Page 1

fine restaurants and villas | bali & southeast asian style & travel

edition 7.2, aug sept ‘10 Rp. 48.000

Phuket Villas

Stunning selection of villas on the Andaman

Perfect Parisian Moments 5 steps to discovering the city of light

Metropole

Melbournes new dazzling hotel at the Crown

Rp. 48.000

Peace of Sentosa

Oka Diputra in Seminyak’s premier villas

d e s i g n f o o d a r c h i t e c t u r e f a s h i o n a r t w i n e r e s t a u FRVr Travel a nl 1 t s


2 l FRV Travel


FRV Travel l 3


4 l FRV Travel


FRV Travel l 5


samaya

    “”  

                                          6 l FRV Travel


FEATURES AUGUST SEPTEMBER 2010

36 Birth of Overwater Bungalows

The long floating history of the quintessential tropical island lagoon experience. .

CONTENTS

40 The Underground Domain

Downstairs, around the corner, a secret door and a password. This is the new Jakarta nightlife.

56 Phuket Villas

Five glamourous gin palaces from the island paradise of Phuket, Asia’s Riviera.

72 A Wedding and Search for The Best Durian in Penang

Erza goes to Penang for his great friend’s wedding and finds love with a special durian.

124 Sophistication And The City

Emma Westwood gets a designer look around at the new Crown Metropole Hotel in Melbourne.

On The Cover and page 82:

Diputra is back in style at Sentosa Resort and Spa, Bali.

FRV Travel l 7


32 80 Dishes at ninety-nine

AUGUST SEPTEMBER 2010

Again Erza uses his time at Grand Indonesia Mall wisely by eating and drinking rather than shopping.

CONTENTS

46 Gado Gado

Trauts takes his son, a new ingénue food critic in the making, to see what’s what on the beach.

52 Improving on Perfection

After a big spending facelift, Thomas Jones is dazzled by the beauty of the Shangri-la’s new look in KL.

62 Under the Iberian Influence

Portuguese architect and Bali resident Maria Paiva speaks about bringing the Mediterranean to Asia.

68 The Belle Époque

Victorian poise and elegance make The Landmark London one of London’s most resplendent hotels.

78 Dining at Betty Crocker’s Apartment

102

Sopra. A new Jakarta haunt taking pizza and pasta to the next level.

Erza gets an invitation to a dinner party and funnily enough finds himself at a...home away from home?

90 Perfect Parisian Moments

Ahh, Paris! Emma Westwood’s five step program to heaven in the fabulous City of Light.

88 You Just Can’t Beat that Stinky Cheese

140

All you ever wanted to know about Roquefort cheese and its odiferous history.

Roller coasters and resorts in Singapore get Melanie Lee going.

94 A Peek at International Property Consulting Fresh to Bali, FRV talks to architectural and management consultants The Clarkson Group.

98 Business by the Ocean

116

The apprenticeship of art in Indonesia.

8 l FRV Travel

114 In Your Face Madonna!

Thomas Jones faces his own mortality at Karma Spa and finds oxygen to be the key to survival.

104

Taking Japanese cuisine to your kitchen.

Ve goes to Kalimantan looking for a place to do business and finds the Aston has provided it well.

Bits & Pieces 15 Overnight Jakarta 44 Overnight Zurich 50 Overnight Hong Kong 66 Health 76 Beverages 122 FRV Zodiac 146 FRV Listings 148 Last Word 162

128 Bridging Between Cultures

FRV talks to Bali statesman Tjok Raka Kerthyasa and gets the big picture on local attitudes to development.

132 Seven Course? Of course!

Thomas Jones experiences a down under degustation in Auckland and by the end has definitely had enough.

136 A Place in the Country

Thomas Jones has a perfect New Zealand winter’s day sampling olive oil and exceptional Kiwi food.


FRV Travel l 9


PT K ubu Dua Me dia J l. Petitenget 12A, Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia Te l. +62 361 746 3751/52. Fa x. +62 361 847 5458 email: info@finerestaurantsandvillas.com www.fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om Dire c tor Guna wa n I nd rob a skoro Graphics Coordinator Sya ffri Soe wa rd i (artwork@fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om) Gra phic s Te guh Ana nta Photogra phy Moc h. Sulthon, R a ma d ha n, Da rre n Soh Distribution Nyoman Rupma Ii n I nd ra p utra , I c ul, Ma d e i nfo@fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om F ina nc e Sri W ita ri, B a gus Oka Ma rk e ting E nstina (enstina @fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om)

more tales of buildings and food

Administra tion Eli, Gina , Yuni Contributors Ve Ha nd ojo, Da vid Tra uts, Erza ST, Nic hola s Wa lton, Me la nie Le e , R a c he l Love , Thoma s Jone s, He rma n Von Be r nha rd i Agua yo, Rina ld i. Subsc ription Yearly subscription available in Indonesia - Rupiah 250,000 Conta c t: sub sc rib e @fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om Send e-mail to the above for details. Consulting Stua rt D W ilford (stua rt@fine re sta ura ntsa nd villa s.c om) Legal Associates Agus Sa mija ya & Pa rtne rs Gra ha Asa , Jl. Ka p te n Cok Agung Tre sna 49 Re non, De np a sa r. Te l: +62 361 242447, 247302, 08123924509. FRV ma ga z ine is a n inde pe nde nt, bi-monthly public a tion Ne xt e dition de a dline Se pte mbe r 15, 2010

Fi n e R e s t a u r a n t s a n d V i l l a s m a g a z i n e i s p r i n t e d u n d e r l i c e n s e d t r a d e m a r k . N o p a r t o f th is m a ga zin e sh ou ld be re produ c e d with ou t th e wr itte n pe r m ission of th e pu blish e r. A l l r i g h t s re s e r v e d . A r t i c l e s re f l e c t t h e o p i n i o n s o f t h e a u t h o r s , a n d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y th ose of th e pu blish e r s. F in e Re sta u r a n ts a n d V illa s m a ga zin e is pr in te d by P T M e g a In da h (T: 021-6190529) a n d distr ibu te d by; P T K u bu Du a M e dia (I n don e sia ), P e r iplus Ja va Book s (I n don e sia ), P T I n doprom (I n don e sia ), F ore ign P re ss (H on g K on g), P a n s i n g Distribution (Malaysia) and Nation Books International (Thailand). Con ta c t th e e -m a il a ddre sse s a bove f or f u r th e r in f or m a tion .

F RV Magazi ne

10 l FRV Travel

Edi ti on 7.2

Au g - Sept ‘1 0


FRV Travel l 11


12 l FRV Travel


Editor’s Thought FRV Travel – It takes you places Welcome to another edition of FRV Travel. Inside this issue we continue finding new destinations, new accommodation and new dining options around the region, and indeed the world. Bali is as busy as it has every been right now with people coming from all over the planet to enjoy their holidays on the island and experience one of the world’s greatest highseasons, which is now just beginning. Highlights are aplenty in this edition. We travel to Phuket Thailand to view a handful of the latest luxury villas to come onto the rental market—some are absolutely breathtaking in their concept and execution. Jakarta features abundantly again with four restaurants being covered by both Ve and Erza and as always come in with mixed results. Once again we travel further afield beyond our region, tasting the highlights of London, Paris and Zurich. And that’s three of our regular correspondents doing the traveling, Thomas Jones, Emma Westwood and Erza ST. We visit New Zealand again for two fine restaurants and discover the history of overwater bungalows around the world. It’s amazing how far FRV Travel now goes to find a good story.

Locally, we speak with a principal negotiator in community affairs, Tjok Raka, about the development of Bali and how we can all work together to make the island a better and harmonious place. We also check a number of villas including this edition’s fashion shoot with Oka Diputra at Sentosa Villas and Spa. There’s plenty more inside too, so sit back, relax in your favorite chair and read us from cover to cover. You might just enjoy it. Ed FRV Competition Winner from the last edition: Daryl Sexton, South Perth, Western Australia. This is what Darryl had to say; “I found this magazine while eating at Black Canyon Restaurant Seminyak Square. Great presentation and very informative, up to date with what’s happening with Bali and other tourist destinations around the region & the world.” Thanks Darryl, we’ll be in touch with your complimentary three-night voucher at Sentoas Villas and Spa very soon. Send comments and letters to: editor@finerestaurantsandvillas.com

FRV CONTRIBUTORS

David Trauts Correspondent, English. This edition finds Trauts being pretty much Bali based, chatting with Tjok Raka from Ubud about the need for communication between developers and the community in Bali. He also has a chat with a developer’s consultant, Pierre Moerland and finishes off with a meal at the much-improved Gado Gado restaurant in Seminyak.

Erza S.T. Living at large might be correct way to describe this opera producer’s life. After his big Euro trip, he went to Hong Kong for the Art Fair and stayed at the latest Hyatt establishment in the New Territories. After that trip he then went on another one when a wedding invitation in Penang arrived, so he was off for another weekend getaway. Wonder where will he go next...

Ve Handojo After completing his East Borneo trip in Balikpapan, Ve Handojo is back in Jakarta, reporting from a new Italian restaurant, a German bar, a diner, and an underground fondue place. Now you know why he’s gained 10 kg in the last two months. If you’re on Twitter, find @VeHandojo, and give him diet tips.

Rachel Love Told by a fortune teller that her life would take a dramatic change in a move to the East, she arrived in Bali with a few hundred pounds and a vision to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a writer on a tropical island. FRV’s resident arts writer, Rachel is one of Bali’s most prolific authors, writing extensively on all things lifestyle and travel related.

Thomas Jones Full of self loathing for the tedium of his working week, Thomas finds himself standing on two antipodean points of the Earth this issue, in both London and New Zealand, where he experiences the delights of British hospitality and the tastes of Aotearoa’s fantastic foods and wines.

Nick Walton Nick has been writing on travel for the past 10 years, including most recently as the travel editor for the South China Morning Post. From his home in Hong Kong he regularly travels throughout Asia and beyond, looking for new experiences, trends and destinations, both for his travel pieces in over 60 magazines globally, as well as his weekly radio show. FRV Travel l 13


14 l FRV Travel


bits&PIECES

WHAT’S NEW, HOT AND COOL AROUND THE ISLAND OF BALI AND THE SE ASIAN REGION

Villa lega Glamour right on the beach in Batubelig Located in the Batubelig region of Seminyak, Villa LeGa, built in 2009, is luxurious without being pretentious and this beachfront villa is styled to be both comfortable and chic. The double-storey Villa LeGa is built around a central 12-meter swimming pool, which takes up most of the garden space. It boasts five ensuite bedrooms each possessing massive beds and flat TV screens; they are furnished in a simple, elegant style with just a dash of glamour added with sparkling accents on cushions and throws. The touches of glamour can also be found in the white all-weather loungers and daybeds to be found both around the pool and on the upstairs deck overlooking the ocean. Villa LeGa presents the type of living space that allows you to put your sandy feet up after a walk on the beach, and feel right at home the moment you step inside, without ever compromising on style and taste. Contact www.bhmvillas.com for more details. FRV Travel l 15


BITS&PIECES

who’s new in the kitchen? Ayana Resort has a new face and the Rock Bar celebrates a hectic first year. Fresh from the 25th Marathon Des Sables in the Moroccan Desert, Jerome Colson has joined AYANA Resort and Spa Bali as Food & Beverage Executive Assistant Manager (F&B EAM), responsible for all 13 dining outlets across the award-winning property.

demand of visitors coming from around Bali to experience a famous Rock Bar sunset. A new merchandise shop will be launched, along with the new website www.ayanaresort.com/rockbarbali and a signature Rock Bar CD compiled by resident DJ Martin East.

The Belgian native and father-of-two joins AYANA after nine years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in F&B management roles, most recently as F&B EAM at the Portman Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai, China.

An ultra-marathon runner who considers covering 250 kilometres in 50 degreeplus Celsius temperatures a form of fun, Jerome literally hit the ground running in Bali. He found time to clock a fast five kilometres in the Bali International Triathlon fun run, and brings this same high energy and endurance to his new position.

His arrival comes between two celebrations at AYANA: the resort’s own 1st anniversary of its rebranding on April 1st, and the Rock Bar’s 1st anniversary event scheduled for August the 5th. This event will also unveil an extension to the bar which will provide new seating areas and a second bar, increasing capacity by some two-thirds and catering for the high

Within just weeks of his arrival, he arranged a wine dinner with Casa Lapostolle wine ambassador Diego Urra which was a sell-out on July 1, and is preparing for two additional wine dinners in upcoming months.

seminyak’s new playground is on the way W Retreat and Spa Bali is opening soon. Bali’s next big thing will be opening soon. Right on the beach in Petitenget, Seminyak, the W Retreat & Spa Bali is fast approaching completion and looks set to bring that uber chic Seminyak bar up a notch in the process. With a total of 158 retreat rooms, 6 suites and 79 villas it will be one of the biggest resorts in Seminyak and, by the sounds of it, built and designed for the Seminyak style. Dining’s covered by Jack Yoss and his team in Starfish Bloo overlooking the beach, ICE offers bubbles, frozen cocktails, tempting tapas, freshly-shucked oysters and caviar, and the open kitchen-ed FIRE will be grilling up prime meats and sea-fresh seafood. WooBar is a place to eat, drink, flirt and play – a three-storey epicentre of partly al-fresco fun in the sun, or at sunset with international DJs spinning their mixes. The newest playground on this captivating island is ready to open in November.

16 l FRV Travel


BITS&PIECES

dsquared

franky knuckles

brand new heavies

tijuana cartel

high season at Kudeta

dave seaman

Top line acts are on the way for this year’s party season. The stunning Bali beachside destination KU DE TA, has prepared a massive line-up of events for this coming high season to celebrate their 10th Birthday in the grandest of styles. They are bringing together a stellar selection of International DJ’s and live bands and their Day Party, Birthday Party and White Party will chart new territory with magnificently decorated themes, performers and playtime peeps, than ever before. August will kick off with the wickedly fun and famous KU DE TA Day Party, where a bikini is de rigueur and the extroverted and (somewhat) well-heeled will get down to the sounds of the Godfather of House, Frankie Knuckles and a live performance from Heather Small (M People) on Sunday 8 August. Italian-based fashion duo Dan and Dean Caten from dsquared will be presenting their dsquared swimwear collection as further eye candy to delight and indulge in on the day. Start swinging at the KU DE TA Birthday Party on Saturday 14 August when they present international band and dance sensation of the decade, The Brand New Heavies. Best known for their hit songs, ‘Never Stop’ and ‘Dream on Dreamer’, The Brand New Heavies are seasoned performers and delighted to be playing at the KU DE TA 10th Birthday Party. Replicating an Alice in Wonderland theme, patrons will be invited to fall down the rabbit hole and take a trip into a magical world of new dimensions, sounds and experiences. The entire KU DE TA venue will transform into a surreal Lewis Carol fantasy land with surprise appearances by the Mad Hatter, the ‘smokin caterpillar’ and Alice herself!

The international invasion of performers at KU DE TA continues with the KU DE TA White Party – Cleopatra Queen of the Nile theme the following weekend on Saturday 21 August. Taking a cue from the ancient Pharaohs, Creative Director Donni 1 asks you to wear white and walk like an Egyptian as KU DE TA takes a ride down the Nile in style. Look out for resident DJ Billy The Kid (BtK) and a guest showing by the Queen of Nightlife, Cleopatra herself. UK-based DJ and record producer, Dave Seaman who has spearheaded the Renaissance dance music label, will be headlining this historic evening. Dave Seaman enjoys a cult following of dance enthusiasts from around the world and has gained extra kudos for producing for the Pet Shop Boys and Kylie Minoque. The finale of the High Season dance party series is a performance by the Australian acclaimed world music band, Tijuana Cartel on Saturday 28 August. Tijuana Cartel is all about rhythm and KU DE TA invites you to explore the compelling sounds of world percussion inspired by Flamenco, Reggae and Hip Hop. To purchase tickets please visit the Guest Relations Desk at KU DE TA or email info@kudeta.net. In keeping with KU DE TA’s ethical commitment and Environmental Plan, in 2010 all High Season tickets can be purchased with a ‘Green Levy’ ** whereby rp 50,000 will be donated to the ‘Clean Seminyak Program’ and will be matched ‘dollar for dollar’ by KU DE TA.

FRV Travel l 17


BITS&PIECES

A Classic Afternoon Tea I say...a spot of tea and cake anyone? Inspired by the famed afternoon teas of The St. Regis New York, which began over a century ago, The St. Regis Bali is continuing the tradition at The King Cole Bar. From 3pm to 5.30pm, the elegant hotel bar come alive with a delightful and elaborate afternoon tea selection featuring hot and cold delicacies including lobster pie and marbled foie gras terrine. While the pianist plays classics on the grand piano in one corner, guests can enjoy the substantial buffet perfect for resort and vacation time. In the late night tradition of Bali dining, a late breakfast and a substantial afternoon tea fits perfectly with later dining in one of the resort’s, or outside, fine dining restaurants.

18 l FRV Travel

The St Regis’ French Pâtissier, Vincent Stopin and his team also present Valrhona chocolates, homemade pralines and ice cream, with memorable afternoon tea classics of scones complemented with clotted cream and finger sandwiches. The tea master will complete the afternoon tea experience with a choice of imported fine teas poured from the pot. What better way could there be to while away the afternoon hours in Nusa Dua. Price: Rp. 350.000 nett Rp. 100.000 nett (9 - 12 years old) Call +62 361 300 6782 to make your reservation.


FRV Travel l 19


BITS&PIECES

To Infinity and Beyond Space flight for the common man is not a dream anymore.

Sir Richard Branson is nearly at the place in his life where he has always dreamed of being. He is ready to take tourists to space! And more importantly, he is ready to do it in caviar comfort and bring them back again in one piece. After years of trials with various types of craft Virgin Galactic’s much anticipated suborbital space liner VSS Enterprise successfully made a test flight over California’s Mojave Desert with two crew members onboard early in July of this year. The first in Virgin Galactic’s planned fleet of suborbital SpaceShipTwo aircraft that will eventually take passengers on space tourism flights, the VSS Enterprise’s two-man crew evaluated all of the spacecrafts systems

and functions during the six-hour and 12-minute flight. Throughout the voyage the VSS Enterprise remained attached to its WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve mothership, marking its third captive-carry flight since March, and according to Virgin Galactic’s official statement, “All objectives were achieved”. Along with VSS Enterprise’s crew, three other crewmembers flew aboard the Eve mothership, which is designed to carry SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of 15,240 metres. It is at this time when the spacecraft is released and its hybrid rocket motor kicks in, enabling it to launch into suborbital space. Once in outer atmosphere, as well as enjoying the spaced out feeling of weightlessness, guests will witness the stunning vision of the Earth below from the darkness of space. The ship is designed to take six passengers and two pilots on suborbital flights, and will enter outer space for a few exhilarating minutes. In stark contrast to the millions of dollars charged by the Russian space program for joy rides, Virgin Galactic will set you back a measly US$200,000 per passenger, and that includes champagne. So who will be on the first of these trips to the heavens? Sir Richard of course, and he is rumoured to be taking his mum and dad along for the ride. They must be so proud!

Rendang and Kopi Tubruk at Rumakopi Delicious coffee and food just like home, but different.

Photos by Toni Wahid

West Sumatra), or Ayam Lengkuas (chicken with galangal), and you will understand why regulars keep coming back to Rumakopi, wishing it was their own house. Fashioned with antique furnitures, custom-made sofas, plush cushions, batik ornaments, and with the soft jazzy playlist, Rumakopi’s atmosphere is relaxing, inspiring, and friendly.

With the soft-opening of Rumakopi, the Senopati area in South Jakarta has got a new “neighbourhood” coffee shop. It is designed as a house for Indonesian coffee lovers, where they can also enjoy local meals for lunch and dinner. Have a sip of robust Acehnese coffee with beef rendang (slow-cooked, spiced beef directly flown from Padang,

20 l FRV Travel

Interior designer Meliana Gunawan lent her talent in transforming the whole empty space above Pizza Boutique into a “house for everybody” in just two weeks. Coffee expert Hendri Kurniawan is the consultant for every cup served here, and trainer of the baristas. The lunch and dinner menu are generated from the owner’s signature recipe. A package of coffee, steamed rice, and two dishes is around Rp 30,000. Rumakopi Jl. Suryo No. 20, Senopati Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta Tel: +62 21 7279 2204


FRV Travel l 21


BITS&PIECES

Trying Times for Thailand Thailand tourism gets huge injection of rescue incentives to turn fortunes around. Thailand’s had a rough time of it so far this century. Hit badly by SARS in 2003, the tsunami in 2004, and the financial crisis of 2008 it then went on to be held to ransom by red-shirted militants demanding Prime Minister Thaksin’s return to the top. After a brief occupation of Bangkok airport that caused major disruption to thousands of foreign tourists, in a more deadly show of force, they took over the inner city of the capital, building barricades, clashing with police and refused to budge for several weeks. The army was called in and after much bloodshed and violence that caused more than three billion dollars in damage; the surrounding area was left a smouldering ruin. But what was more worrying is that the country had exposed a festering sore of civil disunity that threatens not only the stability of the nation’s usually peaceful society but its lucrative and allimportant multi-million dollar tourist industry as well. Tourist’s are a fickle bunch and official statistics show that international passengers arriving at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok dropped 19 per cent in May 2010 over May 2009. However, public confidence started to improve in the following month and the rate of decline slowed to 6.8 percent in June. Now, several months later, as life returns to normal in a country upset by internal division, Thailand’s tourism industry has launched an aggressive

campaign to attract tourists back to the beaches and cities of the Kingdom. The Thai Government introduced a range of measures to promote tourism, including a waiver of tourist visa fees until 31 March 2011. To ease the financial impact on operators within the tourism industry, the Government further approved a relief package that will see a tax deduction for Thais who purchase from tour operators. They have also announced the temporary exemption of operation fees for hotels, training provisions and specialised loan conditions for small and medium tourism businesses. The Airports of Thailand, which handles several national airports, has also committed to the cause by reducing airport fees for the next nine months. “The entire tourism industry has come together and is moving ahead to overcome the downturn,” announced Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Suraphon Svetasreni. “We are hopeful that these measures will succeed and the industry will still be able to attain its target of 14.8 million arrivals for 2010.” Supporting this assertion, TAT has also announced that it was increasing its 2011 international arrivals projections to 15.5 million, which would see the country earning around US$19 billion for the year.

The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore’s newest luxury design hotel opens its doors on 8th July. LCL Architects, the group behind the hotel’s inspiring glass facade, is also responsible for the creation of the luxury hotel rooms, whilst the arrival experience and restaurants are the latest projects by design wunderkind, Andre Fu. Guests enter the hotel through a 17-metre wide lobby at the historic Clifford Pier, an important heritage site which saw the arrival of many of Singapore’s early settlers. The hotel’s glamorous and exquisite interior designs are richly steeped in Singapore’s vibrant history with Fu using vintage nautical maps and commissioned contemporary art that reflect the celebration of heritage and modernity in the Lion City. The Fullerton Heritage Singapore was delighted to announce the much anticipated opening of Marina Bay’s first and only waterfront hotel, The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore on 8 July 2010. Comprising 100 rooms, five individually-themed suites and a luxurious Presidential Suite, each with magnificent marina views, balconies and sundecks, the hotel offers luxury bespoke design elements to travellers visiting Singapore’s latest new district.

22 l FRV Travel

Utilising materials and designs such as polished rosewood and latticed screens, as well as leather and chrome, LCL Architects has created an elegant and refined atmosphere in the bedrooms with a predominantly natural palette throughout. This classical look is combined with stateof-the-art in-room technology to ensure that the hotel’s modern travellers are never out of touch.


FRV Travel l 23


BITS&PIECES

AirAsia’s new ‘one million a day’ booking system kicks in Asian travel has never looked so good. heavily in technology to support its expansion across its markets, largely in Asia, Australia and Europe. Their new booking system was meticulously developed over three years, and more than 200 specially-trained personnel were tapped to implement the new system. Kathleen Tan, Regional Head of Commercial, AirAsia, said, “AirAsia’s investment in technology is part of its commitment to give the best services to its guests. We have managed to stay ahead of the pack by smartly using advanced technology to enhance our products and services and to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy air travelers.” The new and improved system will spell for AirAsia’s guests countless benefits, including savings that will come as a result of the more efficient operational processes created by the new system. Air Asia unveiled its state-of-the-art booking system on July 11, pulling ahead of competitors in offering hi-tech user-friendly booking features. It is a huge improvement on AirAsia’s current booking system, and it will allow the continuously- and fast-growing airline to book up to almost 1 million flights a day. AirAsia has been investing

With the new system, guests also will benefit from more innovative sales and marketing campaigns, product and service offerings tailored to guests’ preferences, and better self-service facilities, including direct access to their Credit Shell accounts.

eat, pray, love, fine dining style Look out Bali here they come.....possibly.

The flood gates will surely open soon with people, particularly women, from all over the planet arriving in Bali searching for renewed spirituality and harmony in their lives once the Julie Roberts movie Eat, Pray and Love hits cinemas this August around the world. The book written by Elizabeth Gilbert that relates the story of a woman’s quest to find herself after a messy divorce and eventually finding love in Ubud has inspired not only many women to hit the road in search of a piece of it for themselves, but also now, many tour operators to provide the package for them. Four Seasons, Ayana Resort, Ubud Hanging Gardens, Karma, 24 l FRV Travel

to name a few, are all offering knocked down versions of the heroine’s four-month trip to Bali into a matter of days. Massage, yoga, meditation, and we’d imagine, fine dining are on the menu for would be characters of the movie at deals both easy and hard on the pocket. Just possibly, romance could be on the agenda too, like the lady in the movie. The option is still there for the women, and men for that matter, to do it on their own and in their own way, but maybe for some not quite as adventurous as Elizabeth Gilbert, this could be the an open door to a measure of enlightenment.


FRV Travel l 25


mixologist

The METIS Patron

Royal Mojito

NanaTini • • • • •

30ml Patron Tequila Resposado l 10ml Cointreau Fresh pineapple. Two cubes 10ml Pineapple Liquor 5ml Simple

Method: Mix all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, shake, and pour. Gede a.k.a De Jo (he prefers to be called that way) was polishing a glass at the bar. A customer approaches, looks at our Patron display and says, “Can you make something out of that?” pointing to the Patron Resposado. “Give me few minutes,” was his reply. De Jo chooses a Martini style cocktail, as Metis prides itself on their Martinis. This became our special of the week, and later it was on the menu. 26 l FRV Travel

• • • • • • •

30ml Patron Silver 30ml Nakano Kishu Hacimitsu Umeshu 10 ml Cherry brandy Fresh lime. Two slices Mint leaves White & brown sugar. One tsp each Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve to top up

Method: Like other Mojitos put the sugar, lime, and mint leaves in the glass, and muddle. Add cherry brandy and Patron Silver with a few ice cubes. Top up with a nice champagne, which in this case, we use Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve. Originally, Kadek Wana, one of their bartenders, found a bottle of sake which was accidentally delivered to Metis (We ordered the dry one, but instead this sweet one arrived). He tasted it, had a ‘Eureka’ moment, and thus this cocktail was born. FRV

Bartender: Gede Udrayana or De Jo. We’d like to thank METIS and Patron for their assistance


Afternoon teA At king Cole bAr A distinCtive legACy. Cherish a timeless tradition that comes alive each day with a delightful and elaborate selection of hot and cold delicacies including lobster pie and marbled foie gras terrine. our french Pâtissier vincent stopin and his team also present valrhona chocolates, homemade pralines and ice cream, with memorable classics of scones complemented with clotted cream and finger sandwiches. our tea master will complete your experience while you bask in the ambience and relax to melody from our classic piano. life is good. Afternoon Tea is from 3.00pm to 5.30pm. Reservation is recommended. Pool and beach facilities are reserved for hotel guests only.

kAWAsAn PAriWisAtA nUsA dUA lot s6 nUsA dUA . bAli 80363 . indonesiA stregis.CoM/bAli (62)(361) 8478 111

to dAy: A s Pe n At l An tA b Ali b e ijing b o rA b o rA d ee r C res t hAWA ii hoU ston l o n d o n M A ll o rCA M ex iCo C ity M o n A rCh b e ACh n eW yo rk PUntA M itA ro M e sA n f rA nC is Co s hA n g hAi s ingAPor e WA s hin g to n , d.C .

stregis.CoM Š 2010 starwood hotels & resorts Worldwide, Inc.

FRV Travel l 27


BALI VILLA BELONG DUA

Villa Belong Dua...

Suggesting A Sense Of Belonging

By Rachel Greaves

Photos By Djuna Ivereigh

It is probably the sweetest and most bona fide Balinese villa that you will find anywhere on the island. Located between Canggu and Tanah Lot, in the heart of Seseh village, the enchanting Villa Belong Dua is encompassed by the everyday life of Bali. Drifting over the walls of its beautiful big garden, are the sounds of happy laughing children, crowing roosters, and ritual temple music... 28 l FRV Travel


Looking down the length of the pool, with the ‘Bale Gede’ pavilion on the left. A long mirror in the living pavilion reflects the garden and pool, while the pool reflects the pavilion.

T

he English and Balinese, husband and wife owners of Villa Belong Dua have combined their talents and backgrounds to create a truly authentic Balinese experience blended with all of the Western comforts and high tech facilities that you would expect to find in a luxury holiday home. Yet the architecture, the Balinese antiques and local artefacts, the clever integration of Balinese history and custom, and the village of Seseh itself will beckon you way beneath the surface on a journey into the Balinese culture. At Villa Belong Dua, the architecture follows the layout of a traditional Balinese

compound, complete with the essential elements of Balinese philosophy and symbolism. Here, a series of pavilions is positioned in accordance with an ancient and complex set of rules, and a cosmic significance that is far more important than the physical materials. One of the structures is an antique bale gede pavilion, its alang alang grass roof supported by twelve wooden pillars resting on paras stone plinths. It comes from the island’s royal Gianyar Regency and was originally used for Balinese Hindu rites of passage such as the Potong Gigi tooth filing ceremony. Today, however, it is a poolside shelter from the sun where you can spend the day relaxing or enjoy a pampering massage.

FRV Travel l 29


BALI VILLA BELONG DUA

Upper left: The view of the garden and dining pavilion from the living room.

30 l FRV Travel

Upper right: A ‘Belong’ is a stone water vessel, dating back to a time when two of these containers could be found in every Balinese household and used for storing water for drinking and washing.

Bottom: The romantic bedrooms blend rusticity with contemporary design.


A circular skylight channels the moonshine in this indoor-outdoor bathroom.

Belong is the Balinese word for a stone water vessel, dating back to a time when these containers could be found in every household, and were used every day to store water for drinking and washing. Some of these original vessels can be seen at the villa, along with an antique jineng, a traditional thatched rice barn, now serving as a playhouse for kids. And there’s more… through the clever use of natural river stone to line the swimming pool, the owners have created a remarkable reproduction of a royal bathing pool, while the splendid entrance to the property is a copy of an 8th century Hindu temple gate. In addition to a cosy home theatre, the villa presents an open-sided living room and a separate dining room, both with delightful views of the garden and the towering trees that surround it. The two bedrooms,

the splendid entrance to the property is a copy of an 8th century Hindu temple gate.

each housed in standalone pavilions, offer chilled-out days on their raised terraces followed by romantic nights in dreamy kingsize beds. Finally, the air-conditioned ensuite bathrooms feature indulgent bathtubs behind big glass windows, and outdoor monsoon showers in sunny courtyards where your privacy will be protected by high walls and serene Buddha statues.

Amid the island’s ever-increasing complement of ‘super villas’, the ingredient that makes Villa Belong Dua so special is its unpretentious Balinese charm. FRV

www.villabelongdua.com

FRV Travel l 31


JAKARTA’s NINETY NINE

80

80 Dishes at ninety-nine Text by Erza S.T Photos by Ramadhan

32 l FRV Travel


here is another new restaurant inside a mall. Like mushrooms in rainy season, it seems that we get a new one opening every day. But this one is different. The charm of this place lured Erza in and he decided to go against the grain and review this recentlyopened restaurant out of curiosity. They call it ninety-nine.

T

o find great restaurants inside a mall is very common these days, however to find a great restaurant inside a supermarket is something different. The newest branch of Ranch Market which recently opened in Grand Indonesia – East Mall, has successfully implemented this concept and thus made the first restaurant ever connected to the international grocery chain outlet in the world. The name ninetynine is taken from the Ranch Market logo that has the number 99 on it.

A nice view to The Long Bar where you can get cocktails, wine or even Erdinger beer.

This new food outlet immediately found fame with Jakartan people, especially among the ladies who lunch and love to gossip over

afternoon tea. The set is dominated by black and white creating an illusion of an al fresco garden inside a mall. Pergola armchairs, a water cascade with real plants and old tiles give the impression that we are in a forgotten Belle époque garden in Europe. However, this impression changes once you step into the restaurant itself. Sensually dim lighting on naked brick pillars with rustic wooden furniture, made in a New York 1920’s vintage style, is set to welcome you for a long and lingering tête-à-tête lunch or dinner. The restaurant also offers a wine cellar and a relaxing seating area named the Ernest Hemmingway Lounge. FRV Travel l 33


The alluring décor, ambience and charm of ninety-nine caught my attention. With my purple moleskin notebook, I went in and passed the pergola going directly to their sexy looking bar called The Long Bar - ready to start unravelling my culinary adventure. The menu shows courage and a wide variety with around 80 dishes offered from appetizers to desserts, simple breakfasts, grill, Asian delights and even Indonesian home cooking. Lost in the jungle of foods inside their menu, I decided to calm myself with a glass of their fabulous lychee mojito and a combination of mushroom and beef ham in white cheese as an appetizer before deciding on main course. The luncheon crowd slowly changed into groups of ladies doing afternoon tea and it seemed to me that this new place is becoming quite popular. Getting cozier and sipping my second glass of mojito, I was finally ready to explore US-born Chef Corey Pavuk’s main course selection. To put them to the test, I went first for their 1824 dry-aged rump steak that was served with tomato, cucumber and corn cuts in cubes dressed with Mediterranean dressing. This 160 gram rump steak came to me in perfect condition: medium and pinkish inside. It was very tasty and matched nicely combined with a baked

34 l FRV Travel

potato fully loaded with chili, cheddar and jalapeno sauce on the side. Satisfied with the first course, I decided to move on to something more local and checked out chef ’s take on our local sop tangkar betawi. This famous local dish has a distinctive flavour coming from the mixture of many spices such as ginger, chili, pepper, garlic, onion, galangal, coriander, hazelnut and turmeric that is braised in beef broth. His version pretty much follows this recipe and added to it a bit with tamarind to give more it more flavour. However, instead of using normal cubes of beef, he uses short ribs which added fun to the whole experience of enjoying this Indonesian delight. As it was my decision to come at such an early stage to review this restaurant, I decided to just focus on the food tastes and ambience. Ninety-nine like any other establishment also endures the “new restaurant syndrome”. It is best, in my opinion, to give ninetynine more time before we can return and do a full review, including service and food consistency. Nevertheless, from this visit, ninety-nine successfully caught my attention and makes me curious to come back for more and try other dishes on the menu. And there’s a lot of them, they have 88! FRV


The set is dominated in black and white creating an illusion of an al fresco garden inside a mall.

Left: Sop tangkar betawi is a great choice for a fulfilling lunch. Right: The 160 gram rump steak is perfection and well worth trying.

Top Left: The Long Bar is quite busy during the day especially at happy hour.

Top Right: Wine is treated seriously here, and there is a huge range.

Bottom Left: If you fancy al fresco in Jakarta, then this restaurant will suit you perfectly.

Bottom Right: The Ernest Hemmingway Lounge.

ninety-nine Grand Indonesia Shoping Town East Mall, LG Floor Jakarta www.ranchmarket.co.id

FRV Travel l 35


OVERWATER BUNGALOWS

36 l FRV Travel


E Birth of Overwater Bungalows

ver bumped into someone suddenly mesmerised by tourism billboards of Tahiti or the Maldives plastered across the walls of the MTR station or bus shelter? It’s usually the sight of spacious villas, perched above tranquil, turquoise waters which capture our attention; that luxurious connection between Mother Nature, man and mini bar that leaves the rat race seemingly so far away.

By Nick Walton

Overwater bungalows have their origins in French Polynesia, a place so tropical, so remote, and so exotic, just saying its name in winter brings out the faint odour of coconut tanning oil. Americans Don “Muk” McCullum,

Jay Carlisle and the late Hugh Kelley, known as the “Bali Hai Boys” and inspired by James Michener’s novel South Pacific, first adapted traditional coral stilt homes for their tourist village on the island of Moorea after failing at vanilla farming. However, it wasn’t until 1971, when the Hotel Bora Bora, now an Aman Resort, built their first luxurious overwater bungalows, that this unique style of accommodation transfixed the world’s jet set. “We had taken over a small sixbungalow hotel on the island of Raiatea, where there’s no beaches, but beautiful lagoons and marvellous tropical sightseeing and diving,” recalls FRV Travel l 37


Jay, whose in his 70s now. “Seeking to call attention to the little Bali Hai Raiatea, we decided to try building three bungalows out on the reef, right in front of the hotel, with docks reaching out to them. The diving was fantastic, but the bungalows were a bit small so we built six more, larger in area, then we went to our Moorea property and built six there. Our friends, the owners of the deluxe Hotel Bora Bora, wanted to know how it was done so we said, send your construction boss over and we’ll show you. Now there’re overwater bungalows at every hotel in Tahiti French Polynesia.” “The overwater concept had been used by the Polynesians for several generations, building their grass huts on ironwood stilts on the lagoon’s edge,” says Monty Brown, who worked at the Hotel Bora Bora when the bungalows were first constructed and is now an area manager for Aman Resorts. “The idea of a tourist sleeping out over the water, with the moon reflecting off the lagoon, private sunbathing, and the multitude of fish that are attracted by the lights, made the experience unforgettable and the boom was on.” Tahiti became synonymous with these luxurious cabins perched above the lagoon and now several resorts offer them, including the Intercontinental Hotel Group’s Bora Bora 38 l FRV Travel

Resort & Thalasso Spa, which opened in May 2006.

honeymoon, and the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort.

“Often our guests find our overwater bungalows to be bigger than their apartments

“Overwater bungalows are the ultimate honeymoon splurge,” says St Regis General Manager Stephane Delamotte. “Imagine waking up to the surreal colour and clarity of the lagoon filtering through your windows as you await room service breakfast delivered by canoe, or counting the fish swimming under your lounge as you enjoy the sunset with a glass of Champagne. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life.”

Imagine waking up to the surreal colour and clarity of the lagoon filtering through your windows as you await room service breakfast delivered by canoe. at home and with the floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom and bathroom, the first thing guests see when we open the door is the lagoon just in front of them,” says general manager Silvio Bion. “The word we usually hear is “Wow, it’s a dream,” and we now call our personalised check-in the “wow effect”. Other leaders in French Polynesian over water pampering include the St Regis, which hosted Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban’s

Despite their fan-fare, only the most exotic coral outcrops adopted the over water bungalow, meaning lying above the lapping lagoon never lost its novelty-factor, as quirky hotel additions like transparant bathroom walls and toilet phones quickly did. However, the Maldives quickly decided to surf cast its rooms from the shores of its tiny islands and its here that most Asian couples have their first overwater wonder. Protected by reefs, with ample marine life and a government open to luxurious, sustainable tourism, the Maldives became another “floating” destination – and today, resorts like the Soneva Gili epitomise modern day, over water living and are a far cry from the original Bali Hai shacks built for the intrepid


and tropically-inclined. In fact the Soneva property took over-water bungalows one step further – yes, you can stay in one of their 37 spacious villas, each connected to the next by boardwalks - but for the ultimate seclusion, try one of the seven Crusoe Residences which are literally houses in the middle of the lagoon, accessible only by boat – and yes, the maid and butler are called Mr & Mrs Friday. The resort’s Private Reserve is a lavish multi-room penthouse located away from the rest of the resort and boasts its own spa treatment rooms, twin bathrooms, a plunge pool and jacuzzi and entertainment spaces across two levels, perfect for celebrities or nudists looking for seclusion - there’s no need for a Do Not Disturb sign when you can see visitors rowing out long before they reach you. The newest Maldivian resort to offer overwater bungalows is the Angsana Velavaru in the South Nilandhe Atoll, which opens its new villas in July 1. The resort will launch three new categories of overwater bungalow, the best of which, the Premier “In Ocean” Villa, of which there are 11, comes with a 27sqm private plunge pool, encircled by a pool deck, while on a lower level there’s a Thai-style sala, perfect for private spa treatments and access to the sea pool. At the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, each of the 31 Deluxe Lagoon Villas measure 94sqm and

offer stand-alone privacy, with sun decks, spacious day beds, plunge pools and bath tubs overlooking the expansive Indian Ocean, while a Mandarin Oriental is set to open later this year on the island of Maavelavaru in northern Maldives, boasting 114 stand alone villas, 20 of which will be perched above the lagoons gently lapping waters. But with the explosive popularity of overwater bungalows, their imaginative luxury is not just limited to the Maldives or Tahiti. The unique experience of being surrounded by water and waking to the lapping of waves against your room’s foundations can be found in secluded spots around the globe. In the South Pacific, at Fiji’s Likuliku Lagoon Resort ten luxurious bure feature traditional Fijian architecture, private decks, and access to some of the Pacific’s best deep-sea fishing while on Panama’s Caribbean Coast, the Punta Caracol Acqua-Lodge, features nine over water cabins, each constructed using locally sourced materials including native wood, clay and bamboo, and offer view across the Bocas de Toro archipelago. In Bermuda, the chic tent-like, soft-sided Paradise Pier “cabanas” of recently opened 9 Beaches Resort, feature plexi-glass panels in the timber floors so you can see nature swim by. Closer to home, the Lagen Island Resort in El Nido, northwest of Palawan in the

Philippines, features unique cottages, built above the water of a protected lagoon, made from antique wood and furnished with pieces saved from old Filipino houses, while the junior suites at the futuristic Palafitte Hotel on the edge of Lake Neuchatel, offers guests direct access to the waters of this pristine Swiss mountain lake and stunning views – even if it’s not of a tropical reef. And what’s next? Bruce Jones, an American submarine entrepreneur plans to build his Poseidon Mystery Island off Fiji, by September 2009, offering on-beach, over water and under-water suites, while a Dubai company is drawing up plans for a 10.2 hectare complex of suites, shopping and ballroom space, complete with its own missile defences, off Dubai. But back in Tahiti, where it all began, the Aman Hotel Bora Bora is closed for an extensive re-construction to coincide with its 50th anniversary, and when it opens it will have less bungalows, in order to retain that Tahitian magic that Jay Carlisle, recalls each evening at his story telling with guests at his rambling Club Bali Hai resort. FRV

The idea of sleeping out over the water, with the moon reflecting off the lagoon, private sunbathing, and the multitude of fish that are attracted by the lights, made the experience unforgettable and the boom was on. Floating in Paradise. Previous Pages: Angsana Velavaru and Sofitel Moorea. Left Page: Sofitel Moorea and Intercon Bora Bora. Right: InterCon Bora Bora and St Regis Bora Bora.

FRV Travel l 39


JAKARTA’s DOMAIN

The Underground of the Happy Dippers

40 l FRV Travel


Plenty of good food above the surface, but forbidden guilty pleasures are usually found underground. VE HANDOJO joined the Happy Dippers Society in Domain.

Domain’s atmosphere is made relaxing with the oversized sofas. while the contemporary design of the dining table is elegance at its best.

Text by Ve Handojo Photos by Ramadhan

B

est kept secrets are hidden behind or underneath the most unusual places. Think of Aladdin’s cave, or Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Now, think of the tacky Senayan City. Totally unlikely and unbelievably tacky. Nevertheless, find the secret passage – yeah, you really have to make an extra effort to find this in the first place – to the basement of the adjacent office building, and you’ll discover the playful sign for Domain. The glass door with vertical wooden bars blends well with the environment, making it almost invisible. As I pushed the door, and stepped inside, I found my Aladdin’s Cave. It was almost entirely made of wood. Basked in low lighting, and filled with chunky, nuovo, retro-style furniture, Domain is a discreet spot where everybody can

FRV Travel l 41


apricot, and marshmallow are ready to be dipped into those caquelons. Chef Noe Gabriel’s blend of cheeses consist of Gruyere and Emmental, the staple cheeses for classic fondue. With a splash of white wine, the melted cheese is creamy, yet will not become too heavy or sticky. Meanwhile, the white chocolate fondue contains alcohol – including Baileys. A petite portion of fondue is good for two, while the grande is aimed for a party of four. The Bagna Cauda savory fondue is beef sirloin, chicken, vegetables and homemade bread over traditional Piedmont oil fondue. Another variation will be roasted tomato and cheese fondue, accompanied with vegetables and bread.

Domain is a discreet spot where everybody can feel as exclusive as being a member of a sect.

The dining area is joined to the lounge through a hatch in the wall. The chalkboard endorses the biggest game to play in Domain, fondue. A blue caquelon serves delightful cheese fondue.

feel as exclusive as being a member of a sect. But, just what would this sect do? Yes, there is a wine cellar stocked with selected reds and whites from many parts of the world. Yes, there is a range of creative cocktails to help us spill our darkest secrets in a circle of truth. And, yes, there is more than enough food. But, they are no longer the main reasons why people come here, to this underground domain. On the dining tables, together with wine glasses and bottles, are caquelons, or earthenware pots. Each of them is heated with rechaud, or small burners. Inside of them are these heavenly delights we call fondue. Cuts and slices of beef sirloin, broccoli, carrot, potato, strawberry, dried 42 l FRV Travel

Fondue is a communal dish. Each diner uses both a dipping fork and a regular fork. Stab a nugget of bread, or dried fruit, or vegetable, then dip it into the melted cheese or white chocolate inside the caquelon. It is considered impolite to eat the nugget right from the dipping fork. Use the regular fork instead. The old Swiss tradition will punish someone who loses his or her cheese inside the fondue. He will have to buy a bottle of wine, and she will have to kiss the man on her left. You can either do this in Domain, or create your own rules to make it fun. Complete your fondue night with beers or wine. This is the ritual of the Happy Dippers in Domain. Yes, you come underground to be merry, and indulge yourself in the secret delight of fondue, then resurface in bliss. FRV

Domain Panin Tower, Senayan City, Level B2 Jalan Asia Afrika Kav. 19 South Jakarta Tel: +62 21 7278 1787


FRV Travel l 43


OVERNIGHT

Padma Hotel Bandung:

Experiencing an Au Naturel Weekend By Erza S.T.

P

erched on the crest of Ciumbuleuit valley, with its luscious green scenery, Padma Hotel Bandung has a benefit that other hotels in the vicinity don’t have. Imagine entering a hotel lobby where your eyes are welcomed by the most stunning and breathtaking natural panorama. A pictureperfect postcard of green forest that stretches as far as the eye can see with a little creek running quietly underneath. This is really the main reason why Padma Hotel Bandung is the best pick to spend your weekend in Bandung. Built in 1993, this hotel was formerly known as The Chedi Hotel before changing to the Malya Hotel Bandung in 2000. In March 2008, Malya Hotel Bandung was officially closed and reopened in September 2009 under new management and the new name of Padma Hotel Bandung. Those of you who visited Chedi or Malya in the past might be surprised to see the new Padma Hotel Bandung now, and the new wings and restaurant. The room numbers have also increased from 50 to 124. All the new rooms are done in a subtle minimalist modern approach with clean lines, granite flooring and a touch of wooden accents featuring a magnificent big glass wall that gives a great opportunity to enjoy the view. During my last visit there, the hotel was quite full so I had to stay in the original wing. Rooms on this wing were built in a more classical manner dominated by wooden flooring and furniture, with either a balcony or big windows facing the dramatic green valley. Apparently the new management

44 l FRV Travel

also renovated the original wing by giving the bathroom a new modern approach. Inside my 28sqm deluxe room was equipped with 36-inch LCD TV, DVD player and a safety deposit box – laptop size. With room rates starting from IDR 1,900,000++ to IDR 4,200,000 ++ per night on the weekend, Padma Hotel Bandung might seem slightly expensive for a weekend getaway. Nevertheless, these room rates offer more then just rooms and breakfast coming with the opportunity to enjoy their great outbound facilities such as flying fox, high rope walking, team building and wall climbing. Aside from that, Padma Hotel Bandung also has astounding facilities to enjoy such as a beautiful swimming pool with bubbling jacuzzi, a fitness centre along with steam sauna and relaxation rooms with a spa centre to pamper your body – managed by the renown Gaya Spa. The hotel also has a wedding chapel called The Champaka that has a floating concept with all glass walls and a spectacular open-air long deck that is surrounded by nature. It is really a fabulous place to have your “I do!” ceremony. In general, my stay in Padma Hotel Bandung was quite pleasant and it would be perfect if the management could improve by giving more attention to detail. The WiFi signal didn’t exist in the room and by the time we got a signal in the restaurant, it was too difficult to log in. Other details such as turning down the bed at night and filling up the mini bar with a proper product selection rather than just leaving it with only one bottle of mineral water would give more added

value to the room package. Fortunately, the service was quite efficient and always came with a polite and friendly smile. In the end, the facilities and the spectacular vistas that Padma Hotel Bandung paid course to the slight imperfections that might occur during a stay there. Just go and chill at The Restaurant’s terrace table, get yourself a glass of nice Spanish red wine while enjoying the luscious greenery once again, as it is only in this hotel you can get such an experience. FRV

Padma Hotel Bandung Jl. Ranca Bentang 56-58 Ciumbuleuit Bandung www.padmahotelbandung.com


FRV Travel l 45


re-cheque GADO-GADO

Ga do Ga do

46 l FRV Travel

Gado Gado is the quiet achiever amongst the glitzy restaurant scene in Bali and while hiding under the radar somewhat, it appears to be improving in leaps and bounds. It remains one of the few high-end restaurants in Seminyak that stays true to its Balinese heritage in design and has a legion of loyal fans frequenting from all over the world. FRV re-checks Gado Gado.

Text By Trauts Photo by Sulthon

It

was a quiet Tuesday night when we pulled up out the front of Gado Gado restaurant; my son and I looking for a feed. The welcome at the entrance was warm as we chatted with the PR while being shown to our table on the timber decking. There appears to be more lights in the trees above the decking brightening the whole dining area now, which has helped to lift the atmosphere. Gado Gado used to be a touch on the dark side before, but thankfully now it shines brightly. Personally, I don’t understand restaurants where you can’t even see the dish in front of you while dining and I’m happy to report this has been addressed. It’s a quiet pace at Gado Gado. Dining around us are mainly tourists, large families, couples, the odd gay blades; it’s busy, but relaxed. It doesn’t have the übercool clientele and DJ set of its cousin down the beach, Kudeta, but it is elegant and comfortable. Being right on the beach, my 15-year-old son has to keep his eyes down as not to be semi-hypnotized by the hawkers vending all kinds of paraphernalia from the public area in front. The flying lights and twinkling toys could be considered a distraction, but this is Bali after all. The service is attired in black and effectively tending tables around us as menus and drinks are placed on our table. After ten years or more, Gado Gado should have good service, and it does, but it appears they have a system where a number of waiters are serving a number of tables, which some moments leaves you wondering who is actually serving your table.


There are more lights in the trees above the decking now brightening the whole dining area. FRV Travel l 47


re-cheque GADO-GADO

Quib Rademaker has been at the helm of the kitchen for three years now. How time flies. Fortunately for Gado Gado he has stuck around and doesn’t appear to be in any rush to go anywhere. Even having his house burning to the ground a couple of months ago, losing everything in the process, hasn’t dampened his spirit for the place. Recently, the Dutch chef has been introducing new dishes to the menu, and in the process, showing Bali how inventive and exciting a chef he really is. Once Gado Gado was known for its safe and not particularly challenging menu, but now that has all changed. Dishes such as ‘slow cooked jumbo prawns with honey melon, aloe vera, passion fruit and lemon grass [85k]’ or ‘marinated scallops with mango, tomato, basil, crispy foccacia and basil mayonnaise [125k]’, both off the starters menu, are delicious examples of how enticing the menu has become. The jumbo prawn dish with its fruity and tangy sauce is a particular winner, while the raw marinated scallops with crushed mango are a taste sensation. Mains comprise of all your standard meat and fish dishes, but are guaranteed to be worked exquisitely in the taste department by Quib. The

The combinations of ingredients and spices from quib’s department of taste are mouthwatering.

combinations of ingredients and spices are mouthwatering. The ‘roasted duck breast with sweet and sour beetroot, rhubarb compote, confit of the leg and veal jus with Sechuan pepper [175k]’ is a stand out, and the ‘1/2 roasted chicken “a la bonne femme” with thyme jus and sauted bacon, potatoes, mushrooms, soy bean and shallot’ was claimed to be “excellent!” by my son.

It seems like a lot of space is going to waste at Gado Gado. The timber terrace facing directly to the beach is the prime spot to dine which leaves the entire roofed area vacant most of the time. We were wondering how long it would take the horde of staff to move the whole crowd inside if there was a sudden downpour, though. Of course, you can never take the Bali weather for granted, but between you and me, I think you can take it as a given that Gado Gado has reached new heights and down that quiet street of Dhyana Pura it’s pouring, not raining, taste and flavour sensations. FRV

Gado Gado Jalan Dhyanapura No.99, (Right by the beach) Seminyak, Bali. Tel : +62 361 736 966 www.gadogadorestaurant.com 48 l FRV Travel


FRV Travel l 49


OVERNIGHT

24-Hours in Zurich Text & Photos by Erza S.T.

N

ominated as the No. 1 best city to live in by the famous Monocle Magazine, it made me curious to visit Zurich. Located in central Switzerland, Zurich is the biggest city in the country, with a lake to complete its beauty. I have been longing to go there and discover what this city offers so I decided to take a train from Geneva and was trying to fit in as much as I could within 24 hours. Twenty four hours is indeed a short time to check out a city so my first goal was to find a great hotel, within budget, that was in a great location. This is how I discovered Hotel Plattenhof. A true boutique hotel with great design, Hotel Plattenhof only has 31 rooms of which every single one of them is different. Small and charming, this hotel really carries the spirit of modern minimalist in its style, combining oak flooring, bright furniture and a funky combination of lighting and colours. They also equip the rooms with a flatscreen LCD TVs, iPod docks, high-speed internet connections and surprisingly, an X-box, with selections of video games, DVDs and CDs that you can borrow at the front desk. All of these features are incorporated in Hotel Plattenhof ’s rooms with rates ranging from US$ 210 to US$ 320 (for single use). It is really a great package for a boutique hotel with European standards! The hotel is located in a quiet and central area

50 l FRV Travel

in the university district but only minutes away from the lake shore, the old town area and the famous Bahnhofstrasse that is known as one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive shopping avenues. Aside from its great location, Hotel Plattenhof is also known for the Italian restaurant name Sento where people go for pasta. After spending breakfast at the hotel, I decided to walk to the old town area and headed first to Fraumunster Church which is best known for the magnificent stained glass windows made by Marc Chagall. This abbey was founded in 853AD and is considered to be one of the oldest in Switzerland. Nevertheless the Chagall stained glass windows were not installed until 1970. Depicting a Christian story, Chagall made five works in red-orange, green, blue and yellow which is rather extraordinary since Chagall is usually fond of blue in most of his works. Since I only had one day to explore Zurich, I decided to continue to the Swiss National Museum, which is not too far from the Fraumunster Church, in order to get to know the city and country better. This museum was built in the late1800s by young architect, Gustav Gull, who combined various historical architectural features from the late medieval period and the modern era into a single whole. The result is amazing and

still at this present time, the Swiss National Museum is regarded as one of the most outstanding 19th century constructions of its type and an architectural monument of national importance. Inside this museum we can see how Switzerland as a country grew from ancient times until today. Various opulent religious objects, horology machines (clocks), medieval armour, fashion, fabrics, photographs, winter sports equipment and much more can be seen here. One of my most interesting finds in this museum was the theory on Homo alpinus – an outdated racial classification of humans based on William Ripley’s book The Races of Europe. This is something that surely we wouldn’t find in our history books back at school. To end my day, I thought I would do something cultural. Tosca was on at the Zurich Opera House and, in my opinion, there is nothing better to end your day than with some drama Puccini style. There is no way you can see all in one day, but to choose the highlights is the key to maximized your time. Zurich is really a great city! FRV

Hotel Plattenhof Plattenstrasse 26 Zurich, Switzerland www.epoquehotels.com


ad

FRV Travel l 51


KUALA LUMPUR SHANGRI-LA

Improving on Perfection By Thomas Jones 52 l FRV Travel


In their continual quest to provide only the very best, and to stay one step ahead of the market, The Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, underwent a major US$42 million dollar refurbishment in 2009. Ten months on, FRV’s returns to see how things are panning out for Malaysia’s premier five-star hotel.

T The Shangri-La has one of the best locations in the city with a poolside that you simply won’t want to leave.

he Shangri-La, Kuala Lumpur couldn’t be blessed with a more strategic location in the Malaysian capital. Situated between two of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Petronus Towers, each room provides stunning views of the downtown skyline, the surrounding parks and at least one of the two towers. She was a beautiful hotel before, but now, after her facelift, she shines across Southeast Asia as an example of what all good hotels should look like.

Disruptions during renovations are inevitable but rather than close the hotel, their commitment to their customers came first, so the hotel divided the work into two phases. The first phase covered the hotel’s public facilities like the Lobby Lounge, swimming pool and hotel facade, while the second phase covered the upgrading and modernisation of guestrooms, suites and the exclusive Horizon Club. Amongst the nuts and bolts of the renovations, its façade was clad with highquality composite panels that give the exterior a

FRV Travel l 53


highly-polished shine befitting its status. The Lobby Lounge is now a haven of opulence with six-tiered crystal chandeliers, regal staircases, swirling ceiling designs that reflect in the shining marble floors and walls, and all dominated by a twisting sculpture that swirls around the central column like a helter skelter from the skies. Outside, the pool has been designed as a tropical oasis with water gardens and lots of lush greenery to take you far from the city centre in both mind and spirit, with lots of sun loungers spaced out to give punters privacy, and a bar staff ever watchful of an empty glass. Of course it is the rooms that count the most and this is where the most meticulous additions have taken place. There are 662 of them in the hotel, including 101 suites, the most in the city, to suit all comers from businessmen to glitterati, and even visiting journalists. Each of the rooms has a bold original design that features new furnishings and classic materials that come in red, orange, gold and walnut-brown hues to exude a warm, welcoming wow-factor feel. Each room has a host of facilities including at least one 54 l FRV Travel

LCD television, in a range of sizes, in-house movies, complimentary high speed internet access, and those delicious Nespresso coffee pods that George Clooney loves so much. The suites are all so wonderfully laid out and positioned for the views and come with more bells and whistles than you could shake a stick at. But it is by peeking one’s head into the Royal Suite that is a trip into how the other half lives. Known as Suite Twenty Eight Hundred, it measures 240 square metres in size and is accessible via a private VIP lift. Designed for entertaining, business and private living, it features a massive living room furnished with plush sofas and settees with throw cushions in rich shades of bronze, silveryblue and brown, with Swarovski crystal chandeliers, walnut floors, white Italian marble and floor-to-ceiling mirrors. And when the party reaches critical mass there is even a jacuzzi for a bit of after-hours, hot-tub karaoke.

Just walking into the main lobby is a generous greeting in itself.

But it is by peeking one’s head into the Royal Suite that is a trip into how the other half lives.


Clockwise from top left: The sumptuous Malaysian Suite.

The hotel is perfect for all manner of social and business occasions and has the finest and largest function spaces in the country. The hotel is perfect for all manner of social and business occasions and has the finest and largest function spaces in the country, 13 in all. They can accommodate any size group from 20 to 2000, whatever the occasion, be it business seminar to society wedding. They could even get a pair of nuptial elephants, or a pack of empathetic wolves to keep you warm, should they be required. There are restaurants to suit all tastes from across the globe and they will take you on a culinary journey that will have you buying a return ticket. Restaurant Lafite is the epitome of modern fine-dining cuisine while Zipangu, their signature Japanese dining experience, is perfect harmony between contemporary design and authentic Japanese food. And for

great Cantonese dishes, there is the Shang Palace with its team of master chefs from Hong Kong. But it is the Lemon Garden that gets the most action as it is here that the best breakfast in the city is served in a buffet par excellence, with Asian and Continental cuisine laid out like a medieval banquet from the four corners of the Earth. The Shangri-La Hotels are on a major quest to bring their unique style of hospitality to the world and it is fantastic to see here in KL that, as well as creating the new, they are also passionate about uplifting the old. The question one has to ask oneself is, how do you upgrade something that is already so beautiful? Well, I suppose even God needs to get the painters in from time to time. FRV

A sneak glimpse into Shang Palace. A room with a view. Zipangu, where Japanese magic is made.

Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur Tel: +60 320 322 388 www.shangri-la.com

FRV Travel l 55


PHUKET VILLAS

Phuket

56 l FRV Travel

FRV Travel Takes a jaunt to Asia’s Riviera paradise to experience five of the best thai villas on the island of phuket.


Villa Yin

E

nter Villa Yin and discover the treasures of one of Phuket’s true luxury rental gems. This palatial work of art – inspired by respected Thai architect Charupan Wiriyawiwatt of Hong Kong-based Naga Concepts – mixes elements of classic Thai architecture and a dazzling collection of contemporary art with an ultra–luxury design approach. Pamper your soul in seclusion and privacy at Villa Yin. Situated on Kamala headland’s water’s edge, this spectacular half-acre site overlooks the breathtaking turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea and features a unique private stairwell to a natural, shallow swimming enclave in the sea below. Delight in the villa’s indoor-outdoor tropical living plan which showcases four elegant bedrooms and a 15-metre marble pool that wraps around expansive entertaining platforms along the island’s most prestigious west coast location. Villa Yin is an ideal luxury retreat for families and private and corporate groups. Villa Yin can also be combined with the neighbouring Villa Yang to make a nine-bedroom waterfront estate for large group events.

Location: Kamala Bedrooms: four Bathrooms: four Swimming Pool: 15 metre WEBSITE: www.indigore.com

FRV Travel l 57


PHUKET VILLAS

Torcello

N

Location: Kamala Bedrooms: Five Bathrooms: Five Swimming Pool: 20 metre Website: www.www.indigore.com

58 l FRV Travel

o expense has been spared on this magical luxury villa, which offers it’s guest an oasis in the Andaman jewel of Phuket. Each room features floor to ceiling glass walls and a stunning cathedral-style timber roof, which is further enhanced with dark walnut timber flooring framed with a sandstone border. Bathrooms feature luxurious marble floors and counter tops, walls and cubicles are bejeweled with metallic mosaic tiles. Unsurpassed attention to detail has been invested in the lighting and landscaping of the villa. The latest Vantage Automated Home System enables the home to be transformed from any subdued relaxed mood of your choice, to an uplifting party mode for entertainment by the press of a button. Each room has its own mood lighting and integrated sound system. The villa ‘floats’ on three levels; the top features the ‘Owner’s Retreat’ whilst the other two levels form a U-shape around a central lily pond at the entrance level, and infinity pool down below, allowing a harmonious flow throughout the rooms and walkways.


135@Laem Singh

A

bsolute waterfront location with views over Surin Beach and the Amanpuri, two pools, a gym and direct walking access down to Laem Singh beach make this villa one of the best located in Phuket. Set on the small headland between Surin Beach and Laem Singh Beach, this Ernesto Bedmar-designed Villa, completed in 2008, enjoys direct water views over Surin bay and captures the full sunset. The four en-suite bedrooms are thoughtfully configured to suit up to four couples or two families. The main living area combines indoor and outdoor areas set adjacent to the two pools with floor to ceiling windows. The living/ dining room offers a large A/C lounge zone and indoor dining setting. Thai doors open to a granite day bar and onto a western kitchen with a separate kitchen and maids quarters. Outdoors, on the fully-decked main level, are found a sail-covered dining area for 10, a clear-walled, kidsafe pool with jacuzzi jets and sunken lounges and a Thai Sala covered day bed and sunloungers.

Location: Surin Beach Bedrooms: Four bathrooms: Four Swimming Pool: Two Website: www.indigore.com

FRV Travel l 59


PHUKET VILLAS

Villa Chan Grajang

V

Location: Surin Beach Bedrooms: Six Swimming Pool: 22 metre and 10 metre Website: www.indigore.com

60 l FRV Travel

illa Chan Grajang is designed for high-end luxury living. It is ideal for families, couples, off-site business gatherings, or special events. The villa is contemporary in design, with interiors by Angela Hall, including pieces from Bali, China, the US, and Thailand. Villa Chan Grajang comprises two separate villas, each with its own swimming pool, with a total indoor/outdoor living space of 2272 square metres. The first villa has four double bedrooms, the second villa has two; all en-suite. The villa can sleep as many as 12 people, with parking for six cars and offers choices from a six-bedroom let all the way down to a single couple. The Snooker Room sports a 3/4-size snooker table, dartboard, bar area, and an extensive board game collection, as well as TV and DVD. Or, try the Entertainment Room with its 50-inch plasma screen.


Beyond

B

eyond operates as a private, five-star resort with over eighteen staff servicing a near fiveacre beachfront estate featuring a vast 6000 sqm of luxury living space including four sophisticated sea view suites, the awe-inspiring Presidential Pool Suite and the equally stunning Asian-themed Thai, Indian and Japanese Guest Suites. Refined elegance is personified throughout this modern architectural wonder constructed with granite, marble, glass and steel, and exquisitely finished with over US$2 million in designers furnishing and fine art. Guests enjoy direct access to an astounding array of sports and entertainment options within the secured compound, all within a surrounding area that is regarded as Asia’s aquatic playground. Beyond’s consummate luxury features include secure yacht moorage overlooking the property’s 150-metre, white-sand beach along Natai’s spectacular 10-kilometre stretch of sand, two-hole 135-meter oceanfront golf course, two-lane professional Brunswick bowling alley, games room with a first-rate karaoke zone, night-lit and full-stereo tennis court, in-house spa and meditation facilities, a 24-person home cinema and, unmistakably, one of the most incredible private gyms in the world. Situated on Natai Beach on the southwest coast of Thailand in Phang Nga province, Beyond is just 20 minutes from the Phuket International Airport.

Location: Natai Beach Bedrooms: Four Suites Swimming Pool: 37 metre and 5 metre Website: www.indigore.com

FRV Travel l 61


ARCHITECT

Under the Iberian Influence By Thomas Jones

L

iving and working in Bali has allowed Portuguese architect Maria Paiva to meld her Latin roots with her desire to create beautiful tropical dwellings. “Being both in Andalusia and the south of Portugal spiked my interest in creating tropical design,” she says. “With the influence of my own roots and culture I try to incorporate what is in my heart with Balinese tropical living to create something new with a Mediterranean and contemporary touch.” Maria is very passionate about architecture and finds Bali to be the perfect environment for her particular style of design due to the climate, the wide range of materials available and the vast amounts of creative energy that abound on the island. Here she can create homes that are inspired by the simple ideas of her homeland, mixed with Balinese traditions, and all wrapped up in an Iberian embrace. “In the south of Portugal we have three months of hard winter, which doesn’t allow us to use open spaces practically in our designs. Being in Bali gives me wings to create exactly what is not possible to do in most of the countries that my clients are from,” she says. “With this I try to create

62 l FRV Travel

beautiful and functional dwellings that I feel my client will be happy and comfortable in, but with the concern and awareness of the Balinese culture and the natural environment always at the forefront.”

Maria is very passionate about architecture and finds Bali to be the perfect environment for her particular style of design.

Maria’s work can be simply described as modern-Mediterraneanmeets-tropical, where geometrical squares and simple lines that offer great perspectives on relaxed living are uppermost. “I like to create buildings that mix functionality with elegance, so that they are purposeful and look good at the same time,” she says. “It is important that the buildings be designed with the surroundings in mind, and that is where both Mediterranean and Balinese architecture succeed, as they allow for lots of air movement inside a building.” If you were to step into the stucco archways and linger in the tiled courtyards and large airy rooms in any one of her projects, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Portugal or Spain, North Africa, or even Mexico, but, at the


Image: MP-home Design

Above is Tiglê Villas and left an interior and exterior of Chandra Villa. Just two of Maria’s designs.

same time, never far from Bali itself.

Photo: Hayden Vale

It is never easy moving to a new land, and any place where we are forced to start over will always come with an unhealthy amount of culture shock. “When I first moved to Bali there was a lot to overcome since, for me, it was not just a change of habits but also of language, since my mother tongue is Portuguese,” she says. “I took time to adapt to the culture, to understand the thinking and the way the people of Bali behave and then slowly started adapting and introducing my own particular style. I am glad I took that time as it let me find a way to incorporate my designs with that of the Balinese and all the beautiful elements and materials that we have here.” FRV

Maria Paiva Architect Tel: +62 819 3306 1729 www.mariapaivaarchitect.com

Photo: Hayden Vale

FRV Travel l 63


BALI VILLA NAGA

N

ot many people are lucky enough to live on a tropical paradise like myself, surrounded by surf beaches, beautiful scenery and an abundance of nightlife hot spots, but sometimes too much of a good thing can become harmful to one’s sanity. It’s always a good idea to get away from it all once in a while. But where is one to go, you may ask? Well, my stay at Villa Naga offered a perfect place to relieve the stress induced by daily life and helped me regain my state of mind and escape from it all.

By Rinaldi Photos by Sulthon

Nestled behind Sunset Road only a few minutes drive from Ngurah Rai airport, visitors to the island need not fear not finding the villa as Villa Naga provides an airport pickup service for when you arrive. It’s location away from the busy trifecta of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, makes it a truly great location to get away from it all, but not too

An Escape Within Paradise

64 l FRV Travel

far if you’re wishing to see the sights and indulge your inner tourist. Villa Naga features two five-room villas which are mirror images of one another identical in almost every way; from the room amenities offered to the shape of the pools. If more space is needed, the two villas can be joined by a small access door transforming it into a ten-room, two-pool villa, a great idea for very big gatherings. Entering the grounds of the villa, you’re eyes will be greeted by a clean garden with a small stone path leading to the open dining area and living space. To the left of the path is where the main bedroom is located and across from that is the spacious plunge pool decked out with an outdoor shower and a circular sun chair, an ideal spot to bathe under the sun. At the end of the pool, to the side of the entrance is a small gazebo that also houses the villa’s sound system to blast out your favourite


Left: Cozy lounge area with two large LCD flat screen TV’s.

Top right: Spacious main bedroom accented by wood flooring.

tracks. Entering into the main villa, where the living area and dining area is situated, a large and open space decorated with gardens and water features on the sides, with a high ceiling that gives a feeling of vastness, which is enough for you to release a sigh of relief. On either side of the main building are the four bedrooms with two rooms upstairs and two below. The dining table is long enough to seat 10 people comfortably, plus a gourmet kitchen with the latest utensils sure to keep any wannabe chef happy. In the living area are two 42” LCD televisions sets sitting sideby-side which got me wondering why they did this, but after pondering this matter for a while, I figured it was a brilliant idea for large families to enjoy two different channels without the need of fighting over the remote, a neat touch in my opinion. It was a pity though that no international channels are available making local channels the only source of entertainment. Another reason to enjoy the other amenities that the villa has to offer I guess. The highlights of the villa apart from all the distractions on the outside are the amenities available inside the rooms. As

Bottom right: Main entrance into your private paradise.

The other rooms are identical in almost every way, adding to the symmetry of the place, which seems like a common theme within Naga Villa, except for one of the upstairs rooms which instead of having a queen bed has two large single beds. The main bedroom has a great view of the pool from the fourposter, king-sized bed draped with mosquito nets, which apart from its function adds an exotic accent to the room. The symmetry theme is carried on inside the main bedroom with its large walk-in wardrobe/changing room and its wooden floors. Like all the other rooms, a 36” LCD TV is available to entertain you before you shut your eyes. The bathroom is twice the size of the other rooms with a large circular bathtub in the centre compared to the long bathtubs of the other bathrooms. All the bathrooms are open air, and even the upstairs rooms have a nice view of the paddy fields behind the villa. All feature a ‘his and hers’ basin, another touch of symmetrical design. As mentioned before, the other four rooms feature the same amenities from the TV, mosquito netting and bathroom features.

Villa Naga features two five-room villas which are mirror images of one another. Being able to get away from the ho-hum repetition of daily life, and just escape has become more of a necessity to some, even if you live in a paradise envied by everyone. Your very own private paradise is what Villa Naga offers and what better way to spoil yourself than just getting away from it all and get yourself back in check. FRV

Villa Naga Jalan Dewi Sri No 75 Sunset Road, Kuta www.villanaga.com

FRV Travel l 65


OVERNIGHT

New Hyatt Regency in New Territories By Erza S.T.

H

ong Kong never stops impressing me with its new establishments. Every time I come back I end up having the same conversation with the taxi driver about new buildings and infrastructure. On my last trip for Art Hong Kong 10, I explored Hong Kong more by not staying on the main island but instead going a bit further out to a new territories area called Sha Tin. The main reason to go there was the new, just recently opened, Hyatt Regency. After trying many Hyatt establishments around the world, I was very interested to try this new one and see what they had to offer compared to the other two Hyatt hotels downtown. At first I was a little unsure going there as it felt like so far away, but in just 30 minutes, via toll road, I arrived at the hotel. High ceilings and a huge lobby with attentive and polite staff welcomed me on arrival. I was quite impressed with their fast and efficient service, especially seeing that there were a lot of big groups checking in at the same time, but they managed to serve without having to wait too long. The quickly they escorted me to Regency Club floor on level 26 and introduced me to the Regency Suite King. The first impressions of this room were that it was immediately a winner. Spacious with a nature-inspired colour palette done in modern and elegant minimalist style, this 67sqm is separated into a living room, dining 66 l FRV Travel

area, bedroom and bathroom. The room is also equipped with sophisticated amenities such as a 42-inch LCD flatscreen TV, DVD player, microwave and high-speed internet connection, including the essential private concierge. However, what makes this room so great is the large windows that showcase the magnificent view to Tolo Harbour. It looks heavenly in the morning and really stunning at night. There are so many things that this hotel can offer and I started by checking in to their Melo spa for some seriously rejuvenating massage. The spa, named after pomelo, or grapefruit, incorporates pomelo skin and fruit into all its signature treatments. An hour later, after a Hong Kong Deep Tissue massage and a glass of pomelo iced tea, all my muscles were ready to work again and I was ready to explore my surroundings. Another exciting part of the hotel is their fantastic restaurants. The amazingly designed Café offers a varied selection of eastern and western dishes and is the ideal spot for those business travelers that need an impressive place for a breakfast meeting. Sha Tin 18 offers authentic Chinese cuisine from Canton to north China. This is a restaurant where you can find one of the best Peking ducks in Hong Kong. To discover a new area is always exciting and staying at Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha

Tin gave me the chance to see things that we usually might not see if we stay downtown. Some points of interest to enjoy while you are in the area include historical sites like Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, built in 1957 or a visit to Tsang Tai Uk, a Hakka walled village – one of the best preserved in Hong Kong where it remains the same from since being build in 1848. For sport lovers, you can either visit Sha Tin Racecourse that hosts many major horse races every year, or enjoy some leisure time at the 18 hole Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. Hyatt Regency in Sha Tin seems to serve well for both business travelers and families on holiday as the hotel also features a resortstyle kid’s club. Aside from that, they also have interesting programs such as Camp Hyatt that offers a wide range of activities focusing on culture, history, and environment surrounding Hong Kong; perfect for children aged between 3 to 12. Visiting Sha Tin for me this time was almost like going to a resort city where I could relax and unwind from the city’s hustle and bustle just a 30 minute drive away. It is a really great idea for a weekend getaway. FRV

Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha tin 18 Chak Cheung Street Sha Tin New Territories, Hong Kong www.hongkong.shatin.hyatt.com


FRV Travel l 67


LONDON THE LANDMARK

The Belle Époque By Thomas Jones 68 l FRV Travel


The industrial revolution and the newly-invented steam train offered the emerging English middle class in the 19th century an opportunity for travel like never before. While the Victorian working poor toiled under the oppression and sweat of the ‘dark satanic mills’ the privileged few found a new use for their leisure time; tourism. Thomas Jones stayed where they stayed.

Facing page: The massive glassenclosed atrium gives the hotel a year-round Summer. Above: The Junior Suite is large, confortable and very European.

T

his massive interlinking of tracks that drove Britain’s industrial engine suddenly brought all the beauty of the nation within easy reach and the need for hotels to accommodate this phenomenon was met at resorts and railway terminuses all over the country. The Landmark Hotel in London started its life as one of the grandest hotels in the land and played host to movers and shakers from across the world. Despite a long 111 year history of highs and lows that saw it fall from fashion and grace due to circumstances beyond its control, it has risen again to again become one of London’s most prestigious hotels. It opened in Marylebone in 1899 as The Great Central Hotel, and was one of the great Victorian

railway hotels that reflected the wealth and power of the era. The Gothic Revival design with a large and imposing clock tower, housed 700 rooms and a large inner courtyard, where horse and carriage could drop off guests and turn around. In the 1920s the courtyard became a winter garden where wealthy patrons could enjoy the garden surroundings in comfort, but unfortunately the building’s first period as a luxury hotel was drawing to a close. With railway traffic falling due to the advent of the motor car, The Great Central fell out of hotel use and its grandeur faded. It became a convalescent home during World War II and served as a military office building for many years afterwards before becoming the headquarters of the British Railways Board.

FRV Travel l 69


Left: The grand entranceway to the Landmark.

Right: The 15m heated swimming pool is a rare find in the heart of the city, as is the hotel’s spa.

That was a far cry from the opulent star wonder that exists today. As demand for luxury hotels in London grew in the late 20th century the building was purchased by a Japanese company in 1986, renovated and reopened under the name The Regent, London. In 1995, it was resold and renamed with the monkker it retains to this day, The Landmark London. During this time many renovations were undergone including converting and substantially upgrading the original 700 rooms to 300, and also the building of a glass roof over the winter garden to create the atrium, and in the pocess increasing the hotel’s public space considerably. As a result of all this tender loving care, the hotel that stands before you today is a restored masterpiece designed to transport you back to a time of unimagined opulence and comfort.

Afternoons are extremely popular as people Come from all over London to enjoy that most British of institutions, the high tea.

Once inside the regal marble and wood interiors one is drawn straight to the centre 70 l FRV Travel

of the hotel to the soaring glass-roofed atrium stretching eight storeys up to the roof. The space and light created by this space is unique amongst London hotels, and has given the hotel an all-weather environment for year round shopping and dining pleasure. The Winter Garden restaurant at the base is pseudo al-fresco surrounded by towering palm trees and endless amounts of natural light. Serving delicious European fare it draws heavily on locally-sourced fresh ingredients to give diners an open-air experience like none other. Afternoons are extremely popular as people come from all over London to enjoy that most British of institutions, the high tea, and enjoy the colours of the fading day as night approaches. Another dining option is twotwentytwo, a splendidly designed restaurant and bar with ornate plaster ceilings and rich wooden wall panels serving stylish European inspired dishes, a distinctly more fashionable place to lunch or to start an evening in old London town. And you can’t beat the Mirror Bar’s luxurious and decadent bespoke surroundings where you can sip on


a restored masterpiece designed to transport you back to a time of unimagined opulence and comfort. the worlds’ best champagnes, cocktails and cognacs and watch yourself be indulgent. Of the 300 lavish rooms, 47 are suites and there are 35 sets of connecting rooms. Guest rooms are located over six of the floors and, with an average size of 55 square metres, are some of the largest in London. Because of the design of the hotel it can be a long walk to the elevators but this just gives you an excuse to take the stairs more instead which will provides the chance to soak up the grand old architectural design of the building. The richly carpeted staircases are wider than wide and surrounded by great stained glass windows and paintings all the way down to the ground and back again. Just another example of the opulence and rich history that give Landmark guests a 21st opportunity to dwell amidst all the pomp, wealth and privilege that made Britain great. FRV

The Landmark London 222 Marylebone Road London, UK Tel: +44 20 7631 8000 www.landmarklondon.co.uk FRV Travel l 71


PENANG getaway

A Wedding and the Search for

The Best Durian in Penang Text and Photos By Erza S.T.

G

osh! I have just received a wedding invitation in Penang and it is unavoidable as the bride is one of my really great friends. I am pretty much ignorant about the destination, though I have been to Kuala Lumpur many times before. However, thanks to Google I am no longer clueless about Penang and in only an hour I already have enough information on this exotic island, a reservation at G hotel and a flight to get there. I was surprised to learn that Penang is quite a popular destination for Indonesians. Most of them come from Jakarta and Medan for medical retreats and the rest are either visiting relatives or just sight seeing and enjoying the charm of this island. After a two-hour turbulet flight, I finally arrived on this hot tropical island and was ready to get busy. The wedding was the following evening; so I had one and a half days to do my exploration. On my way to G Hotel, the driver informed me about the current durian festival, which lasts for the whole month, dedicated to the search of the best durian variety on the island. This is a serious thing for them. It is so serious that even the driver has a copy of the durian guide in the car. I suddenly change my priorities and put this durian affair on the top of my list.

72 l FRV Travel


While I was still thinking of what Penang durian would taste like, the car stopped at my first destination, the G Hotel. Located on the beachfront of the elite area in Gurney Drive, G Hotel is simply one of the most stylish hotels I have ever seen. Where most hotels in Penang go for the heritage look, it is not the case here and it embraces a contemporary minimalist, yet slick look combined with well-designed furniture. This modern vision was born from David Eng and Ko Shiou Hee who wanted to revolutionize the hotel industry in Malaysia and Penang. Their idea for G Hotel is to feature an aesthetic design, unexpected features and spaces that are simple yet stylish, combined with a unique experience that is delivered with an impeccablely high standard of service. As for the result, prepare to be dazzled by G Hotel’s lobby once you enter. Generous natural lighting, spacious high ceilings, with the latest collection of designer furniture is the first impression you will get. Look closer and you will find more interesting items such as a Antonio Citterio’s famous spoon chair, or the unique Capellini Felt chair designed by Marc Newson. The hotel is welcoming in so many ways. Little details such as complimentary home made welcome ice cream upon my arrival was really a great gesture, followed with complimentary mini bar, WiFi and even bicycles that are available for guests to use - are just an amazing added perk to the room itself. As a business hotel, G Hotel’s rooms are spacious with flat screen TV, IPod dock and great toilet amenities specially made by Aigner.

I finished unpacking and, changing into something more suitable for the strong humid weather outside, I was ready to conquer Penang. One of the first things I wanted to see was without a doubt their hawker food. Penang is well known for its variety of delicious dishes that are influenced by cultures such as Chinese, Arabic and Indian. The first one that I encountered was nasi kandar, which is a famous local dish of steamed rice with a variety of curries and side dishes. Another must try dish while you are in Penang is surely laksa air itam located in Air Itam Market, unquestionably the most famous dish in Penang. In general, laksa usually refers to curry but here it mean sour. Garnished with shredded pineapple, lettuce, bird’s eye chili, cucumber, onion, pink ginger flowers and mint leaves, it is slowly boiled with fish broth and a scoop of prawn paste. It is simply addictive to just sip this hot and sour soup but even better to combine it with a glass of freshly crushed sugar cane juice. It is one of those dishes that you will surely remember for its luscious taste. Indeed, a happy stomach means a happy man, however, I was not yet fully satisfied, as I haden’t got my durian yet. The name is hor loh, or water gourd durian, and it is the most famous type of durian in Penang. My search for the best durian brought me to the Balik Pulau area where most of the durian plantations are. After over an hour’s drive, my durian fever was finally satisfied. In one of the stalls on the streets of Balik Pulau, I found my hor loh durian type D11 and it was really worth the effort. It has creamy yellow flesh with a a

Previous page: The facade of Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and a closer look at the majestic Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas at Kek Lok Si temple.

Above: Busy preparing laksa air itam - a must try hawker food when you are in Penang. Below: The spacious executive room.

FRV Travel l 73


A beautiful local girl dressed in Peranakan style.

Admiring the butterflies colours and beauty, it is like therapy to the eyes. In the courtyard inside The Blue Mansion. Pure Peranakan Style.

very delicious taste and subtle smell. It is really the best US dollar that I have ever spent for a durian.

a happy stomach means a happy man, however, I was not yet fully satisfied, as I haden’t got my durian yet.

As my durian craze was finally over, I put my priority list back in place and focused on what to discover next. There are three main categories of discovery in Penang; nature, historical mansions and religious temples, and I decided to do the highlights. As a tropical island, Penang has quite interesting natural sites to visit, one of them being the Penang Butterfly Farm in Teluk Bahang. This one-hectare farm is the home and sanctuary to a wide variety of insects, reptiles, fish, plants and of course, beautiful butterflies. Inside one can interact with around 4,000 live tropical butterflies from 120 different species. Admiring their colours and beauty, it is like a therapy to the eyes. Not too far from this farm, around five minutes drive, we can also visit the award-winning Tropical Spice Garden. This so called “garden� is more like a minijungle that lies on eight acres of land with over 500 varieties of tropical flora selected from all over the world. It is an experience to walk around its three designated trails and enjoy the landscape of natural jungle terrain.

74 l FRV Travel

The happy bride, Mrs. Joceln Tan Cox surrounded by her bridesmaids ready for her Kodak moment.


Rejuvenated by nature, I decided to check out the biggest temple in Southeast Asia, Kek Lok Si, or Temple of Supreme Bliss, situated in Air Itam. They are not joking by saying that this is the biggest temple as it is enormous and can be seen from miles away. Kek Lok Si will fulfill whatever expectation you ever had about a Chinese temple. Aside from five big prayer halls with all the deities, they also have a huge seven-storey pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas. Nevertheless, the highlight of this temple is the 30 metre bronze statue of Kuan Yin, known as the Goddess of Mercy. Her statue is simply breathtaking. Enjoy the view of Penang islang while you are up there and allow three hours to really explore the entire Kek Lok Si temple. It is huge. After pretty much running here and there all day, I started to get time conscious and was counting how many hours left before I have to run back to the hotel and prepare for the wedding party. I ended up cutting my list short and decided to just go to two more destinations on my list, Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Pinang Peranakan Mansion. Part of the history of Penang Island, these two mansions are the perennial architectural beauties from the past. The merchant Cheong Fatt Tze built the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, also known as the Blue Mansion, at the end of the 19th century for his seventh wife. This

mansion became popular after the 1993 Oscar-winning French film “Indochine” starring Catherine Deneuve, featured it. Last year this mansion was also back on the silver screen after the famous Singaporean director Glen Goei shot his movie called “The Blue Mansion” entirely at this location. The Cheong Fatt Tze mansion is currently used as a hotel and museum. Not too very different is the Pinang Peranakan Mansion which was built by Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee in the 19th century. The Peranakans, also known as the Babas and Nyonyas, were a prominent community of Chinese unique to this part of the world, especially in the Straits Settlements of Penang, Malacca, Singapore and Jakarta, hence their other name, the Straits Chinese. Adopting selected ways of the local Malays and later the colonials, the Peranakans created a unique lifestyle and set of customs, which has left behind a rich legacy from jewellry and antiques to cuisine and even language. At the mansion, you can find over 1,000 antique and collectibles of the era on display showing a glimpse of their opulent former lifestyle.

the taxi that will cost you around RM 30 to RM 35 per hour. After a whole day of sight seeing, I rushed back to my hotel to change to get to the wedding tea ceremony in time at another beautiful establishment called Eastern & Oriental Hotel. I was lucky and arrived just as the groom and his beautiful bride were about to start the tea ceremony. I very much enjoyed Penang. The delicious food and durian, the crazy taxi haggling, the three hours of hiking around the temple, those beautiful mansions and of course the unforgettable wedding. I hope to come back one day and see more things that I didn’t get to see on this visit. FRV

One of the key points you need to know to enjoy this island fully is that the taxis here don’t use a meter and instead, have a fixed price to go from one place to another. If you are planning to go far, then it is better to rent

Above: A Golden Birdwing butterfly at the Penang Butterfly Farm.

Right: Nasi Kandar stalls. Totally delicious and totally halal.

G Hotel 168 A Persiaran Gurney 10250 Penang Malaysia www.ghotel.com.my FRV Travel l 75


HEALTH

Healthy Fats

for A Healthy Diet A void fat! Avoid carbohydrates! Avoid everything that’s not a grapefruit! As people ask for a quick, easy way to lose weight, one fad diet after another emerges to answer their request. But although some of these fad diets do work for some people, many of them fail to provide long lasting, healthy weight loss. Additionally, eliminating whole food groups, as many fad diets do, can result in undesired side effects. Low-carb diets, for example, can cause headaches, constipation, weakness, and bad breath; people on low fat diets often feel hungry and unsatisfied.

In the end, healthy weight loss is not as simple as many people would like it to be. Instead of labeling whole food groups as healthy or unhealthy, you need to know which specific food items are healthy or unhealthy. Luckily, new food regulations, as well as this handy guide to fat, will make healthy eating a little easier. Everyone says that fats are unhealthy to our body, even doctors and nutritionists recommend avoiding foods which contain fat. But all the fats are not unhealthy fats. There are healthy fats which make our body to function properly. We have to understand about saturated and unsaturated fats, their uses and health facts. The cellular system work properly when you consume proper amount of fats. But if you eat fats which are man-made, chemically altered and heavily processed, your cellular system can become damaged. Your body will work hard to operate correctly and this type of fat causes your body tissues to deteriorate. Unhealthy fats can smooth the body’s tissues by decreasing the oxygen, which is necessary to stay alive. These fats also increase the level of cholesterol and uric acid in your tissues and finally affects your health and fitness. Healthy fats also increase the production of hormone production and balance which is important for burning fat and building muscles. These fats also help in vitamin and mineral utilization, energy and enzymes to the body. If you want to lose weight, you have to consider many health issues. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fat are required for your body to function properly. But if you take too much, your body will be affected. If 76 l FRV Travel

you don’t consume required fats to your body, you body does not function properly. The healthy fats are found in plant foods and natural oils.

Saturated fats: Saturated fats are found in red meat, cheese, butter, cakes, chocolates, pastries, poultry and dairy products. If you take high intake of saturated fats, you may have risk of getting heart disease.

Trans fats: Trans fat is found in processed and deep-fried foods. It is created by a process called hydrogenation to improve the stability of vegetable oils and to convert liquid oils into solid fats in foods such as pastries and cakes. Trans fat is bad to you heart as it increases the bad LDL cholesterol in the same way as saturated fat. Monounsaturated fats: These fats are found in plant sources like nuts, avocados, peanut and olive oils. They are liquid at room temperature and are healthy. Polyunsaturated fats: These fats are liquid at room

temperature and come from vegetable sources. These fats are found in sunflower, corn, canola oils, flaxseed, safflower oils and sea foods and include healthy omega-3 fatty acids. For healthy intake eat fats and oils directly from food without processing or heating. Avoid hydrogenated oils and fried foods. Avoid animal products and dairy products. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits. The food that you eat can affect your health and heart. You have to select healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for your body to function properly. Along with healthy fats, exercise is very important to keep yourself fit and healthy. Include aerobic exercise along with healthy fat diet to tone up your body muscles, joints and bones to work properly. FRV

Lian Monley - Holistic Lifestyle Coach www.lianmonleywellbeing.com


FRV Travel l 77


dining THE APARTMENT

Dining at Betty Crocker’s Apartment Text by Erza S.T. Photos by Ramadhan 78 l FRV Travel

The library, complete with a great selection in both Bahasa and English.


Expect to find the best cooking utensils and spices when you are sitting in this section.

M

y career in culinary writing started when I was assisting Laksmi Pamuntjak on her “The Jakarta Good Food Guide” project back in 2000. At that time the main objective of most restaurants was to only feed the people. There were only a few who actually put much attention into building the whole concept of décor, food and ambience. However, move forward a decade and you will actually find that Jakarta has transformed itself into a culinary heaven where the restaurant proprietors these days really put a lot of effort into creating a total concept. One of the results from this generation is a restaurant called The Apartment.

The Apartment’s mastermind Budiman and the talented Chef Andry Winata inside their popular bathroom.

Sited in the famous Kuningan area, where most of the foreign embassies and corporate offices are found, The Apartment is one of a few in the area that has not only survived, but still has its loyal clientele. Impressed by its survival, plus receiving some great recommendations from some foodie friends, I

decided to give this restaurant a visit. The restaurant concept is much the same as its name. It looks like an apartment complete with kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, study, terraced areas and most naturally, a dining room. The only difference is that this apartment does it with great taste. The Apartment’s décor is designed in a contemporary, vintage 50’s style and looks like it could belong in a Vogue Living magazine. It is as if you are a paying guest at Betty Crocker’s apartment. The bathroom section in turquoise blue tiles with a nice white tub, shower, towels, sink and shelves containing shampoo bottles and toothbrushes, seems to be the most popular spot of the house as it also serves as the nonsmoking area too. But the bedroom, where a big giant bed lies is more inviting for me to spend the evening. I started to check their menu, which is designed like a newspaper and I found out that it focuses on modern European dishes with some American twists.

FRV Travel l 79


dining THE APARTMENT

This living room is so inviting and perfect for the electrifying molecular martinis.

Classic dishes such as pan-fried foie gras that is served with caramelized pears in port wine jus and green mussels in creamy wine and tomato juice were simply superb and fantastic as starters. It is quite obvious that Chef Andry Winata – the talented man behind the kitchen, who worked for over 10 years in Sydney, has great taste that matches deliciously with the total concept. You might find some of his creations a little wacky but they taste great. Dishes like the black burger, which is really juicy, tender and original, while others like the beef ratatouille tower not only won our taste buds but also was nominated as one of the “50 dishes to die for” by Time Out Jakarta. There are so many good things on the menu that lived up to our expectations, including the sweets section on page four of our “The Apartment Daily” that are just simply not to be missed. Once your tongue has met Chef Andry’s peach filo or tart tatin, it is guaranteed to have a spectacular happy ending á la Harry Met Sally. 80 l FRV Travel

The décor is designed in a contemporary, vintage 50’s style and looks like it could belong in a Vogue Living magazine. By the end of my first visit to The Apartment, I had already become one of their regular residents enjoying very much the food as well as their fantastic cocktails. Before I summarized my experience at this restaurant into writing, I returned there twice and still remained impressed with what they could offer me. On my last visit, I was knocked over with their version of molecular cocktails; their blue balls martini was not only a delight to drink, but also came with an electrifying look. If there was a piano in the corner you’d probably find Betty Crocker singing out some recipes, puffing a cigar and sipping a blue balls martini, naturally. FRV

Above: The seductive bedroom with a cosy bed and plenty of pillows. The the original, yet wacky creation of Chef Andry’s Black Burger and a Peach Filo.

The Apartment Menara Gracia Ground Floor Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. C-17 Jakarta www.culinaryconcepts.asia/theapartment/


more tales of buildings and food

design food fashion architecture art wine

SAVE 20% off cover price enjoy one year (6 issues) of FRV magz for only

Rp. 250.000 in Indonesia USD $32.00 *overseas send your subscription request to: subscribe@finerestaurantsandvillas.com *overseas shipping charges apply and will be calculated upon subscription request. information received by FRV will be kept confidential and will not be made avaliable to any third parties FRV Travel l 81

FRV Travel 7.2  

FRV Travel Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you