By JAMES WILKINSON
Bali’s new luxurious Sea Sentosa resort is set to open at the end of June in the upcoming area of Canggu.
Speaking exclusively to HM in Sydney this morning (Jan 24), Sentosa Worldwide Resorts CEO, Ian Duffell, said the 165-room project was on-track and booking interest had been increasing in recent months.
He said the property, located a few metres from Echo Beach, had already been appearing on global travel publications’ ‘hot lists’ worldwide (including The Sydney Morning Herald) and that was driving interest from across the globe.
“When it opens, it will become one of those must-stay-at hotels,” he told HM.
The property will feature 165 luxuriously-appointed rooms along with a beach club and two restaurants, one serving international cuisine and the other will focus on Asian fusion. To cater for the ever-growing wedding market in Bali, a chapel is also being built overlooking Echo Beach.
Duffell, who formerly worked with Richard Branson for 12 years (initially as the CEO of Virgin Asia Pacific and then as the CEO of the Virgin Entertainment Group in the USA), has been at the helm of Sentosa Worldwide Resorts since 2009 and said the opening of the property would do wonders for the brand.
“The resort is going to help grow the Sentosa brand and generate interest from across the globe,” he said.
Key international markets, Duffell said, would be Australia, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
“We are expecting Sea Sentosa to attract a lot of people from Europe as its going to be a lot more exclusive [than the majority of luxury hotels in Bali],” he said.
The property was given a boost in the United Kingdom market in late 2013 when it was named ‘World’s Best Apartment’ at the International Property Awards in London.
That also helped attract the attention of the domestic Indonesian market, one that continues to show no signs of slowing down.
“The Jakarta market is very strong in Bali,” he said, noting that was from both an investment and tourism perspective.
Global investors and Indonesians are also showing a significant amount of interest in Duffell’s latest project, Sentosa Residence Umalas, one that’s being developed on a large parcel of land between Seminyak and Canggu.
“There’s a major gap in the market for a significant amount of people that want to spend a lot of time in Bali part-time,” he said.
Sentosa Residence Umalas will be located on 6.5 hectares of land on the banks of the Umalas River and feature 135 villas ranging in size from one- to three-bedrooms.
“Sentosa Residence Umalas will be a game-changer in redefining a new generation of lifestyle shift-seekers,” Duffell said, adding the completely secure fully-integrated resort-style development will also feature restaurants, boutiques, a gourmet deli, beauty salon, outdoor cinema, day spa and a world-class medical centre.
“It will undoubtedly appeal to those people who are determined to live life to the fullest, with the comfort and security of a five-star resort,” he said.
Duffell said while the development will be operated as a residential resort, some villas are expected to be rented out on a short- and long-term basis.