Fall asleep to the sounds of the real Bali jungle, have tea and cake at a hidden waterfall, do yoga over the jungle treetops, AND catch freshwater tilapia and gurame, the chef prepares your catch Bali style. This is the quiet Bali holiday you’ve been dreaming of. It’s the ultimate jungle escape. Plus, luxury private jungle villas with sparkling pool, located in the “real Bali” few tourists ever get to see.
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AND: The best and most beautiful part of the island? Discover where to go in Bali.
My Quiet Bali Holiday Begins…
I am on my way to stay at a newly opened villa complex called “Bali Palms”. It’s situated just outside Tabanan. It’s supposed to be the ultimate jungle escape and it’s off the beaten track. Perfect for a quiet Bali holiday. And now I’m going to find out what all the fuss is about!
As I leave the airport, I take a car (and a driver!) and we head north along the west coast. Bali is idyllic, there’s no arguing that. It’s also referred to as the Island of the Gods thanks to the plethora of Balinese Hindu temples and respected traditions. We pass Kuta, Canggu – This is party territory and for most visitors, is all they see of this beautiful island – but not me. I’m planning a quiet Bali holiday – an ultimate jungle escape
Now we are heading north past Tanah Lot, the renowned temple uniquely situated on a small rock just off the coast. About an hour and a half after leaving the airport we pass through the town of Tabanan, essentially the capital of Tabanan Regency, which is often called the Rice Bowl of Indonesia, as it supplies most of the rice across the Indonesian archipelago. And soon I see why – once past the main town we start seeing incredibly lush paddy fields.
Now I get the feeling that we are finally leaving the main tourist centres of the island. My quiet Bali holiday beckons.
At Last, We Get To The “Real Bali” Few Tourists Ever See
My research shows me Bali Palms is just 40 minutes from Tabanan and, after 20 minutes, the driver takes a right turn down a little side road. I hope he knows where he is going. Wow, now I get it, clearly we are truly heading into the “Real Bali”. Locals say that this is how the now, mainly tourist, areas of Bali looked 50+ years ago, even better than Ubud!
It’s true, all I see, as we move along the, (albeit rather potholed), roads are beautiful vistas of paddy field after paddy field. It’s unbelievable, so serene, small streams run by the side of the roads. And, in the distance, I see the magnificent and majestic mountain of Batu Karu, Bali’s second largest volcano. It’s situated in the middle of the largest rainforest in Bali, at one time, tigers roamed free across its slopes! Interestingly, the rain forest supplies most of the water needs across the entire island – and also, for the more adventurous, offers unique trekking opportunities to go to its summit. I’m not the fittest of people but I mentally add that to my things-to-do-on-a-Bali-holiday list.
Luxury Private Jungle Villas With Sparkling Pool
20 minutes along the small winding roads, I wonder if we are getting lost. Then I see a little wooden sign – Bali Palms is only 150m further on. A minute later, we see a stretching brick wall on the right, with red bougainvillea growing up its side. As we travel along the little road, hens scatter out of our path, and we dodge lazy-looking local dogs sitting on the warm gravel, enjoying the afternoon sun. And then we pull into the small parking area outside of the resort. We have arrived!
The first thing I see is an entryway, framed by a beautiful Buddha statue. I later learn it is over 100 years old and weighs 500 Kg.
I turn the corner and see an amazing panorama of different shades of green. Oh, how I wish I could paint. Emerald lawn stretches down to the sparkling oval swimming pool, the path is surrounded by trees of every kind, and continues down to the dense forest below. Now I know why they call this Bali Palms – there are palm trees around the pool, along the pathways, and in the jungle at the bottom of the property, what a sight! At last, my quiet Bali holiday and ultimate jungle escape begins.
The Ultimate Jungle Escape
Then it happens…I don’t know why, but I get a strange, almost spiritual feeling, I feel so peaceful, as if I’ve come home yet, this is my first time here. I find out later that on the land there are 3 or 4 Pura, or Balinese sacred places of worship. These Pura are so old and revered, the local people visit and look after them constantly. Hmmm… perhaps that’s why the owners built a Yoga platform overlooking the Bali jungle and the waterfall at the bottom of the property. I can’t wait to roll out my yoga mat and just soak in all the serenity. I’ve heard you can get your aura cleansed – it’s one of those unique Bali jungle experiences. And there’s something called jungle smudging. I reckon that has to be part of my ultimate jungle escape. I’m going to check it out.
My home for the next few days of my perfect quiet Bali holiday is the “Frangipani villa”. It’s expertly crafted from bamboo and brick. I love it already. It’s simple, but there’s unmistakeable luxury here in the details – 100% cotton bedlinen on the king-size bed, slippers and bathrobes in the teak wardrobe. Oh, and the bathroom! It’s the ultimate al fresco, yet private experience of pure indulgence. It’s outdoors (semi-covered) and tiled in natural stone. I take a shower using the resort’s custom-created bath and skincare products – they smell heavenly. Talk about ultimate jungle escape pampering! Cleansed and revived, I head to the restaurant, it’s around 6pm after all! I’m starving at this point.
Chef prepares your catch Bali style
The Bali Palms Restaurant is open air, and covered with a beautiful Ulin wood roof – I found out later that this wood is so sought after, it’s banned from being exported outside of Indonesia. And, what a menu, the offerings are so much more interesting than anything I’d seen in my previous trips to the island. It’s a combination of east-meets-west fusion inspiration and traditional Indonesian fare. I want to eat local dishes, so I settle on Pepes Ikan – grilled fish in banana leaf with rice and sambals and I can’t resist Sate Ayam – grilled chicken with a peanut sate. I can taste the freshness of these ingredients. Apparently the fish is freshly caught right here on the property! I wash it all down with a few glasses of the local beer, Bintang. For dessert, why not, I’m on holiday after all, I opt for the Grilled Pineapple with Caramel Sauce. Yum!
ALSO: Stay in a Bali holiday house with chef and enjoy unbelievable food made from the freshest ingredients
Fall Asleep To The Sounds Of The Jungle
I head back to my room. It’s now dark, and the grounds, as well as the pool are lit up and everything is so beautiful, and so quiet. I fall asleep lulled by the chirping of cicadas and other sounds from the jungle below. I can honestly say I have one of the best night’s sleep ever – the mattress is excellent and the room is air conditioned. I really rate the Bali Palms accommodation. And there is no pollution here. Having travelled from Los Angeles every breath I take during this ultimate jungle escape is refreshing and clean.
After another luxurious shower in that great outdoor bathroom, I head down to the restaurant for breakfast. The staff and the chef are amazing. I have a full English breakfast (yes, I do feel guilty), then I treat myself to an incredible plate of fresh fruit (less guilty). And, the fruit is all grown on the 2-acre-plus property. Oranges, lemons, papaya, mango, durian, bananas, as well as many vegetables, and so much more.
I walk around the property, passing the numerous fish ponds (as I said, they cultivate their own gurame and tilapia here, and you can even go fishing for your own supper. The chef will prepare it for you !) It’s peaceful, my ultimate quiet Bali holiday. I can see and hear the birds, hundreds of butterflies, and I glimpse the occasional small lizards as they dart away from me.
Tea And Cake At The Hidden Waterfall
Later on I’ll walk down to the waterfall for a “real” Bali ultimate jungle escape. I’ve been invited to have tea there. Tomorrow I’ll take a drive out to the local reptile park, the nearby hot springs and visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, Jatiluwih rice terraces. There’s a book in my room filled with nearby attractions. But for now, I’m just going to relax at the sparkling pool and enjoy my long-dreamed-of quiet Bali holiday at Bali Palms.
Hmm, on second thoughts, I might give Bali holiday golf a shot.
BONUS: How much is a private jungle villa in Bali?
If you’re looking at a stay at Bali Palms, you can expect to pay somewhere between $50 to $80 per night (depending on how and where you book). Which is way cheaper than most popular hotel rooms – average $100-plus per night.
But here’s a tip: If you book directly with us, you get the lowest possible price for your Bali Palms stay – that’s your own luxury Bali jungle villa with a pool and our chef.
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