Photo Credit: TN
Hidden Bali: Escaping To The Plataran Menjangan Resort
Travel Noire’s Experience Designer Chad Evret reflects on a recent getaway to a resort in Bali.
Traveling to Southeast Asia and spending more than a month in Indonesia was one of the most eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. While on the island of Bali, I spent most of my time in the town of Ubud. After a few weeks in the busy expat town, I decided to escape to the northwest tip of Bali for a 3-night stay at Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa. Located in the heart of West Bali National Park, the resort is surrounded by 73-square-miles of Bali’s untamed wilderness with the luxuries of a beautiful 5-star resort.
I was initially attracted to Plataran’s strong commitment to sustainable ecotourism. As a frequent traveler, I want to be more conscious of my impact on the environment by supporting eco-friendly establishments. With gorgeous mountains, forest and sea, the park was established in 1941 to protect the area’s wildlife, most notably the endangered Bali Starling bird and the last remaining wild banteng cattle. I enjoyed learning about the important efforts and valued the fact that I was supporting them by simply staying at Plataran.
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From Ubud, it took about 4 hours to get to the resort. If you’re coming from Despensar airport, it will take about 3 ½ hours. I wasn’t too excited about the long ride, but it was definitely worth it. We took the mountain route, but there’s a coastal route as well. The ride was absolutely beautiful and I wouldn’t mind doing it again.
The first two nights I stayed at the resort’s new one-bedroom Forest Villa. The room offers a nice combination of elegant Balinese style with modern elements of nature. I was very impressed with the room although I wasn’t as initially thrilled about the outdoor bathroom. I quickly changed my mind after a soak in the deep stone bathtub. It was amazing! The third night I switched it up and stayed in an Ocean Villa. While I enjoyed the peacefulness of the Forest Villa, I was excited to fall asleep to waves gently caressing the shore. The Ocean Villa’s private pool was nice as well. Honestly, both rooms were amazing and I’d recommend either. Each was cleaned perfectly and equipped with everything you need for a peaceful stay.
Things To Do At Plataran
I couldn’t imagine a better way to relax than spending time at this tranquil hideaway. Even though it was peaceful there wasn’t a shortage of activities. At the property, you can listen to the song of the exotic Bali Starling birds while exploring the jungle on a guided walk, swim in crystal clear waters, kayak through the mangrove canal, or enjoy a romantic cruise into the sunset. I particularly enjoyed the private breakfast on the beach and the afternoon tea cruise. I also loved hanging by the amazing infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
For dining, you have a lot of options to choose from, including traditional Balinese foods and a few Western options. Breakfast was à la carte and very tasty. There are multiple restaurants on site including Octagon Restaurant, which had great food and drinks. My friend and I were impressed with the bar menu as many places in Bali don’t have many drink options. The resort isn’t close to any big town or village so there aren’t many food options nearby.
I spent much of my time reflecting on my amazing experience in Bali. I realized that Indonesian culture, like Western culture, wildly varies from traditions to foods and even religious practices. Still, something was very different about Bali. Everything seemed to work in harmony, especially at Plataran. The friendly staff quickly became family and helped make my experience unforgettable.
Leaving Bali (or anywhere, to be honest) was bittersweet. The tiny island holds a big place in my heart. I definitely see myself returning to Bali and visiting my friends at Plataran Menjangan again. If you are planning a trip to Bali, I suggest heading northwest to experience it for yourself. Check out more of my Bali experience on Instagram.
Dreaming of your own getaway to Bali? There’s still time to book a TN Experience to Bali happening March 7 – 13, 2018. Learn more about our upcoming trip here and we’ll see you in Bali!