Puri Sebali, Bali

A green-gold hillside of rice terraces and palms rises before your villa like a standing wave. Never breaking, it is there every time you gaze beyond your villa’s pool, changing with the day’s shadows or moonlight.

This perhaps is what you came to Bali for — not the bling boutiques, coastal hipsters and celeb chefs.

Puri Sebali is a discrete bolt-hole of just 18 pool villas and rooms, plus a quality restaurant, tucked down a lane in Tegallalang, the returning visitor’s alternative to ever-more busy Ubud.

You can walk those paddy fields in the morning, with blue volcanic hills defining the distance and a gaggle of ducks along the way, grateful for being able to still touch the hem of old time Bali. A while later you’re sitting with the resort’s in-house artist and trying your hand at Balinese painting, or surrendering to a massage of such finesse that you wish that, with the aid a genii, you could whisk it all back home at will.

Puri Sebali is simultaneously modern in its appointments (WiFi, TV, aircon, shuttle, cuisine) and traditional in its graces (that view, the service and charming staff).

The uncomplicated result, a gestalt, is homeliness. You’re at home here, ten minutes’ drive and a thousand miles from Ubud.


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