I wake up to the sunlight pouring through the double French doors of our Balinese-inspired villa. A sheer canopy drapes over our king size bed to keep the mosquitos at bay. And the fan across the bed worked like a charm: it was the best outdoor fan to keep mosquitoes away. I snuggle my head into the soft white pillow and look over at Ciaran, half smiling, thinking back to the night we booked Munduk Moding Plantation and how thankful I am to finally be here.***
It’s January in London. Ciaran and I are bundled up in blankets on our big red couch, researching where to go for our upcoming trip to Bali in March. We had spoken to quite a few friends and relatives who had been to Bali before and told us about all the wonderful places to go – Ubud, Canggu, Uluwatu, the Gili Islands, Seminyak – the list of possibilities went on and on.
A few hours and a few glasses of wine later, I have about 30 tabs open of fabulous hotels to stay at in all of the aforementioned places. Eager to show Ciaran my findings, I beg him to turn off the TV and take a look at all of my research.
“Eh, they all look OK,” he says, very unimpressed. “Don’t you want to go to a few places that aren’t so touristy?” I am sure you can guess what happens next…
Frustrated as I had just spent hours endlessly searching for amazing places to visit in Bali, I slam my laptop shut and go into our bedroom to go to sleep. I’ll deal with this all in the morning, I think to myself.
My bedside light goes out, my phone rings. It’s Ciaran, from literally 15 feet away in our lounge, texting me. It’s ridiculous, but we’re both too stubborn to get up and actually speak to each other.
“Munduk Moding Plantation” flashes across my phone and I click on the link. The most stunning image of an infinity pool brightens my screen and I’m intrigued. A nature resort and spa nestled within a remote coffee plantation, the boutique hotels promises a peaceful retreat and tranquility from city life – which is exactly what we both need.
Sheets are flipped off, light comes on, I jump out of bed and into the lounge area, relinquishing my stubborn ways. This is too good to pass up and Ciaran did a good job finding it.
“We are going to Munduk Moding Plantation, it looks incredible,’ I cheer. “How on earth did you find it?”
“I just googled places with amazing infinity pools, and it’s one of the top ones that came up! Looks amazing, doesn’t it? And there’s coffee, hiking, waterfalls, the list is endless.’ Ciaran says.
Birds are softly chirping outside and I glance out the window ahead of us to see lush trees and flowers all around us, the sun coming up over the clouds.Munduk Moding Plantation is an eco-resort located high up in the hills of beautiful North Bali. It is the ideal place to hide away from the outside world for a few days and truly unwind. There are just nine villas and three suites on the property, ensuring the most intimate and peaceful experience for all guests. It’s only our first full day here and I’ve already declared it as being one of the most special hotels we’ve stayed at.
I slowly crawl out of bed to admire our villa. The hotel has been designed by award-winning Bali architect Popo Danes, who has combined the classic Balinese decor with modern touches. The floors, four-poster king size bed and the couch have all been made with gorgeous tropical hardwood, offset by a plush white duvet and pillows. The bed is one we happily dive into night after night during our stay. Local artwork adorns the wall and fresh flowers are dotted around the villa, small touches that go a long way.
The bathroom is quite spacious and made from creamy marble. A large hand-finished terrazzo bathtub is perfect for soaking in and relaxing at the end of the day. Some of the villas also have outdoor showers in a private garden filled with flowers – dreamy.
Not only are the rooms stunning, but I notice all of the amenities are luxurious as well – soft robes hanging in the closet, mosquito spray readily available, which is undeniably helpful our entire trip, a TV, DVD player and speakers in case of a rainy day, handmade soaps to use in the shower and pouches of Munduk coffee made on the plantation to enjoy every morning. Every aspect has been so well thought out, which is not only evident in the villas, but throughout the entire hotel, which we discover over the following days.
I make myself a cup of coffee and head outside to take a look around before we head to breakfast. We are completely secluded from any outside distractions and it’s wonderfully peaceful. I finish my coffee and we make our way over to the infinity pool to start our day.
“Let’s sit over here,” As I point to a picturesque private gazebo overlooking the Java sea. It’s arguably the best seat in the house to enjoy a cup of coffee and gaze out at the incredible of the ocean.
Lucky for us it’s unoccupied and we take our seats and have a look over the menu.“I am for sure getting the Nasi Goreng for breakfast!” Ciaran happily says. He literally wants a bowl of fried rice for breakfast with a fried egg. I’ve got no objections, we’re on holiday after all and Munduk Moding Plantation turns out to have some of the best food we try on our entire trip.
I go for the LakLak, a traditional Balinese rice cake with palm sugar and coconut dust – a take on the American pancake and served so beautifully – like a little green flower 🙂 Everyday, we order fresh juices – Papaya for me and Watermelon for Ciaran. It is such a treat for us both.
The food at Munduk Moding Plantation is a fantastic mix of traditional Balinese and Indonesian cuisine. We never get bored of trying new dishes and love experiencing local cuisine wherever we go. They do have a more Westernised section of the menu too though – so if you’re more into burgers and pasta, you can definitely still indulge.
“I take it you liked the food?” Our waiter says to us with a huge smile on his face – something I happily notice about the staff the entire time we’re at Munduk Moding Plantation. The hotel employs local staff who live and have grown up in the area, and all of them are so proud and also welcoming to us. They are some of the most genuine people we meet during our time in Bali and made our stay all the more special.The weather is glorious outside – 75 degrees and sunny. We decide to take advantage of the incredible infinity pool and layout for a few hours. The infinity pool is exceptional and if you search for Munduk Moding Plantation on Instagram, hundreds of drool-worthy posts will appear. The pool looks out over the mountains and the jungle, all the way down to the Java Sea on a clear day and it’s breathtaking – we can’t seem to keep our eyes off the view. We notice over the next few days, that no matter what time of day it is, the pool and the view are simply stunning.
We laze by the pool for most of the morning, soaking up every ounce our beautiful surrounds and tune out the outside world for a while. It’s exactly what both of us need – some quiet time to reflect and recharge, before we put our adventure hats back on to explore the hidden waterfalls and temples of magical Munduk…
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