Sunday, March 20, 2011

Travels: Mercure Hotel, Kuta Beach, Bali

The Mercure Hotel where I stayed during a recent trip to Bali (11th to 13th March 2011) is located just next door to Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta Beach, within walking distance to numerous shopping and dining places nearby. The swimming pool and dining facilities are located on the 4th floor roof terrace, leaving the ground floor space free for porte cochere, entrance lounge and registration office. The hotel is planned based on a courtyard configuration, a design strategy that works very well in providing light and ventilation to spaces within a constrained site, while creating a truly pleasant ambience important for marketing purposes.

My only criticism is that the rooms and balconies are rather small with barely enough space to move around the bed. Bathrooms and cabinets are quite meagre in size but are well planned to optimize nooks and corners. Nevertheless, the hotel should cater well to travellers on very short trips with most time spent outside, though during evenings, back at the hotel, one will appreciate the coziness of a well planned small room expected of a medium budget accommodation. The room size, I would expect, is based on requirements of room numbers for the business plan to be feasible given the constraints of site and height controls for structures not being allowed to exceed 4 storeys high.

Architecturally, in my opinion, the hotel captures the vital essence and character of Bali, which among others include; the strong ties and connection with nature, a blurred division between indoors and outdoors, the use of vivid colours and earth tones, decorations featuring the artifacts of Bali, and the extensive use of timber structures within a reinforced concrete structural framework, all of which give visitors a very welcome preview of the great things to expect in this paradise island on the hour of their arrival here.

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