Indonesia’s Flores last week welcomed the arrival of its first luxury resort with the opening of the 250-key Ayana Komodo Resort on Waecicu Beach in Labuan Bajo, the gateway to the nearby Komodo Island and Rinca Island.
Speaking at the launch of the new resort, Rudy Suliawan, owner of Ayana Komodo Resort, said: “People have asked me why I have chosen Labuan Bajo in Flores to build the next Ayana after our Jakarta and Bali properties.
“By opening the resort here we will be able to bring in high-spending tourists to this destination as the gateway to the World Heritage Site, the Komodo National Park,” said Rudy. “We are here not only to bring hospitality (to Flores) but our main objective is to showcase Labuan Bajo as a world-class destination.”
He further added that Ayana’s debut also introduced a new hospitality concept combing accommodation and activity facilities into Labuan Bajo.
At the resort, guests can avail themselves of facilities including a ballroom and meeting rooms, seven F&B outlets, spa and fitness centre, swimming pools, kid’s club, dive and activity centre.
The resort’s specially built cruise ship, Ayana Lako di’a, will begin sailing on October 1, but the nine-cabin and suite luxury phinisi has already been booked for a wedding group of around 80 guests from China on September 22.
Ayana Komodo Resort also boasts a glass-bottom boat and a speed boat in operation. A second phinisi ship is currently under construction in Bira, South Sulawesi, while plans to build a catamaran and a beach club on a nearby island are in the pipeline.
As well, the property has committed to provide English training for the Komodo National Park rangers, and will donate one US dollar for each roomnight sold to support the national park by improving facilities such as toilets.
In his opening speech, Agustinus Dula, the regent of Manggarai Barat, believed that more facilities will follow in the wake of Ayana’s opening and welcomed investors into the destination to maximise human capital development.
“We will see a much improved destination in five years down the road,” he said. “We have opened a tourism school to prepare for the increasing demand of talents here.”
Welcoming the new opening, Umberto Cadamuro, COO inbound of PACTO, said: “Ayana is the only property with a large room inventory, as well as different room types, and can therefore cater to both the upper-middle and high-end markets. But, above all, we do not often see this kind of investment in off-the-beaten-track areas. I do believe that Ayana has understood the potential of the destination, and we really look forward similar initiatives in Raja Ampat.”