Bali hotels fully booked for year-end

A number of hotels in Bali's popular tourist spots have seen all their rooms booked for the year-end holiday as domestic and foreign visitors flock to the resort island to celebrate the New Year.

In Kuta, the most popular area for tourists to celebrate New Year's Eve, occupancy in a number of hotels had reached 100 per cent as of Monday.

"All our 150 rooms are occupied from Dec. 29 to Jan. 1," said Umu Kulsum Sastroatmodjo, assistant marketing manager of Grand Istana Rama Hotel, which is located just across from Kuta beach.

Several hotels in the same area are experiencing 80 to 90 per cent occupancy at the moment, but will be full within the remaining days of 2014 until around Jan. 5.

The iconic Hard Rock Hotel currently has occupancy levels above 90 per cent, but the hotel usually sees all its 418 rooms filled during the year-end holiday.

"We welcome a lot of domestic tourists, as well as foreigners mostly from Australia. All our rooms are usually full in the days around the New Year celebration," Wangi Duarma Putri, the hotel's assistant marketing communication manager, said on Monday.

During the year-end holiday, hotels apply special rates that can be 80 to 100 per cent higher than low-season prices.

Hard Rock Hotel, for instance, increases its rate by 80 per cent, with a minimum four-night stay applying for Dec. 31.

Although many hotels have, as in previous years, seen their rooms fully occupied, the Indonesian Hotels and Restaurants Association's (PHRI) Bali chapter estimates that the average occupancy level is actually lower this year.

PHRI Bali chairman Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said the average occupancy rate for hotels in the areas of Kuta, Nusa Dua and Ubud had decreased compared with the end of 2013.

"In the same period last year, the average occupancy in Ubud reached 70 per cent several days before the New Year, but now it's only hovering around 55 per cent. Even in prime areas like Kuta, the occupancy is only 78 per cent on average," he said.

Some hotels in Kuta had started to enjoy 100 per cent occupancy at present, he explained, but with lower lengths of stay.

A study into searches on TripAdvisor for the New Year period of Dec. 27 to Jan. 4 unveils the 10 most popular destinations for Indonesian and Asia Pacific travelers to welcome the start of 2015.

In a press release made available to The Jakarta Post, TripAdvisor revealed that this New Year's Eve, Indonesian travelers were favouring local destinations over international destinations, with Bali being the top choice with four destinations in the top 10.

The top spot is taken by Kuta, where there will be non-stop fire crackers all night long on New Year's Eve, making the famed area come alive.

The survey also reveals that Seminyak is the third-most popular destination for travelers in the Asia Pacific region planning a New Year break, after Sydney and Singapore. Indonesia is the only country with two destinations in the top ten, with Seminyak in third position and Kuta placing ninth.

Meanwhile, in Jakarta, American singer and songwriter Jermaine Paul, the winner of the second season of singing competition The Voice USA, will give a special New Year's Eve live performance at Hotel Mulia Senayan.