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Bali Tourism Officials Challenge Claims by Best Western Kuta Resort that Letter is in Hand that Clears the Way for Legal Operations. Showdown Ahead?


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(11/2/2009)

The controversial drama over the licensing and basic legitimacy of The Best Western Kuta Resort (Sapta Petala) continues.

According to NusaBali, the hotel which has been in operations for more than a month, claims to now have a powerful letter of recommendation from the Bali Tourism Authority (Dinas Pariwisata Provinsi Bali).

Bonaventura Cristiani, the General Manager of the Best Western Kuta Resort, made this boast to the press last week. Cristiani said his hotel, located on Jalan Bakung Sari in an area zoned as prohibited for hotel development, now holds a recommendation for the all-important operating license.

He told the press that his 111 room hotel is allowed to operate while waiting the necessary three months for the formal issuance of an operational licenses from the provincial tourism office (Dispar Provinsi). He told the press: "While we certainly do not have a license, but we do have a letter of recommendation from the provincial tourism office which allows us to operate. This letter was signed by a Batak officer in the office." Batak is the name of a large ethnic group from North Sumatra.

However, the General Manager's statement was rebutted by Ketut Naria, the Head of the Planning and Development Division of the Bali provincial tourism office. Naria insists that his department never issued any sort of license or permit for the Best Western Kuta Resort. Naria added: "I have never heard of a request for a permit from that hotel. Every request to the provincial tourism office for a permit for a starred hotel in Bali must first come to me because I head that section."

Further underlining the situation of the hotel, Naria said that even if such a request for a permit were made by the Hotel it apparently could never be approved. The area in which the hotel stands is zoned for mixed residential purposes, only allowing a local inn with less than 25 rooms. However, in reality, the Best Western Kuta Resort has 111 rooms which automatically places the hotel in the starred hotel category - a type of zoning use specifically prohibited in that area of Kuta.

Naria said it would be impossible for the provincial tourism office of Bali to grant a license for the subject hotel. And, as regards the recommendation claimed by the Hotel’s General Manager, Naria dismissed such a claim out of hand. "There is no such thing as a recommendation," Naria insisted.

According to Naria, the Best Western Kuta Resort, which is still named the Sapta Petala, held a license issued in 2000 under the rules for autonomy in Bali. At that time the right to issue permits for inns was held by the provincial tourism office while permits for starred hotels were issued from Jakarta.

Naria said that the permit issued in 2000 was automatically revoked when the hotel changed its building structure (i.e. size) and its name.

The polemic revolving around the Best Western Resort Kuta began when the hotel, once known at the Sapta Petala, tried to request a new license that would alter its status from a inn (hotel melati) to a starred-hotel. This request was refused by a number of government agencies. The zoning law for Bali specifically prohibits the establishment of a starred- hotel on Jalan Bakung Sari.

Related Articles

[Selective Enforcement of the Law]

[Crackdown on Illegal Bali Hotels and Clubs Begin]

[Best Westen Opens in a No Hotel Zone]

[Does the Sheriff Always Win at the Best Westerns?]


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