Designed as a luxurious private estate, The Sanchaya’s 30-room colonial style boutique property was inspired by the hospitality of the 18th century European salons. Grand salons of this period offered a common area within a private home for friends to gather and share their similar cultural interests. The Sanchya has combined the sophistication and friendliness of the European 18th salon atmosphere with decorative elements that authenticate the Asian setting and provide ultimate comfort. Throughout the property, the attention to detail is outstanding with the highest quality finishing, fittings, and decor including 149 various styles of Indonesian hand-crafted furniture, hardwood flooring, plush Ploh bed and bath linen, Luzerne bone china, and Riedel glassware. These finishing together with a regional collection of meticulously selected artifacts, antiques, artwork and books honour the rich heritage of Southeast Asian countries and create an authentic sense of place for this intimate beachfront property overlooking Lagoi Bay in Bintan, Indonesia. Read our interview below with the Carl Almedia, designer of the Sanchaya on his approach to luxurious hospitality design.


Interview with Carl Almeida, Partner, P49 Design


TL: Born in India, raised and educated in Australia and living and working in Thailand with projects globally, how have these various cultures influenced your design aesthetic?

CA: While my cultural background is diverse having spent my life in India, Australia and Thailand almost equally, the greatest influence on my design aesthetic is my experience as an architect. My education in architecture and the experience of practicing for more than 15 years, predominantly in Australia, set the tone and approach to my design work. Everything we try to do is based on incorporating symmetry, axis, focus, proportion and scale, which are the fundamentals of traditional planning and architecture. From a pure interior point of view, a key influence is to ensure our designs respond to function first…then form.

TL: How are the demands of luxury hospitality design evolving and what new design features can consumers expect to see in hospitality design in the coming years? 

CA: Luxury design in hospitality has changed from what it was many years ago where more was considered more. Today, luxury is focused on providing memorable experiences where elegance and understatement are valued highly by well-heeled travelers. It is not about providing the bells and whistles, but it is about faultless functionality, crafted and thoughtful details, authentic art that provides a sense of place, and generally designs that value and pay respect to our environment.

TL: How has the growth of the luxury home stay market impacted luxury hospitality brands’ design? What design features are being incorporated to adapt to these new consumer demands of authentic international living?

CA: In our business, we have not yet been impacted by the emergence of the ‘home stay’ market. In any event, and not in any response to the above trend, our designs within the luxury hotel segment focuses on a style that is very residential. We create designs so the guest feels at home….a home away from home. Therefore, I think we are already providing solutions that will reduce the threat of the ‘home stay’ market taking people away from hotels.

TL: As a designer, traveling extensively for your projects, what design elements of a hotel most impact your guest experience? How do you incorporate this user knowledge into your projects? 

CA: Given that I travel every week, I stay in hotels almost every week, and I am very involved at a user level. When I stay at a hotel from the time I enter until the time I leave, I value efficiency, the warmth of genuine hospitality, and a great Club Lounge. Obviously, a beautiful hotel with a very thoughtfully designed room is of paramount importance.

I cannot impact anything about the service; however, all the aspects about design and functionality are things we try to incorporate in all our projects. I am constantly learning and every new project brings new opportunities to create solutions that respond to the ever-changing needs of the guest today.

TL: What was the owner’s initial vision for the Sanchaya and how did you approach the design process with this vision? 

CA: P49 Deesign was commissioned by Natalya Pavchinskaya and what drew us to this project was her original vision for The Sanchaya. It was to be a collection of ‘experiences’ through South East Asia, which was to be conceptualized as a “private estate” showcasing art & collectables amassed through many journeys. It is a collection of cultures and histories of the ASEAN region that reflects personal discoveries and passions.

We approached the design process with the vision and perspective of guests being treated as friends at a family home rather than a typical hotel. We took into consideration how friends interact in home, where they are greeted on arrival, how and where they gather and spend time together. We want to ensure that the environments are designed to feel natural and luxurious. The overall aesthetic of the estate is based on residential spaces that evoke the charms and graces of a time gone by.

TL: With 21 individually designed villas and 9 suites, what elements were used to incorporate the overall story while giving each villa and suite a distinct identity?

CA: With the exception of the Thai Village Rooms, which have a unique Thai design, there is an overall style that is worked through all the villas and public spaces, which has a laid back colonial undertone. In order to give some differentiation between the product at the luxurious villas, guests live surrounded by the cultural riches of Indonesia, the historical artifacts of Vietnam or the vivid hues of Thai silks. In total, ten different countries are represented in the collection, each displayed in luxurious, one-of-a-kind havens each focused on a specific ASEAN country represented through colour schemes and artwork. Hidden behind this understated elegance is faultless functionality and contemporary planning strategies that are based on exceeding guest expectation and anticipating their every requirement.

TL: The guest room bathrooms, featuring Lefroy Brooks claw foot bathtubs and showers, are gorgeous? Can you tell us about the tiles used in the guest bathrooms?

CA: At P49 Deesign we believe that bathrooms should feel as special as the bedrooms, and we put a lot of effort into trying to achieve sanctuaries of calm. The feature tiles used at the Sanchaya are by Sinpongsathorn and APK Dawkoo.

TL: How were the public spaces (restaurants/lounge/pool area) designed to enhance the customer’s experience?

CA: All of the indoor public spaces were also designed by P49 Deesign to reflect the same colonial residential aesthetic that was developed for the guestrooms, albeit much more eclectic and featuring a significantly larger collection of art and artifacts.

TL: Are there certain materials that you consistently incorporate into your design projects? And with regards to the Sanchaya, what were your favorite materials used in the design of the hotel?

CA: We pride ourselves on creating a unique design for each project even when we work on multiple projects for the same brand. Hence, we never aim for design consistency between projects in terms of materials. For the Sanchaya Hotel, I love everything about the project, it is therfore difficult for me to single out a specific material. However, I do especially love the wood parquetry floors used throughout the project as well as the handmade ceramic tiles used as design accents. Together, they work beautifully and complement each other. Another material that we featured in the Bar is leather on the sofas, which looks amazing.

TL: Localized artifacts, accessories and decor help to translate the design story. How were these elements curated for the hotel, and how can guests engage with the meaning behind this collection?

CA: All of the loose furniture use in the project (and there are hundreds of different pieces) are special and were chosen to add to the eclectic feeling within the resort thereby giving it that built up over time mood, as one would expect with a long established family estate. The same logic was used when selecting all the artwork, which was curated by ”Quattro” from Bangkok under our design guidance. Everything in the resort was chosen for its ability to be part of the overall story, which is essentially a “private estate” showcasing art & collectables amassed through many journeys by the owner.

Photography provided by The Sanchaya.


The Sanchaya

Location: Indonesia’s Bintan Island|45 minute ferry ride from Singapore | The Weather: Year Round Tropical Temperatures | Getting There: From Singapore: 45-minute ferry ride from Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (We suggest Emerald Ferry Tickets) | VIP Meet and Greet: On arrival and departure from Bintan, guests are received by The Sanchaya artisans (staff) in a private VIP Lounge located at the Bintan ferry terminal with express immigration and complimentary 15 minute shuttle service to and from the estate. The Sanchaya’s private yacht is also available for private transfers from Singapore to Bintan.

The Sanchaya Estate Grounds: 9.5 hectares overlooking a secluded white beachfront at Lagoi Bay surrounded by mangroves and a tropical rainforest. | The Atmosphere: Tranquil and Sophisticated. This is a place to relax.

Designer: P49 Deesign A premier design company based in Thailand specializing in interior architecture and design for Hotels, Resorts, Spas, Corporate and Banking | The Sanchaya Design: Modern Colonial Style

Accommodations: The estate encompasses 21 villas (named after symbolic regional flowers) and 9 suites ranging from 55sm to 1045sm one and two bedroom accommodations to the most luxurious four-bedroom villa, Vanda Villa, with a private swimming pool. The 9 suite accommodations are located within The Great House referencing the black and white bungalows of Singapore with suite balconies views of the gardens or sea. The 21 stand alone villas, spread out across the estate, offer exceptional privacy. Thai-inspired Lawan Village includes seven one-bedroom villas along the Sanchaya manmade lagoon. The Leelawadee Villa Complex located within the Lawan Thai village is a perfect location for intimate family, friends or incentive group gatherings with three independent one bedroom villas opening to a common area including a pool, lounge chairs, and a dining area.

In-Room Amenities: Crafted with so much fine detail, you many not want to leave your room. Bang & Olufsen TV and sound system, Ipads with pre-loaded hundreds of movies, Apple TV, Wi-Fi, Malongo espresso coffee machines and Ronnfeldt teas, Complimentary Maxi Bar including craft beers, organic iced green teas and handmade European chocolates and other healthy snacks, Ploh bed and bath linens of 464 thread count Egyptian cotton percale, an extensive pillow menu, private collection of Sanchaya essential oils, bath menu combining a delightful combination of food and beverage with special bathing experience, such as The Sanchaya Tranquility-A bath sprinkled with lavender and ylang ylang fragrance served with canapés and wine, 24-hr. in room villa dining, and butler service to attend to any of your last minute requests. Finally, to share your experience with friends and family or script some notes while relaxing, personalized stationary with your name is provided.

Dining: The Dining Room, located in The Great House, offers European and Southeast Asian specialties incorporating seasonal ingredients for all day dining. Also located in The Great House is the Bar and Library fashioned in a clubby atmosphere where vintage wines and made to order cocktails can be enjoyed with a selection of Cuban hand rolled cigars, shisha and a tobacco menu. Poolside Tasanne Grill serves Bangkok Street Food. If you are interested in a specific menu not listed, the culinary team is available to compile a specialized menu to your liking with advance notice. Additionally, In-Villa Dining is available on a 24- hour basis. The Sanchaya’s food and beverage offering is exclusively open to resident guests.

Facilities: 50-meter salt water infinity Pool and Beachfront Cabanas with daily food and beverage service featuring “tempo doeloe service”, a traditional food transportation method in Asia using a bamboo poll balanced across the shoulder. Balinese Spa featuring customized chakra massage oils, 24-Hour Gym, Daily Sunrise Yoga, and Boutique featuring regionally crafted handicrafts and art are available for your enjoyment.

Activities: In addition to a number of beach activities, the hotel offers daily sunrise yoga, spa services, a number of traditional lawn games including croquet, petanque, and traditional Indonesian board games, such as Congklak, cycling, archery, open air cockpit seaplane aerial tour of the bay, private charters and sunset cruises on the Sanchaya private yacht. Nearby the hotel, you can enjoy golf and discover Indonesian nature with a Sebung River Cruise through the Mangrove Forest. Hear the calls of the exotic birds, such as the Kingfisher, and see a variety of wildlife including silver leaf and macaques monkeys and monitor lizards.

Events: The secluded estate provides a perfect location for luxurious intimate gatherings including multi generational family holidays, corporate retreats, exclusive product launches, meetings and incentives. Outdoor space including the beachfront, ocean front-Croquet lawn, Tasanee pool area, and yoga pavilion can all be utilized to accommodate your special event. Additionally, The Dahlia Room located in The Great House, accommodates 75-theater style or 48 in banquet style seating for functions. This space opens to an outdoor colonial styled terrace, perfect for cocktails or coffee breaks. The Dining Room, Bar and Salon can also be incorporated for private events. Estate buy-out for exclusive use of the entire property is possible. Contact us at if we can assist you with event arrangements.




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