Last month we escaped the crowded streets and beaches of southern Bali and made our way up the central mountains to a magical place among rice terraces and coconut groves. As an “eco traveler” we’d stayed in sustainable farms, small family owned guesthouses, and even camped in national parks, but we hadn’t stayed at a real eco resort, and that’s what brought us to Bali Eco Stay!
From the moment we arrived, I knew we would be spending 3 wonderful days, and I wasn’t wrong. Here are 10 reasons why I loved it so much and it’s now one of my new favorite places.
1. The Food – Food that is cooked with love, natural and ethical ingredients, and sourced locally just tastes and feels better! Not only is the food delicious, but everything about how it’s made and where it comes from made me happy. They make their own organic, unrefined coconut oil for cooking purposes, are MSG and margarine free, the palm syrup is extracted locally, the chicken and eggs are free range and locally sourced, and meals are prepared in stainless and glass cookware!
2. The Water– All water at the resort is sourced from a pure water spring located on the property, it can’t get better than that! It’s water that hasn’t been treated and contains no additional properties…and tastes great. All soaps for cleaning and guests are biodegradable, and guests are asked only to use those so as not to contaminate the environment when the water is recycled back into a waste water garden. Even though this area receives 6 meters of rain a year (yep, that’s right, 6!) water is still considered an invaluable resource and used sustainably. Shower heads and toilets are low flow and sheets and towels are changed every 3 days upon request.
3. The staff – From the moment we got off our motorbike we were treated with the best service imaginable from the friendly local staff. Every one gave us big smiles and greeted us as we walked past. It definitely creates a very warm, welcoming environment and added to my happiness. The owners, Cath and John, are some of the nicest, caring, and most genuine people I’ve met. Taking time to show us around the garden, telling us their story, and teaching us new things.
4. Hydroelectric Power – Most of the power is generated on-site from the river! How cool is that?! The hydro electricity generates enough power for everything except the freezers. To save energy low wattage florescent bulbs are used throughout the resort and efforts are always made to reduce power consumption. Energy is further conserved by using natural circulation and no air-conditioning or fans, all buildings use natural lighting during the day from windows and skylights, front loading washing machines are used to reduce water and energy consumption, laundry is sun dried or natural gas dryers are used in wet weather, and dishes are washed by hand. I love these real solutions to our over consumption of fossil fuels!
5.The Bungalows– The beautifully crafted bungalows were constructed by local craftsmen using sustainable timber and bamboo, much of it harvested from the land! During the construction no rice paddies were lost and there was minimal removal of existing farming vegetation. You’re surrounded by vegetation, and I think that’s one of the best things.
6. No Straws – As a person who always asks for no straws, I loved not having to worry about that here, the restaurant is completely straw free! As consumers I think we have an obligation to be conscious about our choices, but that responsibility also extends to businesses. Think about the drastic reduction in waste and litter we would see if places like Starbucks would also apply these same policies?
7. Garden and Food Forest – During our stay I spent a bit of time just roaming around the garden and food forest. I’m always fascinated to see fruits and vegetables growing, still attached to the earth, it really never gets old! At Bali Eco Stay the beautiful garden grows a variety of greens such as kale, arugula, and lettuce, as well as many different herbs like parsley, cilantro, and basil. I also saw tomatoes, sweet potato, and eggplant. All grown organically, with absolutely no spraying. The seeds are grown in bamboo in the nursery, then transplanted to the garden beds. There’s also a brood of hens who take care of the kitchen waste and turns it into eggs, but most importantly make great compost to put back into the garden. All around there are also bananas, coconuts, cacao, papayas, and pineapples! Great love and care goes into the garden, and it shows.
8. Surrounding Nature– We escaped from the crowded, polluted streets of Bali to a magical place with stunning rice terraces, mountain views, and flowing water. Without it, Bali Eco Stay wouldn’t be what it is.
9. So much to do! – Being away from the city wasn’t boring, but quite the opposite. We spent time reading, going on walks, swimming in the waterfall, and even learning how to make a shelter from a coconut leaf. We had the opportunity to spend more time outside and try things we wouldn’t normally be able to. They also offer cooking classes, massages, beach bike rides, and carving workshops. We saved those for the next time we visit.
10. Commitment to Sustainability – Bali receives an estimated 4 million foreign tourists every year. Although this greatly benefits the economy, it comes a high price for the environment. Vastly contributing to waste production, fossil fuel consumption, traffic jams, and water pollution, just to name a few. Hotels, guesthouses, villas, and shopping centers are constructed year-round with little thought given to the environmental implications. This is why Bali Eco Stay is a special choice among the thousands of options for visitors. They truly care about sustainability, voluntarily implementing their own environmental policies and educating staff and local villages on the best environmental practices. It’s an excellent example to show both locals and villagers the way to a more sustainable future. We need more of this in the world.
Many people travel to experience the beauty of our planet, but what they don’t realize is that we sometimes make choices that further pollute and destroy the same places we go to enjoy. Next time you book a vacation, choose sustainably! Let’s protect our beautiful planet while taking a hard-earned break, it’s possible!