Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Best Service Excellence award for Centra Taum Seminyak Bali

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism has presented Centra Taum Seminyak Bali with the Best Service Excellence of the Year Award 2014 as part of Indonesia’s Best 50 Hotels and Restaurants Awards.
The award was presented to Hotel Manager Agus Suananda in a ceremony on 18 July conducted by the Indonesian Achievement Centre in co-operation with Tre Uno Event Management of Jakarta.
The awards were first implemented in 2007.
The citation for the award said that Centra Taum Seminyak Bali has been consistent in providing the best possible services for guests and was also active in both social and environmental issues.
Receiving the award, Mr. Suananda thanked the organizing committee and said that the award was a tribute to each member of his team.
“We are all thrilled to have won this prestigious award, and this will encourage us to constantly work to improve our service standards,” he said.
Centra Taum Seminyak Bali is located in the heart of Seminyak, and comes under Centara’s Centra value brand. The property has a distinctive architectural design that blends modern and traditional Balinese influences, and is a short distance from the beach at Petitenget, Kerobokan.
Centara Hotels & Resorts is Thailand’s leading operator of hotels, with 47 deluxe and first-class properties covering all the major tourist destinations in the Kingdom. A further 21 resorts in Maldives, Vietnam, Bali, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Qatar, Laos and Oman brings the present total to 68 properties. Brands and properties within Centara ensure that specific categories such as couples, families, individuals, and meetings and incentives groups will all find a hotel or resort that is appropriate to their needs. Centara operates 30 branches of Spa Cenvaree, one of Thailand’s most luxurious and innovative spa brands, together with 7 branches of the value brand Cense by Spa Cenvaree, which provides core spa services for busy travellers. The company’s Kids’ Club is available at all the family-friendly resorts to ensure that the youngsters and teens have their own leisure zone. Centara also operates three state-of-the-art convention centres in Bangkok, and two in northeastern Thailand, one being located in Udon Thani and the other in Khon Kaen. The latest Centara brand is named COSI Hotels, an affordable lifestyle brand designed for travellers who predominantly make their bookings via the internet and who want comfort and convenience at affordable prices; the brand is under development with the first property due to open in 2016.
For more information and reservations, please contact tel. +62 (0)36 1473 1797 e-mail to ctb@chr.co.th or website www.centarahotelsresorts.com/ctb (eTurbonews)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Idul Fitri holidaymakers flock to recreational centers

Mingling with foreign visitors from numerous countries, thousands of domestic tourists have been flocking to recreational centers since Monday to celebrate the 2014 Idul Fitri holidays.

Starting from Monday, the first day of Idul Fitri celebration, which is better known as Lebaran in Indonesia, recreational centers in Jakarta and Bandung were packed with a great multitude of visitors. 

Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park, which is better known as Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), Ragunan Zoo, and Jaya Ancol Dreamland are the three favorite tourist attractions in Jakarta that have witnessed thousands of visitors since Monday.

"The number of visitors to Taman Mini during this years Lebaran holiday season has been forecast to increase by 10 percent compared to last year," its spokesman Suryandoro remarked here on Tuesday.

He noted that a total of 350 thousand people had visited Taman Mini during the holidays last year, and the number during the same period this year is expected to reach at least 400 thousand.

Suryandoro expressed optimism that the target of 400 thousand visitors can be achieved, as the Lebaran festivity coincides with school holiday. 

"The school holiday, which is in conjunction with the festivity, will contribute to an increase in the number of visitors to Taman Mini," he pointed out.

According to Suryandoro, during the holiday season this year, Taman Mini will be open from 7 am to 10 pm to attract as many visitors as possible.

He noted that particularly from July 28 to August 10, 2014, an entry ticket to Taman Mini will be raised from Rp10 thousand to Rp12 thousand. 

On Monday, the Ragunan Zoo in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, witnessed 16,166 visitors from 7 am to 1 pm, and the number continued to increase until late in the afternoon.

Ragunan Zoo public service spokesman Wahyudi Bambang said the number of visitors on Tuesday, or the second day of Lebaran holiday, is predicted to increase significantly.

"The number of tourists visiting Ragunan Zoo on Tuesday is estimated to reach hundreds of thousands of people," Bambang said, noting that the figure during the same period last year had reached 144 thousand.

He added that particularly for the Lebaran holidays this year, the Ragunan Zoo will remain open from 7 am to 5 pm, with entry ticket Rp3,500 for children and Rp4,500 for adults.

"Last year, the zoo had received 144 thousand visitors on the second day of Lebaran holidays, and this year the number is estimated to be even higher," Bambang said. 

Anticipating a large number of visitors, he noted that the zoo management has recruited 1,100 part-timers to provide the visitors with the best possible service.

"The zoo has 500 permanent employees, but to provide our best service to the large number of visitors during the festive season, we have recruited 1,100 part-timers," Bambang noted.

Ragunan Zoo is easily accessible through the Jakarta Outer Ring Road and Transjakarta Busway network.

The 140-hectare zoo is home to more than 270 species of animals, many of which are endangered and threatened, from all parts of Indonesia and the rest of the world, and 171 species of flora.

The Ancol Dreamland in North Jakarta was also packed with thousands of visitors on Monday and Tuesday to enjoy various attractions and entertainments it offered.

Ancol Corporate Communication Manager Metty Yan Harahap said the recreational center has prepared new facilities for visitors, such as ghost house, 4D film of "The Lost World," and Ocean Dream.

"In addition, Atlantis Water Adventure is available for the visitors to enjoy the mythological underwater world of Atlantis," Metty stated.

Its facilities include a wave pool, continuously flowing river pool, rainbow ball pool, waterfall pool, several slides, two childrens pools, five restaurants, and a food court that has food imported from India, Brazil, Spain, and Bangladesh. 

Metty explained that the Ancol Dreamland has improved its security service for the waves of tourists during this years holidays.

"Our security personnel will ensure security and safety for the visitors to enjoy numerous programs of attractions that we have made available," she added.

According to her, Ancol Dreamland is easily accessible by car, motorcycle, electric train, and TransJakarta Busway from different directions in Jakarta.

In the West Java provincial city of Bandung, thousands of people on Monday and Tuesday thronged numerous recreational parks in and around the city. 

"One of the recreational parks is the Bandung Zoo, which was flocked by thousands of visitors on Monday and Tuesday," the zoos public relations official, Sudaryo, remarked here on Tuesday.

He noted that during the ten days of the Idul Fitri holidays, the zoo is expected to attract at least 130 thousand visitors, with entry ticket Rp20 thousand per person and Rp500 as Red Cross donation.

Situated along the Tamansari Street near the campus of Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the Bandung Zoo is one of the most favorite places in the city among visitors.

"Therefore, we are ready with 130 thousand entry tickets, and if they are sold out in the ten days during the Lebaran festivities, the zoo will earn at least Rp2.6 billion," Sudaryo pointed out.

He further added that in order to attract the visitors, the zoo has a large aquarium, which houses several varieties of fish, including giant fishes from the Amazon River in South America. (Antara)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hotel occupancy rate in Bali rising sharply during Lebaran holiday

The hotel occupancy rate in Bali is predicted to rise at an average 70 percent during the current long post-fasting holiday.

"We are predicting it will increase up to 70 percent," deputy chairman of the Bali chapter of the Indonesia Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), I Gusti Ngurah Rai Surya Wijaya, said here on Saturday.

The long holiday will contribute positively to the tourism industry in the island especially in tourist destination regions such as Denpasar, Kuta, Nusa Dua and Gianyar, he said.

"The long holiday builds up a good momentum especially for hotels in the tourist destination regions," he said.

Despite the holiday season the hotel room rates would not be raised because there are a lot of hotels on the island and that has made competition very tight, he said.

Domestic tourists would dominate visitors to the island this time, although a lot of tourists from Australia and several other foreign countries would also be here, he said.

Millions of Indonesians have been traveling to their home villages and towns to celebrate the Islamic post-fasting holiday of Lebaran with their friends and families.
Bali, meanwhile, is one of the favorite destinations for a holiday. (Antara)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Five less crowded beaches

Pristine, castaway beaches are abundant across the Indonesian archipelago, but many of them are remotely inaccessible.

The Jakarta Post Travel chooses five beaches not far from popular tourist destinations that will give you a sense of being on a secret beach.

Pulang Burung, Belitung The island is famous for its granite rock formations on Tanjung Tinggi beach, but it’s getting more crowded due to local residents and tourists, especially during sunset. Escape via a 20-minute boat ride from Tanjung Kelayang to Pulau Burung (Bird Island). There is almost nobody on the island except tourists from the mainland. The unique formation of giant granites surrounds the main beach. Its long dreamy white sand with calm turquoise water puts the island on a par with the Seychelles, or even the Maldives. There are lots of colorful starfish along the coast, something that makes this island unique compared to the others.

Peucang Island, Ujung Kulon The island is located in Ujung Kulon National Park in Banten province, famous for its almost extinct Javanese Rhino. To reach the island, you have to take a three-hour boat ride from Sumur village, near Tanjung Lesung (a four-hour drive from Jakarta). Once you reach the island, you will understand why it is the closest unspoiled paradise to Jakarta. The beach is a small part of the wildlife reserve, dominated by a tropical forest ecosystem. It faces the main island of Java, protected by a cape, so there are almost no big waves touching the long coastline. While lying on its perfectly white, powdery sand, you will not only see many sand creatures, but also deer, monkeys, or even wild hogs.  

Bias Tugal Beach, Bali Bias Tugal Beach is located a mere 100 meters from Padang Bai harbor - one of the busiest in Bali. On both sides of the harbor stand tall cliffs that block most of the mess and noise made at the harbor. The beach is hidden by the harbor’s western cliff. Surrounding cliffs serve as natural barriers to this 100-meter long coastline. To reach the beach, take a right turn at the harbor from the main road and turn right when you see a welcoming sign saying “Polisi Teman Masyarakat”. The road goes uphill and there’s a left turn at the first intersection leading to a paved road that eventually ends. Bias Tugal is still lacking paved road access. A short but arduous trek gets you to the beach, well worth it once the white sands appear. The beach has no sharp coral or big rocks, and rustic shacks provide quick fixes of coconut water or perhaps a massage. The water is perfect for swimming as the current is gentle save for the occasional big waves, and it is almost immediately of swimming depth, so bring a snorkel if possible.

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan You will most probably arrive in Nusa Lembongan at Mushroom Bay. Go further to the south until the end of the road, where you will find a secluded beach under a cliff. The cliff occupies an eco resort with the same name, Dream Beach Resort, but the beach is free to the public. It is a typical southern Balinese beach, where the sand is golden and the water is turquoise with occasionally big waves, only much less crowded. The beach is not ideal for swimming because of the current and coral, but it is perfect for sunbathing.  

Sepanjang Beach, Yogyakarta Yogyakarta, commonly known as a center of arts and culture, also has some beautiful beaches in its Gunung Kidul regency. From downtown Yogyakarta, take the road to Piyungan district and keep going to Karangmojo and Tanjungsari district. As you go south, the road becomes steeper and more challenging. On the other side of the hills lies your destination: pristine, beautiful white sand beaches flanking azure water filled with marine life. Sepanjang Beach is located in Kemadang village. With a very long coastline, white sand and crystal clear water, this beach is often called the “Kuta of the past”, referring to the original beauty of Kuta Beach in Bali before it became overrun with tourists. (JakartaPost)

Ubud Jazz Festival August 8-9, 2014

The Ubud Jazz Festivalreturns to Ubud August 8-9, 2014 sponsored by BRI Bank.

“Awakening Indonesia” has been adopted as the theme of the Ubud Jazz Festival that will see national and international stars take to the stage.

This year’s festival will also include an important educational element, presented in cooperation with The Dutch Jazz Summer School form South Korea. From August 3-8, 40 participants will follow a jazz school held in Ubud.

The “Jazz Camp” will offer 6 course of study including guitar, drum, piano, double bass, vocal and wind instruments with special focus sessions on music theory and jam session performance.

Advance sales tickets can be purchased on line from the Festival’s website.

Among the jazz performers slated to appear at Ubud Jazz festival 2014 are Gilad Hekselman Trio (USA), Dian Pratiwi and Uwe Plath (Germany), Astrid Sulaiman and Yuri Mahatma Trio (Bali), Balawan BID Trio, Rio Sidik, The GAPPProject. Feat Dave Barlow (Australia- Indonesia), Dwiki Dharmawan (Indonesia), Erica Tucceri (Australia (Bali), Ben van den Dungen Quartet (Holland), Deborah Carter (Holland), Endo Seiji (Japan) and Chika Asamoto (Japan-Bali).

The Ubud Jazz Festival traces its roots to 2010 when the first even was held.

Ubud Jazz Festival Website

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