He has designed more than 200 properties since 1989 in more than 30 countries – ranging from private residences, palaces and exotic paradise resort hotels. Meet Bill “Bonkers” Bensley, the veritable boss of hospitality design and the world-renowned creative genius behind such spectacular places that once you enter, you never want to leave.

Now for the first time, in Designing Paradise, the eccentric architect and landscape designer is taking cameras with him to showcase some of his absolutely phenomenal creations and contributions around the globe when it comes to hospitality design. For decades now, where others have just seen impossibility, Bill sees paradise.

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Bill gives viewers a behind-the-scenes tour and insight into his methods, madness and how he has been able to turn his imaginative worlds into paradisal places you can’t believe really exist.


Bill’s signature designs

Bill’s signature style is unmistakably lush, detailed, lively, playful and downright seductive, meticulously crafting some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts to look like pieces of heaven.

“Brilliant visionary” and “eccentric genius” are just some of the words that have been used to describe the world’s leading hotel designer. The way that he’s able to transform spaces into lavish experiences remains unrivalled and watching Designing Paradise will make you feel as if you’re living your own holiday getaway.

“I’m a very proud maximalist,” is how Bill describes himself, and his unique skill is being able to create hotels to feel like you’ve stepped into an intimate space inside a rich person’s home. So sought after is Bill’s creativity that the single rooms he dreams up can have a budget of $1 million and sometimes even up to $2 million to design.

“I’m a very proud maximalist.”

Bill Bensley

See inside the world’s number 1 hotel

He and his team don’t just design hotels – they dream up and create almost everything inside these breathtakingly escapist places, right down to the artwork on the walls and hotel staff uniforms. In the 13 half-hour episodes, Designing Paradise whisks viewers from Baan Botanical, his home and tropical garden that’s his own studio, to the JW Marriott Phu Quoc on a tropical island.

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Then viewers get to see inside the number one hotel in the world, an eco-camp hidden in the dense jungles of Ubud, a 5-star palace-hotel in India, a resort in Thailand, a Vietnamese hotel and the Seychelles’ most exclusive boutique resort. Finally, shrouded in the clouds and perched on one of the highest colonial hill stations in Indochina, you won’t be able to look away for a second when Bill showcases the Hotel de la Coupole in Sapa, Vietnam.

Watch Designing Paradise on Thursday 26 March on The Home Channel (176) at 19:30


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