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Bali Marks the Resurgence of Regent

Bob Burns, George Rafael and Adrian Zecha.  The threesome founded Regent Hotels & Resorts in the Seventies and laid the foundation for a new style of luxury hotel.

After selling, the brand went through multiple ownerships and nearly 20 years of stops and starts until the owner of its Taipei Regent hotel acquired the brand in 2010.   Since then all signs are full speed ahead, with full respect to the DNA of its founders. In fact, Burns was appointed as Honorary Chairman.

The latest opening is here in Bali several months ago.  For those elite travelers old enough to have enjoyed Regent at its peak – the Hong Kong flagship (now The InterContinental), Beverly Hills (location for the movie Pretty Woman), New York (then home of Le Cirque) and so on, the beachfront resort in Sanur will echo pleasant memories of its sexy and sophisticated urban take on Asian hospitality.

The 94 suites range from 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, including eight spa suites.  There are fully enclosed outdoor patios with comfortable living room style arrangements, butler’s coves in each suite, oversize deep tubs and of course the separate walk-in showers that the brand innovated nearly 40 years ago.

In addition to the suites which are set in four main buildings, 25 two-and-three-bedroom villas will open in the coming months.  There are tropical gardens with contemplation pools, two restaurants, a spa, a beachside lawn for sunrise yoga and weddings, full gym and a sleek pool with views out to fishing boats bobbing on the Bali Sea.

In a historical note, Burns had a project slated for the Indonesian resort in the pipeline at the time he sold the brand. It ended up opening as Four Seasons.  Finally opening The Regent Bali perhaps is a sign the much-loved brand is rising again.