Boutique hotel Bisma Eight in the heart of Ubud, Bali, is exactly what the tired city-slicker needs – a rural, rustic experience with all your creature comforts and then some.
Tired of Bali’s beach-party scene? Get thee to Ubud, where you won’t need a holiday to recover from your holiday.
Ubud is the arty, cultural centre of Bali, known for its craft, food and greenery. No loud music or tourist-filled pubs playing dance music – Ubud is the place for authentic Balinese cuisine, walks through quaint, scenic villages, bicycle rides through farms and rice fields, and visits to the workshops of local artisans and craftspeople. And now’s the time to go – before it gentrifies, before the hipsters attack, before the food and culture get diluted to suit tourist tastes.
Here’s something to reassure every fastidious city slicker: There’s no need to rough it out in some hut in the middle of a rice field to get a true taste of Ubud. Head for boutique hotel Bisma Eight, launched in late February. It’s a short walk from the town centre and offers views of hills and rice fields along with wifi access, a gym, a temperature-controlled infinity pool (above), an organic farm, a restaurant that’ll cook up anything you pick from this farm (below), and a café that serves up coffee from a local roastery made with a La Marzocco machine – yes, that Rolls Royce of coffee machines. (Sure, the hut is more real, but modern plumbing trumps authenticity any day in our books.)
Co-founder Suraj Melwani, who’s based in Singapore and is also co-founder of lifestyle brand Sifr, says that it’s all part of crafting an Ubud experience that’s modern, thoughtful, interesting and yet respectful of the local context and culture. The point, he adds, is to cater to “young, discerning millenial travellers that have frequented Bali but are looking for the next step up.”
Accommodations at Bisma Eight are just as luxurious as the amenities. There are no rooms here, only suites with separate bedrooms and living areas. Each spacious suite (533 to 581 sq ft) is designed for plenty of natural light and furnished in a contemporary Balinese style – mostly in wood and in earth tones. Bathrooms are a haven of their own, outfitted with Japanese-inspired cedarwood tubs and rain showers. There are three different types of suites – Forest, Canopy and Garden – with different views.
On top of all these modern luxuries, everything about Bisma Eight is Instagram-worthy – the alfresco restaurant, the shrine, the pool, the ikat fabrics, even the fixtures. Go nuts, and know that everyone who’s not in Ubud will hate you.
Bisma Eight is at Jalan Bisma, Ubud, 80571 Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia. At US$150-180 ($202-$243) per night, www.bisma-eight.com
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