Designing Paradise with Bill Bensley

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In the hospitality design world, few can match the prolific works of Bill Bensley. Since 1989 he has designed more than two hundred properties in more than 30 countries around the world, from remote resorts to spectacular palaces and intimate private residences. For the first time, this series gives viewers a behind the scenes look into his method, madness and how his imaginative worlds become reality.  His signature is unmistaken lush, detailed, lively, playful, even downright seductive. He brings fun and wonder to the most luxurious hotels and resorts around the world.  This series showcases Bill’s profound contributions to hospitality design, transporting viewers and transforming places to paradise.

26 July – 01 Aug: Episode 9

Designing Paradise with Bill Bensley

Rajasthan is not the easiest place in India to build a five-star palace.  Bensley struggles, but sticks to his unique DNA methods and works with the strengths of the local craftsmen to create one of the worlds most treasured accommodations.   But will you love the results?  

Episode 10

Paint the Town Yellow? – Vietnam

Shrouded in clouds and perched in one of the highest colonial hill stations in Indochina, Bensley has designed from scratch the Hotel de la Coupole of chaotic Sapa, Vietnam.  He explores the relationship of the fashions of the indigenous hill tribes are juxtaposed with those of the haute couture in 1900’s Paris.  As a hotel theme will that bonkers idea work?  Has the daft bugger gone too far this time?

Episode 11

Let’s go Mining – Phuket

Aptly names as The Slate, one of Bentley’s first creations is a beach resort like no other. This Tin Mine themed resort offers brutal iron and concrete décor along with cutlery that looks more like a box of spanners. Does that put guests off? Quite the opposite it seems, especially as the hotel offers fine dining with a difference – here just reaching the restaurant is a real adventure with a torchlight raft ride across it’s lake!

Episode 12

Rice fields forever – Chiang Mai

Bensley designed this Asian classic hotel, Four Seasons Chiang Mai, in 1992 and since then has been employed as the visual policeman to maintain and renovate.   This episode catches Bonkers planning the latest batch of renovations and he also visits his favourite local cache of antiquities.  Can the old dame of Chiang Mai still wear her lipstick well?   You decide.

Episode 13

Growing the Conservation Footprint – Cambodia

The pressures of growing populations surrounding the bigger than Central Park land concession in the Cardamon National Park to continue poaching wild life and log illegally presents Bensley perhaps his most challenging project of his life.   How does he find the compromise between hungry locals and the staunch conservationists?

Forbes Magazine writes that the Shinta Mani Wild Bensley Collection is the most anticipated hotel opening of 2019, but can Bonkers deliver?