Hoshinoya Bali—A Sacred Delight
Images Courtesy of Hoshinoya
Ubud is the heart of Balinese culture, a labyrinth of endless winding roads and ancient stone villas. Every turn can lead you down another adventure, embellished with Hindu temples, shrines and shops selling wooden toys or local art. At each doorstep is an offering of marigolds, bits of rice on banana leaves, fresh fruit and burning incense. Take a step away from the bustling city center and follow the Pakerisan River into the mystical valley. Deep in the lush jungle, you’ll find the HOSHINOYA Bali, perched on top of a fantastical mountain range shrouded by the untouched rainforest and terraced rice paddies. It is no wonder that this is one of the world’s most renowned landscapes. The resort embodies the spirit of Bali, a structure that is uniquely modern in aesthetic while juxtaposing a backdrop of a pristine and ancient jungle. It expresses a sense of wonderment, one that invites you in to stay awhile.
The leading Japanese luxury resort brand HOSHINOYA presents their iteration in Bali, making it their first expansion abroad. With the same resolution found in their five other properties, this latest addition provides guests of Indonesia with the best of Japanese hospitality. The resort seamlessly fuses the vibrant local culture with world-class contemporary opulence in design, cuisine and accommodations. It comes as no surprise that the hotel was featured as one of the best hotels in the world.
Born from Balinese Hinduism, the belief of Tri Hita Karana roughly translates to “three reasons for prosperity.” It is believed that harmony exists only when there is balance between nature, humans and the supernatural. The HOSHINOYA Bali inherits this 2,000-year-old sentiment by actualizing this ideology into all of its design concepts. The structures were purposefully configured to blend in with the surrounding plant life, featuring roofs made out of a sacred grass called, alang-alang. Throughout the property, pieces of original art give homage to Ubud’s culture and folklore. These beautifully handcrafted wooden carvings highlight the region’s renowned artisans. The Pakerisan River and its divine waters are always a presence, running through the premises as part of the island’s ancient water temple network. It was the first to be nominated in Bali as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The resort keeps with its esteemed reputation for providing a curated experience. Grounded in Japanese minimalist luxury and accommodations, guests receive a truly enchanting encounter. The HOSHINOYA brand has successfully embodied the concept of Tri Hita Karana, the perfect balance between people, nature and the spirit of Bali.
In celebration of the Balinese culture, the resort extends a wellness program to its visiting patrons. The one-day experience is available to individuals or groups, beginning with a session of morning yoga at the gazebo overlooking the river. It is followed by a classic Indonesian breakfast serving fresh fruit and herbal teas. Participants are then fitted into traditional clothing and adorned with makeup for a private 60-minute Balinese dance lesson. The day continues with lunch, featuring dishes such as bubur, a Chinese Indonesian congee or vegetable curry. Following the meal is a full body spa treatment of choice, an intensely calming time that refreshes all of the body’s elements. Soto ayam is served for dinner, a chicken soup that’s seasoned with turmeric, granting the dish its classic yellow hue. To close out the day, guests are transported to the heart of Ubud to watch traditional Balinese dancing. It is an all-inclusive adventure that is not to be missed.
The resort offers a luxe alternative to conventional hotels with private villas in a traditional Balinese village setting. Three variations are offered, each catering to the needs of its visiting patrons. Whether it’s an exclusive getaway or holiday with friends and family, the residences feature brilliant designs that seamlessly blend modern extravagances with the breathtaking jungle views. After traveling down a narrow pathway of lush vegetation, visitors come upon a courtyard where the villas appear on a beautiful terrace. The residences open up to colorful gardens and a gazebo made for sunbathing or enjoying the south side breeze. The villa interiors are decorated with sleek furniture and woodcarvings depicting stories of Balinese folklore. The living and bedroom areas are flanked with wide balconies where visitors can take in the landscape by day or starry skies at night.
Step away from your private villa’s terrace and take a dip in one of the three pools filled with waters running from the holy spring temple Tirtha Empul. Sharing a single source of water is a defining character of a Balinese community. The pristine waters come from a 1,000-year-old nurtured irrigation system called the subak. By sharing this sacred water, visitors become an integral part of Ubud’s kinship. The three canal-like swimming pools wind around each residence like a river, sparkling in the sun or reflecting the moon’s evening light. They stretch across the property offering visitors an easy departure from the tropical heat. The terraces provide another point of escape, overlooking the flourishing greenery with the sounds of chirping birds and the babbling river. This is the perfect sanctuary for guests to read books from the library or work remotely.
Indonesia is full of discovery. The rich and diverse culture lends a spiritual meaning to everything in Balinese life, including the food. HOSHINOYA Bali fosters this through their enchanting dining experience, inspired by the treasure trove of fresh ingredients and vibrant spices from all over the island. Entering the open-air restaurant, guests are surrounded by the magic of the jungle. The restaurant features wood carvings, furniture and decor that beautifully aligns with the resort’s Balinese craftsmanship. Every detail is carefully deliberated, down to the dishware embellished with batik motifs that balance the colors and texture of the island’s cuisine. Executive Chef Junichi Sakamaki presents Indonesian dishes that infuse his French culinary training and Japanese technique. This earnest approach sparks the senses with multi-course meals highlighting the best local and seasonal ingredients. Black tiger prawns, tuna and leafy vegetables are prepared with finesse. Taking full advantage of the region’s vistas, this elegant restaurant commemorates the vibrancy of Balinese and Indonesian flavors.
If a private culinary affair is preferred, an in-room dining option is available at request. The full dining presentation is a testament to the HOSHINOYA brand and its renowned approach to impeccable service. The staff always presents a local warmth, whether it’s a picnic style breakfast or multi-course experience. Over 30 traditional Balinese and Indonesian dishes can be selected as casual meals or la carte dishes. Everything on the menu is superb, magnificently dynamic and memorable. This intimate culinary encounter is only further accentuated by the spectacular views of the jungle.