Khayangan Estate - Bali

Pathway to main building

Cool sea breezes and the rhythmic sound of the waves combine to create a close to nature experience.

Perched up in the sky on Bali’s Jimbaran cliffs, Khayangan Estate blends classic Javanese heritage with stunning ocean views. The Estate is located near the famous Uluwatu temple, and is immediately adjacent to the Bvlgari Hotel and Resort, overlooking Selonding Beach below.

Ocean view and bale

Architects in Bali have long made stunning use of traditional design element fused with dramatic scenery. One of the latest luxury properties perched above the island’s famous surf beaches, Khayangan Estate is a testament to old wood and soaring glass.

Guest bedrooms

Designed by renowned resort and villa architect, Cheong Yew Kuan, the property comprises a series of authentic Joglo house, specially shipped from Java. Scattered in a semi-circular design around a central living pavilion, the elements play a starring role at this property – with a focus on the sandstone cliffs and endless views of sea and distant horizon.

Bedroom exterior

By replacing traditional wooden walls with floor-to-ceiling glass, uninterrupted views are enjoyed from every area of the property. Khayangan Estate’s six master bedrooms also boast spacious en-suite rooms offering total privacy. The facilities include a spa pavilion, aptly named Seventh Heaven, a full-sized tennis court, a gym, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems throughout. A personal collection of art and antiques provide a rarefied atmosphere, more like a home than a hotel.

Pool and main building

Ian Macaulay, head of high-end villa rental provider Elite Havens, says the property has helped raise the bar for Bali’s luxury villas: “It’s setting a new benchmark in terms of what is possible on the island.”

Booking can be made via a travel agent, or at

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: The Old & The New

About decade ago a typical hotel room in Ho Chi Minh City featured shag carpeting, a quilted nylon bed-spread and, if you were lucky, a thermos full of hot water. Making an international phone call was a challenge. Internet access was non-existent.

Goin Upstream
Today, corporate travelers have a choice of high-end hotels, all with international reputations and world-class facilities. The first of the city’s five-star hotels, the New World Saigon, opened in October 1994. With 552 guest rooms the New World remains one of Saigon’s biggest hotels. It’s become something of a local landmark thanks to its front-yard fountain where, most evenings, local families dressed up in their finest clothes may be seen posing for photos.

The New World Saigon

Corporate travelers like the New World for its soaring lobby – the largest of any hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. High ceilings gilded pillars and a view over a treed park make the lobby and adjoining café a popular spot for business meetings. Between appointments, check out the hotel’s pool or tennis court, or make the five-minute walk to Cho Ben Thanh, the most famous market in Saigon. Here, you’ll fine everything from live chickens to bolts of silk. When the heat and crowds overwhelm you, head to the back of the market for a cup of che, a colorful Vietnamese pudding made with coconut milk, dried fruit, jelly and beans.

Novotel Garden Plaza Saigon

In Ho Chi Minh City are Sofitel Saigon Plaza and the Novotel Garden Plaza Saigon. A 20-minute taxi ride from District 1, the Novotel is a good choice for travelers whose business is not in the city centre. “Because we’re so close to the airport and the Ho Chi Minh City International Exhibition Centre we have mostly corporate travelers and flight crews,” reveals Novotel’s assistant sales manager.

The Sofitel Plaza Saigon

The Sofitel Plaza Saigon has already racked up an impressive array of awards. Along with tasteful décor, modern facilities and efficient service, this five-star hotel draws business travelers with its prime location. Set beside the French, American and British consulates, the Saigon Plaza is within easy walking distance of Notre Dame Cathedral, the colonial-era Post Office, and the new Diamond Plaza department store. Fitness buffs will want to visit the Sofitel Plaza’s Clark Hatch fitness centre – the gym offers great equipment, individual TVs and classes like yoga, martial arts, and aerobics. The rooftop swimming pool is also one of Saigon’s finest with views over the city, the river, and lush green fields beyond.

View of the World
Speaking of views, it’s hard to beat those offered by the Renaissance Riverside and the Caravelle, two hotels set on opposite ends of Saigon’s most famous shopping street, Dong Khoi. Known as La Rue Catinat during French colonial times, Dong Khoi Street has regained its former glamour, and is once again lined with cafes and boutiques selling silk, jewellery, and handicrafts. Opened in 1999, the Renaissance Riverside Hotel attracts a mix of tourists and business people with its riverfront location, excellent Chinese restaurant (the chef, several some of the best dim sum in town), and friendly service. The staff prides itself on catering to guests’ special requests. The fitness centre, for example, stays open 24-hours, which is “great for guests with jetlag.”

Dong Khoi Street

The Old & The New
While corporate travelers expect comfort and efficiency, part of the thrill of being in a new place is discovering its unique vibe. With its colonial-era architecture, bustling streets and round-the-clock deal-making, Ho Chi Minh City is a heady blend of old and new. There’s no better place to get a feel for this buzz than Saigon Saigon, a bar located on the 10th floor of the Caravelle Hotel. “Saigon Saigon is a unique selling point. Many customers stay here because of the bar,” says the Caravelle’s executive assistant manager.

Nightly live music from a Filipino band and stunning views of the city attract a mix of local and foreign business people, models and other glamorous types to this bar, which epitomizes Saigon’s new-found chic.

First opened in 1959, the Caravelle was renovated and expanded in 1989, bringing it up to a five-star status. It now offers topnotch facilities and services, plus a unique dose of history – during the war foreign correspondents filed stories from the roof.

Across the street from the Caravelle lies the Q Bar, long known as once of saigon’s hippest bars. From here it’s a short walk to Camargue (16D Cao Ba Quat Street), which offers French food in an airy villa. On Friday nights, the downstairs bar, Vasco’s is packed with expats and trendy locals. For upscale Vietnamese food and a colonial-era ambience check out The Temple Club (29-31 Ton That Thiep Street), or follow the locals and eat at any of the open-air seafood restaurants that line Thi Sach Street. For a nightcap retire to Saigon Saigon’s breezy terrace. As you watch the lights moving far below, you’ll get a sense that the city is changing before your very eyes.