Lonely Planet Writer

Sleep under canvas in Bali's new five-star rainforest retreat

Capella Ubud, Bali’s newest luxury resort, looks and feels like the type of place that only exists on the back of a postcard. The type that stressed-out city dwellers tape to wall of their office, in the hope that it will inspire them to one day pack it all in and escape to paradise.

The exterior of Capella Ubud.  Image by Capella Ubud

Conjured up from the brilliant mind of revolutionary designer and architect, Bill Bensley, and set among the luscious rainforest of Keliki, this exotic enclave invites travellers to exit the real world, shed their city skin and take refuge under its emerald shadow.

Capella Ubud opened for business on 29 June but the buzz surrounding it has been brewing for months with the news that Bensley was at the helm of the development. Fans were curious to see how his imagination would play out in the verdant jungle paradise of the Keliki hinterland, a place that has remained relatively unscathed from tourism.

The Bensley-designed interior. Image by Capella Ubud, Bali

Bensley, who was recently inducted into the Hospitality Designs Hall of Fame, designed the 22 one-bedroom tented-retreats and two-bedroom lodge, with the forest in mind. Each tented-room is built into the trees and hidden from view. There’s a strong focus on minimal intervention – respect and cooperation was paid to the land surrounding it – with the added spice of five-star luxury and flair, the perfect tonic for well-heeled hippies at heart and luxury, eco-travellers.

Its signature experiences encompass nature, wellness, spirituality and adventure. There are culinary tours of the resort’s honey farms, coffee, tea and cocoa plantations, as well as medicinal culinary healing and sound healing courses. The resort features private saltwater pools, indoor and outdoor bathrooms and a culinary experience, complete with all the right buzzwords (farm-to-table, local, seasonably-foraged) across four restaurants and bars.

Private saltwater pool. Image by Capella Ubud, Bali

Any stresses that slipped into guests’ suitcases can be washed away at the nearby sacred temples of the Wos River, while thrill-seekers can test their limits on the mountain-bike ridge tours. There are also jungle boot-camps, low-impact workouts in the rice paddies and beauty and wellness packages from the resort’s decadent Auriga spa.

The resort is just a 20-minute journey from the buzzy, cultural town of Ubud. Rates start from US$838 (€721) for a two-night stay.