Update on the future of Bali Hotels

Travel News Asia 4 July 2005

Bali hoteliers are upbeat on the islands future outlook, and are backing their optimism with a wide range of facility improvements. Investor confidence in Bali is demonstrated by on-going luxury development from the US$28 million Bulgari Hotel slated to open 58 villas in Uluwatu by year end, to the US$19 million, 176 unit Novotel Nusa Dua Golf condotel development now selling units and the 38 villa Ubud Hanging Gardens opening this month.

Contiki Resorts opens a 133-room all-inclusive package property for 18-35s on September 1. Marriott opens its flagship Renaissance Resort, the first in Asia, at year-end. The Renaissance Bali Resort Villas & Spa will feature 116 villas and Quan Spa along Nusa Dua Beach. Intan Bali Village has been razed in preparation for Santosa Resort, combining rooms and villas.

Balis tourism industry has proved resilient and continues to show signs of recovery, both from traditional long-haul markets and with intra-regional Asian travelers, said Gerard Guillouet, Accor Director of Operations, Indonesia. Amankilas General Manager Tracy Atherton agrees. Business looks good and there has been a strong increase from the US and European markets.

Business levels look to remain strong for the remainder of the year, said Bennett Peter, Director of Sales and Marketing for Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel & Suites. The hotel is confident that refurbishments will continue to be well received by corporate travelers and leisure guests, he added. 

New additions have created a great environment for young and old with more activities to give a wow factor to a holiday, added Bali Dynastys Director of Sales & Marketing, Joy Gartner.

Bali Hotels Association (BHA) recently surveyed its resort members for a round of whats new and improved in the islands hotel sector. BHA is a professional association of 64 star-rated hotels and resorts in Bali. Its members represent more than 13,000 hotel rooms and 20,000 employees. The survey shows that:

Alila Manggis and Alila Ubud now offer wireless Internet service (WiFi) in public areas. Beds are dressed in hand-finished, pure cotton linens with Ploh pillows. In-house Alila Living gift shops recently were introduced, along with gallery and exhibition space; and community and charity programs. Beyond newly refurbished rooms, Alila Manggis adds two new seafront pavilions to Segara Bayu Spa.

Amandari, Amankila and Amanusa are spending US$60,000 to add WiFi service to public areas and broadband Internet in all resort rooms.

Bali Dynasty upgrades Executive Suites in new modern contemporary style with separate bedrooms, lounges, kitchenettes and baths. Large screen television and DVD players are added with a second TV in the bedroom. A dedicated Entertainment Manager expands the renovated the kids club and programs, adding a giant 56 meter waterslide to the kids pool, and adding new teen activities. A new adults-only exercise room features the latest exercise equipment with a range of fitness programs.

Bali Garden has added well-known restaurants Batan Waru and Ryoshi Japanese as street-front, stand-alone restaurants encouraging access both for guests and walk-in visitors. Both offer room service. The new Tari Spa offers a complete range of spa services at competitive prices. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) adds new security measures. A shopping arcade is due for completion by August.

Club Med Nusa Dua recently spent US$40,000 on beachfront improvements and landscaping; and resurfaced and refurbished its seven tennis courts.

Conrad Bali beefed up security measures with electronic guestroom locks, an access control system, panic alarm systems and CCTV. All vehicles entering the property are checked. Visitors and vendors are identified with a visitor badges. The 42-member security team is supported by Elite Indonesian Mobile Police Officers at the main entrance and on the beach. A bomb sniffer dog is also stationed at the main entrance.

Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel is spending US$ 1.112 million on upgrades, enlarging 16 Oceanfront Rooms and installing new wooden patio furnishings in other rooms. Other new additions are a new bar and more seating in the renovated Musro nightclub, the Bowls steamboat restaurant and a Balinese-style entry gate. Public areas now have WiFi and increased CCTV security. Within the year, all guestrooms will be refitted with new TVs, bathrooms will be upgraded, lifts modernized and more one-bedroom villas added to the property. Adjacent to the resort, the 89,000 m2 Discovery Shopping Mall and a childrens fantasyland were another US$32 million investment.

Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay spent US$600,000 on recent renovations. Included is one of the worlds only infinity pools for children and a new glass-fronted wedding chapel for 30 guests. The Spa Lounge is energized with new soft furnishings and resort villas are in ongoing soft renovations, due for year-end completion.

Grand Istana Rama Kuta closes 40 rooms on October 1 for complete reconstruction, resulting in 88 new rooms. Other rooms will be refurbished in eight-room blocks through 2006. All construction work occurs during daytime hours and is situated at the rear of the property, away from public areas. The hotel remains open for the duration.

Hard Rock Hotel Bali has refurbished one-half of its 418 guest rooms, the kids club and public toilets. The balance will be finished next year. A 5-meter climbing wall is a new pool area addition and recording studio sound equipment has been upgraded. WiFi is available in public area and CCTV coverage has been increased.

Hotel Padma Bali recently added to existing meeting facilities two new breakout rooms for 20 to 60 people. WiFi is available in public areas. DVD players now are in Garden Deluxe Chalets and these rooms and suites will be completely redesigned by mid-2006, adopting a contemporary artistic concept with a touch of tradition. 

InterContinental Bali opened a new airport arrival lounge for Club InterContinental guests. Arrivals enjoy refreshments in the air-conditioned lounge while immigrations and customs clearance proceeds, prior to transfer to the resort.

Legian Beach Hotel upgrades its lobby and lobby lounge with modern furnishings, a spacious reception area, public toilets and a group check-in area.

Maya Ubud installed DVD players, hand showers and electronic keys in all rooms, a US$53,600 investment.

Mercure Kuta opened Bali Spa - Beachfront, one of the few spa's with a beachfront view and Kutas best sunset view from the fourth floor rooftop, poolside. Indoor treatment areas also are available with spa, beauty salon and wellness center therapies.

Mercure Resort Sanur officially rebranded and opened in March with all 189 rooms and suites redesigned and refurnished. Three pools are modernized and bars and restaurants updated and rethemed. The lobby is redesigned and brightened, with a Departure Lounge added for guests on departure day. Resort facilities, pools and showers are available for these guests. A modern fitness center, spa and open-air massage huts are being added, as is a dedicated ballroom entrance.

Nikko Bali Resort & Spa installed CCTV to further enhance security measures within the resort.

Ramada Bintang Bali Resort will spend US$500,000 on improvements over the next three months. These include three new function rooms, new public toilets, a new hotel entrance, CCTV, WiFi hotspots, Japanese keyboarded Internet access, lobby refurnishing, and a new entertainment lounge and beach terrace. A US$300,000 spa upgrade is scheduled within 12 months.

Ritz-Carlton recently opened 38 new Cliff Villas with new facilities in the separate complex, including two restaurants, two bars with a Martini club, wedding pavilion, wedding gazebo, shopping boutique, two-tiered swimming pool, and library with meeting space.

Sanur Paradise Plaza Hotel & Suites spent US$260,000 on refurbishments, including new restaurant furniture, bed duvets, bedroom lighting, suite renovations adding marble floors, painting, refurbishing the kids club, adding broadband Internet in guest rooms and conference rooms and WiFi in public areas. A club lounge for business travelers will be complete by year-end.

Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua is remodeling the 418-square meter ballroom and function rooms to double the ballrooms size and capacity. Remodeling between September and December will result in the complete redesign of 96 rooms and suites. This includes wall finishes, furnishings and dcor, with wall-mounted flat screen plasma televisions and entertainment systems. The remainder of the rooms will be refurbished in 2006.

The Legian Bali and The Club at The Legian spent US$1 million on high-tech and soft furnishing additions. Bose audio systems and Apple iPods are featured in each suite and villa. WiFi is available in public areas. High security key lock systems are on all suite and villa doors. Ploh pillows and duvets have been added to beds and furnishings have been reupholstered.

The Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, redevelops six Ocean View Suites with individual themes reflecting different Bali regions. Each suite will have broadband Internet and a 42-inch plasma screen TV with home theater system. Suites have separate living and dining room. Two-bedroom units have a plunge pool and private garden, with additional quarters for an assistant. Four suites are one-bedroom. 

The Villas recently completed a US$650,000 upgrade and refurbishment on villa interiors. New color schemes and soft furnishings are part of the program, with complete revamp of kitchens and bathrooms, including deep marble bathtubs for two. State of the art televisions, DVD and stereo equipment were also added.

Waka Resorts are finalizing plans for extentions and refurbishments at WakaShorea and WakaGangga. WakaNusa also will undergo refurbishment. A new US$300,000 catamaran is added to the sea fleet and MV Wakalouka will convert to a dinner cruise vessel in August.

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