Monday, August 31, 2015

Bali Tourism Award Winners for 2015/2016

At a gala awards ceremony held at the Bali International Convention Center on Wednesday, August 26, 2015, the 38 winners of the inaugural Bali Tourism Awards were recognized before industry colleagues and the press.

The selection process for the winners was a year-long process involving self-nomination, vetting by a select committee and 25% weighted by on-line voting.

The Bali Tourism Award Winners for 2015/2016 are:

1. Bali Leading 5 Star Hotel: AYANA Resort and Spa Bali
2. Bali Leading 4 Star Hotel: Centra Taum Seminyak Bali
3. Bali Leading 3 Star Hotel: The Atanaya Hotel
4. Bali Leading Airport Hotel: H Sovereign Bali
5. Bali Leading Boutique Hotel: The Magani Hotel & Spa
6. Bali Leading Business Hotel: Berry Biz Hotel
7. Bali Leading Lifestyle Hotel: The 101 Bali Legian
8. Bali Leading Design Hotel: The Royal Santrian, Luxury Beach Villas
9. Bali Leading Resort in Kuta: Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel Bali
10. Bali Leading Resort in Nusa Dua: The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali
11. Bali Leading Resort in Bud: The Royal Pita Maha
12. Bali Leading Resort in Benoa: Rama Resort Benoa Bali
13. Bali Leading Resort in Seminyak: Anantara Seminyak Resort & Spa
14. Bali Leading Resort in Uluwatu: Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort and Spa
15. Bali Leading Resort in Jimbaran: RIMBA Jimbaran Resort and Spa Bali
16. Bali Leading MICE Venue: The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali
17. Bali Leading Chain Hotel: Premier Hospitality Inn
18. Bali Leading Regional Hotel Chain: Top Hotels and Resorts
19. Bali Leading Beach Resort: Discovery Kartika Plaza Resort
20. Bali Leading Family Resort: Intercontinental Bali Resort
21. Bali Leading Golf Resort: Le Grande Bali Uluwatu
22. Bali Leading Thematic Resort: Mara River Safari Lodge
23. Bali Leading Luxury Resort: The Ubud Village Resort and Spa
24. Bali Leading Spa Resort: The Villas Bali Resort and Spa
25. Bali Leading Boutique Resort: Bali Niksoma Boutique Beach Resort
26. Bali Leading Green Resort: Hotel Villa Lumbung
27. Bali Leading New Resort: Alaya Resort Kuta
28. Bali Resort of the Year: Viceroy Bali
29. Bali Leading Romantic Villa: The Bale
30. Bali Leading Luxury Villa: Maca Villas and Spa, Bali
31. Bali Leading New Villa: Villa Kayu Raja
32. Bali Villa of the Year: FuramaXclusive Villas & Spa Ubud
33. Bali Leading Tourism Show: Bali Agung Show
34. Bali Leading Cruise Operator: Scoot Fast Cruise
35. Bali Leading Theme Park: Bali Safari & Marine Park
36. Bali Leading Independent Spa: Prana Spa Seminyak
37. Bali Leading Thematic Restaurant: Bale Udang Mang Engking Restaurant
38. Bali Airline of the Year: Garuda Indonesia

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to

Thursday, August 27, 2015

El Niño Predicted to Create Prolonged Drought Conditions in Wide Areas of Bali

The Jakarta Post quotes the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) warning that Bali may soon find itself in the midst of severe drought as the rainy season, expected in October, will be delayed.

BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwonugroho warns: "Several areas are experiencing drought in Bali. It could worsen."  He also predicts that water shortages would soon affect Bali, large areas of Java, and West and East Nusa Tenggara.

The Bali BPBD said four regencies in Bali were already experiencing drought conditions: Buleleng (North Bali), Karangasem (East Bali) Klungkung and Bangli.

Official State Weather forecasters (BMKG) say some areas of Buleleng, western Jembrana and south Denpasar are predicted to get no rain for 30 days or more. The situation is even more severe in other area such as some portions of Buleleng, Bangli, Jembrana and South Bandung where rain is not expected for 60 days or more.

Among the areas expected to be the driest are in the popular tourist areas of Kuta, Tuban, Jimbaran and Pecatu.

A strong El Niño weather system may keep large areas of Bali dry through the end of 2015.

"The BMKG predicts that El Niño will affect areas south of the equator. The dry season will be more severe as rainfall will be extremely low until the end of this year," Sutopo said.

Related Article
How Dry We Are

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MesaStila Challenge Ultra 2015: Running Rails to Trails Ultras

Returning for its 5th edition this year, the MesaStila Challenge will again take place from 9th to 11th October 2015 in Magelang, Central Java. This exceptional running event will take place at MesaStila,  previously known as Losari Spa Retreat & Coffee Plantation.

For the past 4 years, the rails to trails half marathon MesaStila Challenge has become a unique and extreme open space running event that challenges participants' physical and competition spirit running across Central Java's  breath-taking scenic landscape.

The MesaStila Challenge Ultra 2015 uniquely combines physical activities, adventure, local traditions, and, what is dubbed as,  a “healthy experience”. Runners will be presented with extreme challenges as well as breathtaking sceneries as they cross 4 mountains: Mount Andong (1,767m), Mount Merbabu(3,145m), Mount Telomoyo(1,916m), and Mount Gilipetung(1,450m).

Participated by national and international runners, the MetaStila Challenge is divided into several categories: 13K,21K(the half-Marathon), and 60K. The race also provides opportunities for those who wish to qualify for the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (UMTB).

The race will take participating runners through thrilling tracks including old railroads, old rail bridges, forests, traditional villages, rice paddies, coffee plantation, and more. The race will start and finish at MesaStila.

The event is also intended to promote sport tourism as well as introduce the cultural attractions of Central Java, especially in the Magelang Regency. Through the event, it is expected that the cultural wonders of the region such as the Ambarawa Train Museum, Mount Merbabu, and MesaStila itself will be further promoted.

For registration and information, contact the following:
MESA Hotels & Resorts
Grand Kemang Hotel, 3rd Floor
Jl. Kemang Raya 2H, Kebayoran Baru – JAKARTA 12730
Telephone number: +62 21 7194121 Fax: +62 21 7194205

MesaStila, PO Box 108 - Magelang, 56100
Telephone number: +62 (0) 298 596 333 Fax: +62 (0) 298 592 696 or 596 100
Website address:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mesastila, a resort in the centre of a Coffee Plantation in Central Java

Located in the centre of a coffee plantation, Mesastila offers villa-style accommodation, an outdoor infinity pool and a luxurious spa among its facilities.

Surrounded by lush, natural surroundings, Mesastila is accessible via Semarang, Jogjakarta and Solo Airports.

Villas feature original antiques and art collections. Each air-conditioned villa consists of a spacious living area, outdoor verandas with views of coffee plantations or mountains, satellite TV and DVD player.

Recreation facilities include an outdoor swimming pool overlooking green valleys, tennis courts and a restored Dutch mansion that is now a Club House.
The resort has a restaurant serving Mediterranean and Indonesian cuisines while organic vegetables from Mesastila’s own garden are also available.

Free! WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.  

Address:  Po.Box.108 Magelang, Central Java, 56100 Bedono, Indonesia Show map

September is month of festivals in East Nusa Tenggara

East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) will hold at least two festivals this September to attract domestic, as well as foreign tourists, to the province whose beautiful nature, particularly underwater wealth, remains hidden.

The eastern Indonesian province will host the Alor Marine Festival from September 16 to 18, along with the Indonesian Adventure Festival on September 15-20, to publicize its tourist attractions, mainly promoting its nature and unique culture.

"Marine and adventure tourism attractions needs to be continuously promoted to make Indonesia a major tourist destination in the world. For that purpose, sustainable promotion that brings Indonesia to the world stage is necessary," Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said on Aug 20, 2015, when announcing plans to hold the festivals.

The central government supports the festival, to be organized by the NTT provincial tourism office and initiated by Way 2 East Indonesia, Yahya said.

Alor District Head Amon Djobo said the peak ceremony of the Alor Marine Festival will take place on September 18 at Sebanjar beach, Alor Besar village, Alor District.

The highlight of the ceremony will be a demonstration of Pou-Hari and Gala Soro rituals, as well as a parade featuring 100 traditional war ships.

"The Alor Marine Festival, which is to be held for the first time, will have four main maritime activities," Djobo said.

Some 1,000 local inhabitants will be involved in the festival. "Pour-Hari" is a traditional ritual for presenting sacrifices to sea spirits to assure they provide an abundance of fish to the beaches on the cold sea currents.

Additionally, "Gala Soro" is a traditional war victory celebration carried out at sea by tribes living in Alor.

An underwater photography contest will also be held, with some 25 domestic and foreign divers taking pictures.

Furthermore, a gala dinner will be held on Batu Putih beach, Alor, to entertain visitors and participants with the traditional foods of Alor.

Alor, with its beautiful nature scenery and exotic diving spots, is an unknown "heaven" for divers.

"Alor sea has beautiful coral reefs and its underwater scenery is often compared with those in Caribia by foreign media," Djobo remarked.

The district hosts populations speaking more than 40 local dialects and is known for its high quality hand-made woven clothes.

The area is reputed for its cultural diversity, as well as tolerance of different faiths. In its museum, visitors can see one of the oldest Islamic Holy Book Al Qurans dating to 1519.

The Adventure Indonesia (FAI) Festival 2015 will also be held in Alor District, to indulge tourists at what is called "heaven for divers".

Alor, which has many species of fish and coral reefs, is an unknown heaven for divers, Minister Arief Yahya said.

Among favorite diving spots in Alor are the waters around the isles of Alor, Kepa, Ternate and Pantar.

This years festival is the second, after the first was held in Lembata, also NTT, in September 2014. Some 120 participants, including photographers and reporters, attended last years festival.

The Indonesian Adventure Festival is an annual attraction for domestic and foreign adventurers to enjoy Indonesias nature, local culture and traditions.

Activities to be offered during the festival will include diving, cycling, hiking, photography, camping, culinary, cultural tour, and overnighting in local inhabitants homes.

Further, Alor District Head Amon Djobo said the local administration will offer tours to 14 interesting destinations, including Kalabahi town, Maimol beach, Sika Isle, Deere beach, Batu Putih beach, Kepa Isle, Ternate Isle, Mount Sirung, Pantar Isle, Pura Isle, Buaya Isle, Monbang/Kabola village, Takpala village, and Luba village.

Some 200 domestic and foreign adventure lovers are expected to participate in this event.

They will be encouraged to mingle with local villagers and share their time with them during a cultural tour that will take them to the traditional villages of Takpala, Monbang and Bampalola.

The participants will also be able to experience the meeting of cold Australian waters and warm Indonesian waters while diving.

The Indonesian Adventure Festival is organized by the Tourism Ministry, the East Nusa Tenggara provincial tourism office, and the Alor district administration.

In the meantime, at present, Lembata District, also in East Nusa Tenggara Province, is organizing the Nuhanera Marine Festival from August 22 to 27, 2015, to promote the beauty underwater of the Gulf of Waienga as a new diving site.

Head of Lembatas Tourism Office Longginus Lega said on August 20 that the Nuhanera Festival is a series of marine tourism rallies, which is an annual event that sponsors a number of activities.

"We hope this festival is able to encourage local economic growth through marine-based tourism activities," he said.

The festival consists of a number of events, such as Atadei-Lamalera Exploration and Batutara Expedition, Nuhanera Marine Festival, Adventure Uyelewun Festival, as well as Lamaholot Festival.

He said the Gulf of Waienga stretches 91 km long and 1 km wide, and includes 14 villages.

The activities during the Nuhanera Marine Festival 2015 include a traditional boat rowing race, bay swimming, fun fishing, boats and marine motors parade, traditional art performances, as well as an underwater photo contest.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said that marine tourism is a priority to be developed in the next five years, as it contributes up to 35 percent of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia.

"There are five top tours that contribute to foreign tourist visits, namely shopping and culinary (80 percent), heritage and religious tourisms (80 percent), marine tourism (35 percent), meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) tourism (25 percent), and sport tourism (5 percent)," Yahya said.

In 2013, the total foreign exchange earned from tourism amounted to US$10 billion, of which US$3.5 billion derived from marine tourism.

Indonesia has 6 main diving tourist destinations, including Bali, Lombok (West Nusa Tenggara), Lembeh and Manado (North Sulawesi), Komodo (East Nusa Tenggara), and Raja Ampat (Papua).

Currently, there are 710 diving sites in the waters of Indonesia, including the Gulf of Waienga.

New Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Resources Rizal Ramli said Indonesia could be number one in the world in marine tourism if the country could preserve the beauty of its seas.

Rizal said he had launched a program, entitled Expedition of a Million Ridges of Rock, as earlier announced by President Joko Widodo, to add beauty to the countrys sea tourism.

"We will provide apartments for fish. In five years, the apartments in the ridges of rock will grow taller. There would be more fish available so our fishermen do not have to go far to fish," he said.

He said Indonesia should be able to compete against other countries which have made a living from sea tourism, such as the Maldives and Thailand.

"The Maldives is nothing compared to Indonesia (in sea tourism potential)," Ramli said. (Antara)


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