If your Bali accommodation dreams go beyond Bintangs, boardies and beach breaks, then it’s time to leave the cliff top villas overlooking peeling surf breaks and beachside bungalows.
Head for the hills to find sustainably built bamboo bungalows and magical treehouses tucked into the jungle canopy. Immerse yourself in the glowing lights, cascading gardens, rice terraces and the endless wild symphony of birds, cicadas and crickets. Then let the ancient philosophies and earth-conscious spirit of Bali entangle with your own, leaving you forever changed.
From ecological huts running on solar power to considered cabins constructed entirely from bamboo – one of the world’s most sustainable building materials – we’ve done the digging to discover Bali’s best eco stays and boutique hotels to live out your jungle dreams.
Selat, Bali, Indonesia
Maybe it’s the views over the sacred Campuhan (a Bahasa word meaning the meeting place of rivers) or maybe it’s the boujee Tarzan vibes of this beehive-shaped stay. Either way, enchantment is high at the Hideout Beehive in Selat, Bali. Regularly named as one of the best stays in Bali, the magic hits especially hard as you sit in the fern-shaded jacuzzi or lay on the plush bed, as the green jungle looms through huge glass windows. This is your chance to go full Eat, Pray, Love: book a visit from a local shaman, try a cooking class or explore the Karangasem region on a guided trek. And although it seems this kind of bliss is singular in its existence, there are in fact seven Hideout Bali bamboo villas, cabins and huts sprinkled around east Bali’s beautiful jungles – all with the same ethos of supporting local and furthering sustainable development.
Abiansemal, Bali, Indonesia
Like a bamboo tall ship sailing through a sea of dense foliage, Aura House in east Bali is ready to give your weary soul a good glow up. Crafted completely from the very bamboo that sits outside the egg-shaped door, the two-bedroom villa is an homage to nature’s beauty and ingenuity. Wake to sun streaming across your soft cocoon, the gentle sound of the River Ayung tumbling by outside and seize the day – as gently and slowly as possible. Part of the inspiring Green Village compound – a product of the Green School sustainability movement – Aura House is only a short puttering scooter ride down the road to Kul Kul Permaculture and Green School where you can take tours and immerse yourself in a living model for ecological tourism.
CAMAYA BALI SUBOYA
Selat, Bali, Indonesia
Staunchly off-grid – you’ll find no air-con in this mostly open-air villa – Camaya Bali Suboya is a passively designed cabin that takes the dreamy, tranquil jungle hideout mood and dials it right up. Almost two hours outside of Ubud and surrounded by lush rice terraces, you’ll feel as though you’ve stumbled into a lost world, where birdsong and crickets lay a steady soundtrack. The shadow of Mt Agung sets an awe-filled backdrop for leisure with a capital L: jacuzzi plunges, private yoga lessons, or tropical fruit feasts while hanging in the iconic hanging net. Temple tours and exploration outside the bamboo walls can be arranged by exceptionally hospitable hosts, too.
Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Looking all the world like a lost utopic village or hidden Eden, Bambu Indah is yet another brainchild of the visionary couple (John and Cynthia Hardy) behind Green School. What started as 11 Javanese bridal huts on a cliffside in 2005, has expanded to a village of ecologically built and stunning huts, where the river and the thick rainforest cradle the otherworldly designs. A mood as much as a boutique tiny hotel, mindful and slow is the only reality here. Find your own rhythm with meditation, massage and spa treatments as well as permaculture tours, swims in the natural pools and resetting in the sheer beauty of works of art Moon House and Tree House.
FIREFLY ECO LODGE
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Home to the birdsnest stay featured on Netflix’s The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals this private eco-cottage tucked behind Firefly Eco-Lodge, is certainly worth checking out in your search for the best Bali accommodation. Five minutes from the bustling heart of Ubud, it feels like a luxurious take on an open jungle sleepout – with a comfy mattress, pillow and lush outdoor shower. A swirl of chirping geckos, crickets and fireflies, accentuate the bamboo hut’s simple countenance. Plus with all the amenities of the lodge at your beck and call, you can lounge in the pool, sip a cocktail at the bar or even melt under the fingertips of an in-house masseuse.
MANA EARTHLY PARADISE UBUD
Gianyar Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Aiming for peak eco, Mana Ubud’s pays far more than lip service to sustainability. The Balinese philosophy of tri hita karana – harmony between people, the gods and the environment – is channelled into everything, from the cluster of solar powered “earth bag” villas filled with reclaimed, recycled decor and zero-waste mattresses to the farm-to-table Japanese/Indo cuisine in the probiotic restaurant. The B Corp eco-stay (run by NGO Earth Company) is also home to ‘Mana Market’, a curation of ethical, local, organic and sustainable produce and goods you can shop during your stay. Switch off and reconnect over a picnic, harvest some veggies or sink into a morning flow with yoga lessons and Balinese dancing classes.
CHAMELEON BY OXO LIVING
Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia
Step into your Bond villain era (minus the villainy, of course) the moment you glide into Chameleon by Oxo Living, a beach-free Canggu accommodation option. Built to almost melt into the landscape, the house’s design transcends classic concepts of how buildings interact with the environment. Etched into the side of a hill, overlooking the river below, the living roof with tangled vines cascades over the local and organic materials like stone, terrazzo and wood. The earthiness of the jungle is ever present as Chameleon blends concepts of manmade and organic. Despite the luxurious trappings – sleek interiors, a lap pool and five bedrooms – there’s something humbling about sitting in a building that feels as though it’s living and breathing itself. Existential ponderings aside, Chameleon’s deep-jungle location belies its proximity, sandwiched between the entertaining hubs of Canggu and Green Village.
Gianyar Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Have you ever wondered what life is like for a bird, settled up high on a perch at the top of a tree? Birdhouses Bali, a trio of stunning luxury eco-villas near artisan village Mas in Ubud, will give you a pretty good idea. Appearing to almost float in the complete tranquility of a coconut palm grove surrounded by verdant rice padis, these unique sustainable houses look exactly as you’d imagine a birdhouse for humans to look. The stilted structures are rain- and solar-powered and clad in wood inside and out; you’ll likely find yourself chirping along with the chorus of birds that dart among the treetops around you. If you feel like spreading your wings, the Tegallalang Rice Terrace and Campuhan Ridge Walk are within flitting distance (just over 30 minutes by car).