Last week I showcased the stunning physical beauty of the Bambu Indah eco-lodge in Ubud, Bali. In addition to its magical setting and surroundings, Bambu Indah is one of those places where everything comes together wonderfully to make your stay an unforgettable one. In this post, I wanted to talk about the food and activities available for guests for the resort.
Included in the price of your room is complimentary daily breakfast and afternoon tea for each guest. The breakfast menu is truly extensive, featuring a wide selection of sweet and savoury dishes, including vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.
You get to choose two main dishes from the menu per person, and you’ll also get fresh fruits, juice (served with bamboo straws, true to the resort's name), and coffee or tea to go with your breakfast as well.
If you’re looking for something a little more hearty, there’s the option to add bacon (IDR 30,000; $3) or duck sausage (IDR 45,000; $4) for a small surcharge.
We tried an assortment of breakfast items over the course of our three-day stay. Highlights included the bubur (a traditional Balinese porridge dish), the French toast, and the banana crepes. As is expected in a tropical region like Bali, the fruits were also exceedingly fresh and succulent.
Hotel breakfasts can often be something to look forward to, especially at upscale properties with gargantuan breakfast buffets. Here at Bambu Indah, breakfast was equally as appealing for an entirely different reason: the sheer tranquility of starting your day with a wholesome, healthy, and delicious feast, overlooking the idyllic pagodas and guesthouses dotting the lush green landscape.
The complimentary afternoon tea consists of a few Indonesian treats, together with tea or coffee. It’s worth noting that any of the meals can be delivered to your guesthouse at no extra charge.
I’m a big fan of all kinds of South East Asian sticky rice treats, from Malaysia’s nyonya kuih to Indonesia’s spekkoek or klepon. After a long day exploring the island, these sweet treats make for the perfect snack.
Lunch & Dinner
Food is served in the Dapoer restaurant, although you can call the restaurant to make your order and have it delivered right to your front door as well.
The restaurant features a rotating menu, which usually consists of a few salads, appetizers, and main courses to choose from. The main courses typically cater to both Western and Indonesian tastes, with all kinds of meat, fish, and veggie dishes available.
In terms of cost, the salads and appetizers will run you about IDR 50,000-80,000 ($4-7), while the main courses are typically IDR 100,000-150,000 ($9-13). Overall, the cost is pretty reasonable in terms of how much you’d expect to pay for a meal; however, I’m sure you could find much cheaper eats if you ventured outside of the little village surrounding Bambu Indah and onto the main streets of Ubud.
Christmas Eve at the resort was one particular highlight, since they were serving a special dinner for resort guests as well as people in the wider Ubud community. After a 25-hour journey from Toronto to Bali, it was a delight to celebrate the holidays with by feasting upon a multi-course meal including spicy pumpkin soup, grilled vegetables, beef rendang, sliced turkey, and mashed cauliflower, topped with a decadent chocolate cake.
Bambu Indah offers guests a variety of activities to keep you occupied and fascinating ways to engage with the traditional Balinese culture. There’s everything from tours of the surrounding villages to spiritual activities like morning yoga or Balinese blessings. For a full list of activities, consult the “Bespoke Experiences” section on the Bambu Indah website.
We kicked off our first morning at Bambu Indah with a two-hour hike through the surrounding village, under the guidance of a tour guide who works with the resort. For what it’s worth, everybody at the resort (and in general everyone in Bali we interacted with) speaks English to a very high level, so we never ran into any communication problems.
The standard village hike costs US$20 for an adult and US$12 for children under 12 years of age. The guide brought us through a series of village streets and rice paddies, showing us the traditional Balinese houses and temples. While Indonesia is primarily a Muslim nation, Bali is home to the country’s Hindu minority, and over 80% of the island’s inhabitants practice Hinduism. Therefore, Balinese houses are designed with the Hindu principles of dharma in mind. Each residence has one or more shrines within the courtyard, which constitutes the most sacred part of the house.
It was also fascinating to learn about canang sari, the daily offerings to the gods made by Balinese people. They usually leave little morsels of food on top of the colourful, flowery trays (pictured below, bottom right). The offerings are meant to give thanks for the peace given to the world.
As we walked through the rice paddies, I couldn’t help but notice not only the endless green landscape all around me, but also the sheer variety of the vegetation – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many plant species in one place. In light of this realization, I made a mental note that I really needed to get out of the cities more along my travels.
The village walk can also take you down by the Ayung River (the same river that Bambu Indah’s new guesthouses overlook), but the heavy rain on this particular morning ruled that out, so we took the village streets back to the resort. On the way, we encountered this local guy nonchalantly walking his pig. I love it! 😄
What made our stay at Bambu Indah so incredible was not only the charming guesthouses and fairytale setting. The delicious food at the Dapoer restaurant helped make it a truly outstanding stay, while we also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hike through the neighbouring villages and see some more of the beautiful scenery that gave Bambu Indah its claim to fame.
Of course, the time spent at the resort is merely a fraction of what the Ubud region has to offer. Bambu Indah is happy to coordinate taxis and/or scooter rentals for you to explore the island’s tourist sites – and Ubud has those in spades. Stay tuned for the next installment!