Visiting Rhadana Hotel
I was invited to Bali to look at Rhadana Hotel, which has recently started targeting halal travelers. I was interested because there have been lots of stories in the media recently about potentially banning alcohol in Indonesia. Now, Halal tourism arrives in Bali at Rhadana Hotel.
I’ve written about North Bali before, but this despite staying in many places, I haven’t really done hotel reviews before because there are other sites, like Trip Advisor that do it way more comprehensively than I ever could.
I spent some time talking with Indra, the hotel owner’s representative.
He thought that maybe halal travel could be a large market for Muslim people from Europe and the Middle East.
What is halal?
Halal means it’s OK for Muslim people. Basically for Rhadana Hotel, the food needs to be prepared in a special way, and alcohol is not served in the hotel, although guests can consume it in their rooms if they bring it in with them. Also space is provided for prayer, and rooms have arrows for Qibla and clothes to wear while praying.
Indra emphasised that up to now, 85% of the guests have not been Muslim, but are attracted to the hotel because each room has a theme, and it offers an oasis of quiet in one of the most heavily developed areas of Bali. The themes I saw were about sports, travel and aviation, and were nicely composed. It’s a budget boutique hotel really, with rooms that while on the small side, range from about $25 to $100 per night.
People of all faiths are welcome, and most of the staff are drawn from the local community which makes them predominantly Hindu with a couple of Christians too. Indra reminded me that he keeps careful watch over the supply chain of food and the cooking processes in particular to ensure halal compliance.
He claimed that Radhana Hotel is the only hotel in Bali that is halal, and it aims to promote a moderate version of islam so all people can enjoy the quiet ambiance. This means that drunken or rowdy guests would potentially be asked to leave, but they are also informed about the hotel’s style when they book and when they arrive, so there should not be any surprises.
What is Rhadana’s offer?
Overall, Indra informed me, Radhana Hotel aims to be a place where people feel safe and comfortable, first and foremost, so the halal compliance for Muslim guests is an extension of that philosophy.
Halal tourism arrives in Bali at Rhadana Hotel
In the context of the forthcoming debate about alcohol restrictions, I got a sense that people in Bali don’t agree. They know that despite potential trouble, alcohol provides financial and social benefits. Furthermore, the respect for other lifestyles outweigh the desire to control and legislate. In this context, Rhadana Hotel is an extension of the philosophy of friendly, tolerant hospitality that has helped to make Bali a world leading tourist destination.
Many people say that Kuta is over-developed, charmless, sleazy, dangerous and express a desire for change. But for me, Bali – with everything from sumptuous wedding hotels, to family focused chains, to hippy retreats – has space for all kinds of niches, and I hope Radhana is successful in leveraging this one. The hotel is at once laid back and trendy, and the quirky artifacts and interesting themes in the rooms are a really nice touch. It’s close to both the airport and to Kuta beach, making it a useful option for people transiting to other areas.
Halal only is not the future for Bali, however reducing anti-social behaviour or lessening environmental impact of tourism is surely desirable.
Rhadana Hotel Jl. Raya Kuta No.88, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Telephone: (0361) 755264