Great for luxurious villas in a serene environment
What is it? Small resort
Will set you back: USD 319 – 920 p/n
The first thing you see at Komaneka at Bisma is the very special open-air lobby. Beautiful design details and artistic personal touches are implemented throughout the large space that has a large lily pond at its centre, surrounded by comfy lounges and a bar. Positioned at the highest point of the resort, the view down to the pools and their surrounding greenery including a small rice paddy is simply gorgeous and peaceful. It makes a strong first impression and although the check in process is rather slow and a little disorganised, the subsequent tour of the resort is good. Unfortunately we are shown to our accommodation while housekeeping is still cleaning it, and this is a little unprofessional and takes away from the magic of seeing our beautiful one-bedroom villa for the first time.
The one-bedroom villas are just divine, especially when they decorate them with rose petals as they did for our arrival, which is beautiful and romantic. They feel larger than they are and very private, thanks to an excellent layout and smart use of space, and the indoor-outdoor design is ideal for guests who have escaped their city lives for a holiday and are craving as much fresh air as possible. The design is very warm with lots of wood and toasty-coloured neutrals offset by the deep green of the gorgeous pool and the view out to a never-ending nature setting. The design throughout the resort is equally impressive, and what I especially loved was all of the local art found throughout – it’s a point of difference that I appreciated given the reputation of many hotels to skimp on the personal touches in favour of generic, crowd-pleasing minimalism. The wire climbing men in the restaurant are quirky but fabulous, and the rest of the artworks in the resort do a fantastic job of injecting personality and setting it aside from other Indonesian hotels. The lobby has lovely, warm touches such as oversized artworks on the wall, stunning natural wood screens (that need to be seen to be appreciated) and little details like chess boards in the lounging areas. The grounds are green and gorgeous, and the two swimming pools are fantastic designs that blend in seamlessly with the natural surroundings.
The villas are so comfortable that it will be an effort to leave, and many people won’t because all meals can be eaten in the villas if desired! For those staying in suites and rooms, there are the gorgeous four-poster cabanas by the two resort pools that look as beautiful as they are comfy, and the lobby bar has all the lounges, not to mention snacks (fruit and cookies!) you could need for chilling out as day turns to night. As seems to be the trend across Asia, the beds at Komaneka are oversized and heavenly. Firm mattresses and lots of pillows make for a perfect night’s sleep after an evening dip in pool water that is perhaps slightly on the chilly side, but refreshing. Komaneka at Bisma has a range of accommodation from one, two and three-bedroom villas to family suites and rooms, but in every category the guests’ comfort appears to be crucial. A capsule coffee machine is provided, as well as an Apple TV that has dozens and dozens of films guests can watch free of charge – an absolute bonus and a fantastic idea by the hotel.
Komaneka at Bisma has free WIFI, plenty of free activities for its guests and also has a gym, a spa, a library and a small jogging track that goes around the perimeter of the resort through natural green vegetation and a rice paddy. Unsurprising given the quantity of unique art around the resort, Komankea also owns a museum in Ubud, and guests of the resort can enter for free. The resort offers a free shuttle service into town, hosts yoga classes every Wednesday and Saturday in the afternoon, and there are other local arts and crafts activites that are free of charge, as well as paid activites such as cycling, trekking and cooking lessons. The two pools at the resort are stunning, and the spa rooms are some of the most beautiful I have seen and experienced, being open-air and elevated, overlooking the serene river below. After treatments in the couples spa rooms, guests have the use of a spa bath, and can enjoy some fresh fruit skewers while taking in the gorgeous view below. The sound of the river below after having a blissful massage makes for a very special and peaceful experience. Our tip? Opt for a late afternoon spa treatment to enjoy the most romantic ambience as the sun sets behind the trees.
Aside from the mishap with checking in and being shown our villa while it was being cleaned, the service was very good at Komaneka at Bisma. After informing the dining staff that Mr T. was gluten intolerant, they never forgot this throughout our stay and always informed him straight away if he had ordered a dish that had (hidden) gluten in it. The staff are extremely friendly and courteous, as Indonesians always seem to be, and call you by your first names with the traditional terms ‘Ibu’ (for women) and ‘Bapak’ (for men) in front of them. The villas have a 24-hour ‘butler’ service so anything you need you can just call and they will happily arrange for you. During our stay I had not heard back rom the next hotel I would be staying at regarding transportation, and the Komaneka staff quickly called the hotel and arranged the transport on our behalf. They really make an effort to personalise the experience so you always feel at home in the resort, which is a real highlight at Komaneka.
There is one main restaurant at Komaneka and a casual pool-side bar for daytime service. The breakfast is lovely to eat in the villa by your pool, is a-la-carte and very tasty with the usual Indonesian and American offerings and plenty of them. The restaurant itself is gorgeous and beautifully designed with a mix of traditional design and contemporary additions such as a grand chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant has a balcony with tables that overlook the main pool and at night it has a lovely ambience and is very romantic. The food itself is nice, although not up to the standards of some of Komaneka’s competitors, such as The Samaya, and as it is such an important part of a holiday experience, I believe the dining could improve substantially.
Komaneka at Bisma is nestled in the Campuhan River valley, only a ten to fifteen-minute drive from the centre of Ubud with all of its art galleries, boutiques and local eateries. Ubud is considered the artistic, spiritual and wellness centre of Bali and is well known in the yogi, health and natural medicine community. The region surrounding Ubud is characterised by beautiful green rice paddies that are utterly unique and well worth a visit, and there is also the sacred nature reserve Monkey Forest. Ubud has an instantly relaxing feel to it, making it perfect for those wanting to escape city life but still holiday in an area where there is plenty to do and see, particularly for culture-lovers.
peaceful and relaxing romantic escape