At a Glance
Not one tree was felled to make space for the magnificent Capella Ubud amid the jungle canopy—an incredible feat, considering the density of the lush forest in which it resides. But it was a priority for the designer, California-born, Bangkok-based Bill Bensley, to preserve the natural landscape. And what a landscape it is. Nearly 10 acres of central Balinese forest is home to the resort, which features 23 villas on stilts that almost completely blend into the setting. Inspired by the Dutch influence on Balinese design (Indonesia was a Dutch colony from the early 1800s until World War II), the villas feature period and contemporary furniture, layers of block-printed textiles and huge carved doors and four-poster beds—plus their own private pools. The “tents,” with swagged ceilings and canvas walls, are true to Bensley’s maximalist style and yet also reflect his abiding respect for nature.
The Standout: The Officer’s Tent, for coffee, tea or cocktails—it’s a visual feast of all things Dutch and Balinese that’s filled to the brim with treasures and curiosities Don’t Miss: The nightly bedtime ritual of hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows served around the campfire while the jungle orchestra serenades you
- The spacious tented accommodations, some standing 200 feet above the valley floor, each with its own infinity-edged plunge pool
- The predawn guided expedition to climb the sacred Mount Batur volcano, with breakfast at the summit
- Delicious, healthy and locally sourced meals, featuring many ingredients that are grown in-house
Beyond just offering a luxury tented experience—a unique product in its own right, considering the multitude of high-rise hotels on the island—Capella dared to do something different: channel the romantic experience of setting up camp in an untouched, uncharted jungle.
The 23 tented accommodations are outfitted with period furniture and exquisite antiques from the 19th century, but seamlessly integrated with modern comforts. The set-ups are dramatic: hanging rope bridges leading to wooden decks elevated up to 200 feet from the valley floor, infinity-edged plunge pools and a canopy of trees shrouding every tent to maximize privacy (Capella claims no tree was felled in the property’s construction).
The interiors are no less awe-inspiring. Renowned hotel designer Bill Bensley pulled out all the stops in decorating each tent: intricate carvings abound on the heavy double doors, four-poster bed and bar cabinet, gorgeous textiles line the side panels and lie carefully draped over the divans and the bathroom features a carved wooden commode. The pièce-de-résistance however, is the handmade copper bathtub that took 200 hours to make.
To be clear, this is a destination built for couples, or at least families with older children who would appreciate the artistry, adventurousness and grandeur of this unique property. The tents are built on a slope, which means that the most premium accommodations are built on the edge, on very high stilts, with views of the neighboring hill; the entry-level tents are set back in the jungle, without notable views, and the hardest to access tents are down the slope, set next to a river.
Hotel facilities include a spa, a main pool, a gym, an atmospheric living room (dubbed “The Officers' Tent”), and two excellent restaurants. Capella Ubud is located in Keliki Valley, a 20-minute drive from central Ubud.
Who Should Stay
This is a truly special property for couples and families with older children.
Who Should Not Stay
Anyone with mobility issues
Written by Indagare