Banjar Budamanis, Sidemen 80864 Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia
Phone.(+62 366) 24330 fax.(+62 366) 23456, 234808
email : email@example.com
* * Star Service: Two Stars SUPERSTAR Rating * *
Personal note from reviewer:
Ken : Here is the review which I submitted for Star Service.
Remember, the format is rather specific and encourages run-on sentences. Our readers are used to it.
I gave the Tirta Sari two stars, but also gave it a SUPERSTAR rating, which means that within its category, your resort is particularly special (and stands out in the book because it is printed in bold type.)
Perhaps one in one hundred hotels gets Superstar status; even fewer in the two-star category. Please also note that I am very critical when I review properties (for example, I trashed the Four Seasons at Sayan) so my almost completely complimentary text is well earned.
-- Tom Cannold
SACRED MOUNTAIN SANCTUARY, Budamanis, SIDEMEN, known to locals as Tirta Sari, is one of the most remarkable eco-resorts in the world, and is the only property in Indonesia designed and operated in both cultural and environmental harmony, while still giving guests healthy doses of creature comfort.
Far away from tourism's noise and lights, the retreat's sublime location on a riverbank, in the East Bali mountains, is about two hours from the airport and 1 hour from Ubud. The 11 acre resort of bamboo bungalows and lush meditation gardens rests between four sacred peaks -- including Mt. Agung -- in a valley of emerald rice paddies. The property flows up the valley wall with a naturalness that suggests gently running water. Indeed, winding paths, under canopies of gently arching gambol trees, mirror the irrigation canals feeding the extensive organic gardens, which in turn supply the restaurant.
The open-air eatery, open from 7 a.m.-10 p.m., offers a wonderful mix of Indonesian, Thai and Western food, all spiced according to taste. Recreation centers around exploration of the self and environs, and guests are generally left to make their own fun, though the staff is happy to offer guided hikes to the surrounding mountains, villages, temples and festivals. The immense, spring-fed pool has a fiber-optic mural on its bottom, allowing guests (on a clear night) the illusion of floating with star fields both above and below. Nudity is allowed poolside, at the swim-up bar and in the adjacent hot tub.Scuba, rafting, trekking and other off-property activities are easily arranged.
The large, air-conditioned, circular conference room is available for meetings, meditation and entertainment, and local gamelan bands and dancers can be engaged. Accommodations are divided between diminutive cottages and larger villas. Bamboo construction keeps them all simultaneously sheltered from the elements and open to the fragrances and sounds of nature. All units have tables, chairs, fans, excellent lighting, local art,fresh flowers, walk-in closets, lockable storage boxes and IDD phones (though only one outside line covers the entire property.) Beds and pillows are firm and rest under welcome mosquito netting. Lovely garden courtyards complete the picture. Heat and a/c are absent, but rarely needed.
Baths are delicious, taking the Balinese outdoor concept to sensual highs, with two-person marble tubs and separate stone showers set in walled gardens under pristine Indonesian skies. Hot water is virtually unlimited and towels are soft and thirsty. All villas have minibars, deluxe villas have larger gardens, and many come with second bedrooms, river views and/or dip pools. Laundry service is available. Room service runs during restaurant hours, though no menus are placed in the rooms.
Groups of spiritual seekers make up the bulk of the guests but
individuals are welcomed with open arms. The staff, made up primarily of members of the families leasing the land to the American management team, is still learning the ropes is among the most gracious and helpful anywhere. Maintenance is superb. Though not luxurious, this charming resort is the best place on the island to find the real Bali. 19 units. $50-$100 + 15% tax & service single or double.
Tirta Sari Uma Dalem Development
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