This is not your usual Bali garden hotel, well manicured touching on to the busy Sanur, Kuta or Nusa Dua beaches. This one is different it is in the mountains, 500 m above sea level and it feels like a natural forest, shaded and serene surrounded by beautiful rice terraces.
This is Kebun Villas, Pupuan, Tabanan
Do not come here if you intend to party the nights away or are in need of entertainment at every corner you turn. The vacation here is for nature lovers, for you who want to read or maybe even write a book. You who need to reflect on your life’s purpose or you who simply need to slow down and step back from a hectic life.
Here you go to sleep and wake up with bird songs, chirping of insects, the call of a lonely gecko; and depending on the moon and the season the quacking of frogs. You reside in a well managed garden with a multitude of plants. Look for the Mangosteen, Clove, lime and Cacao trees; the fragrant pine, Frangipani flowers, the colorful Lilies and Bougainville.
While you stroll up and down the well defined but steep stairs and walkways you notice countless carvings from all over Indonesia placed strategically as guards or adornment beneath a tree. Lord Buddha is the main patron of Kebun Villa and is assisted by Ganesha and Garuda. You are even welcome to buy a piece or two from Deddy, out of his vast collection of antiques.
Deddy the owner explains:
“I have planted most of the trees myself believing that a Balinese garden should combine all kinds of plants and trees, with a variety of statues, steps, paths and lawns. I see the Buddha as an icon to make Kebun Villa stand out on the road. When we brought it here, we had to get 24 people to help place it with a forklift truck.”
Deddy’s assistant, Irma is your friendly, accommodating host at Kebun Villa, she has studied hospitality in Tabanan and has earned her wings in several hotels in Kuta in the south. “How come you prefer to work here in the quiet mountains?” I asked.
Her answer is very simple: “I am married now and have two children; we are farmers and my family lives very close by.” The same counts for the 4 cooks who work in shifts and prepare typical Indonesian dishes as well as beautifully balanced Western food. The produce is sourced from local markets and therefore supports the local community two folds.
The restaurant is the first and only
building you notice when you arrive. You can see all the way to the beach and down
to busy Kuta and beyond while sipping a cool beer or cocktail. When you are tired of lounging around and want to get active, ask the hotel to arrange mountain hiking with a local guide.
I could not stop taking pictures, looking and listening to what nature has to offer. Kebun Villa is off the beaten track; this is not a tourist hub. It is how Bali used to be, a paradise. Come and see for yourself!
There are a variety of room styles available. They dot the property; some more luxurious with full brick walls and antique furniture. Others imitate the typical local homes made with breathy bamboo walls; although offering modern bathroom facilities like hot water and western toilet. You can even choose to sleep in a wooden stilt house from the island of Timor with natural air circulation above and below the building.
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