BENSLEY, is a small atelier of youthful energetic architects, interior designers, artists and landscape architects that know no limits.
We are based in Bangkok and Bali.
Since 1989, BENSLEY has been designing some of the worlds most iconic hotels, resorts, spas, homes and sometimes even palaces.
Bill Bensley is a jack of all trades… Gardener, fisherman, architect, interior designer, lover of all things natural, and most of all, a wide-ranging explorer of as many corners of the earth as he can.
Raised amidst the orange trees of California, the Harvard Graduate took off for Asia the day after graduation and never looked back. After a few years working in Hong Kong and Singapore, he set up shop in Bangkok in 1989, soon followed by a BENSLEY branch in Bali in 1990.
With a team of 150 interior designers, architects, landscape designers, artists and makers of all things beautiful – as well as his other half Jirachai and their six Jack Russells – BENSLEY has brought to life over 200 resorts, hotels and palaces in 30+ countries, and is on a never-ending quest to create their best work yet.
Over the years BENSLEY has become known as a hotel designer who integrates sustainability into all of his designs, and is now hoping to share this knowledge in the hopes that if the hospitality industry bands together, they might be able to do their bit in reversing climate change.
In High School we had a careers day to help kids like me figure out what the heck we were going to do with our lives. A talk by landscape architect Rocco Campanozzi triggered the lightbulb moment for me. On my invitation, he visited my high school one afternoon with a spectacular slide show of his work at Knotts Berry Farm. This amusement park, like a western Disneyland, was just a stone’s throw from my high school and I had been visiting there since an early age. So the idea of actually getting to design a place that brings on a daily basis so much fun and joy to thousands of people was the lightbulb moment. I knew I had to be a landscape architect. I was smitten, hook line and sinker. I am still in touch with Rocco to this day and often thank him for his time some 42 years ago now. Dad had me down to be a doctor – I never did have the nerve to tell him that the sight of blood made me queasy!
After studying at Cal Poly Pomona and Harvard, I am so glad I made that big leap across the Pacific to Asia in the early 1980s when hospitality development was in its infancy. Doors were opened easily and the opportunities to build were many… still are. I have found that Asia, especially Thailand and Indonesia has given and given and given. At an early age I learnt to speak both languages … that helped a great deal to get ideas across. To this day we maintain design ateliers in Bangkok and Bali.
For the past 25 years I have been travelling the world like a mad man, sometimes seeing 7 countries in a week, successfully (until COVID-19 hit, that is!).These are some of my favourites from all those adventures…