In 2021, Russian investor and hotel developer Felix Demin transported a disused airplane to the cliff tops of Nyang-Nyang Beach and promised that he would turn it into a luxury villa and hotel to help revive tourism in the Uluwatu area after the pandemic. The founder of Bubble Hotel Bali has stayed true to his word, and the Private Jet Villa by Hanging Gardens Air is now open for booking.
After gaining permits from the authorities, it took a week to bring the aircraft in pieces to the clifftops of Nyang-Nyang. In an interview in late 2021, Demin was asked why he chose the clifftop in Uluwatu. He replied that he thought the spot was ‘simply beautiful’ and that he already owned land nearby, meaning from an investment perspective, it made sense.
After over a year of development, the villa is set to launch in March 2023. The rental property is now being advertised on hotel booking sites and comes with a hefty price tag. One night in the Private Jet Villa will set travelers back upwards of USD 7,000 per night.
Plans for the villa and its facilities have been shared on the hotel listing, with graphic design mock-ups showing what the site will look like when completed. The facilities listed include two king bedrooms, a private pool, a full kitchen, air conditioning, two bathrooms, and of course, vast ocean views.
The media coverage of Demin’s journey to create the Private Jet Villa has been substantial. Global news outlets and leading international travel magazines have featured the project. Bubble Hotel Bali was listed as one of the most unique hotels on the planet and has become an icon of the Bali tourism sector, especially for social media content creators.
The Instagram account for Private Jet Villa by Hanging Gardens has already amassed 39,000 followers before the doors have even officially opened. The location and concept are primed to create social media content and builds on the already popular trend of using Bali’s abandoned planes photo destinations.
In an interview, Demin discussed the difficulties in getting the project off the ground, especially regarding doing business as a foreigner. He has not disclosed how much the project has cost him, noting that he has signed numerous non-disclosure agreements.
However, he said that he has had offers from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism to make the area a public tourism site. Demin noted that it’s ‘not a bad idea’ but that he wanted to keep the Private Jet Villa as a rental property for the foreseeable future.
Demin is also the businessman behind Bali Investments Company. The venture funds the development of designer villas across Bali’s key tourism hotspots. The villas are built for short-term leases to generate profit for investors.
Though the properties have won international property awards, the whole enterprise stands in stark contrast to the beliefs of many local environmental groups in Bali, despite their sustainability credentials. Environmentalists in Bali are raising the alarm about the connection between the rapid increase in tourism development in Bali and the rise in natural disasters.
While developing the Private Jet Villa, Demin has given the nod to the fact that the novel property development is just the start of this kind of project for him and his teams. Building on the success of his self-funded Bubble Hotel Bali and the projected successes of the private jet, he suggested that future developments are already in the pipeline with his strategic investor Alexander Lebedev.
According to Forbes Magazine, Alexander Lebedev was worth USD 1.1 billion in 2012, falling from over USD 3 billion in the early 2000s. It is believed his wealth has dwindled in the last decade, and he is no longer considered to be a billionaire. Nevertheless, the former KGB officer is still often referred to as an oligarch. Lebedev was placed on Canada’s sanctions list following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022.
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