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Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in Indonesia.

Paradise on Earth – Papua Paradise Eco Resort

Built on an exotic tropical island and surrounded by pristine reefs and unspoilt nature, Papua Paradise Eco Resort sits in the heart of Raja Ampat, West Papua, a destination that inspires talk of the last paradise on earth.

Built in traditional style and using materials entirely sourced from the island village, Papua Paradise Eco Resort offers an exceptionally high standard of comfort and service, while maintaining eco¬tourism values. Spacious sea breeze-cooled bungalows contain modern comforts such as hot and cold freshwater showers, comfortable beds with bed veils, hammocks for lounging in and cushioned deckchairs facing the sea.

One of the resort’s biggest draws is its location smack dab in the heart of the world’s most diverse coral reef. Marvel at the nursery of juvenile black- tip reef sharks, moray eels, blue-spotted rays and more than 1,300 fish species and 540 coral species, all from your room’s balcony!

The island also teems with exotic bird life, lush jungle and a spectacular array of animal life. Specialty birding trips and jungle treks to waterfalls can be arranged by the resort. A short boat ride will allow you the chance to spot the famous Bird of Paradise, the symbol of Papua.

Papua Paradise Divers, one of the very few PADI-certified dive resorts in Raja Ampat, offers custom- tailored excursions backed by international and best-practice safety standards. These standards, along with personalised services, will create unforgettable holiday memories for dive enthusiasts, snorkelers, bird watchers and nature enthusiasts.

Blend with Nature – Gangga Island Resort & Spa

More than just a diving paradise, Gangga Island Resort & Spa offers a sensational stay experience where guests can get up close and personal with remarkable sea life from both the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

An unparalleled scuba diving experience awaits you in North Sulawesi. Unwind on the tip of a small tropical island near Manado, at Gangga Island Resort & Spa. The resort blends with nature in an exclusive cluster of 15 elegantly furnished and air- conditioned wooden bungalows built on stilts with high ceilings and a spacious veranda overlooking the beach. Bungalows are discreetly set on the edge of a long white-sand beach in the shade of coconut trees, surrounded by a garden of tropical vegetation at the base of a jungle-covered hill. Each bungalow is private and faces the beach, and each bungalow also has a bale (gazebo) on the beach – perfect for watching the sun set and turn the sky and ocean every imaginable shade of pink and red as you relax with your partner, and perhaps an evening cocktail.

The resort also provides numerous activities such as excursions to a nearby island where you are the only inhabitants, sunset cruises, special private a deux couples massages either on your veranda, the beach or by the pool. Gangga Island Resort & Spa is an ideal starting point for the diving sites of Bangka Island, Bunaken National Marine Park and Lembeh Strait, making it a favourite destination for underwater photographers. For both divers and non-divers, the picturesque white-sand beach, the large saltwater pool, a traditional spa and the high-quality service at Gangga Island Resort & Spa guarantee a peaceful and relaxing nature-based stay.

Bali’s Best-Kept Secret – Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa

From sunrise to sunset, on land and under water, Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa captures nature’s beauty while making sure it lasts for future generations.

West Bali National Park and Menjangan Island, two exclusive environmentally protected sanctuaries, are home to Bali’s best-kept secrets – from lush greenery, diverse topography and pristine waters, to rare and endangered flora and fauna species, such as the Jalak Bali (Bali myna) and Menjangan (Javanese Deer), just to name a few. They are also home to Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa, which is the ideal destination to experience Bali’s best coast.

As part of West Bali National Park, Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa captures the essence of a true environmental experience, with its villas, restaurant and other facilities located in the forest with a view of the ocean. The five exclusive villas offer the ultimate in privacy and are designed to be one thing: yours. Exclusively located within their own individual compounds, all the villas feature a traditional Joglo house, a plunge pool and a garden. Equipped with first- class international-standard accommodation and amenities, the villas offer spacious and luxurious indoor living. Take a dip in your plunge pool overlooking the ocean, as you enjoy your own private view. With direct access to the soothing waters, the garden is an invitation for you to simply read a book, have a picnic lunch or even experience a romantic candlelight dinner. The villas at Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa are truly the epitome of privacy and the perfect place to experience the best that nature has to offer.

There are also a number of interesting activities you can experience at the resort, such as bird watching, trekking, biking and kayaking. You can also indulge in water activities with Plataran Phinisi Bali and Plataran Menjangan Yacht such as snorkelling, diving, a full-day cruise, romantic sunset dinner and sunset cruise.

Stay Glamorous – Sandat Glamping Tents, Bali, Indonesia

The need to get in touch with nature is driving third millennium travellers to escape urban centres and embark on journeys rich in experience and authenticity, but still with five-star services.

Located about three kilometres from the centre of Ubud, the cultural heart of Bali, Sandat Glamping Tents is nestled in a slice of paradise, where undulating rice fields create a vividly green landscape. Setting a new benchmark for luxury resorts in Bali, this glamorous camping destination blends seamlessly into Ubud’s famous rice fields, creating a true glamping experience.

Sandat Glamping Tents lets you commune with nature without sacrificing the luxury and comfort of a five-star Bali resort. Glamping lets you experience life without the TVs, computers and phones that absorb so much of our attention on a daily basis and discover the inner peace that only direct contact with nature can generate. Charming lodges, tree houses, tents at the edge of woods and streams, igloos, picturesque gypsy caravans hidden amongst the trees; these are the new and increasingly refined environmentally friendly accommodations that fulfil the need for deep contact with nature, without giving up comfort. There are eight types of accommodation to choose from at this luxury resort, including Lumbung Legong, Lumbung Kecak, Lumbung Barong, Suite Tenda Penjor Brown, Suite Tenda Ylang-Ylang Blu Oltremare, Tenda Banten White, Tenda Ogoh Ogoh Orange and Tenda Sarong Water Marine. Each comes with a unique theme and luxurious facilities and amenities.

Life Should be Celebrated on the Beach – Karma Reef Resort, Indonesia

A luxurious resort on the tiny, traffic-free island paradise of Gili Meno, Karma Reef offers a sanctuary away from the noise and demands of everyday life.

Karma Reef is located in the northwest region of Lombok. The Reef exudes laid- back sophistication, with a prominent position on one of Indonesia’s most revered holiday destinations. The tiny island of Gili Meno epitomises bohemian chic and offers direct access to one of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs. If you have ever dreamt of rising to stunning sunrises and celebrating each day with one of Indonesia’s famous sunsets, Karma Reef is sure to fulfil your holiday fantasy.

Karma Reef’s beachfront Lumbung-style villas and rustic Sea Tents are stylishly appointed with comfort in mind. They’re an ode to authentic, sustainable architecture, consciously designed to leave a light footprint on the land. Enjoy the benefits of Gili Meno’s stunning natural beauty, paired with heavenly creature comforts commonplace in Karma Resorts. Karma Reef revolves around simple pleasures. Leisurely catnaps, swimming in the crystal- clean Indian Ocean, snorkelling with tropical fish and sea turtles, and indulging in culinary delights are just a few of the activities found on the itineraries of Karma guests.

Providing intimate getaways and the perfect romantic escape for honeymooners, Gili Meno offers blissful privacy and breathtaking seascapes, fulfilling exotic Robinson Crusoe fantasies. Karma Reef presents luxurious beachfront dining with Mediterranean-meets-New World cuisine with an emphasis on abundant, locally sourced seafood and traditional Indonesian dishes. Karma Reef truly promises the perfect holiday escape. From honeymooning couples to families and groups of friends, there are countless unforgettable experiences just waiting to be discovered.

Karma Reef caters to specialized private events with a knowledgeable staff that plan everything from romantic sunset dinners to intimate wedding celebrations. From life’s most significant milestones to day-to-day triumphs, Karma believes that life should be celebrated on the beach.karma-reef-1

A Perfect Combination – Hotel Aryaduta Bandung, Indonesia

Strategic location in the heart of Bandung, check. Surrounded by lush forest, check. Offers elegant accommodation, check. Provides the full range of services to please even the most demanding of guests, check. Hotel Ary aduta Bandung truly does offer it all for leisure and business travellers alike.

Bandung is like a second home for Jakarta residents. A short trip to Bandung or a long weekend getaway to the City of Flowers is the perfect escape for frazzled Jakarta residents. But for the perfect Bandung getaway, you need just the right accommodation. Hotel Aryaduta Bandung has you covered. Ideally located in the heart of the city, with great rooms and the full range of services. Hotel Aryaduta Bandung truly is an oasis of luxury and comfort.

Accommodation & Services

Just 20 minutes from Husein Sastranegara International Airport and 10 minutes from Bandung’s main railway station, Hotel Aryaduta Bandung offers 254 rooms and suites including Superior Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Aryaduta Club Superior, Aryaduta Club Deluxe, Aryaduta Suite, Aryaduta Executive Suite and Aryaduta Presidential Suite. For a truly remarkable stay at Hotel Aryaduta Bandung, indulge in the privileges of Aryaduta Club. Aryaduta Club guests enjoy personalized check-in and checkout service, complimentary exclusive buffet breakfast (from 6.30am to 10.30am), complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (from 6pm to 8pm) and complimentary two-hour use of the Aryaduta Club Boardroom.

 

Never-Ending Bandung, Indonesia

My friend said Bandung was like Jakarta. Just another big city. But the West Java capital still maintain a small-town ambiance with classical touches. Is it possible to be bored in Bandung, with its abundance of charm, a wide selection of destinations and rich culinary offerings? So, let’s enjoy Bandung.

Old-Style Bandung

I have a vintage soul. Anything to do with history gets my attention. Bandung is rich in historical sites and stunning architecture. And since Ridwan Kamil became mayor of Bandung, the city’s heritage sites have been receiving renewed attention.

Museum Asia Afrika & Gedung Merdeka

Long before the Asia Africa Conference was held 60 years ago, Gedung Merdeka, located on Jalan Asia Afrika, had already had an interesting history. In 1895, it hosted meetings of Societeit Concordia, a group composed of Europeans, especially the Dutch, who lived in Bandung and its surroundings. In 1921,the building served as a conference hall and was famously known as the city’s most luxurious “super club.” The Dutch architect C. P. Wolff Schoemaker helped revitalize the building, giving it an Art Deco flourish.

During the Japanese occupation, the main building was renamed Dai Toa Kaikan and was used as a cultural centre. After Indonesia’s independence, the building was used as the headquarters for Indonesian youth who were fighting the Japanese army and later became a government office.

For me, Gedung Merdeka is more than a heritage building. This is a place where our nation declared its independence. Entering the main hall gives me chills as this is where history was made. The main hall looks much as it did 60 years ago. You can sit in red leather chair while imaging the leaders of a newly independent Indonesia gathered in the hall. For more details about the Asia Africa Conference, just next to Gedung Merdeka is Museum Konfrensi Asia Afrika (Asian African Conference Museum). The museum contains displays about the conference, with pictures and notes that describe the history and figures behind the conference.

Braga Streetbraga-street

There is an interesting story behind this artistic street. A few decades ago, Braga was just a small street home to a scattering of deserted settlements. It was called the kidnaping street because it was so empty. Braga became famous after Dutch entrepreneurs set up shop there. The street starting to become famous between the 1920s and 1930s with the advent of boutiques modelled on Paris. Development Societeit Concordia (now Gedung Merdeka), Hotel Savoy Homann and a cinema behind Societeit Concordia helped boost the fame of Jalan Braga.

Jalan Braga soon became an icon of Bandung. Some of the old buildings still standing along the street attest to the splendour of the past. For travellers interested in history, Braga is the area to find historic buildings. There are also street artists and a range of restaurants and shops. Jalan Braga never sleeps and is hopping 24 hours a day.

Jakarta Hideaways – Parks and Recreation

Years ago, Jakarta was in urgent need of open-air spaces and green spots. Thankfully, things are looking a bit greener in the capital lately. There are parks and beautiful gardens dotted all around Jakarta, finally giving residents an option to spending time in shopping malls and cafes. Here are some of our favourite parks in Jakarta.

Taman Suropati (Suropati Park, above)

Originally named Burgemeester Bisschopsplein, for the first burgermeester (mayor) of Batavia, G. J. Bisshop, the name was changed after the country’s independence to Taman Suropati, for the national hero Untung Suropati. The park was designed in 1912 by P. A. J. Moojen, F. J. Kubatz and FJ. L Ghijsels. Today it is a shady, green oasis that offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta. It is a favourite gathering spot for community groups and exercisers. Taman Suropati offers Wi-Fi and plenty of comfortable seating, and it lights up at night, with a beautiful fountain in the middle of the park.

Taman Tribeca (Tribeca Park)

Tribeca Park is a refreshing oasis in crowded West Jakarta. The park is part of the Central Park Mall complex and offers vivid splashes of colour with its collection of ornamental plants and flowers. Tribeca Park also has several koi ponds and children can feed the fish at certain hours. Visiting Tribeca Park at night is definitely exciting, with the duelling fountains and glittering headlights.

Taman Kota Menteng (Menteng Park)

This park was inaugurated on 28 April 2007 and is located on Jalan HOS Cokroaminoto. In the 1920s, the area was an open field named Voetbalbond Indiesche Omstreken, or V.I.O.S Veld. As far back as 1921, Dutch residents were using the 3.4 hectares that make up the park for exercise. Taman Menteng is now one of the most famous landmarks in Menteng. Taman Menteng features a Modernist look with its combination of geometric and organic patterns. The gardens are abloom with tropical plants and there are two greenhouses. There is also a playground, indoor soccer field and a basketball court.

 

taman-menteg

Taman Kota Menteng (Menteng Park)

 

Other parks in Jakarta

• Taman Langsat in Barito, South Jakarta

• Taman Medan Merdeka on Jalan Medan Merdeka, Central Jakarta

• Taman Fatahillah in Old Town, North Jakarta

• Taman Situ Lembang in Menteng, Central Jakarta

• Taman Ayodya in Barito, South Jakarta

• Taman Cattleya in Tomang, West Jakarta

 

Best Face Forward – The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali

Heavenly Spa by The Westin is the place to rejuvenate the body, refresh the mind, revive the spirit and restore the senses. It is a haven for the senses.

A trip to Bali would not be complete without a visit to my favourite spa on the island, Heavenly Spa. It was a hectic time for me, including quite a lot of travelling, and it finally took its toll on my face. My skin was dull and dehydrated. Luckily, the award-winning Heavenly Spa by Westin recently partnered with internationally renowned skin care brand Maria Galland Paris to bring an exclusive range of facial treatments to the island of Bali. It could not be more perfect and I was eager to try a treatment after having heard so much about Maria Galland.

Maria Galland Paris is a pioneering brand that was established more than 50 years ago by a talented French dancer. She teamed up with a top dermatologist to develop a treatment concept based on her avant-garde vision of preserving the youthful beauty and radiance of the skin. Today, Maria Galland Paris products and treatments are available in salons and day spas all over the world. At Heavenly Spa by Westin, you can indulge in a choice of seven different Maria Galland Paris facial treatments, including a facial treatment that has been created just for men. All skin types have been taken into careful consideration using specially formulated products to cleanse, revive, replenish and hydrate. I have had many facial so I have high expectations, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results at Heavenly Spa.

What I loved most about my facial was the mask at the end of the treatment. I could hear as the therapist sprayed the foam or cream on my skin, reminding me of when you spray whipped cream on top of your pancakes. I could feel it on my face, it was so fluffy and it immediately soothed and moisturized my skin. After the treatment, I could immediately see the results, as my glowing skin looked radiant and moist.

A treatment at Heavenly Spa by The Westin never disappoints, and this treatment by Maria Galland Paris was one of the best, if not the best, facials I have ever had.

At the Heart of Surabaya, Indonesia

Four Points by Sheraton Surabaya opened in mid-June 2016 in the heart of Surabaya ready to accommodate business and leisure travellers eager to experience an honest, uncomplicated and comfortable stay in the city.

Surabaya, the capital of East Java province, is home to a fascinating array of historic sites, architecture and diverse cultures. There is so much to do and see in the “City of Heroes,” such as a visit to Tugu Pahlawan (Heroes Monument), Genteng Traditional Market, Monumen Kapal Selam (Submarine Museum), House of Sampoerna or one of the most famous landmarks in East Java, Mount Bromo. And standing amidst all these exciting attractions is the city’s new address for business and leisure travellers, Four Points by Sheraton Surabaya.

Strategically located in the city’s business centre, adjacent to the city’s entertainment and business districts and government offices, Four Points by Sheraton Surabaya is part of a complex that houses East Java’s largest shopping mall, Tunjungan Plaza, one of the best shopping destinations in the city. Expect an honest, uncomplicated and comfortable stay at Four Points by Sheraton Surabaya.

Four Points by Sheraton Surabaya offers 264 guestrooms and 29 suites, all fitted with the Four Points signature bed, a work desk, LED TV, free Wi-Fi and complimentary bottled water. The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Lime Restaurant, serves Asian and local cuisine, while The Lobby Lounge offers a relaxed space for guests to enjoy Best Brews, M, the Four Points brand signature programme that features local craft beers.

For meetings and events, Four Points by Sheraton Surabaya features 683 square metres of versatile function facilities, including a boardroom and six multifunction rooms suitable for a range of business needs. The hotel also offers a state-of- the-art fitness centre, including a well-equipped gym and an outdoor swimming pool.