Thinking of Bali, where the first time I traveled here was with 11 women who, like myself, were seeking to become at one with the perfect wave. Surfing is why I first visited Bali. Soul searching is why I returned two more times.
The God’s honest truth is I didn’t see a damn thing on the island when I was there the first time. Given I was surfing most of the time, I did see a lot of the beach, and let me tell you, the beach boys saw a lot of me. Note: bikini bottoms always risky choice when surfing due to dreaded parachute effect of filling with water and driving me slowly back into the water when trying to stand, before ultimately, bottoms falling down to my knees to the horror of the poor and now truly tormented surf instructors who, no doubt, have not been the same since.
But as usual – I digress.
I have been thinking about this very cool place where Stu and I stayed the second time I went to Bali – just outside of Ubud, called Bambu Indah, a “radically distinctive unique boutique hotel.” If you are headed to Bali and looking for a very singular, eco-chic experience, hang your hat here for a couple of nights. The property is based on a stunning combination of bamboo buildings and antique Javanese teak wood bridal homes, each with individual design details – all in deeply good taste, and all overlooking the most verdantly green, seriously iconic Balinese scenery of rice paddies and fat, leafy palm trees. It will take your breath away – guaranteed.
Each of the rooms is actually an old (seriously – old) “bridal home” hand picked in Java by jewelers and founders of Green School, John and Cynthia Hardy, who originally created Bambu Indah to accommodate their many friends and guests. Let me just say – its probably the sexiest digs we’ve ever stayed in – just make sure you are OK with windows without glass and spaces between the wooden slats in the floors so that you can see the ground below. Remember these are old and small little houses that used to sit in the rice paddies – everything is pretty authentic.
We stayed in the cheeriest of all the houses, Kuning House or yellow house, named because of its yellow painted exterior. The centerpiece of this house is the hand carved heart above the door still proudly exhibiting its conception date of 1829, revealing the love and lasting care that it was built with from the Nobleman to his Princess Bride. The furnishings are comfortable, romantic, and charming; just on a smaller scale. Four poster bed, little closet and desk. Its all about being outside anyway. When we stayed here, there was no restaurant – however when we arrived, they brought us a really excellent lunch consisting of fresh tomato soup from their organic gardens on property, along with a grilled cheese sandwich. I still remember the meal! At tht time, they were talking about putting a restaurant into a very interesting space upstairs from the lobby, which I gather they have now. If the lunch we had was any indication, the food will be incredible.
If you have a chance to go to Ubud which, for my money, is where the magic happens on Bali, give yourselves two nights at Bambuh Indah. Then head to The Four Seasons, which is right next door, but seemingly light years away. We will never forget our nights at Bambuh Indah, with the sounds of night and the pitch black, the view over the Sayan ridge across the rice paddies for as far as the eye could see. Highly highly recommend.