray above a deep soaking tub sits a coffeetable book titled Overnight Sensations. The bath oil and bath salt also on the tray are things you'd expect to see in a bathroom, but this giant book? What if it gets wet? No matterit's a whole tome that addresses hotel design details such as this very thing; the book features other stunning properties around the world, perhaps the better to help you plan your next stay from the comfort of this one. And they're not all Anantaras eitherthey're any property worth profiling and we love it.
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Kopi Luwak. Sound familiar? You've likely heard it mentioned in a documentary or by your coffee snob friend, because this "Kopi Luwak" stuff is well known to be one of the rarest, most expensive coffees in the world (and it used to be the rarest).
Luwak coffee owes all these superlatives to how it's produced: an Indonesian civet (like a possum) eats a certain type of coffee berries. Its digestive system digests the meat of the berry, adds enzymes to the bean inside, and then poops out the bean. These beans are then collected, cleaned and sterilized, roasted and ground into coffee powder.
Kopi Luwak is definitely one of those bucket list items; actually we believe it's even featured in the movie "The Bucket List." Go figure.
At coffee shops around the world, occasional bags of the rare stuff find their way into stock, going for $40-$60 per cup. In Bali, Indonesia however, the "cat poo coffee" is far easier to come by and you can even find individual baggies of the powder for $2. The W Retreat and Spa Bali, being a fancy schmancy hotel, both offers it on their bar menu and marks it up to 120,000 IDR ($13 per cup).
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:
The new Anantara Kihavah Villas. It's calling you.
Free nights? Just what we like to hear, especially if it’s somewhere idyllic. This time it’s Anantara doing the honors, offering a free night at all 15 of its properties in Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives and the UAE.
There’s a catch, of course – there always is. You need to hop on it quick because it’s only valid for stays before April 15, and you have to pay for a certain number of nights before you qualify for a free one. How many depends on the individual hotel, but it runs from buy two nights, get a third free (at the Anantara Bangkok Sathorn and its two resorts in Abu Dhabi) to buy six and get a seventh free at Anantara Dhigu Maldives. Even the brand new Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives, which we already declared sex on a stick, is offering a four for three deal.
Hotel Lust / Lily Allen / Celebrity Scoop / HotelChatter Flickr Pool / Amanresorts / Bali Hotels / → All Tags
It's the season of celebrity engagements! While most of us would be content with an intimate proposal in a sentimental location and a carat or two, celebrities go all out with their engagements, often popping the question with a monster five or six carat ring while on vacation at some to-die-for luxury resort.
After word came yesterday that Natalie Portman and LeAnn Rimes said "yes" to their lovers, we found out that pop singer Lily Allen also got engaged to her boyfriend, Sam Cooper, at the Amankila Resort in Bali from the luxe Aman Resorts.
And coincidentally, a HotelChatter Flickr Pool member, had just dropped these gorgey photos of the resort in our Flickr pool.
Viceroy Hotels / Hotel Names / Bali Hotels / Tablet Hotels / Private Sales / Hotel Deals / → All Tags
We keep pretty good tabs on Viceroy Hotels but we were stunned today when we opened our weekly Tablet Hotels private sale newsletter to see The Viceroy Bali was on sale through December, starting at $292 a night for a garden view villa.
Just as we were getting all worked up about this (how could we not have known about Viceroy Bali? @*@!!), the Tablet description essentially handed us a brown paper bag to blow into:
No relation, apparently, to any other Viceroy, in Los Angeles or anywhere else — the Viceroy Bali is a one-off, a family-owned hotel, a rarity at the high end of the resort market. The location is increasingly familiar, as more travelers discover the charms of inland Bali — the Viceroy is minutes from Ubud, high on a hillside overlooking the lush (and steep) Lembah Valley.
A Marvelous suite at the W Retreat & Spa Bali
We've had some ups and downs with W Hotels as of late. The good news? W New York Downtown is still on for an August 16 opening. The bad news? W London has delayed its opening until February. Yet there's still some good news to be had here, especially overseas.
After the W New York Downtown opens, the next Ws to open will actually be W Retreat & Spas, a sort of new concept within the W brand. They are pretty self-explanatory but in case you need a little help, these Ws are far away from urban settings and the focus is to really relax. The first W Retreat & Spa was actually the W Maldives followed by the The W Vieques in Puerto Rico, which opened this past March.