We arrived in Bali, after a four hour delay in the plane, due to bad weather. But the sight that greeted us was enough to make us forget our travel blues.
We had arrived at Sheraton Kuta Bali, for the Toast Around the World event, that would be held the following day, on the 15th of May.
This fun and rather cool evening gathering, is Sheraton Hotels & Resorts signature wine program, that covers 430 hotels around the world. From Asia to Europe to the US of A, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts would be raising a glass and betting big on its premium wine program with a global celebration. Otherwise known as the Sheraton Social Hour, this event would kick start on the 15th of May, and go on for a 24-hour “Toast Around the World”, across the globe, including Edinburgh, Mexico City, Bali and Bangalore. We arrived in Kuta, Bali, just in time (luggage and bodies intact) for this big celebration.
So, first of all the festivities kicked off in Asia with celebrations at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers and Sheraton Shanghai Pudong Hotel. A celebratory toast was passed ‘virtually’, from Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Bangkok; Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, around the world until it reached The Sheraton New York Times Square and The Sheraton Waikiki for the conclusion of the day-long global celebration. Hotel guests and even walk in guests were encouraged and invited to join in on the virtual celebrations with the brand’s new dedicated Social Hour mobile platform, Sheraton.com/socialhour, where they could browse through hundreds of toasts shared around the world for the special occasion or create their own, using #SheratonToast or #Socialhour hashtag.
The Toast started at 6pm, at Sheraton Kuta Bali, at the lounge area, overlooking the pool, and the beach on the horizon. This was the perfect place to conduct the Toast Around the World event, while watching the sunset in the background. The stunning scenery was only topped perhaps, by the wines.
We were amazed by the collection of internationals wines and fine finger foods to complement the appreciation session. There was also a rather cool corner that got loads of attention, where guests were invited to press wine with their feet( yup, as in make wine the traditional way) with a couple of leggy models in the barrel too. The squishy grapes and their juices, were cold to the feet, rather refreshing if you ask me. It really helped cool us down from the Bali heat and humidity, and it was fun too, but I don’t think anyone would be drinking that wine, somehow!
The Social Hour program, developed by wine experts and the brand’s global food and beverage team, offers guests a specially curated menu of premium wines and weekly tasting events. At the event we posted all our photos using the #sheratontoast hashtag, and there was a screen which streamed our instagram and tweets live, at the event. It was all very social media savvy.
Speaking to Regional Vice President South East Asia Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Chuck Abbott and GM of Sheraton Kuta, Dario Orsini, we were told that Sheraton has always been viewed as a social hub and the world’s gathering place – The Toast around the World, was therefore, a logical progression, as they are continuously looking for ways to elevate their guest experiences with new social interactions.
Right: Regional Vice President South East Asia Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Chuck Abbott. Left: GM of Sheraton Kuta, Dario Orsini
As such, the Social Hour is a great program for both business and leisure guests to mingle over a nice glass of wine and to exchange ideas and interact with one another. This event goes on daily and the Sunset Gatherings is priced at only 149K IDR (approximately USD15), which includes a selection of wines from Sheraton’s signature wine program along with gourmet canapés, artisanal cheeses and breads, or handmade wood-fired pizzas.
You can either pick the Social Hour at the Lounge – 5 pm – 7 pm, where this great breezy and airy lounge is the perfect gathering place to hangout, overlooking the Indian Ocean, while you sip on premium wines and canapes. Or you could pick the Pool or rooftop at Bene – 5 pm – 7 pm, where you can enjoy spectacular rooftop sunsets Italian style, as the DJ spins at the decks. This Sunset Gathering includes two glasses of Bene’s signature aromatic Italian Sangria along with a freshly made wood-fired pizza, served fresh from the oven. During the gathering guest are treated to various Italian menu teasers.
Me and the Director of Marketing & Communications for Sheraton Kuta & Le Meridien Bali, Adhiyanto Goen
Watch the Video..
The hotel itself is a pretty good choice for people like me, who like a bit of action, with some quiet time as well. Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort and the Beachwalk shopping center is strategically located in downtown Kuta, featuring over 200 luxury retail stores and a Cineplex. The hotel is centrally located at the heart of Pantai Kuta and just 5 kilometers away from Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, overlooking the Bali Strait and mere steps from renowned surf spot. We went down each morning for a run, and we spotted many runners and surfers already up early in the morning and getting jiggy with it. This sort of healthy lifestyle really agrees with us. I could live and run by the beach every morning, only too easily.
The Sheraton Kuta Bali, is secluded enough as a retreat, but is definitely close enough to the nightlife and street food. Too much seclusion on holiday can be boring, but the Sheraton Kuta has a nice balance. I liked the landscaped outdoor pools and gym, plus the great view of the ocean – you can really de-stress from the city life, and have a proper holiday. The are in total, 203 rooms and suites that have a spacious balcony and ocean scenery all of which have a contemporary Balinese interior, wifi and enough technology to keep a city girl happy, and oh, mega comfortable Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed that you can just dive into and sleep for hours without any trouble.
We loved the open-air rooftop pool, the chill out deck from where you can watch the sunset, and we also loved dining at their signature restaurants Bene and Feast. Bene is a light-hearted, upbeat and fun-filled modern Italian trattoria, and Feast is like a huge, all-day market of cuisine with visual explosion, all made over open kitchens.
Feast’s open kitchens and the live-action food stations are loaded with an abundance of fresh ingredients and authentic global cuisines from over 10 countries – it has a vibrant visual impact and makes you want to eat everything in sight! The restaurant’s signature design also allows diners to interact with their chefs, who can recommend their specialties or cater to cook-to-order recipes.
The beachwalk bustling patio that is visible from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows, complements the energy of Feast. The beauty of the contemporary interior is uplifted with lighting effects and the use of funky pink elements, finished with natural materials such as white marbles, glass and wood throughout the restaurant’s décor. Even the custom-designed chinaware, cutlery and glassware reflect the energetic theme.
Color Your Plate a simple three colors approach to a healthy food program!
According to the resort’s Executive Chef, Rossano Renzelli, Feast reinterprets the New Kuta experience with its interactive and bustling experience fused into its cuisine – it is playful, innovative and fresh. Like a Sunday market, Feast presents a vast and irresistible array of colors, flavors and aromas to stimulate the eyes and the stomach.
The personalized cooking stations include a Sweet Station, a Seafood Bar with the signature live Mud Crab, a Western Grill Station, a Middle Eastern Station featuring a selection of Shwarma and Couscous, an Asian Station with special regional selections, as well as an authentic barbecue and Indian Tandoori Station.
The ‘Experience Sheraton’ package starts from USD225++ per night – it includes accommodation in a deluxe guestroom, breakfast for two at Feast, one-way airport transfer from or to Bali International Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS), daily resort credit of USD25 to indulge in various food and beverage offerings or spa treatments. Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) earns double Starpoints. The offer is valid until 30 June 2013. Rates are subject to 21% service charge and government tax. Terms and conditions apply. For more information, go to www.sheraton.com/balikuta.
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Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort
Jalan Pantai Kuta
Kuta, Bali 80361
Phone: (62)(361) 846 5555
Fax: (62)(361) 846 5577