Saturday, September 23, 2017

Luxury Abode in The Rainforest

Alila Ubud Launches Six New Terrace Tree Villas

Alila Ubud expands its rainforest abodes with the launch of six new Terrace Tree Villas – five one-bedroom units and one exclusive two-bedroom unit with private pool – all perched on a steep forested hillside beside a beautiful temple, immersing guests in Ubud’s lush natural landscape.

Increasing the resort’s current inventory of One-bedroom Terrace Tree Villas from four to nine, the new one-bedroom additions are spacious private retreats comprising 75 - 80 sqm of indoor space adjoined by 43 sqm of an outdoor garden and courtyard.

The Two-bedroom Terrace Tree Villa is extraordinary, spanning a lavish 190 sqm, including a large outdoor terrace for relaxing, dining and soaking up the jungle views, and a 40 sqm private pool where guests can swim above the treetops.

Each villa is designed as an intimate haven with its own private entry court and water garden. Maximizing natural light, generous space and views, the foyer connects an indoor/outdoor bathroom with a high-ceiling bedroom, opening directly onto a terrace that sits high over the Ubud jungle.

The villas are designed by Indonesian architects NXST, who have drawn inspiration from the temple forms and details that are evident throughout everyday life in Ubud. Local artisanship is also beautifully reflected in the volcanic stone tiles that give each villa a sense of mystery, showcasing the rich stone carving tradition prevalent in the surrounding villages. The villa interiors are classic Alila in elegance and restraint, accented with opulent handwoven textiles from nearby Sideman Village, and with spaces defined by the sensual interplay of light and shade imbued by the Ubud environs.

Luxury pervades every thoughtful detail – from the 300-thread-count PLOH bed linen to the decadent deluxe bathroom equipped with an indoor bathtub, outdoor rain shower, and jet shower. Separate His and Hers vanities are furnished with a complete range of award-winning Alila Living amenities made from locally sourced organic ingredients: lemongrass and black pepper for Him; mandarin, lemongrass and rose geranium for Her.

There’s even more to uncover in the special bathtub box, the ultimate pampering kit, from bubble bath to face masks and beautifully handcrafted beeswax candles, all in the Alila signature secret scent. For guests venturing outdoors, they will be protected and covered with sunblock, after-sun cooling gel, mosquito repellent and face spritzer. And for want of anything else, a personal Villa Host is just a call away, ready to attend to every whim.

Combining luxurious space and privacy in a lush forest setting, Alila Ubud’s Terrace Tree Villas promise a truly sensational stay. Book “The Ultimate High” at Best Available Rate and enjoy USD 100 Resort credit for Food & Beverage, Spa, and Alila Experience.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Som Chai Bar & Restaurant

Sophisticated and artfully themed dining and drinking with a Thai influence.

Located in the heart of Jalan Raya Kerobokan, at the northern edge of Seminyak, the latest destination from the Sarong Group offers sophisticated and artfully themed dining and drinking with a Thai influence. Meet SOM CHAI, with fine dining in a ‘secret’ cavern of ballroom proportions and a bar that hosts nocturnal adventures set to the awesome beats of live DJ’s.

Som Chai Eat presents Thai cuisine interpreted through the imaginative use of locally sourced ingredients not often used in Indonesian cooking, leading to a botanic reimagining of the regional cooking culture of Thailand. With a menu derived from a diverse range of regional cooking styles, Som Chai Eat encompasses the very essence of excellent Thai food. Som Chai’s restaurant pays homage to an ancient, forgotten era: the era of the first Kings of Siam.

Entering through a magnificent golden door, diners find themselves immersed in “Steam Punk Siam” inspired interiors that echo the era of slow travel and the discovery of new and exotic worlds, heady with temptations.

Representing a journey through time - a conversation between the old and new worlds, with the high ceiling and large open space immediately imparting a sense of opulence.

The sweet melancholy of the past is reflected in the artwork and materials within the space. The use of traditional forms and shapes, translated with modern materials with minimalistic finishes, elevates them into a contemporary style. The combination of classical elements and a modernistic approach is consummated using materials that evoke elegant, understated luxury and just a hint of decadence. Brown marble, dark wood, brass, black lace, smoked glass and strong upholstery creates a deep, exquisite atmosphere. Saturated colours and tones evoke royalty and combine with dark hues and splashes of gold to form a dramatic palette that sets a memorable tableau.

A line of large arched mirrors reflects the soft fern wall of the outdoor area, infusing the space with a fresh and vibrant feel, whilst in contrast, intimacy is increased by smoked glass mirrors that impart upon the room the essence of a grand, yet reinvigorated, old ballroom. Full-height dividers with an enlarged rattan weaved pattern separate the dining booths, providing guests with intimate dining areas.

The full dining area is divided centrally by a runner leading to a large, traditional Victorian marble back bar. Above the bar is a wine room with an impressive illuminated window display of wine bottles. The use of Victorian bar trolleys gives a further nod to the steamer-era style, as do the striking historical photographs, featuring portraits of the first Kings of Siam subtly enhanced with gold leaf.

The interiors were created by Sarong Team of designers, whose blend of masterful techniques creates the harmonious infusion of warmth achieved by blending antique, rustic and industrial glazes and tones with modern textures and surfaces. Fragrant with aromas from the kitchen and gardens, Som Chai Eat accommodates 80 guests per seating in an ambience of both comfort and timeless opulence.

Will Meyrick has drawn on his vast experience to create a menu that not only uses authentic ingredients but the cooking methods intrinsic to their taste. A resident of Indonesia, he has established a produce farm and built relationships with local farmers to learn first hand about the rich diversity of seasonal ingredients. Fascinated by the cultural and culinary diversity of the region, Will has spent over fifteen years travelling and learning about the cuisines of Asia and his most recent sortie was a three month research excursion to discover the intricacies of traditional and Thai cuisine, where wood fire stoves, charcoal fire grills and clay cooking pots impart specific flavors to the food and the inclusion of home made ferments add a wonderful and unique quality. The intensive preparation of these home-made ferments, fish sauces and shrimp pastes is at the heart of Thai style flavours – at once sharp, sour, sweet, spicy and sometimes pungent. The attention to each step of the preparation, both in the kitchen and at the table, brings all the authentic nuances of Thai cooking to the guest in a way that is hard to replicate.

Without being overt, the Som Chai Drink bar captures the balance of rustic industrial versus refined - where contemporary urban meets with an Asian design sensibility. Upon entering, the immediate feeling is that of a sumptuous Bangkok speakeasy or cabaret bar, reminiscent of the mysterious and alluring drinking dens of Old Chinatown, where back room lounges and secretive niches provided privacy for patrons and the charm of the Cheongsam-clad staff would waft across the bar in a mist of feminine intrigue.

At Som Chai Drink, the night unfolds with performance artistes, live music and resident DJs invoking a hedonistic sensory exoticism. Homage is paid to Old Chinatown in Bangkok, where cutting edge bars and cafes are opening up under the awnings of the old town, creating new adventures in nighttime entertainment. At Som Chai Drink, the eclectic and classic interior is reflected in the nouveau-retro alchemy of the bar menu.

Quintessential cocktails are presented in new ways and a host of botanicals are infused into refreshments that invite endless possibilities, blending herbs, infusions and liquors into potions of potency and pleasure. Selected artisan beers and classic mixed drinks, along with fine wines are also served during the opening hours of 5.30pm through to one in the morning. Signature street-food bites are served from a designated Som Chai Drink menu to bar customers preferring to remain in the bar.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Starling Eatery: Food Vaganza – Cita Rasa Masa Lalu

Starling Eatery as the social and culinary hub of Aviary Bintaro presents the first food festival “Food Vaganza – Cita Rasa Masa Lalu” starts from Rp 25,000 nett per items with more than 10 food stalls, during this upcoming long weekend on 20 – 22 September 2017 at the outdoor parking lot.

The purpose of this festival is to introduce the unique culinary to celebrate its fabulously diverse range of our various food and beverages. As a concept will be a street food fiesta around the hotel area and to roll up their sleeves and enjoy a whole food from the kitchen.

With the taste from the past such as Nasi Bakar Bandung, Toge Goreng, Ketoprak, Nasi Amara Dewata and many more will indulge your unforgettable memories. The best night atmosphere will start from 6PM – 10PM. Alongside with live music entertainment, great activities during the event that you will be missed.

About Starling Eatery
Located right next to the hotel lobby, Starling Eatery is the social and culinery hub of the Aviary Bintaro, offering all-day refreshment against the relaxing backdrop of the lush aviary itself. The adjacent Starling Cake Shop offers a tempting selection of sweets and treats to enjoy with a mug of Aviary Coffee, the hotel’s signature cinnamon-flavored coffè mocha. At the end of a productive day, decompress at the Bar at Starling with highlight drinks including the signature Aviary Fly cocktail or the Aviary Smile Mocktail.

For more info, visit:

Two Roads Hospitality Announces North American Expansion of Alila Hotels and Resorts

Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, Set to Reopenin Fall 2017 Following Multimillion-Dollar Re-imagination

International lifestyle company Two Roads Hospitality today announced the expansion of Alila Hotels & Resorts in North America. Singapore-based Alila, which became part of the Two Roads Hospitality portfolio in June 2015, will open its first North American resort property in California’s fabled Big Sur in fall 2017. The launch brings the brand’s commitment to innovative design and luxury, crafted artisanship and personalized hospitality to the U.S. market.

“The introduction of Alila Hotels & Resorts to the North American market is a significant milestone in Two Roads’ international growth strategy,” said Jamie Sabatier, Chief Executive Officer of Two Roads Hospitality. “As a company that is long synonymous with opening resorts in spectacular, bucket-list destinations, it couldn’t be more fitting that Alila’s U.S. debut will be along the iconic Big Sur coastline. This opening will strengthen the global footprint of the brand and further cement its position as a luxury leader in the boutique and lifestyle sector.”

The fall 2017 opening of Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, marks the debut of a re-imagined luxury resort experience. Boasting a multimillion-dollar comprehensive revitalization, Ventana Big Sur will provide an intimate, immersive experience with features including 59 refreshed guest rooms, suites and villas, a full-service Spa Alila, two enhanced outdoor pools with a new infinity-edge hot tub and outdoor Japanese hot baths. Additionally, The Sur House restaurant, with a new concept and expanded ocean-view patio, will offer majestic views of the Pacific Ocean.

“Since the Post family settled in Big Sur at the end of the 19th century, Big Sur has represented the confluence of ocean, forest, mindfulness and artistry un-paralleled anywhere else in the world. I couldn’t be more excited for the opening of Ventana Big Sur to once again bring travelers back to this special part of the world”, said John Pritzker, co-chairman of Two Roads Hospitality and founding partner and director of Geolo Capital. “We look forward to shining a bright light on the new Ventana Big Sur experience that celebrates the mystic beauty of Big Sur.”

Ventana’s resort-wide enhancements also will include a new Social House with three unique lifestyle spaces for relaxing and connecting; the new 7,000-square-foot Ocean Meadow Lawn for events and celebrations; a new Glass House Gallery; a new Alila Experience Program featuring discovery-based guest activities; and the debut of a luxury camping experience — Redwood Canyon Glampsites — in the resort’s 20-acre redwood-canopied forest.

Complimentary activities include daily guided walks through the serene landscape, yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates classes and nightly wine tastings and cheese pairings. An on-site experience coordinator is available to arrange further adventures.

“At Alila, we strive to deliver holistic experiences that go beyond the typical and traditional, combining transformative programming with world-class service and amenities,” said Frederic Flageat-Simon, Chief Executive Officer, Two Roads Hospitality Asia. “Unveiling the brand in the U.S. is an exciting step for our company, and we look forward to introducing Alila’s innovative hospitality approach to our North American guests.”

Friday, September 15, 2017

Eight Surprising Facts About Dubai

THINK you know everything about Dubai? Think again. While the city is famous for its glamourous, luxurious lifestyle and numerous record-breaking feats, Dubai also boasts a fascinating history and culture – as well as its fair share of surprises. Read on for our top “Did you knows” to uncover some of the emirate’s real knowledge gems.

Bollywood Parks Dubai

1. Before tourism and hospitality, Dubai made its money with oil – that’s common knowledge. But before oil, Dubai was built on pearl diving, with more than 300 diving dhows and 7,000 hard- working sailors. To delve into this lesser-known past, head to Dubai’s Pearl Museum, home to one of the largest and finest collections of pearls in the world, donated by pearl merchant Sultan Al Owais. On display are a whopping AED 500 million ($136,077,545 USD) worth of fine salt-water pearls.

Dubai Airport

2. In the mid-1800s, the Indian rupee was the main currency in Dubai and the wider UAE, with the subsequent Gulf rupee introduced in 1957, eventually phasing out in 1966. Despite this currency evolution, the ties to India remain strong – reflected in India being the number one source market for visitors to Dubai, as well as the plethora of amazing Indian restaurants dotted throughout the city. More recent connections between Dubai and India include the opening of the world’s first Bollywood theme park on the outskirts of the city.

3. Dubai boasts a record-breaking public transport system. According to Guinness World Records, the city’s metro is the longest driverless metro line in the world. And it’s getting longer every day, with new stops being added all the way out to the site of the upcoming Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Biking in Hatta

4. Less than 50 years ago in 1968, there were only 13 registered cars in Dubai. Now there are more than 1.5 million, mirroring the emirate’s meteoric growth from humble fishing and pearling settlement to what is now the fourth most visited city in the world.

Dubai Pearl Museum 

5. Contrary to popular belief, Dubai isn’t just a coastal city; it’s also home to a rugged mountainous exclave named Hatta, where visitors can hike and mountain bike through untouched nature in the Hajar Mountains, kayak through clear turquoise water at Hatta Dam, and explore picturesque date and bee farms.

Kayak in Hatta 

6. Emirati custom dictates that hosts offer their guests tea and dates, with the traditional way being to pour half a cup. The reason for this lies in the cups not having handles and the tea being piping hot – you wouldn’t want your guest to burn their fingers. If, however, the host pours a full cup of tea, it’s a subtle way of telling the guest that they have overstayed their welcome. To learn more and discover other intriguing customs, head to Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU).


7. The UAE has a Minister of State for Tolerance and a Minister of State for Happiness. The country has endorsed a number of initiatives and projects in line with its National Happiness and Positivity Programme, which includes the set-up of happy and positivity offices, among other initiatives.

8. In just 58 years, Dubai International airport has gone from having a runway made out of compacted sand to now being the busiest airport in the world for international passengers – more than 83 million of them 2016.

Monday, September 11, 2017

AYA Restaurant: A Combination of Peruvian–Asian Gastronomy

AYA Restaurant | Street Art Gallery is a temple for the senses, with Peruvian fusion cuisine, international beats and eclectic global street art bringing a new level of modern street culture to Seminyak, Bali

AYA restaurant, the brainchild of owners Juanjo Suárez and Rafael Sanchez, offers a refreshing combination of Peruvian–Asian gastronomy. Renowned Chef Marco Cuevas’ incredible Peruvian cuisine draws inspiration from the streets and is paired with visual stimulation and international beats in the heart of bustling Seminyak.

“We decided to merge everything we love most into AYA,” said owner Rafael Sanchez. “We have created a fine dining experience delivered in a fun, affordable way in a modern, authentically urban setting. AYA is a haven for freedom and the arts and we look to inspire and educate our guests in the virtues of Peruvian gastronomy and modern culture. Our venue is a temple for the senses, with amazing food and drinks in a space that showcases creative minds from all over the world.”

The interiors of AYA are by Helen Milne, who has created an eclectic and surprising space that perfectly captures a vibrant, social street atmosphere. With a carefully curated selection of street artwork, AYA is both a restaurant and gallery and with many tactile surfaces and finishes, is a space that awakens all the senses. Artworks include a huge mural by renowned London artist D*Face, sets of Banksy, Space Invader, Jan Kaleb and many others. Camino Ardiente Hacia la Luz is a beautiful mosaic inspired by Maximo Laura Camino, the award winning Peruvian tapestry weaver. All artworks are for sale and there will be a rotation of pieces ensuring the collection is ever changing and surprising.

AYA’s open kitchen has a serene and relaxed atmosphere that juxtaposes with the vibrant art of the interior, with tiles made from recycled glass, melted and remolded to suggest fish scales that reflect the predominance of AYA’s signature raw fish dishes, or ceviche. The cooking hood is the same cool, green hue, created by tapping copper to create an intricate texture and finished with an acid rinse. The restaurant has prominent pillars throughout, covered in wood hand-carved by a whole village in Jepara (Java) whilst industrial copper light installations and a chain lamp constructed from motorcycle chains point to the hand carved gold nugget bar, where gorgeous, hand carved tiles in a Peruvian design lead towards the surprising bathrooms. The external signage is laser cut brass using a design by Indonesian street artist Gentusuria. All elements used to create the interiors were locally made in Indonesia.

Chef Marco Cueva’s menu is a truly unique showcase of Peruvian cuisine coupled with locally sourced fresh ingredients. There are influences from the indigenous Inca population and elements introduced by Asian immigrants, with a focus on Peruvian-Japanese (Nikkei) and Peruvian-Chinese (Chifa) fusion. Chef Marco brings his love of Peruvian street food alive with the addition of fresh, Balinese produce sourced from local growers that gives an Indonesian twist. The food is casual and designed to be shared and is served on eccentric, bespoke handmade ceramics gorgeously crafted specifically for Chef Marco’s creations. The welcoming atmosphere extends to the chefs being more than happy to describe the dishes and their provenance and the open kitchen where the creation of all the dishes is on display for guests to enjoy.

Guests can sit at the Ceviche Bar and enjoy the great beats, stunning art and top-shelf people watching on AYA Street with a selection of cocktails accompanied by nibbles and tapas. The selection of cocktails ranges from traditional Pisco-based temptations through to contemporary creations and classic favorites. (Photos: Reiinaldo Arvin)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Weekend Deals @ Hotel Gran Mahakam

Weekends are a great time to gather with our beloved family and relax to restore the stamina and energy after passing days at work. Make Hotel Gran Mahakam as a place to unwind and create a perfect memory with your family, as we are now offering a very special package to pamper you as our guest.

Hotel Gran Mahakam creates a fantastic package for Weekend Deals with Rp 1,280,000++/room/ night, inclusive of breakfast and buffet lunch or dinner at Le Gran Cafe for 2 persons. This program is certainly profitable to the guests who spend their time during weekends at Hotel Gran Mahakam. Besides, the guests also get 24 – hours internet access, welcome drink and fruits, as well as enjoy our swimming pool at 6th floor. 

Hotel Gran Mahakam merupakan hotel yang menarik dan bergaya butik. Hotel ini berlokasi strategis diantara daerah bisnis dan komersil, dimana terdapat pusat perbelanjaan, toko, restoran dan pusat hiburan, juga hanya berjarak 45 menit dari Bandara Internasional Soekarno – Hatta. Hotel yang berlokasi di Jalan Mahakam I No. 8, Jakarta Selatan ini dilengkapi dengan 158 kamar tamu yang elegan, restoran Internasional, lounge, ruang pertemuan, kolam renang, spa dan pusat kebugaran. Dengan arsitektur bergaya modern klasik, Hotel Gran Mahakam akan memberikan kehangatan dan kenyamanan seperti tinggal di rumah sendiri.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Where Ancient 300 Years Old Temple Meets Red Skies Over the Indian Ocean

“Through Ji Terrace by The Sea, we would like to offer simply the very best Japanese & Asian influenced cuisine, the finest Asian-inspired cocktails, to give guests a beautiful, exotic experience Canggu & Bali have to offer; in a journey through ancient Japan, Indonesia, India, Thailand & South East Asian countries,” says Lucienne Anhar, from the owning family of Tugu Hotels & Restaurants Group.

Ji Terrace by The Sea, with 180 degrees undisturbed views over the sparkling Indian Ocean and Canggu Beach, celebrates the exotic beauty of the sensuous, mysterious Asia. It is a fusion of ancient and contemporary Asian cultures, with rich, deep colors inspired by the crimson sky and red sunsets that we see everyday from this terrace.

Ji Terrace by The Sea carries the spirit of Tugu properties, which celebrate the rich cultural heritage and ancient history & legends through romantic atmosphere, interior and beautiful arts from ancient Indonesia and Asia, but what is different here is that the bohemian spirit of Canggu is very much alive. Beautiful statue of goddess of Durga from Rajasthan, centuries old urn from the Babah Peranakan family in Lasem, Java, Tibetan Mahakala masks, intricate Balinese Barong heads and many more artworks transport guests to a magical world of ancient kingdoms and quixotic legends, while seducing through beautiful Indian lanterns and sensuous beats of the best DJs on the island.

The food served at Ji at Bale Sutra Temple 1706 and Ji Terrace by The Sea on the rooftop is a modern interpretation of these ancient cultures. Here, our team of Japanese & Asian-trained chefs, led by Chef Colin Buchan during the creation of the menu (previously chef of Gordon Ramsay restaurants in London, Jason Atherton’s Pollen in Singapore, and personal chef to David and Victoria Beckham), had fun experimenting with creating dishes that are contemporary & playful, with focus on the exploration of exotic flavors from Japan as well as various Asian cuisines mentioned above: Indonesian, Indian, Thai as well as other Southeast Asian. Using only the freshest local produce, the aim is to create an interesting fusion of flavors that are at the same time comforting, homey and heartwarming.

The cocktails take a similar inspiration as the food – with Asian infusions of our premium spirits, the cocktails at Ji Terrace by The Sea are 200% seductive in flavors as well as presentation. The smokin’ Coco Sexo, inspired by the volcanoes of Indonesia is guaranteed to wow all the other tables. The signature Tugu Gin & Tea, with premium gin infused with Javanese tea and other herbs, is an irresistible favorite that can only be found at Tugu Hotels & Restaurants.

The place celebrates Bali beach life to the fullest with a magical sea and a limitless red horizon as our backdrop, while watching one of the best surf on the island. For a night to remember for a long time, dine downstairs in the one and only most exquisite 311 years old Kang Xi period ancient red temple that had been dismantled and painstakingly reconstructed as a monument of the history of the Chinese Peranakan immigrants in Bali, surrounded by centuries old Chinese scroll paintings, black and white charcoal paintings of the last kings of Bali, a 3-meters tall Japanese Kannon goddess statue among others. 

To book a table or to find out more information about Ji Terrace By The Sea please visit or call +62 361 4731701 or visit the venue on Pantai Batu Bolong street, Canggu – Bali.