A luxurious Indonesian eco-resort with new cooking classes is a beautiful experiment in sustainability, plus 4 more incredible places to rejuvenate on the breathtaking island of Bali.
For anyone who travels to Bali with a desire to learn about the culture as well as to practice sunrise savasanas, the Bambu Indah wellness resort in Ubud is a dream scenario. This sprawling wellness retreat, founded by jewelry designer John Hardy, has 14 guest suites, all 100-year-old “bridal houses” that Javanese noblemen had built for their new wives. Rustic but luxurious, the property also includes newer construction like a yoga pavilion. It’s one of Hardy’s early experiments in building unique, durable structures out of bamboo treated with saltwater, a traditional but neglected preserving method (the sap in untreated bamboo attracts beetles, which devour everything).
Hardy’s daughter, Elora, now runs her own Balinese design and construction firm called Ibuku that specializes in open-air bamboo buildings with jauntily off-kilter tiers and swooping thatched roofs. One such project is a whimsical but utterly functional new building at Bambu Indah: a kitchen that hosts Indonesian cooking classes. Working at counters cut from a slab of Javanese boulder, guests learn to make dishes like chicken satay with roasted jackfruit. Ingredients are grown on-site by a collective of farmers organized by Elora’s brother Orin; once harvested, produce is stored in the kitchen in brass baskets rigged on a pulley rope.