I found out about Bambu Indah after reading articles about John Hardy and his jewellery business. The reviews on TripAdvisor were pure adoration and the NYT.com article helped to emphasize that this is a place where you will get your feet dirty and you are intimate with nature, which was perfect because I work on a farm. This is definitely not a place for princess-y types who are afraid of mosquitos! But overall, I found my stay incredibly peaceful, soul-enriching and had all my needs met by Eva and Elisa, Bambu’s friendly and amenable managers who treated me like a family member. I highly recommend Bambu Indah! But I'm ashamed to say it's taken me a year to write this review :-(
I booked directly via email for 3 nights approximately 2 months before arrival and was able to get the house I wanted. Initially, there was a delay in email response due to staff turnover (I found out later) but afterwards, the responses were prompt and courteous. By booking via email, I received their internet price (check out the website for more details) which was cheaper than the standard price.
I took a Blue Bird taxi from Discovery Mall/Kuta directly to BI for 160000Rp. We had a few confused turns and phone calls between Eva (one of the managers) and my driver before arriving at the property, located next to the Hardy's private residence. Although check-in was at 2pm, I arrived at 10am after calling ahead to let Eva know of my arrival time. While waiting for my room, I was given a delicious lemon-ginger welcome drink and cookies, a short tour of the organic garden, Minang bamboo house and the guest library, and shown the different houses (Kolam and Afrika do not have direct views of Ayung Valley, while the other houses do). She also showed me the small farm/garden including the local pigs the Hardys are raising with which to use their manure to enrich the garden beds. She also explained to me about the natural water filtration method used for the swimming pool. I met Elisa (the general manager) and finally ordered mie goreng (friend noodles with shrimp) for lunch.
I stayed in the Padi House for 3 nights. This is one of the four 100 year old Javanese houses moved piece by piece from Java to Ubud. The Padi House porch has a daybed and a table for meals, with direct views of the lush Ayung Valley – I highly recommend eating breakfast on the porch early and watching the sun rise. Outside, the wooden stairs lead down to the natural swimming pool (no chemicals; water is cleaned through via circulation through stones and use of bio-methods). Inside, the furnishings were tastefully chosen and exuded an old-world patina – I could sense a personal touch. There is a large wooden table, small fridge and a tastefully arranged tea set. Hot water and drinking water are provided daily. Two large rugs cover the pleasantly creaky wooden floors. There is a large cabinet with a safe inside opposite a gigantic mirror. The Padi room is really suitable for yoga inside and outside. The four-poster bed was covered with a mosquito net and has comfortable sheets and pillows. The room is also complete with air conditioning. The room is simple but full of character, from the roughness of the antique teak furnishings to the copper fittings in the bathrooms. The bathroom is actually set outside the building, with wooden flooring through which you can see the pebbled ground below.
Attention to details: wifi and Ethernet available; adaptors already located on electrical power bars; toiletries are organic and Cynthia Hardy’s personal blend of scent (neroli, lime, sandalwood) from A.W. Lake in Jakarta; copper rain shower-head; Japanese “Clean Butt” toilet with adjustable pressure and temperature (haha). Also, the staff had prepared a schedule for me as I'd mentioned various day trips I'd wanted to do and they checked in with me everyday, which was nice because I was solo-travelling.
Food: Home-made food served on my porch overlooking the Ayung Valley; food is sourced from local organic sources including Bambu's own organic garden; fresh fruit juices; home-made bread.
Services Provided: Natural pool (watched a local man cleaning the towering coconut trees, scaling up and down using his hands and feet); Balinese massage with organic oil; Elisa helped with scooter rental and car hire; car hire services with Pak Bebas who took me to a local bebek bakar warung down the street from Bambu that was the best spicy, grilled duck I’ve tasted in a while; making appointments with the Green School and the John Hardy jewelry showroom (visits there can help round out understanding of the Hardys’ philosophy of sustainable living with outstanding design and attention to detail).
The spectacular view of the Ayung Valley from my porch beat the view from the Four Season's Jati Bar, in my humble opinion. All in all, I will still recommend Bambu Indah a year later.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Rustic luxury in the gardens of a tropical highland farm. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bambu Indah Hotel Ubud
- Bambu Indah Ubud, Bali