The energy in Bali is unique. Not like the Caribbean or Europe. It’s got its own vibe and tribe – think taupe bikinis and loose white dresses. Think hushed tones and cocktails by the infinity pool. Think an oasis of calm in the rainforest, with temples from the 8th century on your doorstep. Bisma Eight is the most beautiful diamond in the rough, jungle paradise.
Ubud is Bali’s spiritual and artistic home. Brimming with temples, yoga and cooking classes. And for the ultra adventurous you can climb a volcano, Mt Batur, to see the sunrise over the mist. There is no doubt that this place is a little rough around the edges but once inside the hotels, get ready for some serious luxury. Most hotels are hidden away, down long bamboo lined private roads or, like ours, look like old garages from the entrance.
Pulling up at Bisma Eight it looks like we must be at the wrong place, however when 3 people come out to greet us – 1 with a watermelon and papaya cooler, 1 with cold towels and 1 with the details of our reservation, we knew we were going to like it! They whisked us off to our room which was so beautifully designed – a mix of industrial chic and Balinese teak root wood. The room is divided into 3, the sitting area, the bedroom with a huge comfy bed and the bathroom with a huge half wine barrel bathtub, rainforest shower, private loo and a sign offering ‘anything you may have left at home’.
View For Miles
They tell us about the infinity pool which we go to first of all. The most noteworthy aspect of our stay – speechless!
We’d travelled an hour from Seminyak and had worked up an appetite, so we decided on dinner at the hotel – the award winning rooftop restaurant ‘Copper’. The menu was enticing and there wasn’t an empty seat in the house. Consequently, the (surprisingly delicious!) Indonesian wine was flowing. The tuna coconut ceviche starter was fresh and zingy, full of mangos and pepper. Be sure to stick to the Indonesian food here since it’s what they do best.
We were quite active during our stay at Bisma Eight; cooking classes and cultural expeditions like the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary (a must!) and we also managed to spend a lot of time by the pool. The food here was also very good. Mostly had Indonesian choices. The breakfast was so delicious, all al a carte and cooked to perfection. The only problem was that we kept over ordering! Good job they had daily complimentary yoga on the roof to burn those calories!
As a result of finding paradise I found myself to be my most productive. We stayed in the Gili islands and Seminyak on this same trip but Ubud was the place I truly relaxed. Here I read the most, planned the next venture, designed a website, planned a hen party (I’ve been putting off for months), did yoga every day and felt curious with the world.
Take It From Us
- One Word Review: Spiritual
- Best Room: The forest suites have views over the forest so make for a very special experience. Just ask for ones not too close to the pool bar. We stayed in a garden suite and loved it's close proximity to the lobby and restaurant. It felt private and I wasn't bothered about a balcony as I'd be too worried about the creepy crawlies!
- Rates: We paid £540 including taxes for 3 nights. This included the room and the most incredible breakfast for 2 people.
- What to Wear: Muted colours - whites/taupe/black/khaki with the odd splash of turquoise or forest green. I wore a jumpsuit every evening.
- Activities: Sari organik restaurant for lunch in the rice fields with the hippies (have the chicken peanut satay), Jungle Fish for more of a party vibe. Head to the market if you're feeling adventurous, visit the many temples, climb Mt Batur for sunrise, try the cooking class at the hotel or a more local one if you want the full Balinese experience. Restaurants in Ubud vary. There's a mixture of hippy Warungs in the rice paddies, fine dining at Bridges and hotels, warungs off the main road which were super cheap but delicious, and our favourite which was the sister restaurant of our hotel - Folk. It was casual but very cool. It had a fabulous bar upstairs which reminded me of Soho House. The cocktails were amazing and the pulled pork sliders and beef randang were mouth wateringly delicious.
- Best Local Attraction: UNESCO Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
- How to Get There:: Call Wayan Rama. He was our driver while we were there. He had good prices, a lovely car and he was a very kind and knowledgable man. Number: +62818355142. Email: [email protected]