Inner Peace in the Rice Paddies
Ubud is the lush green jewel in the Balinese crown, a pristine overlay of terraced rice paddies dotted with Hindu temples and shrines. For years, Ubud has been the destination for hikers and yogis alike to escape the noise, and rediscover their inner self. The area is peppered with wildlife, including the famous Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary which implements the doctrine of Tri Hita Karana, encouraging humans to maintain harmonious relationships in life.
The Komaneka at Bisma is one of the more unique hotels we have ever visited. From the moment we stepped inside the understated entrance to a friendly welcome by four staff members, it seemed to us that our stay would be more about the emotional experience than perhaps anything visually spectacular. However, after we were treated to our customised Namaste cocktails, we walked to the edge of the foyer where we glimpsed the breathtaking view below.
As we looked down, our eyes were drawn to the deep green 33 metre lap pool extending out from the wooden platform. Beneath the pool, a rice farmer waved to us from a distance as he tended to his perfectly manicured rice paddy. The man-made elements of the Komaneka mould seamlessly into the natural beauty of the forest – and we couldn’t love it any more.
We love the one bedroom secluded pool villa, with 12 metre private swimming pool and an enormous outdoor pavilion with silk curtains draped around the lounge and alfesco kitchen. Beside the pool is your own private sundeck with views of the rice terraces, coconut groves and tropical rainforest beyond.
When you return inside the wow factor does not cease, with a massive four-poster king bed (can be converted into twins), luxurious bathroom (with both indoor and outdoor showers), lantern-lit bath and a lounge room with an Apple TV box fully stocked with music and films.
EATING & DRINKING
The Komaneka restaurant serves both Western and Indonesian cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although we have to admit it was the delicious woodfired pizza that we were most taken with. The woodfire oven is located in a small wooden hut next to the pool, and is recognisable by the thin whips of smoke trailing from the chimney.
The staff will often recommend private in-room dining, with 24 hour service available. The ideal time to take advantage of this is for moonlight dining on the balcony, with a plethora of fireflies sure to be in attendance to add that extra sparkle.
WHAT IT HAS
Gymnasium; Spa (massage and beauty); Two pools (33 metre lap pool & smaller wading pool); Private pools in selected villas; Yoga studio; Running track; Bicycles for hire; Woodfire pizza oven; Shuttle bus into Ubud town centre; Wanasmara Wedding Chapel; Balinese kitchen compound for cooking lessons; On-site restaurant and bar.
Bali is a tropical climate, so pack light and airy. For the girls, simple maxi dresses are perfect, with cute shorts and singlets ideal for exploring during the day. For the guys, linen shirts are great for the evenings, though you will likely spend the majority of your time in shorts and t-shirts.
OUT & ABOUT
Located right in the centre of Ubud, Komaneka at Bisma has prime position to explore the cultural town if you choose to leave this divine oasis.
Just a short journey by either foot or pedal (mountain bikes are free to borrow from Komaneka), is the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, where you have the opportunity to get up close and personal to a large family of Balinese Long-Tailed Monkeys.
We loved sampling the locally farmed fresh food and strolled through the craft markets, with homewares, jewellery and an array of art from local artists on display.
Then of course for there yogis there is The Yoga Barn, an intricately crafted studio that creates an inspiring scape for nourishing the body, the mind and the soul.
If active adventures are more your thing, then we suggest a bike ride through the rice paddies, white water rafting or even cycling up to the famous hidden waterfalls of Air Terjun Tegenungan.
Ubud is approximately 90-120 minutes from Denpasar Airport by car. However, due to the poor quality of roads in rural areas and brutal traffic congestion, allow for a slightly longer travel time if travelling during peak periods.
The extra touches. The handwritten love note waiting for us on our bed when we arrived. The friendly nods and greetings from the staff as we wandered around the grounds. The tiny green lizards and frogs that hopped past us as we sat by our pool.
The Komaneka at Bisma is one of those very rare hotels that works with the natural habitat and melts into the surrounding environment, so that you feel like you are actually living within the forest. If you are the type of traveller who chooses a location so as to truly understand what it is like to live there, then the Komaneka at Bisma has to be at the top of your list.
$400 – 1,500 USD
3,000,000 – 20,000,000 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah)