KARMA KANDARA, Bali
Here at Life Privé we are all for ‘Good Karma’ so when we heard that we had the opportunity to visit Bali’s Karma Kandara, we were on the next plane out of London. Located on Bali’s southern most tip Karma Kandara is unspoilt. Perched on the edge of a limestone peninsular looking over the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean she is one of Bali’s true hidden gems.
Getting to the hotel is a 45 minute drive from the airport through rural Bali. Following a dirt road, which was more like a BMX track, our little taxi did us well navigating local cows and small streams. Around 30 minutes into the trip you feel a change, the road starts to look more like a road than a path and the trees go from tropical jungle chaos to somewhat strategically planted. You can feel that something is coming. And how right I was.
The first thing that you see is the ocean, a vast blue expanse that immediately makes you feel calm. Following the paved road down further you finally see her, Karma Kandara, sitting gracefully, waiting for us. She is magnificent.
Making our way from the reception on our own golf buggy we pass multiple coloured doorways, past a maze of limestone walls covered in bright pink bougainvillea, over a little bridge and stop outside a bright blue door. Our Villa.
We walk inside, over steps rising from a pond filled with Carpe and into our Pool Side Villa. The interiors are a beautiful mix of traditional Balinese materials and textures with minimalist structure. However these interiors only kept me occupied for a second as I was immediately take aback by the view. I look out over our infinity pool, which seemed never ending and out onto the Indian Ocean. It sucks me in an its beauty leaves me almost breathless…. Drawn to the water I open the doors to step outside. However beautiful the ocean is I cant help but feel like I am being watched, however not in a creepy horror movie way, I look around and see my admirers – 6 Monkeys resting on the tree outside my room. We stare at each other, eyes locked….. this is going to be interesting.
After I have settled in to the villa and made my monkey friends I make my way to Ungasan Beach which sits a mere 150m below the hotel. Access to the beach is by a single white inclinator, which can take 4 guests at a time. I get in and we slowly decent through the trees down, down, down to the beach. Stepping out of the inclinator I make my way through the beach bar, which looks like it is straight out of the Corona advertisements “From where you would rather be.” I laugh, this is too much.
I decide to first take a swim and run straight into the turquoise blue. After 30 minutes of splashing around and floating in the waves I walk back up to the beach club. I am met by a bar tended who offers me fresh water with lemon and cucumber. I take small sips as I ask for a beach chair.
The bar man runs off and returns not with a beach chair but with a beach bean bag… yes you heard me. He places it down on the sand next to a large white umbrella and I attempt to gracefully hop on. I have never been in comfort quite like this- lets just say that I’m never getting out. Honestly these beach bean bags alone are enough to visit Karma Kandara.
After an hour or so and a (few) cocktails I decide to order lunch, there is a fresh seafood bar at the Veranda beach club restaurant and I reluctantly remove myself form my beach bag and go and look at what is on offer. I opt for fresh prawns which are prepared in front of me. Grilled with lemon, chilli, ginger and coriander on top of fresh herbs…. Yes please.
After lunch I make my way back up the little white inclinator and traverse my way across a stone bridge to the Karma Spa. Suspended god-like above the ocean the spa specialises in holistic treatments. The mantra of Karma Spa is “pleasure is part of the treatment” therefore offering soulful therapies from world-renowned healers. There is a five –star-hippy vibe feel throughout this spa and oval pools, infrared detox saunas and world renowned oxygen facials recommended by celebrities like Madonna are all on the menu. I highly recommend it.
Feeling energized from my spa afternoon I make my way back along cute limestone walls and multiple coloured doors to my villa. I take a dip in my infinity pool, perching myself over the edge and looking out to the ocean in a mediative state. Who knows how long I stayed there, but the sound of the Monkey swinging through the trees brought me out of my trance. I make my way up to my room, put my training gear on and head to the gym before dinner
Post workout, I am feeling great and make my way to the restaurant. Walking across the main pool to the restaurant I notice a glass room with bottle upon bottle of wine. I make a stop here. This is Veitas, Karmas wine bar which is Bali’s first Enomatic wine bar in short it is basically a wine vending machine… Ill have to be careful here as I may miss my dinner. I sample chardonnays from the cabinet using my own card and look out through the glass onto the glistening ocean.. what a spot. 45 minutes later and feeling slightly tingly I move onto Karma’s main restaurant di Mare. Di Mare is a Mediterranean inspired culinary delight focusing on the ‘power’ of food. This would suit any health nut, and if that’s not you, go back down to the beach for a freshly made pizza or grill. The options are limitless.
Post dinner I casually stroll slowly home taking it all in, I take the little ride down the inclinator again (cant help myself) and walk along the beach before bed, the cool calm sea lapping at my ankles.
I wake the next morning from what can only be described as a hypnotic sleep. Refreshed and totally energizes I head to the gym for a quick session before breakfast. I head back to Di Mare and she is even better in the morning, the tables overlook the Indian Ocean and you can hear the waves crash down by the beach. The menu this morning is totally up my ally fresh, imaginative cuisine curated from 100% local, organic and pesticide-free ingredients makes for a great start to the day. I have to say that I am enjoying it here.
It is going to be sad to say good bye to this little temple of a hotel, she is quirky and fun with a natural and unforced elegance that could make event the most neurotic relax. Karma Kandara is, well…. Good Karma.
A big recommendation from us at Life Privé