Sarinbuana Eco Lodge

near Tabanan, Ubud & Centre, Indonesia Book from Book from £87 per night

Beat a path from the tourist trail to this eco-friendly retreat, nestled high in the lush mountains of central Bali (four bungalows for 2-5)
Sarinbuana is so far off the beaten track, there is a good chance your driver will get lost on the way. And the further you wind into the lush green hills and the island's largest rainforest, the closer you get to unspoilt Bali away from the touristy bustle. Up here on the slopes of Mount Batukaru, Antipodeans Linda and Norm have created a tiny self-sustaining eco retreat that runs in harmony with the local village and its people. The lodge offers a choice of four bungalows, surrounded by an abundance of flora - but if it's peace and quiet you seek, you're in for a shock. Yes, it's calm and tranquil, but the natural orchestra of the protected rainforest is a veritable cacophony of birds, butterflies and bugs.

Two bungalows are suitable for families, two for couples. They are simple and cosy, each filled with traditionally crafted touches - think hand-carved window frames and traditional Balinese wall hangings. Fresh organic food is served in the central restaurant and there's all manner of activities, from a leisurely garden walk to a rainforest trek or volcano climb. Come to Sarinbuana to find a natural high: relax, recharge and be at one with nature.

Highs

  • Stunning views from the restaurant and bungalows, out across the rainforest and island
  • Delicious Indonesian food - Sumatran curries and fish satays
  • Cosy, rustic bungalows that are the antidote to a stressful life - no phones or TV
  • A wide variety of activities: trekking, cooking lessons, natural medicine classes and temple walks - plus great for adventurous families - plenty to keep older kids busy
  • Eco-friendly - sustainable building materials, handmade soaps, recycled water and no chemicals

Lows

  • If you don't like creepy crawlies, then you may prefer somewhere less close to nature
  • There's only limited WiFi available and it's in the restaurant, but that's not an issue for everyone
  • There are no other tourist attractions or restaurants nearby and no nightlife - it's way off the beaten track but therein lies the appeal

Best time to go

Any time, although you'll be able to undertake more activities in the dry season (May-October). Do note that as the lodge is located in the mountains, the temperature does drop during the night in July and August.

Our top tips

This is a great place to pick up a new skill (Balinese wood carving, calligraphy or language to name a few) and learn about the area's culture from locals in ceremonies and workshops.

Great for...

Eco
Family
Great Outdoors
  • Eco Lodge
  • 4 cottages for 2-5
  • Restaurant
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: Balinese New Year in March
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

The four bungalows are staggered down the mountain so they're very private, yet open to the elements.

Highest on the hill, we stayed in the Orchid Bungalow. There were no fans or air-conditioning - the cottages have doors and windows on each side making them completely open to the mountain breeze. Beds have cotton mosquito nets, but there is no netting on the windows. Our veranda had mesmerising views across a vast green canopy and just below was a small patch of garden with loungers. The bathroom was split with a sink indoors and an outdoor shower with hot running water and natural soap. You're a minute from the restaurant and torches are provided to help you find your way after dark; without any light pollution, the stars are fabulous. Just below the restaurant is the two-storey Jungle Bungalow (sleeps 2-5). We saw guests in this cottage bird-spotting from their veranda.

The two-storey Tree House (sleeps 2-5) is built from local timbers and bamboo, and has spectacular views over the forest, to the peak of Mount Batukaru.

Our personal favourite was Rumah Manis, which has one double bed and a cute daybed, plus a veranda. Lowest on the hill, this little cottage is closest to the water hole, but it's still a steep climb there and back as we discovered! This would be our pick for the romantics amongst you.

Features include:

  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Mosquito net
  • Safe box
  • Terrace

Eating

The team of local village women offer a surprisingly varied menu for such a remote destination with both Indonesian and Western dishes being served from their open kitchen. Being so remote, you will have to eat all meals here, but the food is fresh, healthy and tasty. In fact, most of the produce comes from their organic garden. There are menus for meat-eaters, vegans, gluten-free diets, veggies and raw foodies.

Breakfast features freshly squeezed fruit juice, delicious velvety organic Balinese coffee, smoothie bowls, eggs any style and hot, fresh pancakes with palm syrup and fruit. You order lunch and dinner at breakfast time, which takes a bit of getting used to, but soon feels normal. Lunch options might include nasi and mei goreng (fried noodles and rice) or choose from nine different salads, sandwiches or soups.

Dinner is usually in the early evening, and most nights guests linger afterwards, having drinks and sharing tales. We found nothing beats a cold Bintang on the restaurant patio after an action-packed day. Tasty options include the lodge's famous Jungle Special or local fish wrapped in banana leaves, mouth-watering satay and pizzas. The homemade chocolate mousse and ice creams are a refreshing finale.

On special occasions, you may want to make use of the romantic candle-lit dinner available in the garden bale, local musicians can also be arranged.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children's meals
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a guided garden walk of the property: Linda and Norm have instigated permaculture principles by planting an array of different fruits, nuts, medicinal plants, cacao and coffee trees, all jumbled together
  • Go on a temple walk, a rice paddy tour, or a fascinating rainforest trek with a local guide. You may even get to join in a local temple ceremony as we did
  • Have a traditional Balinese massage, aromatherapy or reflexology treatment out in the bamboo massage bale
  • Give your lungs a workout with a day trek up Mount Batukaru - five hours up and three back; or jump on one of the lodge's mountain bikesand ride downhill through rice paddies and traditional villages (they'll even give you a lift back up!)
  • Day trips can be arranged to the local beaches, Ubud or the natural hot springs at Air Panas
  • Admire the monkeys Linda and Norm have rescued (there are also daily feedings you can watch)
  • Bird watch, practice yoga or meditate in the tranquil yoga bale, a lovely round bamboo and timber structure raised into the treetops
  • Take an Indonesian cookery lesson; or join a workshop with the local community, including Balinese wood or stone carving, massage training and Indonesian language classes
  • Head down to the natural swimming pools and small waterfalls for a cold but refreshing dip

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Art classes
  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Hiking
  • Language courses
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Traditional cultures
  • Trekking
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Yoga

Kids

This is a lovely place for families. The Balinese love children, particularly those under five, so you can expect a lot of attention. Villas are well suited to families and with babysitting and outdoorsy activities, it works for families with younger and older children alike.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Pick the Orchid Bungalow or Rumah Manis if you're a family of three (they have a single bed bed for under 12s). The Tree House is good for a bigger family as it has two double bedrooms and a single daybed for an extra person; the Jungle Bungalow has one double bed and three singles. Baby cots are provided free of charge and all rooms have showers, not bathtubs.

Babysitting:

If you want to eat out in the evening away from the hotel, babysitters are available.

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • Baby bedding
  • Stair gates where necessary
  • Night light
  • Blender for baby food if necessary
  • Bottle warming

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Plenty to suit younger palates, from children's menus and half portions in the restaurant to high tea. There are shops and child-friendly cafés nearby too.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Natural water pools
  • Outdoor playground
  • Playroom
  • Rescued animals on site
  • Children's DVDs
  • Lego, games, cards, toys and lots of books

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Fishing
  • Kite making
  • Trekking
  • Village footballl
  • Cookery classes
  • Wildlife watcing

Families Should Know:

There are lots of unprotected balconies and drops, as well as unfenced slippery paths and lots of steps. There's no shop for nappies/baby food nearby. The nearby natural pools and waterfalls require supervision as the path is steep with lots of steps.

Distances:

  • Airport: 2 hours
  • Doctor: 50 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Location

Sarinbuana Eco Lodge is approximately 1hr 45mins' drive from Kuta or Ubud or 2hrs from Denpasar Airport. It is 90mins from the North coast, 50mins from West coast, and 150 mins from the East coast.

By Air:
Denpasar Ngurah Rai (55km). Served by many international airlines. You can also fly to Jakarta, then travel overland (approx 24hrs) or catch a connecting flight to Denpasar.

From the Airport
The hotel can arrange a transfer from the airport, which we'd recommend taking (enquire when booking). If you arrange transport yourself, you’re likely to pay more and many drivers do not know this area. The drive takes about 2hrs.

By Ferry:
There are frequent boats between Bali and the major islands in Indonesia, including Java, Lombok and Komodo. Take a taxi from the port but negotiate a rate before you get in and ensure you have your confirmation with lodge's phone number on, in case you get lost en route.

By Car:
We don’t recommend renting a car unless you’re a very seasoned visitor to Bali as some of the on-the-spot fines for ‘traffic violations’ can be annoying. Narrow roads and overtaking procedures can also be unnerving, especially through the mountains.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.

More on getting to Bali and getting around

Airports:

  • Denpasar Ngurah Rai 55.0 km

Other:

  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 35.0 km
  • Restaurant 20.0 km

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