Immersed in nature with sheer veils for walls, nothing separates you from the wilderness at Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape hotel, in the quiet Balinese village of Buahan, north of Ubud.
Where is Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape?
Set on four hectares of jungle and overlooking terraced rice fields, the hotel is a 40-minute drive north of Ubud in the sleepy village of Buahan, which translates as “fruit”. It’s about a two-hour drive from Bali’s International Airport in Denpasar.
What’s near Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape?
This resort is remote and that’s the beauty of it. Guests can choose from a range of activities, including moon yoga, a bike ride through villages, along jungle trails past rice paddies and a 45-minute waterfall trek. There’s also a free daily shuttle service to the town of Ubud, where you can explore cultural landmarks, including the Ubud Monkey Forest, Neka Art Museum and The Blanco Renaissance Museum.
This intimate adults-only retreat features just 16 open-air balés (villas), categorised according to their settings: rainforest, valley and riverside jungle. When we say open-air, we mean it – there are no walls or doors. Each villa has its own infinity pool, vistas of the jungle valley and rice paddies and a free-standing hand-hammered copper bath. The balés are well-spaced and laid out over four different levels, with an inclinator to ferry guests between them.
Restaurants and bars
The only restaurant, The Open Kitchen, has a sustainability ethos, with dishes championing native ingredients, such as soursop jam and “kampung butter” made with Balinese herbs. Meals are predominantly plant-based and breakfast options vary, from the 60 degree duck eggs to classic Balinese and jamu (traditional herbal tonic) selections. Cocktails at The Botanist Bar are zero-waste and head bartender Pandu uses his own fermentations. Make the trip to Ubud for South American tapas at PICA or award-winning sustainable eats at Locavore.
Executive chef Eka Sunarya and his team source 80 per cent of their ingredients locally, including from the on-site organic farm. Guests are invited to learn about the farm on private or twice-weekly foraging sessions with a chef and the head farmer. Designed in collaboration with local architect Gede Kresna, the resort was built with minimal impact on the environment and no land was cleared or large machinery used. The hotel is a member of Buahan’s Subak community, a UNESCO-listed initiative that seeks to protect Bali’s cultural landscape, and has preserved two irrigation “Subak” drains that run through the site.
Travel for work
Given its remote location, Buahan is not well-suited to conventional business travellers but is ideal for remote workers. The wi-fi is excellent, even in the balés, and there are a number of private and peaceful nooks to work from.
Spa and pool
As well as non-heated private pools in the balés, the hotel has a main pool with jungle views located on a terrace beyond the restaurant. On the lowest level of the ravine, there’s a bamboo yoga pavilion and the Toja Spa, offering treatments using organic, locally sourced products.
What you need to know
The pick of the villas is the Rainforest Pool Balé on level two, with its outstretched infinity pool and pristine jungle views – and it’s a short walk to the restaurant and lobby.
Best for: Couples
Design: Wild luxury
Number of rooms: 16 suites
Rates: From $965 per night
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Transport: Free to Ubud daily
Address: Banjar Selat, Buahan Kaja, Payangan, Gianyar, Bali 80572
Telephone: +62 361 620 8181
SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide to All Things Bali