Immerse yourself into luxuriant landscapes amid larger settings of village life – at Komaneka at Monkey Forest, an ideal holiday home for enjoying authentic Balinese hospitalityby Sid Sehgal
Bali. The very word conjures up magical, mystical images. An exotic destination that so many people dream about, and long to see, experience, and explore. In Ubud especially, a timeless lifestyle exists where culture, religion, and art come together to create an irresistible charm that easily enchants: Exactly what we enjoyed during our recent travel to Bali.
An idyllic village with beautiful rice terraces, with the intoxicating sounds of gamelan and serenity in the air, Ubud is a living photograph of the traditional Balinese life nestling amid the bustling cosmopolitan life surrounding it.
It is perhaps no accident that our holiday home in Ubud happened to be a Komaneka resort — Komaneka at Monkey Forest Road, to be exact. The first of the Komaneka Resorts founded by Koman Wahyu Suteja and his wife Mansri Trisniawati in 1997, Komaneka at Monkey Forest is an embodiment of the architect couple’s dream of creating a haven for visitors that offers the best experience of Ubud.
Komaneka at Monkey Forest (Jl. Wenara Wana, Kec. Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia; Tel: +62 361 976090) started with just 20 rooms (but had since expanded into 22 units of 16 Suite Rooms and six pool villas.) The Komaneka group had since built other resorts that also capture the quintessential spirit of Ubud, but our decision to stay at this property on Monkey Forest Road was more than mere coincidence. Life, it is said, is about living each moment of the journey, and more so when you’re traveling. Komaneka at Monkey Road resort made us feel like we lived each moment of our journey indeed.
Our posh suite is designed with comfort and beauty, and mixes traditional textures with modern luxury. The private verandas overlook rice fields and tropical gardens. If we feel like sunbathing, there’s an elegant infinity pool with broad space and a terrace cafe. If we feel like enjoying some pampering, there is the beautiful Spa House of recycled timber, which offers a variety of rejuvenating therapies with natural products. And for our hunger and thirst needs, the quiet Garden Terrace Restaurant in the midst of shady tropical vegetation is ideal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, or a skillfully mixed cocktail.
The lively Monkey Forest Road is an ideal setting indeed to experience an oasis of serenity while still enjoying the spirit of the colorful busy street where it is nestled. Just outside the resort are shops, galleries, museums, restaurants, and many cultural local events. But even if you don’t venture out, Komaneka’s own gallery of contemporary fine arts – regarded as one of the best in town – would suffice. And the Komaneka Boutique is a great source for shopping.
And recently, the resort has introduced a departure lounge so guests may enjoy extended time in serviced comfort.
We only stayed for three days at this luxury resort, but it’s like we’ve been there forever. We felt a strong connection with the surroundings, the room, the sights, and even the activities, most of which immerses you into the unique culture of Bali.
And how can you resist learning more about Balinese culture, when it’s all around you. You can get private lessons in dance, woodcarving, painting, cooking, wearing traditional attire, and even how to create a traditional Balinese offering.
Managed by local professionals, Komaneka at Monkey Forest was designed to reflect a contemporary interpretation of traditional Balinese style and architecture. Its award-winning facilities and services were designed to give the best example of what Balinese hospitality is.
By all counts, it is a perfect abode to enjoy an authentic Balinese experience.