Properties / Hotels

Bali’s Dreamiest Rural Retreats

Bali is most renowned for its popular beach destinations, but the country also offers some of the most beautiful bucolic settings the world over.

Apr 01, 2014 | By Staff Writer

Bali black sand beach view

Bali is most renowned for its popular beach destinations, Kuta and Seminyak, but the country also offers some of the most beautiful bucolic settings the world over. Winding, seemingly endless hills of rice terraces, verdant farming villages and quiet mountainside enclaves are just some of the beautiful sights to behold throughout Bali’s countryside.

What’s more, there are numerous accommodation options available that combine seductive Balinese design with the raw beauty of the surrounding rural landscape, making for a peaceful respite complimented with the gentle lifestyle of the local communities. From Manggis to Buleleng to Tabanan, these rural retreats reveal some of Bali’s most stunning surroundings:

Alila Manggis seasalt restaurant

Alila Manggis

A sense of calm overcomes guests as they enter the spacious and serene pool area of Alila Manggis, which boasts dramatic seaside views.

Set amidst a lush coconut grove, the 55-room boutique hotel rests between Mt. Agung and the Bali Sea and is situated in the regency of Karangasem, where locals follow a traditional lifestyle either cultivating rice, farming, fishing, weaving textiles or salt-making. The hotel offers tours of the spectacular terraced hillsides, the weaving villages of Sidemen and the traditional Bali Aga village of Tenganan as well as to many sacred Balinese temples.

After exploring the area’s countryside, enjoy international or traditional fare at Seasalt, the hotel’s restaurant, which sources many ingredients from its onsite organic garden.

Uma Ubud Pool

Uma Ubud

Traditional Indonesian design combined with chic modern accents help make Uma Ubud one of Bali’s most luxurious hotels.

Close enough to the artisan hub of Ubud, but far enough away to become completely immersed within Bali’s charming countryside, the hotel embodies the best of what the island has to offer.

The property’s 46 rooms and suites boast unique touches such as sunny conservatories, private terraces, open-air courtyards and private plunge pools. Tours throughout the local area can include walks through rice paddies, hiking and biking through villages and “soul-nourishing” temple visits.

Fare at Uma is light and nutritionally rich, often incorporating ingredients from surrounding farmland.

Damai Lovina

Damai Lovina Villas Bali

Many say that magic floats throughout the air in northern Bali; at Damai, guests will certainly get a taste of this enchantment.

The area surrounding the property is known as Bali’s orchard – a rural Shangri-La with spices, vegetables, fruits and flowers growing in abundance within the rich volcanic soil.

The villas here offer comfort and style, with amenities ranging from open-air bathrooms to organic toiletries. Activities offered at the resort include golfing at Bali Handara Kosaido, a golf course situated in the center of an extinct volcano, trekking along the steep hills of a local farming village and exploring the various temples scattered along the property’s grounds.

Alila Villas Soori, Tabanan, Bali

Alila Villas Soori

The shimmering granules of the black sand beach, which flanks Alila Villas Soori, are just one of the many natural wonders located within Bali’s Tabanan Regency. The property is an inspired expression of contemporary Asian architecture that offers modern luxury in an otherwise rural setting.

Forty-eight villas, each with a private pool and plenty of lavish amenities, promise a thoroughly relaxing stay. Cultural excursions here abound: There’s an in-depth rice cultivation tutorial, where guests can walk through padi fields and help local famers plant seedlings.

There are encounters with local craftsman, who share the traditions of making terracotta earthenware and wayang-style artwork. Best of all, there’s a visit to the Jatiliwih area to learn about the process of making Kopi Luwak coffee, where guests explore a terraced cocoa plantation and are invited to sample an aromatic cup of brew.

Alila Villas Soori pool sunset

Tirta Ayu Hotel and Restaurant

Situated in the beautiful Karanagasem Regency of East Bali, Tirta Ayu was built as a weekend retreat for the region’s last rajah. The elaborate water palace was designed to incorporate views of the ocean to the east as well as Mt. Agung to the north. Vistas of the surrounding countryside provide some of the most stunning rice terraces in all of Bali and the hotel is situated on a sacred spring, which feeds the property’s picturesque water gardens.

Tirta Ayu

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