I’m currently experiencing severe post holiday come down after arriving back in Melbourne this week from two weeks in Bali. I’d never been to Bali before and now I am wondering what held me back because I absolutely loved my holiday there. To be honest I think I was afraid Bali would be full of loud and drunk Australians there to party and get bad tattoos but this wasn’t my experience at all.
You can’t get much further away from the Kuta stereotype than to a stay at Bambu Indah in Ubud. Perched on a steep cliff overlooking lush green paddy fields this boutique retreat is more than just a place to stay. Bambu Indah was created by the Hardy family (of the jewellery brand) and is made up of 13 antique Javanese houses surrounded by organic vegetable gardens and a natural swimming pool complete with a Tarzan rope.
The owners also run Bali’s Green School and have brought the same philosophy to Bambu Indah from the organic toiletries to the (rare in Bali) recycling scheme.
Each of the 13 houses is different making all guest’s experiences unique. I imagine you could return and have quite a different holiday depending where you stay. I stayed in Elora house which had a beautiful wide balcony for lounging on and was dramatically decorated inside with the contrast of dark timber antique furniture and draped white netting.
Elora house also has the most spectacular outdoor shower: I could have stayed under it for hours. There is no television but the house does include other conveniences of a bar fridge, air conditioning and wifi.
Meals are served in the large bamboo structure which houses reception, the spa and restaurant. The food makes the most of Bambu Indah’s expansive gardens with dishes like “raw lasagne” made from layers of sliced zucchini and fresh tomato or a bold chicken curry filled with beans and eggplant.
It’s worth bearing in mind that Bambu Indah is about 15 minutes drive from Ubud itself so you need to hire a driver or a scooter to get around. Some things, like the pool towels, are a little shabby and stained but this can be attributed to Bambu Indah’s philosophy of keeping on using items rather than turfing them due to wear and tear. A stay at Bambu Indah is as close to guilt free travel as you can get. It’s a world away from my stereotypes of what a holiday to Bali would entail.
Gourmet Travel Tips
- I flew to Bali with Jetstar for $800 return
- Bambu Indah is just over 1 hours drive from the airport. Getting a driver to take you there costs about $40.
- I spent my time gazing at the beautiful view, swimming in the pool and eating at Ubud’s fantastic restaurants (post coming up). The Monkey Forest in Ubud is also fun to visit (especially with kids).
Details: Bambu Indah, Banjar Baung, Desa Sayan, Ubud, Bali (Ph +62 (0) 361 977 922)
Damage: Pricey. I paid a discounted rate of $225 a night, full price is $335.
Kids: Staff were very accommodating of my (almost 2 year old) daughter but Bambu Indah is better suited for older children. There’s a couple of sheer drops and the pool area is unfenced.