The inaugural property of Banyan Tree’s back-to-nature brand has just made its debut in Bali.
Indonesia’s Island of the Gods is now home to the very first outpost of Banyan Tree Escape, whose “no walls, no doors” concept seeks to immerse eco-conscious guests in nature and connect them with the local community. Opened on June 14, Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape is located a half-hour’s drive north from Ubud in the village of Buahan Kaja. The adults-only resort, which welcomes travelers aged 18 and above, occupies a site adjacent to a thickly forested ravine carved out by the Ayung River.
Here, just 16 breezy pool villas styled as bale (pavilions) feature 165 square meters of indoor-outdoor living areas and sweeping views of the surrounding jungle and nearby rice paddies. Gauzy curtains and canvas screens are all that separate guests from the great outdoors, while Balinese craftsmanship is evident in the carved wooden headboards, hand-smithed copper bathtubs, and textiles dyed with natural pigments; some fittings are made out of repurposed ironwood from jetties and old boatyards. The sustainable design came courtesy of Banyan Tree’s Head of Architecture, Dharmali Kusumadi, who worked closely with local architect Gede Kresna to create a vernacular style using natural materials like bamboo and indigenous construction methods.
Overlooking the property’s west-facing main pool are the Open Kitchen restaurant and Living Room lounge. The two open-air venues follow a zero-waste farm-to-table concept developed in tandem with Bali-based F&B consultancy Agency X — known for its creative projects involving Ubud’s acclaimed Locavore restaurant and its offshoot Nusantara. Seventy percent of the menu is plant-based, and ingredients are sourced within a one-hour drive of the property. The Botanist Bar takes a similar approach as its tipples are infused with locally grown botanicals. Meanwhile, Toja Spa celebrates the wellbeing traditions of Buahan Kaja and the surrounding area through locally inspired treatments and activities that involve Balinese healers. The lush grounds of the property are also dotted with “hideaway spots” ideal for meditation, reading, and self-reflection.
A calendar of daily, weekly, and monthly events will offer guests a range of activities centered on Banyan Tree Escape’s three pillars: connecting to nature, a discovery experience, and community integration. Aside from daily “happenings” held on and off-site, the lineup also includes local cultural festivities and wellness sessions led by a changing roster of visiting practitioners.
Villas from US$717 (half board); escape.banyantree.com