Bambu Indah: For the Wilderness Wonderer Looking for Unique Places to Stay in Bali
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.
Bambu Indah is a wilderness wonderland right on the edge of the Balinese jungle. A fully immersive stay with a focus on sustainability, you’re up close and personal with nature from the word go – but all the luxuries and amenities of a boutique hotel are still within arm’s reach.
Ubud is just a 20 minute drive away. But with all the encouragement you could need to detach from the modern world, you’ll be more than happy to give it a miss.
In 2005, designers John and Cynthia Hardy brought 11 antique Javanese bridal homes to Bali. Initially transformed into guest houses for friends and family, it wasn’t long before they decided to share them with the rest of the world. 15 years later, reminders of their commitment to eco-friendly living can be found at every turn.
Myself and my 35 kilos suitcase.
Otherworldly and tranquil throughout. There’s no buzz to be found here – it’s a hotel that lets nature do the showing off. Really putting the ‘humble’ in humble abode.
Starting at £125 and topping out at £417, rooms don’t come cheap – but the hotel gives you bang for your buck every step of the way.
Where You’ll Stay
18 houses are dotted around the property, with décor that combines stories of the owner’s travels with a genuine passion for Indonesian culture. The original bridal homes are a great shout – but it’s the open air bamboo structures in the heart of the jungle that provides the most immersive stay. So if money’s no object, try the Moon House or Copper House. Built to experience the scenery, they’re both more of a view with a room than a room with a view.
The Moon house is where I spent my first night at Bambu Indah. Because it’s roofless, you’re in contact with your natural surroundings 24/7. Well, sort of – the bed becomes totally enclosed and air-conditioned at your leisure. Take a dip in the private plunge pool. Lay under the stars in the hammock nets. Need to relax? Try the open air shower. Too relaxed to move? Try the personalised butler service. Remember, no compromises here.
On my second night I checked into The Kuda House. Built for the solo traveller, it’s smaller than the other options available and good value for money. And with all the hotel’s amenities close by, you’ve still got everything you need to have a great time. What are you waiting for? Go and read that trashy romance novel you bought at the airport. In the jungle. On a big cushion. Heaven.
The Moon House
The hotel’s restaurant. Eat sustainably by chowing down on ingredients grown in-house. The dining area is open air (are you starting to notice a theme here?) which means more unforgettable scenery if you can bring yourself to look up from your dinner plate – I couldn’t. Full up already? Leftovers go straight to the compost and help to grow the next crop of vegetables. It’s just the circle of (open-air) life.
The Central Pagoda. Yoga classes and other activities are run here throughout the day. There’s also a home cinema complete with a state of the art projector tucked away nearby.
Lazing by the Riverside pool. The hotel uses lava stones and vegetation to cleanse, filter and oxygenate its water. No chlorine, no algaecide, no problem – when your motto is ‘nature is queen’ there’s no other way to do it. And before you ask – yes they have those hanging swing chairs. And yes, it will look great on Instagram.
What I loved
Falling asleep to the sound of nature. The combination of crickets, croaking frogs and the gentle splashing of the river is the ideal soundtrack to help you get some shut eye. Sublime.
The green credentials. The devotion of both staff and site will impress even the most ethical of travellers – they’ve even founded a world-acclaimed ‘Green School’. If you’re like me, and the environmental impact of your stay is a priority, then this is a must-visit. Leave as you came.
The Bamboo Elevators. A wonderful addition to the communal areas both from an aesthetic and practical point of view. Top tip: make sure no one is around when doing your Indiana Jones impression. I didn’t.
Things To Know
Prime yourself for the adventurous terrain. Expect to cross elevated bridges to get to your room and cobblestone paths if you want to reach the river. Maybe best to watch out for Nan if she’s had a couple at the bar. And she will, because the cocktails are superb.
Remember that this isn’t your average hotel. There aren’t any locks on the doors, and there’s no TV or radio either. Nature really is queen – and she wants your undivided attention.
Boho backpackers, eco-tourists, adventurers, nature lovers, couples and honeymooners.
The scenery is awe-inspiring. The ethos is refreshing. And most importantly, the attention to detail is unrivalled. Whether you’re on honeymoon, a family getaway or riding solo through Bali, Bambu Indah offers an unforgettable experience.
about the author
Hi! I’m Maz, born and raised in London. After working in finance for 5 years, I was left craving a life with more meaning and less monotony - so I decided to set up my hotel reviewing business, something I'd always dreamt of doing. Now I am always in search of beautiful spaces which inspire people and create memorable experiences.