Monday, July 16, 2018

Enjoy Daily Freshness as You Chill Out at Relish Bistro

Conveniently located within Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta, Relish Bistro brings Pan Asian comfort food and zestful flavours to the table.

COOKING from the heart of Central Jakarta, Relish Bistro welcomes everyone to experience a casual dining restaurant that serves fresh food daily. Conveniently located within Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta, a Gold Standard serviced residence, this bistro is a hidden treasure that aims to draw diverse patrons in the surrounding area. A meeting point of cultures where you can come to refuel and recharge, Relish Bistro serves comfort food that everyone knows and loves. As its name suggests, Relish Bistro will bring pleasing and zestful flavours to the table.

Located within Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta, Relish Bistro brings convenience to visitors with a secured parking facility for all vehicles. The proximity to Jakarta’s main Jend. Sudirman Street and M.H. Thamrin Street will also make Relish Bistro an easy destination for those enjoying a fun Sunday out during the city’s weekly Car Free Day.

Gule Aceh Kacang Ijo

With dishes that use the freshest of ingredients and are guaranteed to be sizzling when they arrive on the table, Relish Bistro offers a unique selection for budding foodies in Jakarta. A collective of Pan Asian cuisines as well as Indonesian and Western favourites in the menu served on a hot skillet, Relish Bistro would have something for everyone. Crowd-pleasers that are expected to make the most impression are the Aceh Gule Kacang Hijauwith its perfect blend of east meets west – the curry dish is made with green mung bean and premium lamb chop – as well as the Ayam Gecok, a culinary specialty from Semarang, where the dish typically uses twenty-five kinds of herbs and spices.

Ayam Gecok

Detox Salad

Meanwhile, tummy fillers such as the Relish Burger, which features several layers of juicy beef or chicken patties accompanied by mouth-watering beef bacon, and Relish Pizza, which uses a variety of cheeses to create a savoury goodness, will definitely satisfy the biggest of cravings.

For health-conscious eaters, a bowl of watercress, beetroot and chunky apple meets an apple vinaigrette dressing in the form of the Detox Salad, and the Relish Detox, a drink of blended horenso spinach and apple with an ample serving of lemon juice, are great energy boosters – especially on days when the city is buzzing with its non-stop hustle and bustle.

In creating Relish Bistro, Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta’s existing restaurant has been redesigned with a contemporary style of industrial geometric. Indoor and outdoor seating are available, up to a maximum capacity of 100-seated guests. The open air bar is perfect for those who seeks the breezy outdoors of Jakarta and gives the ability to feel al fresco dining. Besides being the perfect place to have good food, the bistro will also serve as a new hotspot for guests’ social media repertoire thanks to its Instagrammable interiors. Having a swimming pool as a vocal point of the restaurant also brings a soothing atmosphere, making it a relaxed space to dine and wine – from within the restaurant and from the bar as well. Relish Bistro doesn’t require its dining guest to be fully dressed up, which makes it easier for patrons from all walks of Jakarta to enjoy a good time. With this rejuvenation, Relish Bistro aims to create good vibes and bring great enjoyment to those who visit.



About Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta

Strategically located at Menteng Raya in Central Jakarta, close to the business district of Thamrin, Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta is minutes away from multinational corporations, key tourist sites, and excellent shopping and dining establishments. Each of the 128 Gold-Standard serviced apartment residences exudes a sense of tranquillity and space with natural light cascading through the full-length windows into the spacious interiors, creating an oasis within Jakarta city. Fraser Residence Menteng Jakarta is also pet-friendly and well-equipped with a wide range of facilities and amenities, such as a 24/7 gym, a spa and a pool, and reception, concierge and security services.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Sweet Art of Summer

Le Residencia

By Belmond New Experiences to Celebrate La Dolce Vita

This summer, Belmond introduces new experiences that embrace ‘the sweet art of summer living’ and celebrate ‘La Dolce Vita’. From private concerts in Portofino Bay to chic picnics on the Amalfi Coast, Belmond’s timeless portfolio of hotels in Southern Europe are set to seduce guests against a backdrop of the most beautiful and iconic locations in Italy, Mallorca and Portugal.



Belmond has created a series of new gastronomic experiences that will last from dawn until dusk, making the most of the long summer days across Southern Europe.

Rising above the clouds in Madeira, a sunrise breakfast is served by a private Butler for guests of Belmond Reid’s Palace at one of the highest peaks of the Atlantic Isle.

In Venice, a new cookery class in the gardens of Belmond Hotel Cipriani, hosted by chef Roberto Gatto introduces legendary recipes from Cip’s Club followed by alfresco lunch under the new pergola in the hotel vineyards.

Reids Palace

Sandwiched between history and the natural wonders of the Amalfi coast; a chic picnic is served amongst the ruins of the oldest village in Ravello for guests of Belmond Hotel Caruso; whilst at Belmond Villa San Michele in the hills of Fiesole, guests are invited to enjoy an aperitivo picnic in the gardens of the new Cloister Bar.

Celebrating 100 days of summer in Sicily, Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo has launched a ‘pop-up’ restaurant in honour of the artist Otto Geleng; rounding off the perfect summer evening in Mallorca, romance is on the menu at the Mirador aboveBelmond La Residencia.

Sant Andrea


New excursions exploring the sparkling Mediterranean coastline in Portofino and Sicily take guests on romantic journeys full of the nostalgic glamour of the golden age of travel.

A sunset cruise across Portofino Bay from Belmond Hotel Splendido to San Fruttuoso Bay for a private concert in the courtyard of the abbey, sets the scene for the most magical evening in theMediterranean.

Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea, invites guests to visit one of the most untouched islands in the Sicilian Archipelago, the Filicudi Islands, spending time with local artists and fishermen who open their houses for traditional Sicilian hospitality.



Celebrate the Sweet Art of Summer with the ‘Suite Life’ offer in one of Belmond’s timeless suites.

From the Ava Gardner Suite at Belmond Hotel Splendido and the Limonaia Suite at Belmond Villa San Michele; to the newly appointed ‘Modern Romantic’ suites at Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea and the vibrant Suite 67 by Matthew Williamson at Belmond La Residencia – sweet dreams are made of ‘La Dolce Vita’ at Belmond.

Belmond’s Suite Life offer includes luxury accommodation in a Junior Suite including daily breakfast – for more details visit HERE.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Tropicola Launches on Bali’s Golden Mile in August 2018

This place must have existed
in another time and in another place
coconut oil melting in the sun
the vivid blue of the water
the blinding white of staff on bended knee
languid hands on frozen drinks
the sizzle of shellfish over wood fire
laughter and splash and chatter
a paradise against the sea
It was just another mansion

–––––––– Tropicola is what it felt like.

Tropicolais a multi-stage, beachfront development on the Golden Mile of Bali’s Seminyak Beach, enjoying sweeping panoramic views of the Indian Ocean just meters up the beach from W Bali-Seminyak, Potato Head & Alila Seminyak. It’s the biggest project to date from the group behind Bali’s iconic Motel Mexicolaand Bucket Liston Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

Tropicola is a beach club, restaurant, rooftop bar and hotel located on 7000m2of pristine beachfront land. The venue has been years in the planning with the first stage, Tropicola Beach Club, kicking off in August 2018.

Over the following year the next two stages will roll out, beginning with a 60 seats restaurant by Chef Steve Skelly, followed by a rooftop bar and event space with vast, uninterrupted views spanning from the Buket peninsula to the south all the way north to Tanah Lot. Completing the development will be a 60 rooms hotel bringing fun, affordable and accessible luxury to the island with room rates from $100 a night.

Combining the team’s years of excellence in hospitality with memories of travels around the globe, Tropicola is their nostalgic tribute to places both real and imagined, representing a homage to more carefree and effortless times. Located on one of the most well-known beachfronts in Bali, Tropicola brings a Slim Aarons picture to life, opening its pools to the new jet-set that have made Bali their own. Memories of Miami, Acapulco, Palm Springs, Tulum and Playa Del Carmen are woven into a drink and dine beach club like no other.

Tropicola Beach Club features three bars sprawling over multiple levels, surrounding two pools and a wood fire open kitchen. Chef Steve Skelly, responsible for the award winning food at Mexicola, Da Maria and Luigi’s Hot Pizza, has drawn upon his traveling experiences to create a menu anchored by wood fired grills, fresh seafood, grilled meats and simply handled vegetables. Nothing too heavy or overdone, just great produce prepared beautifully and simply, in an environment purpose built for lounging and grazing, day and night.

Tropicola will marry the fun and irreverence of Mexicola with the slick and professional service that is a hallmark of the team. Working with James Brown, the designer behind Motel Mexicola, Tropicola rises up from the beachfront in a riot of colour and movement. Tropicola Beach Club is a place to get a tan, relax in the in the sun, people watch, sipping great cocktails and dine all day long as music fills the air and the best staff on the island flit and flow from table to table and sunbed to sunbed.

Tropicola is about transporting moods and memories from another time and place to the heart of Bali. Guests will celebrate the sun setting over the ocean every evening whilst Coconut Womanby Lloyd Price plays in the background, with staff in crisp white and red weaving through the crowd with trays of complimentary sunset drinks. This will become a signature memory of Tropicola and a sunset ritual to dream about for decades.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Back on The Scene

Belmond Opens Reservations for Its Sparkling Caribbean Beach Retreat Belmond La Samanna, St Martin

Belmond announces its sparkling beach retreat, Belmond La Samanna, is back on the scene in St Martin. Following a chic restyle, the resort will be ready to welcome guests from 10th December 2018.

Located within the island’s most prestigious French West Indies neighbourhood, overlooking Baie Longue’s mile-long white sands; the resort invites guests to indulge in elegant European cuisine, sip Champagne at sunset and explore the vibrant coastline’s designer boutiques and over 400 restaurants.

Belmond La Samanna offers the best of both worlds - a stylish private beach and spa oasis that embodies the island’s classic French spirit.

Flourishing under the art direction of ‘Pastel-chic’ is the resort’s 83 rooms and public spaces, which have been given a refresh by interior design firm MuzaLab, London. Pastel blues, greens, pinks and peaches are inspired by the natural tones of the Caribbean Sea, shells and corals and are used alongside intricate and colourful botanical prints on fabrics, artworks, lighting and mirrors. As guests explore the newly invigorated Baie Longue Bar, Trellis restaurant and main building, these playful colour palettes evoke a sense of place and allude to French romance.

Contributing to St Martin’s reputation as the Caribbean’s culinary capital - Belmond La Samanna reopens its sophisticated beachfront French restaurant Trellis - where dining is an occasion to dress up and remember; as the chefs serve up culinary masterpieces with European finesse. The historic La Cave Wine Cellar is the largest private wine cellar in the Caribbean and offers a memorable dining and fine wine pairing experience curated by the Head Chef.

The resort’s new look Beach Bar is a glamorous nightspot by the water’s edge for Champagne or a cosmopolitan cocktail as the sun goes down. Playful swings, monochrome lounge seating and dramatic chandeliers invite a cause for celebration.

A wide variety of activities cater for every taste and style seekers will love the many nearby designer boutiques and fashionable market stalls that line the colourful French capital of Marigot.

The Water Sports Cabana is the first stop for the active adventurer and Baie Longue beach provides the stunning backdrop for a host of water sports and excursions, including, water-skiing, kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling and scuba diving off nearby reefs. Tennis lessons with the resort pro are the perfect way to make the most of the cooler mornings.

The candlelit hilltop La Samanna Spa, nestled in tropical gardens, offers indulgent locally- inspired massages and treatments by luxurious French brands Sisley and Pure Altitude.

With chic-island hideaway Belmond Cap Juluca opening on 17th November 2018, the two resorts offer an easy twin centre stay with a chance for guests to enjoy the serenity of Anguilla and ‘Joie de Vivre’ of St Martin. A five-night stay (3 nights at Belmond La Samanna / 2 nights at Belmond Cap Juluca) for two people during low season, subject to availability, starts from $3,500 and includes transfers and $200 per resort credit, excluding taxes and resort fees.

Belmond La Samanna, St Martin prices start from $545/£390 for a Deluxe Ocean View Room and for an Ocean View Suite $845/£605 per night. The resort is a short private car transfer from Princess Juliana International Airport that serves direct daily flights from US, Canada, France and Netherlands.

For more info, please visit

Friday, May 18, 2018

Experience Beach Club - The Aman Way

Aman Sveti Stefan

Nature’s restorative, joy-inducing fusion of sun, sea and sand is one of the purest luxuries known to humankind – the warm feeling of the sun on your skin, the sand beneath your feet and the sea kissing your toes. The Beach Clubs at Aman destinations celebrate every aspect of this fusion, providing the finest beach experience on some of the globe’s most picturesque and pristine stretches of coastline. Spaces in which to absorb the sights, sounds and tastes of the ocean in consummate comfort, Aman Beach Clubs provide both the peace and seclusion that counteract the frenetic pace of modern life, as well as the convivial energy inspired by balmy days and nights. Destinations that facilitate escape and quiet communion with nature, every Aman Beach Club is also an exclusive venue where sandy feet, cocktails and sun-kissed friends and family toast life in summer’s golden light.

Each Aman Beach Club is a unique expression of its setting, whether on the tropical shores of Pamalican Island at Amanpulo, the legendary beaches of the Peloponnese at Amanzoe or the protected coves of the Turks & Caicos at Amanyara. More than just beautifully designed structures providing restaurants, lounging decks, dressing rooms and water sports, each is a frame and platform for the beach lifestyle of the destination it reflects. Many boast expansive swimming pools just steps from the sand, others have tucked away beachfront bales or open-air gymnasiums. Some offer surfing lessons on the region’s finest breaks; others environmental turtle-tagging and guided snorkelling expeditions on world-class reefs.

At every Beach Club, Aman’s impeccable, intuitive service is a given, as are all-encompassing sea views and dreamy sunset locations for romantic private dining or festive beach BBQs. Aman boutiques offer exclusive swim and beachwear, and guest suites feature complimentary woven beach bags and sunhats as mementos. Even Aman Wellness also plays its part, with a number of Beach Clubs hosting early morning yoga classes and beach bootcamp sessions.


Amanpuri – Year Round (Closed June)

Lapped by the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Phuket, Amanpuri is situated on a private peninsula within a grove of swaying coconut palms. A sweep of stone steps descends from the main swimming pool to the secluded white crescent of Pansea Beach and the resort’s exclusive Beach Club. Offering a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, a lounging terrace, cocktail bar and sun loungers overlooking a 20-metre swimming pool, the Beach Club is as popular by day as it is by night. The resident DJ spins a mellow beach vibe from late afternoon into the evening, when the pool is lit and guests can enjoy signature drinks, superb fresh seafood and wood-fired pizzas beneath the stars. During peak season, the Beach Club is a favourite destination for several themed dinners and events including its iconic New Year’s Eve afterparty.

In the daylight hours, guests can explore the surrounding coastline aboard Hobie Cats, kayaks, SUPS (Stand Up Paddleboards), boogie boards as well as venture beneath the water’s surface using Amanpuri’s snorkelling equipment. For those seeking an adrenaline rush, waterskiing and wakeboarding are available, and guests can also enjoy exhilarating new water sport activities including riding Schiller bikes over the surface of the sea, exploring up to 3 metres beneath the waves with Seabob ‘scooters’, acrobatic over-water airtime with Flyboards, Stand Up Jet Ski’s and electric Lampuga Surfboards, and cruising the shoreline with Hobie Mirage pedal boards. Amanpuri offers PADI-accredited dive programmes year round, and there is also a beach float anchored about 70 metres from the beach and at 6 metres in diameter, there’s plenty of room for sunbathing. Named Samut Thevi, Sanskrit for ‘Goddess of the Sea’, the float is also ideal for sundowners, and a nearby reef is flush with fish to discover.

Amanruya – April to October

Set on a forested hillside overlooking Mandalya Bay, Amanruya lives up to its name ‘Peaceful Dream’ on Turkey’s idyllic Bodrum Peninsula. Protected by a headland and wrapped around a number of well-established trees, the resort’s informal Beach Club consists of a series of terraces on which sun loungers overlook a quaint pebble beach and a wooden jetty – inviting guests to leap into the azure waters of the bay. The Beach Club restaurant serves Turkish-inspired Mediterranean cuisine and home-baked breads that can be dipped in locally- pressed olive oil and savoured in the dappled sunlight.

A range of non-motorised water sports equipment is available, but this is a Beach Club that is the antithesis of Bodrum’s bustle – its seclusion and peace harking back to ancient times. As Amanruya reawakens this summer, its Beach Club is set to become a hideaway spot for those seeking relaxing time out in beautiful natural surrounds.


Amanzoe – April to December

Greece is a country renowned for its beaches and expectations are always high. Yet Amanzoe’s own private beach on the Peloponnese Peninsula exceeds every one. Stretched across a beautiful bay with sparkling turquoise waters, the beach lies a short drive or gentle mountain bike ride from the hilltop resort and is backed by a magnificent Beach Club designed to host guests from dawn to dusk and beyond.

Providing four swimming pools including two 25-metre lap pools, the Beach Club’s distinguishing feature is its network of expansive marble decks. These flow between and around the swimming pools, inviting guests to relax on loungers in the sun or beneath shady pergolas, pause in the bar for a freshly squeezed juice or signature cocktail, or dine in the expansive restaurant serving local seafood, wood-fired pizzas and fresh salads. Regular beach BBQs with live music are held during the summer months and children are entertained with a range of child-friendly beach activities, while adults can enjoy water sports from windsurfing and paddle boarding, to kayaking and sailing, with expert assistance. Excursions to explore the bay and nearby islands can also be arranged by boat along with sunrise yoga sessions accompanied by the sound of the waves lapping the shore.

As well as a spa area and a small gym, additional unique features of Amanzoe’s Beach Club are the four Beach Cabanas each available for day use for up to four adults or for an overnight stay for two. Situated directly on the beach, these spacious air-conditioned Cabanas provide all the comforts of a Guest Pavilion with bedroom, bathroom and dressing room, as well as a terrace, an almost 200-square-metre garden and a private swimming pool overlooking the sea. Amanzoe guests can reserve a Cabana and enjoy a day on the beach, swimming in the sea, discovering pristine coves by kayak, and sunbathing in complete privacy. Amanzoe is open from April through to December with the Beach Club open from May to October.

Aman Sveti Stefan – May to October (Villa Milocer – Year Round)

Attracted by Aman Sveti Stefan’s unique location encompassing a fabled island village, a historic villa on the mainland and a spectacular stretch of Montenegrin coastline, many guests only realise on arrival that the resort is also a stellar beach destination. The estate incorporates no less than three pink sandy beaches, including the Adriatic jewel – Queen’s Beach which is backed by a magnificent lawn and forest surrounding the resort’s standalone Aman Spa. Sun loungers line the beach and the outdoor portion of the spa swimming pool, and day beds rest beneath the cyprus trees that shade the lawn.

New for the 2018 season, a restaurant on Queen’s Beach serves an extensive beach BBQ menu for lunch and private beach BBQ’s for dinner. Offering freshly caught seafood and local specialties with a range of salads and sides, this casual alfresco venue offers feet-in-the-sand dining at its best – with extraordinary sea and island views. Guests can also enjoy a new spa menu of boost juices, protein smoothies, power bowls, seasonal fruit salads and ice pops on the beach.


Amankila – Year Round

Perched on Bali’s east coast with regal Mount Agung as its backdrop, Amankila is a cliffside resort overlooking the Lombok Strait. With its iconic three-tiered swimming pool and panoramic sea views, it is the resort’s Beach Club that comes as a delightful surprise for many guests. Located below the resort, set back from the beach in a peaceful coconut grove, the Beach Club is surrounded by verdant tropical gardens. Partially shaded by a frangipani tree, the Beach Club swimming pool – Amankila’s largest – is overlooked by the Terrace Restaurant, which offers both indoor and outdoor settings. Nearby in leafy seclusion are a number of open-air massage pavilions, a yoga bale, as well as a new outdoor gym, crafted almost entirely of bamboo.

From the Beach Club, a short stroll on a sandy path through dense vegetation leads to the resort’s private black-sand beach. Eight secluded lounging bales are set along the sand – each tucked into the foliage for added privacy, but with beautiful sea views. Drinks and light meals can be enjoyed within the bales during the daytime, and romantic private dining with a bonfire can be arranged in the evenings. For exclusive use, Karang Sari, a clifftop platform is located on the eastern edge of the beach and allows guests to enjoy private dining set ups as well as sunset cocktails with views across the Lombok Strait.


Amanpulo – Year Round

The epitome of a tropical island retreat, Amanpulo encompasses the entire island of Pamalican in Palawan archipelago. This paradise in the Philippines is fringed by beaches and pristine coral reefs, and in essence is a Beach Club in its natural form.

The resort’s eponymous Beach Club Restaurant with its casual dining area, lounging deck and eclectic Mediterranean fare is situated on the western side of the island and is the ideal spot for all-day lounging and watching the sun set. Adjacent is the Sea Sports Hut, from which a host of water sport activities can be enjoyed. These include kayaking, paddle boarding, pedal boarding, Hobie Cat sailing, Sea Bob experiences, guided snorkelling expeditions, fishing trips, boat trips to Manamoc Island and sunset cruises.

On the opposite side of the island lies the Windsurf Hut, with expert windsurfing and kite-surfing pros on hand to offer lessons during the season of November to March, and a rustic pizza restaurant providing sustenance.

The eastern side of the island is also home to Amanpulo’s turtle hatchery. When the timing is right, guests can join in the memorable experience of releasing newly-hatched turtles into the sea. Guests can also get up close and personal with the island’s underwater inhabitants while scuba diving with Amanpulo’s scuba masters, or simply by snorkelling off the Kawayan Bar – a floating sundeck opposite the Beach Club. 2018 will be the first year that Amanpulo launches its dolphin interaction programme – an exciting opportunity for guests to encounter dolphins in the wild.


Amanyara - Year Round

Renowned for its crystal blue water and powder white sand, Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands is a premiere destination for beach and water sports enthusiasts. Set on the serene northwest coast, Amanyara features a Beach Club and Nature Discovery Centre enabling guests to enjoy the resort’s pristine coastal and marine environment to the full.

Overlooking the resort’s 1,000-metre long white-sand beach, Amanyara’s Beach Club offers a restaurant, cocktail bar and lounging deck with panoramic beach and sea views. The restaurant serves raw dishes as well as Caribbean, Latin American and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Cooking classes, rum and wine tastings, chocolate making and other activities are regularly hosted at the Beach Club, as well as larger private events, beach BBQs and a legendary New Year’s Eve party with global acts providing entertainment. A range of complimentary water sports equipment, from Hobie Cats and SUPS, to ocean kayaks and Sea Bobs are available, and a guided complimentary snorkelling trip departs three times daily from the beach to a nearby coral head.

At Amanyara’s Nature Discovery Centre, environmental programmes and nature experiences await guests of all ages. Guests can take part in Amanyara’s conservation work with sea turtles, helping to flipper-tag endangered green and hawksbill turtles. They can also learn more about the resort’s Adopt-a-Coral programme, which is playing a pivotal role in the preservation and regeneration of the region’s coral reefs.


Amanoi – Year Round

Set between Nui Chua National park and a marine reserve, Amanoi embraces nature from its beachside perch on the remote southern coast of Vietnam. Overlooked by magnificent granite cliffs, the Beach Club is located

on the sandy white beach of Vinh Hy Bay – known as one of country’s most picturesque. A destination unto itself designed to maximise sea views, the Beach Club offers a spacious open-sided restaurant specialising in celebratory breakfasts, Vietnamese dishes and seafood feasts. Sun loungers line the dramatic swimming pool – its curves mimicking the seashore just metres away, and guests can enjoy sunrise yoga sessions on the Beach Club deck, framed by huge granite boulders. Strenuous beach boot camp sessions invite a refreshing dip in the sea or swimming pool afterwards, before a shower and a well-deserved breakfast. For those seeking a more intimate escape, journey by boat along the croppy coastline to the Twilight Cliff Lounge, set on a natural rock cliff, to watch as the sun sets over Amanoi’s sloped roofs.

The pristine waters of Vinh Hy Bay are ideal for exploration, both along the craggy coastline and under the deep blue, where colourful coral and schools of tropical fish reside. The Beach Club provides a full range of water sports equipment: Hobie Cats offer sea adventure to experienced sailors and novices alike, while guided kayaking expeditions and snorkelling trips explore granite rock formations and discover over 300 species of coral. Sand sculpture artists are available to entertain children and adults alike.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Awakening the Spirit of the King Tree at Amanyangyun

Er-hu Master Mr Gao Shaoqing

Amanyangyun Grand Opening Celebrations held on 28th April, 2018

Amanyangyun, Aman’s fourth destination in China, a project 16 years in the making, is now complete, and on the 28th April celebrated its Grand Opening.

Kunqu Opera Singer Mr Zhang Jun

Opera Singer Ms Huang Ying 

Located just outside downtown Shanghai, Amanyangyun is a unique forest village of modern and historic Ming and Qing dynasty dwellings, tranquil gardens and an enriching Aman Spa. It is the result of a monumental 16-year conservation initiative which saw 10,000 camphor trees and dozens of Ming and Qing dynasty homes painstakingly transferred 700 kilometres to Shanghai from the Jiangxi Province in eastern China, where the construction of a reservoir threatened their continued existence. Breathing new life into history, Amanyangyun is a celebration of nature, an astonishing feat of human endeavour, and a sanctuary to stir the soul.

The Grand Opening Celebrations, attended by 600 distinguished guests, commenced with an emotive drum and dance performance by U-Theatre. The internationally renowned group has performed their Zen-inspired drumming around the world for three decades. To celebrate Amanyangyun’s Grand Opening, U-Theatre’s stirring performance was choreographed around, and paid respect to, the resort’s eldest tree, the cherished ‘King Tree’, which sits at the heart of the resort, as a poignant reminder of the journey in the creation of Amanyangyun, which now safeguards priceless natural and cultural treasures.

U- Theatre Performing

As the drums played to awaken the spirit of the ‘King Tree’, 18 drummers slowly made their way out of Nan Shufang, Amanyangyun’s cultural complex, towards the tree, thus closing the chapter of the relocation and reconstruction that took place over the last 16 years. This scene illustrated the reunion of the antique houses and trees which once stood together in Fuzhou, Jiangxi, and now together stand safely at Amanyangyun where they will keep on recounting their remarkable journey and story for generations to come.

A key moment in the performance saw each of the drummers nourish the King Tree with water, culminating in a scene where one artist bowed down to the tree, and carefully placed both hands at its base. His ethereal voice reverberated between the trees, and spoke to the spirit of the King Tree. With it, a pulse of light shot up and suddenly connected earth, tree and man, illustrating the harmony that must exist between man and nature. The performance was a poignant reminder of the importance of nurturing the past to enrich the future.

Mr. Vladislav Doronin, CEO and Chairman of Aman, addressed all guests and said “Every Aman has a story to tell and this one is no exception. This project and the many challenges it presented were unimaginable, but we overcame them not only to defy the test of time, but to push the boundaries of traditional hospitality. This resort, a legacy to the past, stands proud as an archive for future generations. I am especially grateful to Ma Dadong, the mastermind behind this unique restoration project and whose foresight and determination has made it possible to preserve the magnificent history of China for generations to come.”

“We human beings with our short lifespan are nothing but a fleeting traveller at a moment in time. Looking up at this sacred King Tree, in awe, I believe it was this tree that chose me to make this journey”, said Mr. Ma Dadong, the lion-hearted entrepreneur and philanthropist who started this iconic relocation and restoration project 16 years ago in his native, Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province.

When walking around Amanyangyun, one is transported back to the bygone eras in Fuzhou City, the birthplace of many talents, one among is Tang Xianzu, the ‘Shakespeare of the Orient’. Tang’s masterpiece ‘Dream in the Peony Pavilion’ has been passed down from generation to generation in the form of Kunqu Opera. Renowned Chinese Kunqu Opera Singer Mr. Zhang Jun, presented Amanyangyun’s guests with three chapters from the famed ‘Dream in the Peony Pavilion’. The ethereal camphor forest and tranquil gardens set the tone for the performances. Across the lake and from a floating stage, Zhang Jun’s voice evoked memories of the past. Mr. Zhang Jun was joined by lyric coloratura soprano and opera singer Ms. Huang Ying during the last chapter of the Kunqu performance – a combination of the east and west.

At Amanyangyun, old and new, natural and manmade, east and west, coexist in perfect harmony and the performances paid tribute to this very notion. Ms Huang Ying presented Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’ together with an Er-hu accompaniment by the famed Chinese Er-hu master Mr. Gao Shaoqing He is a Chinese artist and ambassador who bridges the traditional Chinese music and western music using his two-stringed Chinese fiddle. He presented two of his own master pieces, ‘Capriccio No. 2’ and ‘Mongolian Fantasy’ and finished his set with a lively performance of ‘Galloping Horse’ to guests.

A new culinary destination unto itself, Amanyangyun brought together expert chefs from Aman destinations around the globe to showcase a culinary journey across its three restaurants. Chinese restaurant Lazhu pays homage to Jiangxi, the native land of the cherished camphor forest and ancient dwellings. The lakeside Italian restaurant Arva and Japanese restaurant Nama were the ideal spots for viewing the live performances on the floating stage.

The Grand Opening Celebrations paid tribute to the 16 years journey in the creation of Amanyangyun, and opened a new chapter as Amanyangyun now continues Mr. Ma's legacy safely in Aman's hands.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Alila Manggis and Alila Solo


True to its ‘surprisingly different’ concept, Alila’s boutique hotels and resorts in different exotic locations offer guests plenty of uniquely memorable destination experiences.

Given its diverse archipelago of islands, each rich in their own natural and cultural heritage, Indonesia alone offers a wealth of unique experiences. Alila provides the perfect base for exploring two of Indonesia’s most historically and culturally rich destinations – East Bali and Central Java – with a stay at Alila Manggis and Alila Solo respectively, two very distinct locations yet both surrounded by historic royal sites, where centuries-old traditions live on.

Nestled on tranquil Buitan Beach in Manggis, East Bali, between the sea and Mount Agung, Bali’s most sacred mountain, Alila Manggis is ideally placed to explore the island’s unspoilt east, where the steeply rising landscape from coast to mountain creates spectacular scenery. This boutique hotel in Bali is the gateway to the dive islands off the east coast, the mother temple of Besakih and the great water palaces and kingdoms of East Bali. Alila Manggis is also just 10 minutes from Padang Bai where ferries leave for Lombok and other nearby islands.

Located in the heart of the heritage-steeped royal city of Solo, Alila Solo stands on the city’s main commercial avenue, Jl. Slamet Riyadi, where above the city’s tree-lined streets it is surrounded by 360-degrees views of Central Java’s dramatic landscape of volcanoes. The hotel lies within easy reach of many of the city’s main attractions, including the two-centuries-old Sultan’s Palace, the Laweyan Batik district and the famed Pasar Gede

Besides immersing guests in Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage, these two Alila hotels are famous for being sanctuaries of wellness and relaxation, offering spa treatments to pamper your soul. Explore these signature packages for the ultimate Alila retreat:

Spa Alila Wellness Indulgence at Alila Solo
This is one truly pampering escape that’s all about taking time out to relax, renew and recharge, offering an indulgence of heavenly spa treatments in the peaceful sanctuary of Spa Alila. Days unfold in a series of relaxing rituals that include Balinese, Javanese or reflexology massages, a royal herbal bath, a luxurious body scrub, as well as an Avocado & Coconut hair ‘smoothie’ and head massage, interspersed with invigorating wellness activities, including a private gym session, and daily yoga or Pilates. And when not being spa pampered, simply enjoy soaking up the sunshine by the pool.

For more info, visit: HERE

Complete Hideaway at Alila Manggis
Carefree indulgence is yours to enjoy down by the sea, where you can alternate between poolside relaxation and the sheer blissfulness of unlimited Spa Alila treatments. Forget the world outside as you spoil yourself with your choice of rejuvenating, beautifying and luxuriously pampering spa treatments, calmed by the sound of the ocean waves. Indulge in the ultimate escape relaxed in the knowledge that everything is covered, including return airport transfers, breakfast, lunch and dinner with non-alcoholic beverages at Seasalt restaurant, mini bar selections, as well as crafted Alila experiences.

Whether you opt to explore the wonders of East Bali or immerse in the spirit of Java, Alila Manggis and Alila Solo offer more than enough to satisfy your wanderlust.

For more info, visit: HERE