Tag Archives: Luxury Travel

Bali Hotels hit by Eat Love Pray fever

By Dian Hasan | September 3, 2010

Eat Pray Love Vacation Package

The “Eat Pray Love” frenzy continues and for those who have been inspired to set off on their own soul-searching adventure in Bali’s Kamandalu Resort has come up with their own version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s story. The “Eat Pray Love” package starts with your choice of private luxury villa (Garden, Pool, or Deluxe Pool) and includes a variety of goodies all for both you and a guest including daily breakfast, cycling to see the Eat Pray Love movie sets in nearby Ubud, a romantic Italian dinner in the garden, 30 minute spa treatments for each of you, an outdoor activity of your choice (trekking, cycling, village or Royal Palace visit), and a trip to see Elizabeth Gilbert’s palm reader. Plus plenty of extras like bottled water in the room, comfy robes and slippers, transportation, and free drinks and coupons at the lounge.

The package is available from September 2010 thru July 2011 and sounds like a nice balance of experiencing the movie’s theme while still leaving room for a personalized experience, and if you were really inspired by the movie you can enter their contest and potentially win a trip for free. Otherwise there’s a minimum two night stay required with rates ranging from $280 – $440/night, depending on which villa you choose. Let yourself go!

Inspiration: Luxist and Unique Travel Destinations

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Green & Chic | Kahanda Kanda, Galle, Sri Lanka

Kahanda Kanda, among Sri Lanka’s newest boutique hotels, offers the indulgent luxuries of a private villa with the service of a five star hotel, and is situated near the southern coast not far from Galle. Five air conditioned suites with breathtaking panoramic views of palm fringed jungle and the Indian Ocean promise stylish, spacious interiors, ideal in which to unwind – the perfect example of getaway boutique hotels.

Overlooking Koggala Lake and surrounded by the lush greenery of a working tea estate, my home turned award winning boutique hotel offers discerning travellers a unique wellness escape with quick access by charming tuk tuk to timeless treasures inside Galle Fort as well as some of the world’s best beaches, for which Galle and Sri Lanka are so well known.

Peaceful, tropical ambience, world class heartfelt service and fresh fusion cuisine that lures guests from surrounding hotels in and around Galle, Kahanda Kanda is an idyllic environment for a wedding, a honeymoon or a holiday of absolute relaxation, all on a working tea plantation.

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Green & Chic | Raas Haveli, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India

By Dian Hasan | August 31, 2010

Some of Asia’s most historically impressive destinations (save Bali, Bangkok, Luang Prabang & Kyoto) have often lacked accommodation that matched the magic of the place. The choices were mostly limited by large and unimaginative chain hotels, or a coterie of humble abodes for the backpacking crowd. And nothing really in between – a stylish small and personal hotel that breathes and oozes the place. Personality was missing big time. Such condition afflicted Jodhpur, Rajasthan, one of India’s most alluring destinations!

As the Indian economy continues to forge ahead, minting a new monied crowd with a lifestyle appetite to explore the continent’s diverse offerings, tagging with it an international clientele that seeks the chic and hip. The right hotels are coming on stream. Raas Haveli is one such fine pedigree! The age of the Boutique Hotel has arrived!

Situated at the foot of the mighty Meherangarh Fort, in the heart of Jodhpur’s Walled City. It is the only luxury hotel to be based in the old town, and the views directly up to the fort, which looms above you, are quite spectacular. It is situated in the prestigious north-eastern quarter of the Walled City, just a stone’s throw from the Clock Tower. One may simply wonder out into the surrounding maze of streets to explore the markets. The hotel comprises four charming 150-year old restored buildings in Jodhpur’s very own ‘rose-red’ sandstone.

This is combined with stylish, contemporary new buildings which have been designed by an acclaimed architect. In its entirety the Ras Haveli (as it was originally called) remains today the best preserved, largest and most complete urban noble residence perhaps in all Rajasthan. This exquisite little hotel is Jodhpur’s first eco friendly boutique hotel in the true sense of the term.

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Green & Chic | Jeeva Klui Resort, Lombok, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | August 20, 2010

With Bali’s continued rise to prominence as a world-class island destination that garners accolades from global travel industry and press, there is one island destined to capitalize on Bali’s fame: Lombok, the adjacent island East of Bali.

Lombok is often referred to as Bali 30 years ago, before the arrival of global tourism, but Lombok is in fact a very different place. With a natural beauty all its own, with its famous landmark, Mount Rinjani volcano with her 3-color lakes, and pristine beaches that rival the best in the world, and a culture that is fusion of Balinese and Sasak people, Lombok has plenty to offer.

Its less developed infrastructure is probably her best-kept secret, offering solitude and unspoiled beauty that beckons any weary urban soul to her shores.

Lombok’s newest resort is a testament to the island’s rise. And unlike Bali’s unchecked development of massive resorts, Lombok has taken the road less traveled, focusing on small-scale resorts – mostly in Villa compounds – that stay true to eco-friendliness and unobtrusive views of immediate surroundings. Such are the offerings of JEEVA KLUI, a gem of a small resort on Klui Beach, just North of Senggigi beach, nearby Lombok’s famous trio of Gilis of Trawangan, Meno and Air (Gili is island in the local language)

Along an uninterrupted stretch of curving beach, Jeeva Klui, “The Soul of Klui,” blends the full spectrum of sea, tropical foliage, and local culture with the natural beauty of Klui Beach.

From dramatic sunsets etching the volcanoes of Bali to the stone and thatch beach front suites framed by swaying palms, the natural simplicity of Jeeva Klui’s traditional design and Lombok’s splendid tropical environment create an ambience of modern luxury and laid back indulgence.

Jeeva Klui’s tropical allure embraces quaint touches of traditional village life. Great care was taken to conceptualize a resort with strong emphasis on providing the ultimate holiday experience, while at the same time being socially and environmentally responsible through sensitive design and green practices.

Wood and stone pathways lead through the gardens to the beach suites spread across the two hectare grounds. The resort melds an appreciation of local architecture and tradition with the look and feel of a Robinson Crusoe idyll allowing for an intimate and stylish base from which to explore Lombok’s spectacular natural beauty. Built using sustainable local materials, such as handmade terracotta tiles, bamboo weaves, stone and recycled timber, each suite exudes an air of authentic sophistication.

Located at the edge of the Wallace Line, Jeeva Klui’s magnificent 170 meter beach front commands views across the Indian Ocean to the islands of Bali and Nusa Penida as well as Lombok’s Sekotong peninsula. The beach at Jeeva Klui is protected by an offshore reef immediately in front of the resort that creates a calm “lagoon” perfect for a leisurely swim.

Upon arrival at Jeeva Klui, guests will be escorted to their suite where check-in formalities will be completed. Jeeva Klui’s total 27 suites include 18 one and two-story beach front suites, six two-story ocean view suites and three pool villas. All rooms have a private terrace with an oversized outdoor day bed and are equipped with either 32 or 37 inch flat screen televisions. All suites are a spacious 54 m2 although the layouts of the suites vary with the type of suite. WiFi is available in the public areas and in the pool suites. Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Suka Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia [2]

By Dian Hasan | July 28, 2010


The Pool Pavilion, the “heart” of Suka Island, where guests mingle and food is served upstairs in the dining area.

When you think of Singapore, the words idyllic, rustic and laid back, are probably not the first thing that would come to mind. A modern Asian nation with a dynamic economy is more likely. Singapore is situated at the crossroads of East and West, and trade has been the foundation upon which Singapore’s economic miracle has been built.

One often forgets, however, that urban Singapore that likes to call itself Garden City, is an island. To the North lies the Malaysian Peninsula that continues on to the Asian continent, while to its South is Indonesia’ Riau Archipelago, a group of islands that include the industrial and shipyard-based Batam, and Singapore’s favorite island playground, Bintan. Further afield are small islands, mostly uninhabited that are the furthest image of urban life.

And here you’ll find Singapore’s best-kept secret: Private Islands that offer the bare-foot luxury commonly found in the Caribbean. Tropical isles, with nothing but thatch-roof huts (no worries, electricity and modern amenities are standard features…). You’d almost have to pinch yourself of thinking you’re in Bali.


The pool and Pool Pavilion area, the “heart” of Suka Island.


The Treehouse Villa, built of sustainable materials using driftwood found in the surrounding islands. Pulled into place using plenty of manpower [below].

So put your leisure thinking cap on, and start imagining swaying palm trees, a tropical breeze, white sand beaches, and the soothing sound of the ocean… all this on an private island you can have for yourself.

From the same creative hospitality minds that run Pulau Pangkil Private Island Resort, comes Suka Island (Pulau Suka in Indonesian), a pleasant 3-hour ferry ride (approximately 100 km) from Singapore, the embarkation point for the majority of our guests. Continue reading

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Green & Chic | Suka Island, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia [1]

By Dian Hasan | June 18, 2010

When you think of Singapore, the words idyllic, rustic and laid back, are probably not the first thing that would come to mind. A modern Asian nation with a dynamic economy is more likely. Singapore is situated at the crossroads of East and West, and trade has been the foundation upon which Singapore’s economic miracle has been built.

One often forgets, however, that urban Singapore that likes to call itself Garden City, is an island. To the North lies the Malaysian Peninsula that continues on to the Asian continent, while to its South is Indonesia’ Riau Archipelago, a group of islands that include the industrial and shipyard-based Batam, and Singapore’s favorite island playground, Bintan. Further afield are small islands, mostly uninhabited that are the furthest image of urban life.

And here you’ll find Singapore’s best-kept secret: Private Islands that offer the bare-foot luxury commonly found in the Caribbean. Tropical isles, with nothing but thatch-roof huts (no worries, electricity and modern amenities are standard features…). You’d almost have to pinch yourself of thinking you’re in Bali.

So put your leisure thinking cap on, and start imagining swaying palm trees, a tropical breeze, white sand beaches, and the soothing sound of the ocean… all this on an private island you can have for yourself.

From the same creative hospitality minds that run Pulau Pangkil Private Island Resort, comes Suka Island (Pulau Suka in Indonesian), a pleasant 3-hour ferry ride (approximately 100 km) from Singapore, the embarkation point for the majority of our guests.

The journey normally involves catching one of the international ferries to Bintan, land transport across part of Bintan and then a high-speed boat trip to the island. Some groups chose to arrive on their private yachts.

The Rembang Villa, one of the two villas converted from vintage Javanese Joglo houses made of solid teak, shipped from Central Java and reconfigured for Suka Island. Continue reading

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Sleek & Chic Afloat | El Aleph Luxury Phinisi, Indonesia

By Dian Hasan | July 21, 2010

Few people realize that Bali’s immense popularity as a world travel destination has made it into a cruise center, transporting divers and surfers ply the oceans east of Bali to explore Lesser Sunda Islands of Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores, West Timor, and further afield. The leading attraction in these waters is of course the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) giant monitor lizard that inhabits the island that forms the Komodo National Park.

Bali’s cruise industry is mostly made up of  the smaller, human-scale live-aboard ships fashioned from the traditional Phinisi schooners and converted into modern ocean-plying sail boats.

Until recently, however, most of these majestic crafts were better looking on the outside. The interior was reduced to an afterthought. Mostly rustic and traditional, not that much different from the ambience in the fishing villages where the Bugis seafaring people craft Phinisis by hand.

Luckily, some forward-thinking liveaboard operators, understood that the market was looking for something better. Something with an umph! Hence, designers were commissioned, some style quotient got kicked in, and voila!…  a new crop of luxury phinisi emerges. El Aleph clearly belongs to this club of lookers.

El Aleph offers among the most spacious traditional sailing yacht plying the exotic Indonesian archipelago and beyond, in sheer luxury. Broad-beamed and well-ballasted, El Aleph offers unmatched stability and comfort. A symphony in 100-year old tropical hardwoods – her teak finishes more reminiscent of a fine guitar than of a ship – no detail has been left to chance in ensuring your comfort, safety and enjoyment.

Bringing together traditional Phinisi design and 21st century technology, El Aleph was built in South Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia’s hub of traditional handcrafted schooner ship-building. Featuring tropical hardwoods by Bali’s finest cabinetmakers who spent more than 200,000 man-hours on the final fit-out.

El Aleph offers a unique opportunity to explore the fascinating Indonesian archipelago – and beyond, to Thailand, Myanmar (Burma) and the Andamans – in luxury and total privacy, far from the crowded marinas and touristed beaches of the standard Asian cruising destinations. Continue reading

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