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Bali continues to be a hot destination not just for adventurous travelers, but also luxury hotels.
Last week we learned that Langham Hotels will be opening their first Langham Place resort on a clifftop in Ungasan-Uluwatu area. Today, Ritz-Carlton Hotels has announced that their equally impressive Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the third in the brand's ultra-exclusive collection, will open in September of this year in Ubud.
Indeed, reservations are live on the hotel's website, starting at around $670 a night for a Reserve Suite, one of the largest entry-level suites in Ubud at around 1,000-sq.ft., with views of the rain forest and rice paddies. But this is just the starting room category for Mandapa. Accommodations also include one, two and three-bedroom villas, most with private pools. (There are 35 suites and 25 private pool villas in total.)
Here's what else is expected at the Mandapa:
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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.
Back in June we talked about the return of Ritz-Carlton Hotels to Bali, with a new 288-room resort scheduled to open next year. Apparently the thinking over at RC is that two resorts is much better than one, as the group is adding another resort – this time an even fancier Ritz-Carlton Reserve – the year after.
Opening in the summer of 2015, the Reserve is set along the Ayung River in Ubud. It will be much smaller than its “regular” Ritzy sibling, with just 60 suites and villas. Read on for an aerial view and another shot of a suite.
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When we looked at the Ritz-Carlton Okinawa last October, we mentioned that a fourth Japanese property was in the works in Kyoto, the country’s former imperial capital and home to no less than 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is confirmed as opening on February 7, 2014, alongside a host of other new hotels being announced. We’ll give you a breakdown of what’s happening below.
Billed as an urban resort, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto will have 136 rooms on the banks of the Kamogawa River, with views of the Higashiyama Mountains. Traditional Meiji house and courtyard architecture is incorporated into the building’s structure, and the hotel will have four dining options, as well as meeting facilities and a spa.
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No? Well, that's because you've never spent a night at Ritz-Carlton's
over the top opulent Reserve Phulay Bay in Krabi, Thailand. Comprised of 54 villas set along the Andaman Sea, every inch of the resort is pure luxury—from the feng shui-inspired welcome pavilion to the cathedral-like bathrooms.
The above shot shows a bathroom entrance in one of the Ocean Pavilion villas (these bad boys go for around $550/night during the summer season). The painted double doors alone are pretty impressive, and peeking inside, we love how the scalloped porcelain sinks are set in the middle of the room like a shrine. But the fancy faucets are only the beginning of what Phulay Bay's bathrooms have to offer...
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On the coast of Krabi in Thailand sits Ritz-Carlton's prize jewel, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve at Phulay Bay. While a lot of meticulous planning went into the property's design, it seems there was one element of Phulay Bay that needed some adjusting after the initial opening.
Specifically, the welcome pavilion, where, upon arriving, guests must ceremoniously walk around the edges of a pond by following a path of stones (above). Fair enough. Except the path splits in two, so guests have to choose whether they want to enter from the left or right. Fair enough.
Then, the hotel found out that walking counter-clockwise is considered bad feng shui. Meaning half the guests, before they'd even checked into their picture-perfect villas, were already doomed. What to do?