Glamping. While the word has gotten a slightly pretentious twang to it, I like it. To me, it sounds like what it is meant to be – the best of two worlds. Traveling between luxury and adventure, somehow dashing and somewhat daring. With that, it is a word to my liking. When I found out there was a glamping resort in Bali, I knew I had to go there. It came at the perfect time too as I had just finished my Trip of Wonders, was already in Ubud, and in need of some serious R&R.
Staying at Sandat – Glamping in Bali
Sandat Glamping is only 3km outside of Ubud which sounds close enough, but let’s just say that the roads are quite something here. Usually, I like to take a Grab or Go-Jek scooter but those roads to Glamping in Ubud are steep and definitely more adventurous than luxurious.
So I opted for a regular taxi to get there. My driver looked slightly confused following my instructions up the hills and through the ricefields, but then I guess that after Eat, Pray, Love all they can muster is a confusing look when following the directions from thirty-something Western women.
All in all, Sandat Glamping is just the right amount of secluded and to my utter joy, surrounded by real rice paddies. You know the ones where you don’t need to pay a cover fee to get in. Yes, I am looking at you, Tegalalang!
A beautiful driveway led to a fort made out of bamboo, for lack of better description. An open reception, an open yoga area overlooking the rice paddies, and an open restaurant under a thatched roof. This is what outdoor living is supposed to look like in my books!
My tent, Ogoh Ogoh (named after the statues built for the Ngrupuk parade on Nyepi Day in Bali) was down a little path through the jungle away from the main restaurant to offer complete privacy. A good thing as it came with a private plunge pool and thus answered the question of whether I would need to wear a costume in my pool.
The tents at Sandat reminded me of some chic African counterparts except for a typical Balinese four-poster bed made out of bamboo. All sides are open, covered with mosquito netting to allow for the ultimate jungle breeze without unwanted visitors. And for all those like me who hate the bathroom situation when camping, fear not because each tent has an ultra-luxurious bathroom attached including shower, basins and of course, a proper toilet.
I had planned to spend the afternoon catching up on some work, but I will admit that the wifi at Sandat is a bit patchy as is the 3G reception. I guess that is part of the whole concept of glamping in Bali!
I made the most out of this forced work break and engaged instead in the art of doing nothing: I spent the afternoon in style and lounged naked by the pool. I was so relaxed that I only took one full frontal picture of my tent which turned out included a reflection of full-frontal nude me. Sorry, but I won’t be sharing!
But when you have the chance to have a secluded pool all to yourself, that’s what you do. Just FYI – Staff announces themselves by ringing a bell by your tent’s name tag in front of the jungle path. You would have enough time to throw something over until they get to your actual tent – that’s how secluded you are.
While the slow wifi is a nod towards modern amenities, Sandat Glamping likes to be as green and as low-tech as possible. Instead of phones, you will find wind charm xylophones in the rooms to ‘call’ reception with. I promise I only rang it once for someone to get my luggage though I was super tempted to use it all the time – so much fun!
If you are not lounging around naked, you can spend the afternoon exploring the surrounding rice paddies, doing excursions or head into Ubud. A free shuttle is available between Sandat Glamping and town all day long to take you back and forth. Or you know, you could just do absolutely nothing, which is my best.
Of course, they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner and yes, you may use that wind charm of yours to order something to your room, menus are available. I preferred to eat at the main restaurant which turns into a beautiful candlelight lit affair at night. I was surprised to find some Indonesian wine on the menu which wasn’t half bad and honestly such a welcome change after non-stop Bintangs. The food was a little underwhelming, nothing wrong with it, but I just felt for such a special place, dining here should be extra special too. In hindsight, I should have taken a shuttle to town one night (they run until 10 pm!) and returned to my favorite Warung for some Gado Gado.
Read More: A Foodie’s Guide to Ubud
Going back to my tent at night was quite an event. By now the staff had lit hurricane lamps to show the way and the pool was lit too. Perfect place to get your romance on or so I thought. Judging by the sounds, my tent neighbors preferred to spend their time playing dice games. I hope for them it was a game of dirty dice because it doesn’t get any more romantic than this! Again, I was a bit sad to go to bed with just my Kindle…
Alone or not, crickets and frog sounds lulled me to sleep in no time. Even in the rice paddies, it seems it’s a jungle out there! Mind you, after having been to the real jungle, I appreciated it a lot more from my four-poster bed. I can rough it if I need to, but I do prefer to glamp it!
Sandat Glamping offers 3 color-themed tents, 2 suite tents, and 3 Lumbungs (two-story bungalows). All options are stunning though the Lumbungs share a pool and thus naked swimming is not necessarily appreciated there.