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The Best Western in a Showdown?

Bali Lawmakers Call for Closure of 'Lawless' Best Western Kuta.

(1/3/2011) Bali Post reports that Commission B of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali) is calling for the Bet Western Hotel Kuta to be shut and put under seal for blatantly ignoring local rules and regulations. The hotel, originally branded as the Hotel Sapta Petala, is cited as failing hold not one of the various licenses or permits required for a legal hotel operation despite having been open for more than one year.

At the heart of the controversy appear to be the fact that the hotel stand in an area where hotel and multiple-dwelling structures are specifically forbidden by local zoning laws.

The chairman of Commission B, Putu Parwata, joined by two commission members Nyoman Karyana and Wayan Suyasa, claim the hotel's owner had ignored repeated warnings and avoided repeated summons to appear before the DPRD-Bali. The legislators told the press that the recalcitrant character of the hotel's owner feeds suspicions that the hotel enjoys backing from an unnamed "strong man." At the same time, Parwata questioned the resolve of the local government officials, apparently impotent to enforce the rules being blatantly disregarded by the hotel. Driving home his point, Parwata said the government's very authority was at stake should they fail to close the errant hotel.

Karyana and Suyasa joined the chorus calling on the Badung administration to seal the Best Western Kuta which continues to operate without licenses or without making any contribution to local tax coffers.

Parwata said: "There are no permits; this means there is no taxation. And that also means this hotel has not paid taxes for one year. The House failed in the past to close this hotel, but the new House will insist on action and not allow this unlicensed hotel to operate in Badung."

Separately the Badung government has confirmed that the hotel is indeed operating illegally without licenses, saying they will consult with provincial tourism officials on the next step to take in the matter.