Jl. RY Dalem, Keliki, Tegallalang, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80561, Indonesia
Photo courtesy of Capella Ubud
Capella UbudWhy we love it: A tented rain forest hideaway just 20 minutes from Ubud
- Gorgeous Bill Bensley decor
- A tented camp set-up not common in Bali
- Locally focused programming like traditional storytelling and Balinese movie nights
While Bali is certainly not lacking in luxury resorts, Capella Ubud stands out both for its location and sensibility. Though just 20 minutes from hectic central Ubud, the property—which calls itself a camp, not a resort—feels much more remote, thanks to its setting in a dense rain forest above the Wos River and Keliki Valley. Arriving here feels like you’ve stumbled onto a secret, which is exactly the sense of adventure designer Bill Bensley intended to foster. The American-born, Thai-based designer is known for taking inspiration from explorers and expeditions of yore (see his other creations like Shinta Mani Wild in Cambodia or the Rosewood Luang Prabang in Laos), and in Bali, you’ll find a subtle homage to the island’s first European settlers of the 1800s. Peeking out among the trees, and sloping upward on somewhat steep terrain, are 22 one-bedroom tents and one two-bedroom lodge, each with spacious outdoor living areas, daybeds, a private saltwater plunge pool, freestanding hammered copper tubs, four-poster beds, and art and antiques culled from the owners’ personal collection.
Mingle with other “campers” over afternoon tea, cocktails, and board games in the Officer’s Tent, or during meals at Mads Lange (an open-air, farm-to-table spot named for a Dutch spice trader) and Api Jiwa (which serves Asian barbecue from a Robatayaki grill). There’s also the poolside Mortar and Pestle Bar, and The Camp Fire, an al fresco, firepit-equipped lounge that hosts evening events like traditional storytelling sessions or vintage Balinese movie nights. The spa offers treatments using custom-made organic products, while the small gym is beautifully decorated and looks out at the forest. Rates include Wi-Fi, use of a smart phone (with data and credit for international calls), a welcome duffel bag with “camp essentials” like sunscreen and bug spray, low- and high-impact activities, private daytime shuttles to Ubud, four pieces of laundry per person, and more. Note that because of the set-up and uneven terrain, the camp prefers not to accept children younger than six.