Over the course of a lunch with General Manger Pierre Lang, we discovered that Alila Seminyak is going to be your new favourite resort stay.
Empyrean State of Mind: Alila Seminyak, Your new Favourite Resort
Alila is Sanskrit for “surprise”.
Indeed, as a corporate entity, Alila has been surprising with small, targeted expansion coupled with uncharacteristically wide-reaching (for a hotel group its size) brand awareness. Increasingly, luxury travel has become less about opulence and more about the ability to provide eco-architecture built upon a mantra of sustainability. In that vein, Alila hotels practice a standard of environmentally responsible luxury through Earth Check, integrating the natural, social and cultural elements of their environments.
Pierre Lang, one of the Group’s newest appointed General Managers, Bali brings close to two decades worth of experience from the finest five star hotels including Armani, Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt Maldives but his real calling will lie in the challenge of taking the company’s fifth Bali property and making Alila Seminyak a truly astonishing (and different) experience.
Located less than 30 minutes from Ngurah Rai Airport, the upscale destination is laidback sophistication smack in the middle of high-end designer boutiques, fine dining establishments and trendy nightspots including Ku De Ta, Potato Head and La Lucciola. It’s a luxurious village getaway with the glamour of the cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Jonathan Ho: Seminyak is Alila’s fifth property, how will you create something unique?
Pierre Lang, General Manager, Alilia Seminyak: Bali has something for everyone. Each of Alila’s five properties are all situated in regions of Bali which a culturally distinct. Manggis is a secluded seaside resort in the East, nestled in coconut groves between the sea and scared Mount Agung. Ubud is an art-rich hillside village overlooking the lush Ayung River valley in Bali’s central foothills. Soori is a luxurious retreat surrounded by UNESCO world heritage rice fields within the cultural soul of Bali while Uluwatu, poised on a limestone cliff with a view of the ocean is exquisite surrounder and ultimate relaxation. Seminyak completes the whole picture as a resort haven in the middle of Bali’s most desirable hotspot for shopping and clubbing.
With this in mind, does Alila plan to have a personal shuttle to connect guests to various properties across Bali?
Absolutely, we have combined packages which allow you to spend a few nights at each property and transfer is included. We take care of our guests. You can stay for a month, enjoy Bali in its entirety and never get the same experience.
Given the myriad of cultures on the island, is there a concierge at Alila Seminyak who can advise guests on what to do and where to go?
Yes, our ‘leisure concierge is a hallmark of Alila. These are tested professionals who are trained in social and cultural experiences that the island and our partners can offer. These experts are cross-trained and deeply knowledgeable in particular areas like water sports, yoga and shopping etc. More importantly, we give you the real authentic Balinese experience.
Can you give me an example of an authentic experience?
It’s called ‘Divine Healing’. We found a priest who runs a temple on Seminyak beach which no one elses knows about and it’s an amazing 20 minutes morning walk at 7am along the beach past W Hotel. The temple is hidden and it feels like you’re somewhere else in Bali. You get your personal blessing in the temple and then a healing session at his house. It’s not a touristy destination and the monk does this only for us. He’s a friend of the hotel, I visit him once a month for dinner.
“Luxury is comfort, not opulence and marble floors. Alila resorts are very comfortable.” – Doris Goh, Chief Marketing Officer.
Eleanore Astier-Petin, General Manager for the upcoming Alila Solo mentioned about sourcing from local communities, does this happen across all properties?
Doris Goh, Alila Chief Marketing Officer- Asia: Yes absolutely. It’s one of the core principles of Alila. We have what’s called Alila Environs and this is one of the pillars. In our case, hiring from the local community and sourcing produce from local farms benefits us as much as it benefits them, creating a sustainable community around us.
Pierre: It’s not just about the bottomline, it’s also about giving back.
Doris: We have a small portfolio but through the years, Alila has developed a reputation for “eat, pray, love” where you can find active spirituality and conscious living. With Spa Alila, we’ve also become very well known for our wellness and this extends to our retreats and rejuvenation of our souls. We attract a following because Alila means ‘surprise’ and that means a surprise with every experience. Our guests love us for this.