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Branded Residences Build on Bali  

by on Saturday, 31 March 2007One Comment | 2,358 views

Branded residences are currently stamping their intentions on Bali, with Banyan Tree and St Regis promoting their upcoming developments in key markets across Asia, including Singapore, Jakarta and Hong Kong. Both resorts are scheduled to open in the first half of 2008 and are now focusing on early sales of their properties.

The 73-villa Banyan Tree Ungasan staged its first official public launch in Jakarta in mid-March, after about 20 units had earlier been sold or reserved in previews. “The weekend went quite well, with about 120 people attending and more than a dozen expressing serious interest,” said Johannes Suriadjaja, President Director of Sitiagung Makmur, the property’s developer and a subsidiary of Surya Internusa, whose previous hotel projects include Melia Bali Villas and Spa Resort, Gran Melia Jakarta and Melia Purosani Jogjakarta.

“This segment of the market is quite high end and many have heard of or stayed at Banyan Tree. Many were surprised to hear that they could buy properties at Banyan Tree Ungasan, because the likes of Four Seasons, Aman, Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari don’t have properties for sale in Bali.”

Banyan Tree Ungasan is set on a dramatic, cliff-top site at the southern tip of Bali’s southernmost Bukit Peninsula, close to other brand resorts such as Karma Kandara, the new Angsana, Alila Villas Uluwatu and Bulgari. The south-facing, 10-hectare site rises from the 70m-high cliff-face to the resort’s entrance, which is about 110m above sea level, so providing all villas with great views of the Indian Ocean.

“Banyan Tree is Asia’s premier resort operator and had been looking for a presence in Bali for a long time,” Suriadjaja said. “The Banyan Tree Holdings team was very pleased with the site when we showed them. So far, the greatest demand from buyers is for the prime units, closest to the sea.”

The resort features 59 one-bedroom villas priced from about US$560,000-$870,000, all with 239sqm of built-up area and 403sqm of land. The 11 two-bedroom villas, with 315sqm of built-up area on 565sqm of land, range from US$950,000-$1,150,000, while the trio of three-bedroom, 680sqm Presidential Villas, each set on 1,200sqm of land, are going for up to US$2,495,000. Owners receive guaranteed returns of 8% per annum for two years and subsequently 40% of room revenue.

St Regis Resort and Residences, Bali occupies a prime nine-hectare site in Nusa Dua, with 220m of beachfront, the Bali Golf and Country Club as an immediate neighbour, and a swimmable lagoon and a spa among the attractions. Bali marks St Regis’s first villa development in Asia, where the brand has hotels in Beijing and Shanghai, and an upcoming hotel and residences in Singapore.

Canvas Developments, the Malaysia-registered property arm of Indonesia-based Rajawali Corporation, will develop the site, which was earmarked for the prestigious St Regis brand very early on. “Rajawali has a long cooperation with the Starwood group and this site was seen as particularly suitable for St Regis, arguably their most high-end brand,” said Erhard Hotter, CEO of Hotel Operations for Canvas Developments, who oversees all seven Rajawali-owned hotels in Indonesia and Malaysia.

“What makes it especially exciting is that Bali will be the first St Regis resort in the world to offer all-suite accommodation and is an indication that this great American name is making a big push into the Asia-Pacific,” added the German, who is particularly familiar with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, having previously served 35 years with the group.

The official launches for the 64 St Regis hotel villas and residences will take place at Singapore’s Four Seasons in mid-April, followed by an event at Hong Kong’s Ritz-Carlton. The show villa – a one-bedroom beachfront villa with a value of almost US$1 million  was completed in late March.

At earlier media previews in Singapore and Hong Kong, expressions of interest were taken for over a quarter of the 64 one and two-bedroom units (141-233sqm), which have 50-year leases to 2054 and range in price from about US$800,000 to over US$2 million. Prices include a guaranteed return on investment of 7% annually for the first three years.

“The buyers from Hong Kong and Singapore really like the branded residences, especially one as prestigious at St Regis,” said Jerry Tan, Managing Director of JTResi, the project’s sole marketing agent. “For me, it’s all about the location, which is hard to beat. It’s in a really pretty part of Nusa Dua, great for swimming and windsurfing.”

The first prospective buyers began to visit the site in mid-March, even before the show villa was open. “People want to come and see the site for themselves,” Tan said. “The most impressive thing in the show villa is that when you’re in the living and dining rooms, you’re eye level with the sea.”

Both Banyan Tree and St Regis, which will also have 81 hotel suites, are expected to price their one-bedroom villas from about US$500-650 per night for visitors, putting the resorts in the same upscale market as the Four Seasons and the Ritz-Carlton villas, although not pitching as high as Bulgari. The overall confidence in the island of such esteemed brands comes as no surprise to local real estate experts.

“Culturally, there is so much going for Bali, compared to other popular tropical destinations in Asia, and the land and construction prices are so competitive in comparison, even though they are rising,” says Ric Shreves, Managing Director of Bali-based Elite Havens.

“Bali has enjoyed a steady 20% annual growth in property prices, even through the bombings, yet there is still a lot more room for capital appreciation. If I was conservative, I would say we expect continued growth in prices for three years, and if I was bullish I would say five years.”

Bali, however, is just one aspect of the development plans for both of these prestigious brands. As well as its projects in Bali and Singapore set for next year, St Regis is set to open new properties in Mexico (two this year), Anguilla, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica (all 2008), and three new developments in the USA by 2009.

Singapore-based Banyan Tree Holdings is in the midst of an enormous global expansion. As well as its Bali project, a total of 22 other new Banyan Tree resorts are set to open by 2010, in China (five resorts), Mexico (four), UAE, Thailand, India and Maldives (two each), Bahrain, Barbados, Morocco, Greece and Oman (one each).

Angsana Resorts and Spa, Banyan Tree’s sister company, is also spreading its wings globally, with its Tepi Kahyangan resort in Bali among 15 developments set to open around the world by 2010, while Italian luxury icon Armani is also believed to be looking at a site on the ’Island of the Gods’.


By John Higginson

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