Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Luxury Hotels and Travel
Reload this Page >

Bill Bensley's Tented Camps

Bill Bensley's Tented Camps

Old Apr 3, 18, 12:25 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 101
Bill Bensley's Tented Camps

For over a decade now, FS Golden Triangle has been something of a singular experience. Yes, there are other under-canvas luxury hotels around but Bill Bensley's unique style coupled with the FS ethos has been quite special.

As many of you are aware, this year, 3 different hotels are launching, all of which feature Mr. Bensley's luxury tents:
Rosewood Luang Pabang (opened last week) - https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/luang-prabang
Capella Ubud (July 2018) - https://www.capellaubud.com
Shinta Mani Wild (4th Qtr 2018) - Shinta Mani Wild ? The Bensley Collection - Opening Middle of 2018 | Shinta Mani Hotels

From the information available, what I find strange is that despite each hotel being under a different flag and in a different country, they all look remarkably similar. I cannot shake off the suspicion that it might be the same experience over and over (similar to checking-into any of Shangri-la's business hotels).

Do the people in this forum feel it will be worth visiting each on a separate vacation or is one experience enough to maximize the thrill of the novelty?
Also, I wonder how pricing will work with FS Golden Triangle currently at a nightly rate of $2500 vs Capella Ubud at $850 (indicative). Isn't that a remarkable discrepancy for very comparable rooms?
MikeFromTokyo likes this.

Last edited by TheBrownPrince; Apr 4, 18 at 9:28 pm
TheBrownPrince is offline  
Old Apr 3, 18, 4:59 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA GS>1K>Nothing; DL GM 2MM; AS 75K>Nothing
Posts: 8,634
Originally Posted by TheBrownPrince View Post
Do the people in this forum feel it will be worth visiting each on a separate vacation or is one experience enough to maximize the thrill of the novelty?
Also, I wonder how pricing will work with FS Golden Triangle currently at a nightly rate of $2500 vs Capella Ubud at $850 (indicative). Isn't that a remarkable discrepancy for very comparable rooms?
Keep in mind FSTC offers significant discounts and it includes meals. That said, I'm not a fan. One night and just one of the resorts would be sufficient IMHO.
5khours is offline  
Old Apr 3, 18, 8:16 pm
  #3  
formerly known as deathscar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: Virtuoso | SPG | Hyatt Prive
Posts: 1,943
Originally Posted by TheBrownPrince View Post
For over a decade now, FS Golden Triangle has been something of a singular experience. Yes, there are other under-canvas luxury hotels around but Bill Bensley's unique style coupled with the FS ethos has been quite special.

As many of you are aware, this year, 3 different hotels are launching, all of which feature Mr. Bensley's luxury tents:
Rosewood Luang Pabang (opened last week) - https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/luang-prabang
Shinta Mani Wild (4th Qtr 2018) - Shinta Mani Wild ? The Bensley Collection - Opening Middle of 2018 Shinta Mani Hotels
Capella Ubud (sometime 2018) - https://www.capellaubud.com

From the information available, what I find strange is that despite each hotel being under a different flag and in a different country, they all look remarkably similar. I cannot shake off the suspicion that it might be the same experience over and over (similar to checking-into any of Shangri-la's business hotels).

Do the people in this forum feel it will be worth visiting each on a separate vacation or is one experience enough to maximize the thrill of the novelty?
Also, I wonder how pricing will work with FS Golden Triangle currently at a nightly rate of $2500 vs Capella Ubud at $850 (indicative). Isn't that a remarkable discrepancy for very comparable rooms?
I had the same opinion to an extent when I saw them - they all look very much like copy and pastes, which while they are stunning, is a little disappointing.

Having said that, each experience will still be different, by virtue of place (Golden Triangle vs Ubud vs Luang Prabang for example).

Which also plays into the pricing factor, among other things (meal inclusions etc) - no one is charging USD 2,500++ per night in Ubud and getting away with it, inclusive of food or not.
chinmoylad is offline  
Old Apr 4, 18, 11:48 am
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1,271
I can't help but compare these to the 'Tabins' (tent+cabin) I stayed in on St. John in the US Virgin Islands in the late 1970s. Maho Bay Campground as it was called (closed in 2013) was one of the first eco-friendly resorts in the world. It's quite an interesting story if anyone is interested in Googling it.

The Tabins were quite basic and the toilet(composting) and shower facilities were communal. A Coleman two burner camping stove and a Coleman cooler comprised the 'kitchen' along with a few plates, utensils, etc.

On arrival on our first visit, we had to find our way to our Tabin by flashlight and then make our own bed with the sheets provided and left sitting on the mattress. That was after I removed the dead scorpion from the top of the mattress. I kid you not.

When I look a the links above, all I see is the same thing, albeit more luxurious by far, but somehow not nearly as appealing in so many ways. Sometimes I think back to when I was younger and had far less disposable income to play with and miss the more basic aspects of travel. Of course, now my old bones really don't want to sleep on the deck of a Greek ferry or bargain in a Tangiers market for a used and dented cook pot to use for making spaghetti while crossing the Sahara in a VW campervan. But 'those were the days my friends, I thought they'd never end. Those were the days, oh yes those were the days.'

https://www.google.ca/search?q=maho+...w=1366&bih=662
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Old Apr 4, 18, 11:57 am
  #5  
ABG
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Canada
Programs: Virtuoso TA, Four Seasons Pref Partner, Rosewood Elite TA, Ritz Carlton STARS TA
Posts: 4,317
Which one is Jason Freedman (spelt wrong maybe, ex-FS Tented Camp GM and Bangkok Siam) part of?
ABG is offline  
Old Apr 6, 18, 11:47 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Here there and everywhere
Posts: 6,246
Originally Posted by ABG View Post
Which one is Jason Freedman (spelt wrong maybe, ex-FS Tented Camp GM and Bangkok Siam) part of?
Jason Friedman is working on all Bill Bensley's 'shinta mani' hotels - now rebranded as The Bensley Collection. Jason has also project managed Rosewood Luang Prabang.
vuittonsofstyle is offline  
Old Aug 11, 19, 3:10 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,259
Any feedback on Shinta Mani Wild camp in Cambodia perhaps? It looks like a good option when travelling with teenagers? Alternative would be FS Tented Camp.
Epicura is offline  
Old Jan 7, 20, 9:36 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: NJ/NYC
Programs: AA EXP/LT Plat, SPG Plat/LT Plat, HHonors Gold, Hyatt Plat, IHG Plat, MR Silver
Posts: 2,778
Not sure if anyone else caught this segment on Bill Bensley this week from CBS Sunday Morning. Short but interesting.

SanDiego1K, LinLant and deer like this.
troyb is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: