SAY THAT BALI has gotten one jewel of a resort. On Sept.
23, Rome-based luxury jeweler Bulgari opened the 59-villa Bulgari
Hotel, Bali on the Jimbaran Peninsula in Bali, Indonesia.
All rooms have ocean views and feature patios
with plunge pools. The resort also features a spa, two restaurants,
meetings space and, of course, a Bulgari store. In 2001,
luxury-goods company Bulgari teamed with Marriott International to
form Bulgari Hotels & Resorts. The joint venture also operates
a fashionable property in Milan, Italy. Bulgari's properties are
managed by Marriott's Luxury Group, with Bulgari licensing its name
and brand. For reservations and information, call (800) 6-BULGARI
or visit www.bulgarihotels.com.
SINCE CLOSING for a multimillion-dollar renovation, the
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has reopened. Following the $140
million renovation, room rates were raised, with a standard double
room charging $550 a night, up about 26%. Mandarin Oriental said
that although the iconic property in the heart of Hong Kong's
business district was refurbished to meet the demands of the modern
traveler, the refit retains the hotel's historic charm. The hotel
features 502 luxuriously-appointed rooms and suites, nine
restaurants and bars, a spa, a traditional barber, a beauty salon,
a sky-lit fitness center with pool and ample meetings and banquet
facilities. For information, visit www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong.
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP signed an
agreement to manage its first luxury InterContinental-branded hotel
in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Located in the heart of Ho Chi Minh
City's District One, the InterContinental Asiana Saigon will be
part of the Kumho Asiana Plaza, a large mixed-use development with
commercial, retail and dining establishments along the historical
Le Duan Boulevard. Scheduled to open in 2009, the hotel will have
some 300 rooms and 270 residences for extended-stay guests. The
hotel also will feature extensive meetings and conference space, a
spa and fitness center, and several restaurants.
HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE plans to almost double its
properties in greater China during the next four years as the
region attracts more tourists from overseas. Starwood said it plans
to have 100 hotels in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan by 2010,
up from 57 now. Starwood said that of the current number, 27 are
under construction. The operator of Westin and Sheraton hotels is
expanding in Asia, where international tourist visitors are growing
at more than twice the pace of that to the U.S. or Europe. Rising
incomes and economic growth in China are also supporting domestic
leisure and business tourism in the world's fastest growing major
economy. The number of international tourist visits to Asia rose
7.5% in the first four months this year, versus 2.7% for North
America and 2.5% for Europe, according to the World Tourism
Organization. Visitor arrivals in China rose 10% last year,
according to the China National Tourism Administration.
STRENGTHENING STATUS as the economic center of Asia was
affirmed by MasterCard Worldwide's MasterIndex of Travel survey on
business and personal travel trends of the urban middle class in 13
Asia/Pacific markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia,
Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore,
Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The survey is taken every six months
and investigates travel patterns in the previous 12 months. China
came in as the top destination for 28% of the business travelers
surveyed, the same percentage as in the last two surveys. Singapore
was the second-most preferred business destination at 19%, a slight
drop from 20% in the survey six months ago. Hong Kong came in third
at 15%, a slight drop from a 16% score in the previous survey.
Japan was fourth at 14%, compared with 12% in the previous
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