Bali Rejuvenating retreat

Bali Rejuvenating retreat

          Bagus Jati is a unique resort in the village of Tegallalang. Situated at the base of a river valley, Bagus Jati lies just 1.5 hours from the airport and 30 minutes from Ubud. Eighteen circular villas are arranged in the form of the Chakra principle, which relates to the primary energy centres found in our bodies. The resort’s eight deluxe spa villas come complete with spa treatment rooms and Jacuzzis, and their additional ten superior villas are equipped with a luxurious bathtub and shower.
          Bagus Jati offers a wide variety of detoxifying and restorative programmes to purify one’s body and mind, including daily yoga or pilates in their yoga pavilion, hydrotherapy baths, rain shower massages, and a shiatsu grotto. Health treatments, personally tailored for guests, are based on individual needs or desires, and can be arranged upon request by the staff.
          Facilities also include Surya Restaurant Library & Bar, which offers a daily menu of organic food grown on site at the resort. The Iswari Poolside Cafe makes a great place to relax, with stunning views overlooking the Jati River and a waterfall cascading below the main pool. Guests can also enjoy jungle trekking, bicycling, a tour of the resort’s five-hectare botanical garden, an elephant safari and much more. A lovely Balinese wedding venue will be launched in April 2008. MC;


Indonesia Paradise

Indonesia Paradise

However startling their designs may sometimes be — even to their authors — fiensley’s studio, consistently produce results that feel just right.

          ancient and modern, the traditional and the wildly innovative. Yet with solid consistency Bensley Design Studios produce triumphant wholes that conjure more than the sum of these many parts. And the wholes do include many parts, as with the featured Karawaci residence, just outside Jakarta, where BDS furnished a whole dining room, from tables to plates, with items designed and crafted in their own studios: “Even the Dutch-inspired plates -individualized with six different logo prints and an inscription – were designed by us.”
           And there’s more. These ingredients of monumental scale combined with meticulous attention to detail, of universal myth blended with local cultural history, are leavened with earthy humour and pure fun. Bensley gardens may present for your bemusement a rank of fat frogs spouting water or grinning, child-enticing poolside mouth-caves. In one spa, a painted Balinese ogre, a leering ogoh-ogoh, peers into the women’s bathing area, while suggestive cartoon paintings in the traditional Klungklung style add bawdy accents to otherwise only elegant therapy rooms.

          Despite the sometimes apparently disparate elements, there’s a solid integrity to Bensley projects. In talking about the Hotel de la Paix, for example, Bensley says, “We tore down the original hotel, which was built by the French in the 1930s or ’40s. But it had a certain Art Deco feeling that we decided to conserve when we rebuilt So the resort is a combination of Art Deco and things Khmer. Most importantly, though, it’s Khmer – we aimed at conserving some spirit of the older hotel, at the same time making it thoroughly Khmer. Our most important work ethos is to build a resort imbued with the essence of its place and the culture.”
          Aside from his resort projects, Bensley features magnificent private homes from around Asia-Pacific in Paradise by Design, not the least of these his own Baan Botanica. These days, however, he resists doing homes. They’re so personal,” he says. “And, too often, they’re a real pain in the butt; if Mr wants it one way, for example, and Mrs wants it another, things can become very tedious. So we do very few of them. Maybe one or two a year.”

          He may be doing fewer homes, but he’s choosing his commissions carefully: “Right now we’re building two. One is a 33-storey home for the richest man in India on the highest piece of land in Mumbai. It will incorporate the tallest vertical garden in the world, where one side of the building runs up from the ground like a piece of green origami in the sky.” The other home is a palace, the main royal residence for the King of Malaysia.

Bali : Empire of colour

Bali Empire of colour

          From his early days invoking the ire of the FBI, the US Treasury and Nixon’s White House by producing US flag-design “cigarette” rolling papers, Paul Ropp has always been a subversive. In a world where fashionistas go from cutting edge to yesterday’s news overnight, Paul Ropp stays at the top, sneaking bold colour and textures into people’s day-to-day drabness to excite and provoke.


          Paul moved his mini-empire to Bali in 1978, and has since expanded to eight shops in Bali and untold outlets in major hotel chains around the world. He credits his team, some who have been with him for 35 years, with this success. He employs 300 people in Bali and over 5,000 households in India doing hand wearing, embroidery, block printing and other labour-intensive focused development.

          Paul not only stands behind his label; he stands in it. When asked about his favourite item, he pauses for a second before pointing to his simple blue T-shirt and explains why in detail: “Something hand spun, hand loomed, cotton, easy to maintain, pre-washed in a waterhole with three elephants and a water buffalo. It’s going to last.”

A man of complex colours but simple tastes. MT