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It scares us sometimes when it turns out hotels we thought we talked about just a few months ago were actually on our radar closer to a few years ago. How time flies. Such is the case with Six Senses hotels, which we looked at in late 2013 for its expansion plans in all sorts of places: far from its usual Southeast Asia habitat in the French Alps near Mont Blanc, in the remote kingdom of Bhutan, and the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
Opening dates in 2015 and 2016 seemed so far away at the time, and yet here we are, with the first two resorts scheduled to open on July 1: Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, a half hour outside Chengdu in China. Chengdu is one of the largest cities in China and the capital of the Sichuan province, home to 80% of the world’s panda population. The resort will have 113 suites and villas (above a rendering, which shows an interesting mix of contemporary and traditional design), and not surprisingly, a serious spa with locally-inspired treatments and “sensory journeys”. Scheduled for July 1 as it may be (the May date on the website we've been told will be July), we can’t seem to make reservations yet.
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:
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Bali Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
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.
Regent Hotels / Hotel Drama / Hotel Rebrandings / Bali Hotels / Boston Hotels / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
What was the Regent Bali
Between the friendly rebranding of a property here and some owner-operator drama there, it’s part of hotel reality that the name above the door may change. But we struggle to think of a brand that is guilty of a more continuous stream of, “Whoops, that didn’t work out as planned, we’re leaving” as Regent Hotels. Let’s recap.
Travel back well into the last decade, and there was The Regent South Beach, which became a Vincci, then a De Soleil, before settling on Z Ocean South Beach as a name, while sort of being a Crowne Plaza.
A second, more recent attempt at a Florida hotel was equally unsuccessful, with The Regent Bal Harbour, having tried on its own as One Bal Harbour, now being a Ritz-Carlton. Further north, The Regent Battery Wharf in Boston never made it to opening, arriving as Fairmont, which now has also said its goodbyes to the harbor-side property.
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?
Hotel News / Bali Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Hotel Development / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / → All Tags
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.
Hotel Openings / Sentosa Resorts / Bali Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / Beach Resorts / Beach Hotels / → All Tags
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.
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.
New Hotels / Bali Hotels / Indonesia Hotels / L Hotels / Small Luxury Hotels of the World / → All Tags
A brand new hotel name has hit the serene shores of Bali and, if your plans are bringing you to the Indonesian island, this one might be worth checking out -- and the name is easy to remember as long as you know the alphabet.
New hotel chain, L Hotels, have opened their very first luxury property in the tourist hotspot of Seminyak and marries urban, sleek design with the quintessential Balinese warmth that we have come to love.
This 30-suite property boasts Balinese butler service for each floor of the hotel for all of your needs in paradise. Once inside the room, guests can pamper themselves with plush décor, Kiehl's amenities, soap and pillow menus and thread-count specific sheets. While the design is heavy on the 'downtown high-rise apartment' each room features a hand-carved wooden ceiling ornament reflecting the Balinese influence.