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"This was the first time we had booked on the Internet and we were a little apprehensive when we first started looking for accommodation options. However any fears we had were soon overcome with the wonderful service we received from the Bali Discovery team."
Turtle Trading Down by 80% But the Struggle to Save Bali's Turtles Continues.
Temp Interaktif reports that tens of Pro-Fauana activists demonstrated on Tesuday, May 1, 2007 to help save Bali's turtle population.
Protesting the continued presence of illegal turtle traders still operating in Bali, the demonstrators displayed banners along Kuta Beach proclaiming "Let's Save the Sea Turtle" with at least three of the demonstrators wore giant turtle costumes while supporters distrubuted brochures and posters to passing tourists.
A spokeman for Pro Fauna, Wayan Wiradnyana, said the protest by his group must continue as long as the illegal trade in turtles continues in Bali, albeit in a more concealed fashion than in the past.
Investigations carried out by Pro Fauna in 1999 showed that 24,000 turtles were traded in a four month period in Bali. Now, according to the group, that figure has been reduced by nearly 80%.
The turtle activist plan to hold a "turtle week" in Bali which will include a dialogue with the Island's Governor and a turtle exhibition at a local shopping mall.
Zee Gawds! Zagats has It!
Bali Features Prominently in Zagat Survey of Leading Hotels, Resorts and Spa.
Zagat Survey a ranking of the World's Leading Hotels, Resorts and Spas conducted among 21,783 frequent travelers and 1,626 professional travel agents has been released revealing, once again, that Bali's properties featured prominently among the very best to be found anywhere.
The review which rates 1,287 of the "best places to stay and play in the world" as well as 48 leading hotel chains showed the following results suggesting why Bali is still one of the world's most preferred holiday destinations:
Best Hotel Chains
1. Amanresorts (3 properties in Bali)
2. Four Seasons (2 properties in Bali)
3. Mandarin Oriental
5. St. Regis (Coming soon to Bali)
6. Ritz-Carlton (1 Resort in Bali)
8. Orient Express (Represented in Bali)
9. Oberoi (One resort in Bali)
Top Destination Spas
1. Four Seasons - Hualalai, Hawaii
2. Esperanza, Baja Peninsula
3. Four Seasons - Wailea, Hawaii
4. Las Ventanas, Baja Peninsula
5. Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay - Bali
6. Amandari, Bali
7. Four Seasons - Carmella, Uruguay
8. Phoenician - Phoenix/Scottsdale
9. Brenners's Park - Baden-Baden, Germany
10.Schloss, Buhlerhohe - Baden-Baden, Germany
Small Hotels, resorts & Inns (less than 100 rooms)
1. Singita Kruger Area - South Africa
2. Amanjiwo, Borobudur, Indonesia
3. Four Seasons Tented - Golden Triangle, Thailand.
4. Como Shambhala - Bali, Indonesia
5. Four Seasons - Chiang Mai, Thailand
6. Oberoi Udaivilas - Rajasthan, India.
7. Amankila - Bali
8. Gidleigh Park - Devon, U.K.
9. Four Seasons Sayan - Bali, Indonesia
10. Blanket Bay - Queenstown, New Zealand.
1. Singita - Kruger Area, South Africa
2. Amanjiwo - Borobudur, Indonesia
3. Four Seasons Hialalai - Hawaii
4. Amankila - Bali, Indonesia
5. Oberoi Udaivila - Rajasthan, India
1. Como Shambhala - Bali, Indonesia
2. Amansara - Siem Reap, Cambodia
3. Four Seasons Tented - Golden Triangle, Thailand
4. Amanusa - Bali, Indonesia
5. Inn - Little Washington, Washington, D.C.
"This guide is designed to help travelers make informed decisions about the best places to stay around the world," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. "Whether it's business or pleasure -- the guide should be an essential resource for any savvy traveler."
The 2007/08 World's Top Hotels, Resorts & Spas guide (US$15.95) was edited by Donna Marino Wilkins and David Downing and is available at bookstores and other retail outlets, through ZAGAT.com
Go Holidays International in Administration
Queensland-Based Travel Company Seeks Volunatary Administration, Leaving Thousands Holidaymakers in Limbo.
In a brief public announcement Go Holidays International Pty Ltd of Australia have announced that effective Tuesday, May 1, 2007, the directors of the Company volantarily appointed an adminsistrator to take control of the business.
That same announcement stated: "Despite the best efforts of the staff, the heavy losses incurred by the company after the collapse of Air Paradise International proved too great for the business to overcome. It is in the best interest of all concerned that GO Holidays cease trading immediately and the business will be wound up."
Australian press reports suggest that hundreds of holidaymakers have been affected by the decision. Packages sold by the Queensland-based travel company are covered by the Travel Compensation Fund but many can still expect to face unexpected charges in rebooking their holidays to Bali and other Southeast Asian destinations or in waiting for eventual refunds to be reimbursed.
Australian travellers affected by the move can contact the Fund at telephone 1300 658 165 or go to www.tcf.org.au.
The Importance of Bali's Domestic Market
Bali by the Numbers: More than Half of All Air Passengers to Bali Generated by Indonesia's Domestic Market.
The total number of domestic airline passengers nation-wide in Indonesia decreased -9.69% in the first three months of 2007, totaling 6.119 million as compared to the 6.775 million in the same period in 2006. The downturn in domestic passengers may be due to a collective fear of flying following the a series of air disasters during the first three months of the year and negative government safety warnings affecting all Indonesian domestic carriers.
Bali as an Exception
Despite the downturn in domestic air passengers during the January-March period, Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport managed to log a +8.08% improvement in passenger loads, recording 391,900 passengers on domestic flights, up from the 362,600 passengers in the same period one year before.
The Importance of Domestic Tourism for Bali
When the number of passengers carried both domestically and internationally via Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport are combined, the major role domestic tourism has come to play in Bali's tourism is demonstrated. As a percentage of all air passengers, domestic passengers constitute 52.9% of all air passengers in Bali during the first three months of 2007, down from 60.5% share in 2006 when international passengers were negatively impacted following the October 2005 terrorist attack.
Jamal Hussain Leaves Bali for the Maldives
Bali Loses Pro-Active Hotelier and SKAL President to Banyan Tree in the Maldives.
Malaysian Jamal Hussain has announced his resignation as General Manager of the Hard Rock Hotel Bali to accept a new position as Group General Manager in the Maldives for the Banyan Tree Group which currently operates 6 hotels there.
A veteran hotelier who served as SKAL Chairman in Bali, Hussain is a 1975 graduate in Hotel & Tourism Studies from Schloss Klesheim in Salzburg, Austria. His hotel career has included senior managerial assignments in Taiwan, Surabaya, Jakarta, Singapore and Vienna.
The General Manager of the Hard Rock Bali since 2003, having previously held the role of acting General Manager at the Bali theme resort.
Hussain is married and has two daughters.
Coffee as Art
A Picture Perfect Cup of Coffee in an Ongoing Exhibition of Coffee Art in Sanur.
Kopi Bali, located on the Bypass Road in Sanur, has long been the hang out of choice for Bali's coffee afficiondos. Owned and operated by Bali's leading family of coffee traders, Kopi Bali has an almost endless range of coffees on offer for sipping enjoyment on the premises or freshly ground for home-brewing later.
Have no doubts on the subject: Kopi Bali takes its coffee seriously. Coffee machines of every shape and size are displayed down the length and breadth of the shop and we have it on good authority that sacred offerings are routinely made to each of the perculating pieces of coffee hardware. Those in search of the perfect gift for a coffee-fixated friends will enjoy browsing Kopi Bali's range of cups, milk steamers and mini-espresso machines.
Coffee Art by Rudy Sri Handoko
In order to raise their commitment to all things coffee to another level, Kop Bali have now opened the Kopi Bali Gallery featuring paintings by well-known artists Rudy Sri Handoko.
Handoko, a well-known and respected Bali-based artists who has exhibited his work in Suraaya, Bali and China has developed an entrie collection of paintings for the new gallery all produced with coffee, as opposed to traditional paint forms. The resulting works all have a sepia quality and, as you might expect, exude the familiar smell of freshly brewed coffee.
Open daily at the Kopi Bali House - Coffee Art can be found at Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai 405D in Sanur.
Over 600 Local Handicraft and Textile Traders Lose their Businesses in May 2 Inferno.
The Kumbasari Market (Pasar Kumbusari) in downtown Denpasar was destroyed by a massive fire on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. A center for traditional handicrafts and textiles, the Pasar Kumbasari was the place of business for more than 600 local traders at the five-storey structure.
The fire was discovered in the early morning hours on Wednesday when local traders arrived to open their business and was not extinguished until the evening hours despite the efforts of more than 10 fire units responding to the flame.
Firefighters efforts to bring the flames under control were thwarted by heavy winds, limited street access to the market, and only 30% of fire hydrants near the fire in an operating condition.
Police continue to investigate the fire which is believed to have started in a third floor shop. Of possible interest to investigators is the fact that the current management contract from the Municipal Government for the market held by PT Cipta Agung Bali was due to expire on May 20, 2007.
While no injuries were suffered by tenants, three local firefighters were hospitalized due to smoke inhalation.
A similar fire in 2000 destroyed the Badung Traditional market located just across the Badung River from the Kumbasari MArket in downtown Denpasar.
A Legal Premise
Austrindo Law Opens Plush New Offices in Bali.
Austrindo Law Office formally inaugurated its new building at Simpang Dewa Ruci, Kuta on Thursday, April 26, 2007 with a Bali-Hindu "Pemelaspasan" ceremony.
Established in 2001, Austrindo Law Office have now moved from their former premises in Kuta Poleng to their new, larger and more modern premise next to the Bali International Medical Center (BIMC).
Asutrindo Law provides legal services to its growing client base in Bali while Austrindo Bali Mandiri, an associate company, will continue to provide company set-up services from the new locale. Ary Johnson, President Director of Austrindo Bali Mandiri said: "we are all excited about the move and the feedback from our clients is that they are very supportive in our move. We look forward to continuing to assist our clients in the future from our new office."
Peter Johnson OAM, LLB the President Director of PT. Protection One that also operates from the building said: "We have invested in Bali because we are confident in the future of Bali and we wanted to show by example that we have the confidence in Bali to invest in building. We also needed to expand from our previous premises to cater for the continued growth of Bali."
To contact Austrindo Bali Mandiri visit their new offices at Jalan ByPass Ngurah Rai No. 2001, Kuta or telephone ++62-(0)361-759722.
ASEAN Agrees to Liberalize its Skies
Will Plans to Remove Inter-ASEAN Restrictions Between the Region's Capital Cities Also Extend to Secondary Destinations, Such as Bali?
The 10-member countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to liberalize air traffic rights between the 10 ASEAN capital cities commencing in 2008.
The agreement, reached at the 15th ASEAN Transportation Working Group (AWTG) held in Palembang, South Sumatra in April, will open fourth freedom air rights between the capitals, effectively ending existing bi-lateral air agreements now in effect. Fourth freedom air rights address the right to carry passengers or cargo from another country to one's own.
According to Indonesia's Director of Air Communications, Tri S. Sunoko, the liberalization of fourth freedom air rights between ASEAN capital cities is expected to eventually expand by 2010 to also include fifth freedom rights - the right to carry passengers from one's own country to a second country, and from that country to a third country.
In practical terms, this change will eventually allow Singapore Airlines to carry unrestricted numbers of passengers between Jakarta and Singapore. It is unclear, however, if the removal of current passenger load restrictions will also extend to non-capital destinations such as Denpasar (Bali).
Michel Harcourt - Paris, Milan and Bali
M. Harcourt Paris Opens Bali Branches.
Famous Parisian designer Michel Harcourt has arrived in Bali with his label M. Harcourt Paris, featuring ready-to-wear dresses, pants and tops that are focused on quality and elegance. Harcourt's style, reflected in his current Spring 2007 and Summer 2007 collection, is young and feminine with an emphasis on sophistication, enabling ladies of any age to feel sexy and fashionable.
Harcourt's initiative to open the boutiques on Bali, was to create a line for teens through to mature adults of luxury clothing suitable for wear in all parts of the world. Regardless of season or weather conditions, Harcourt's label works to fashion a timeless element to the range of silk, chiffon and linen designs.
Michel Harcourt is a well-known name in the world of fashion, having headed KL by Karl Lagerfeld [menswear] collection for over a decade. He apprenticed under the Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior fashion houses, and then moved to Italy to apprentice with Krizia and Valentino Tricot before venturing as a freelance stylist in Paris for Georges Rech, Christian Aujard, Ted Lapidus, Pierre D'Alby and Timwear.
Finally in the early '90s, Michel Harcourt decided to form his own label, which has evolved to become the signature brand of the Michel HARCOURT Paris collection. Currently Michel Harcourt also designs collections for Herve Leger and Givenchy. He constantly travels the world to visit his various boutiques and to oversee the quality control of his production. Michel Harcourt Showrooms can be found in Paris, France, Milan, Italy, and, of course, now at the Michel Harcourt Boutiques in Bali, Indonesia.
The Grand Opening of the Michel Harcourt Boutique on Monday, April 30, 2007 in Seminyak showcased live mannequins modeling the latest Harcourt collections, and was attended by fashionistas, boutique owners, designers, socialites, hoteliers and media from the expatriate and local communities of Bali.
Michel Harcourt's Boutique in Seminyak is located at Jl. Raya Basangkasa 1200A, Seminyak, Bali, telephone ++62-(0)361-731694, and is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.. Harcourt's Boutique in Kuta is located at Carrefour Plaza 2nd Floor. Telephone ++62-(0)361-8477464.
Smokin' on the Ritz
Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa 7th Cigars Under the Stars - May 12, 2007.
A few seats remain at the Ritz Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa 7th Cigars Under the Stars evening to be held Saturday, May 12, 2007.
The celebration of fine food, exceptional wines and hand-made Cuban cigars has become one of the most anticipated events on Bali's culinary calendar and this year's event will be no exception.
The festivities begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Resort's hilltop Candra Surya, immediately adjacent to the Sami Sami Restaurant, where premium champagne and canapés will be served while Cuban master cigar-roller Alfredo Andrès Pino demonstrate his art.
Following cocktails, guests will adjourn to the candlelit garden for a 5-course dinner accompanied by a selection of premium wines and individually paired cigars. Among the evenings highlights will be a chance to enjoy a Super Robusta de Punch Edicion Regional - an outstanding cigar created especially for the Southeast Asian market.
The Cost of the evening - covering wines, cigars and the 5-course gourmet menu is Rp. 1.6 million (approximately US$174). Seating is limited and reservations are a must. Telephone ++62-(0)361-702222 (extension 40).
Champagne & Canapés - Delamotte Brut, NV
Fresh hand-rolled cigar by Alfredo Andrès Pino from Havana, Cuba
Vietnamese mint Sorbet on Cucumber Granite
Carpaccio of smoked Duck and Torchon of Foie Gras with White Asparagus and Figs
Consommé of Norwegian Salmon Scented with Burgundy, Black Truffle and Pearl barley
Super Robusto de PUNCH Ediciòn Limitada Regional Asia Pacific, Habanos SA - Cuba, 2006
Roasted Lamb Rack "en Crepine" with Creamed Spinach, Pinenuts, Cumin-Yogurt Sauce and Parsley Foam
Cuban-smoked Chocolate Parfait, Port Jelly, Semolina Crumble and Warm Honey Crème Anglaise
PUNCH Punch Punch - Corona Gorda Medium Flavor
A Celebration of Walter Spies in Berlin
Walter Spies Society to Host Commemorative Lecture and Concert in Berlin on May 19, 2007.
Born in Moscow in 1895, German musician-artist Walter Spies, landed in Ubud in 1927 where he lived until shortly before his death in 1942. A Renaissance man by any standard, Spies' limitless artistic energy managed to have a lasting impact on Balinese art, dance, music, documentary film-making and early anthropological studies of the Island.
Photos of Walter Spies in Bali (Click to Enlarge)
Walter Spies was a musician, gifted painter, composer, choreographer, filmmaker and, above all, a keen observer of his adopted home of Bali. During the approximate 15 years he lived in Bali, Spies shared his unbridled enthusiasm for all things Balinese via his participation in landmark early film works on Bali and while playing host to the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Barbara Hutton, Noel Coward and Margaret Mead at his Ubud Home.
Born of German parentage in Moscow, Spies' early musical experience included Rachmaninoff and Scriabin encountered at house concerts held in his family's residence. Interred in the Urals during World War I, Spies eventually made his way to Berlin where he continued his musical education, seeking out avant-garde performers, encounters with whom were recounted in his diaries: "There in the house of my great friend Eduard Erdmann I met all the 'giants' - Busoni, Pfitzner, Schnabel, Hindemith, Krenek, Petyrek, and Haba."
A Celebration of Walter Spies
Walter Spies Society Germany is organizing a day of music and lectures to honor the memory of their namesake on Saturday, May 19, 2007, in Berlin.
The following program has been set for the Vivaldi-Saal, Lehrter Strasse 57, Berlin, Germany:
. 4:00 p.m. - Professor Dr. Volker Scherliess, MHS Luebeck - "Walter Spies and His Musical Environment in Berlin in the 20s."
. 5:00 p.m. Professor Dr. Dieter Mack, MHS Luebeck - "Indonesia's Contemporary Music."
. 8:00 p.m. Hans-Joerg Koch, MHS Freiburg - Piano Concert including Stefan Wolpe: "Stehende Musik" ; Slamet A. Sjukar: "Svara" ; Dody Satya E.: "Langendria"; Dieter Mack: "Chedi" ; Pierre Boulez: "Notations" ; Paul Hindemith: "Exercise in three parts".
The concert and lectures are made possible through the cooperation of the Indonesian Embassy in Germany and the Walter Spies Society Germany.
Admission to the Concert is 10 Euro, with a special price of 5 Euros for students.
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