Munduk Moding Plantation
Munduk Moding Plantation is a simple boutique hotel and spa found on a working plantation that has one of the most picturesque locations in central Bali. The surrounding hillsides are covered with jungle, coffee trees, rice fields, and pretty much anything that grows on the island. With just a handful of villas and suites (currently four villas and six suites but with plans for more) on some five hectares of land this is a very different type of property to those normally found in Bali where land is at a premium and space is a real luxury that is often not available.
The two Sky Suites (two bedrooms in each suite) are located above the pool and share a large terrace with amazing views over the pool, plantation and north coast. The three Garden Suites are located in a separate building which itself is situated in the coffee plantation with views of the surrounding greenery and the rolling hills down to the sea. The Garden Suites all have private and semi covered terraces from which the scenery can be taken in while the bedrooms have merbau parquet floors, huge windows and glass sliding doors, four-poster beds and are decorated with local artworks inspired by nature. The en suite bathroom echoes this theme by combining Sulawesi cream marble floors with section executed in natural stone and indigenous plants. The wash-basins are supported by an old coffee tree while a skylight floods the shower and terrazzo bath-tub with natural light. The significantly larger villas are dotted around the plantation in secluded locations and have beautiful four-poster beds and stylish interiors. Huge glass panel doors provide unparalleled views in all directions, with a small terrace to take in the mountain air and an outdoor shower in a private garden filled with flowers. Although built in traditional style, modern facilities are taken care of with iPod, CD and DVD players and flat-screen TV in all rooms. The spa is excellent value and after a long day exploring or if the weather turns it is well worth booking in.
Spectacular sunsets and stunning panoramas of the rice fields and north coast can be enjoyed from vantage points all over the plantation but it is hard to beat the view from the amazing infinity pool which is the signature image of the property. Mimpi (meaning 'dream' in Balinese) is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has great views of the Bali sea and the central mountains. If the weather is clear, outdoor dining on the terrace under the frangipani trees next to the swimming pool is very popular and the mixed Indonesia/Asian fusion menu features plenty of ingredients grown in the organic gardens. The hotel does also boast a tennis and badminton court.
Responsible Tourism practices
Designed by award-winning Balinese architect, Popo Danes, the hotel is situated in a part of the island that is largely untouched by international tourism. This greatly adds to the charm of visiting the area and the staff are strongly committed to help avoid the excesses of mass tourism. Given that international tourism is new in this region the aim is to demonstrate to the local population that sustainable tourism is in their interest, respects the local culture and helps promote a better environment.
The majority of the staff come from the area and the construction work was largely undertaken by local teams, supervised by an international crew. Local traditional dancing courses are provided for the girls from the primary school situated not far from the entrance gates — this can be observed by hotel guests. English lessons for locals are provided and information sessions about protecting the environment (with an emphasis on sustainable farming) are given.
The owners work with local coffee farmers to pool resources, upgrade the quality through organic farming and sell to wholesalers directly. This will hopefully lead to better revenues for local farmers and will protect the soil and water tables in the area: organic coffee plantations use much less water than growing oranges and cash flowers while it requires shadow trees which, in turn, attracts a large variety of birds and stimulates the growth of many indigenous plants and flowers. There has been a remarkable increase in the variety of birdlife since this type of farming was introduced. Birds that are regularly observed include swallows, singing bush larks, kingfisher, red jungle fowl, pink necked pigeons, plaintive cuckoos and spider hunters.
As part of the approach to sustainable tourism the hotel gives 'right of way' to locals on the eastern side of the plantation (near the staff quarters) where there are century old paths leading down to the valley. This does not concern the area near our villas, but when you set about exploring the plantation you might bump into the odd local who will invariably be friendly and supportive of the endeavor. Access for locals to a traditional water source and its shrine situated on the plantation has been maintained so that they can continue to fetch water here and bathe (guests are asked to respect their privacy).
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