Bali - A Tour of Landscapes and Architecture
Please note that we will be updating soon with a revised itinerary for our 2011 tour.
We are very excited that we will have the opportunity to meet with and visit the gardens of legendary landscape designer Made Wijaya. Made is a prolific designer of exceptional talent and has been recently featured in Garden Design Magazine. His gardens are regularly featured in international design publications and he has written numerous books on Balinese Gardens and Architecture. We are still working out the details of the properties we will visit and will share more with you as soon as we have this information. In the meantime, definitely visit the website of his firm www.ptwijaya.com/landscape.html to see some of their amazing work and the following is a link that gives you a bio on Made himself www.ptwijaya.com/biography.htm. We are very fortunate to have him join our tour.
A visit to the Vanilla Pod restaurant, located in the Mandai Orchid Gardens in Singapore.
Being a restaurant in the famed Mandai Orchid Garden, their team of chefs has created a range of cuisine where fresh orchids are used as one of the ingredients in signature dishes.. These orchid dishes have definitely introduced a new perspective on the appreciation of these flowers!
Diners and chefs love a touch of vanilla in many fine cuisine, beverages and desserts, but only a minority is aware of the origin of Vanilla. Vanilla beans are seed pods of the tropical orchid plant, Vanilla Planifolia and it has been widely used to add flavor to food and beverages since 16th century. The Vanilla Pod symbolizes their chef's philosophy in ensuring unique flavoring in all his cuisine just like the characteristics of the spice – vanilla.
This is sure to be a great highlight to our time in Singapore. Be sure to also visit the website of the Mandai Orchid Gardens www.mandai.com.sg/index.html
We are also excited to announce that we will soon be posting an updated itinerary in order to include the information above and visits to additional homes of friends of our co-hosts Megan and Kadek. Many of these homes have been featured in international design and architecture magazines and books. This tour truly will be a once in a lifetime experience and we hope you can join us.
Day 1 and 2 - Singapore Rendezvous and Journey to Bali
pool at Alila Hotel
We arrive in Singapore early in the morning, a city well known for its gardens and public spaces. Time will be set aside for guests to relax and unwind at the boutique Scarlet hotel located inside China Town. An optional tour of Singapore will be offered in the afternoon, or you may choose to rest in anticipation of our travel to Bali the following day. In the evening we will gather for a casual dinner, brief orientation and an opportunity to meet the other tour participants. The following morning we will be joined by a Singaporean based Landscape Architect for a tour of select city gardens, including the Singapore Botanical Gardens and Orchid Collection. We then transfer to the Changi International Airport for a late afternoon flight to Bali (flight time of 2.5 hours).
After breakfast a the hotel, our first destination will be to the John Hardy Design Studio. John Hardy first came to Bali in 1975 and studied silver-smithing techniques with Balinese craftsmen and has since gained a worldwide following for his unique designs of jewelry and other pieces. Known for exceptional design and craftsmanship, John Hardy Designs also has a strong commitment to preserving the environment and culture of Bali which is evident in the development of their property and at the home of John and Cynthia Hardy.
Arriving in Bali at 7 pm, we drive directly to the stylish yet intimate Alila hotel which blends contemporary design with traditional Balinese architecture. Our hotel perched above the Ayung River valley, is located just outside of the community of Ubud, famed as the Artisan center of Bali. After settling in, you are invited to a casual cocktail reception and light dinner where you will be meet our local tour hosts.
Did you know that the Changi Singapore Airport has its own Koi Ponds, Sunflower Garden, Bamboo Garden, Fern Garden, Orchid Garden, and Cactus Garden along with great shopping, lounges and even a pool? We will be sure to visit the gardens during our transit at the airport, which has been rated the top international airport.
• Lunch and Tour of the John Hardy Design Studio
• A Day at the Spa
• Dinner at the Home of Resident Landscape Architect John Pettigrew
The current property of the John Hardy Design Studio, acquired in 1997 as a workshop for their rapidly expanding business, was still rice fields. Concerned about converting food-producing land, the design studio also became an organic farm, complete with livestock and fish ponds. The paths are paved in river stones and lined with tall sugar cane. Rice grows in paddy fields outside the glass walls of the design center, while the food grown here is used to provides the 700 employees with a wholesome lunch. The architecture is an eclectic mix of buildings using low-impact materials such as bamboo, thatch, adobe, sun-dried brick, and the soft volcanic stone called paras quarried from nearby river gorges. A small fish pond is located between the studios functions as a water quality control: as long as the fish thrive, ensures that no pollution from the workshops is getting into the irrigation system.
No visit to Bali is complete without a decadent Spa visit. We’ve scheduled time during this first afternoon for a little pampering, which is included in the price of the tour. There will be other opportunities to explore Bali’s famous Spa treatments and therapies during the trip. We will be happy to assist you in making arrangements if you wish.
Spa at the
In the evening we will join Landscape Architect John Pettigrew, designer of the gardens at the John Hardy Estate and many of Bali’s leading hotels. We are invited to his home for a dinner reception and tour of his garden, which overlooks rice fields and a deep, jungle-clad river ravine. Of course like all professional gardeners, there is always a project in progress.
• A Tour of Ubud’s Gardens with Resident Landscape Architect John Pettigrew
• An evening of Traditional Balinese Dance at Designer Linda Garland’s Panchoran Estate and home of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation
After breakfast at the hotel, we will be joined by John Pettigrew, a renowned landscape architect who deigned the gardens of many of Bali’s fine resorts. John will share his insights with is as we visit his clients’ gardens near Ubud. At mid day we find ourselves at the legendary Como Shambala resort, a favourite of Conde Naste Traveler. Here we will lunch at Glow, its wonderful restaurant, while enjoying the spectacular scenery of the Ayung River gorge.
pool & soaking stone from a villa at
Begawan Giri Estate by John Pettrigrew
After relaxing at our hotel, we will visit the estate of famous international designer Linda Garland for a leisurely dinner. The 20 acres of natural landscaping includes rolling grasslands, a wild river and bamboo plantation. Featured in many design magazines and used as the background for movies and fashion shoots, Panchoran includes Linda’s own residence, an amazing sprawling structure created entirely of bamboo. The estate also features several unique residences in Linda’s well-known style, created from natural materials and exotically furnished. Panchoran is the home of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation, so we will learn about the work of this organization in sustainable development. Our evening ends with a dramatic live performance of the traditional Kecak dance by a local Balinese troupe on the estate grounds.
• Lecture on Traditional Balinese Architecture by Artist Kadek Gunarta
• Visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
• Explore and Shopping in Ubud
Tour host Kadek Gunarta will give us personal insight into the history and tradition of Balinese architecture and family compounds. We will visit a family compound and learn the traditional placement of buildings, methods of measurement and use of materials. A rare opportunity to learn about this aspect of an ancient yet still-vibrant culture.
After lunch we will visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary which is home to several troupes of long-tailed Macaques as well as temples dating back to the 14th century. Experience the history behind Ubud's Monkey Forest Temple with Kadek who will explain and interpret the architectural and spiritual significance of this very sacred Balinese temple compound. The largest temple, known as Pura Dalem Agung, is located at the highest point in the forest and is still used for ceremonies. Kadek will lead us through the forest and explain the architectural details of the Holy Bathing Temple and the Cremation temple.
Sample of traditional Balinese Carving from the
home of Kadek and Megan (and Bella!)
Ubud’s shopping is legendary, with hundreds of boutiques offering handicrafts, sterling silver jewellery, garments and home wares and much more. In the late afternoon and evening will be plenty of time to explore the small shops and studios of Ubud, which is renowned as the arts centre of Bali. Dinner will be on your own in Ubud which is also famous for its restaurants; we will recommend some of our favorites.
• Visit with a Balinese Prince
• Sunset at the Seaside Temple of Tanah Lot
In the village of Kerambitan in the Regency of Tabanan lives 76-year old Raja Anak Agung Ngurah Rai Girigunadi, who resides in the 17th century palace that his father had lived in who was a real King. Compared to most other Balinese Palaces, which have been destroyed by earthquakes and wars throughout the centuries, all the buildings in this Palace are still exactly standing at the same place where they were built. All around the Palace one can find old and magical trees and plants of which some are believed to host spirits.
We will join the Raja for a lunch of traditional delicacies of at least 10 dishes including the local specialty, smoked duck. The Raja he will give a tour of his Palace and explain about the architecture and gardens there, which have been mentioned in many books on Bali. This is also a great opportunity to learn about the traditional Balinese way of life. Members of the local village will join us and share their traditions with us such as the proper way to make a Balinese offering to the Gods.
After our visit we will travel to famous Tanah Lot, an exquisite temple built on an islet off the south coast and then head to the seaaside community of Candidasa on the East Coast of Bali for an overnight stay.
• Wake up to Koi at Your Doorstep
• Spend Time at Pantai Pasir Putih- White Sand Beach
• Dine at Big Tree Organic Farm
Breakfast at your room at the
Water garden hotel overlooking the koi ponds
You begin your day with breakfast brought to you as you relax on your private veranda overlooking ponds full of tropical water lilies and large koi. The enchantingly tame fish are more then eager to share breakfast with you. When you return in the evening, fragrant night blooming lilies open up and the movement of the koi are seen through the reflection of the water.
One of the nicest and least known beaches (at least for now) lies just outside of Candidasa, known as White Sands Beach. We will have half a day to relax and maybe even have time for a massage on the beach at one of my favorite beaches in Bali. We then return to our hotel to freshen up.
For the evening, we head to the to the rice bowl of Bali, passing through terraced rice fields and small communities until we arrive at Big Tree Farm, the organic farm of Blair and Ben Ripple. Their vision was to create a model for successful small scale sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics.
Their land yields more then eighty different crops and their products including palm sugar, sea salt and lychee honey can be found in stores such as Wholefoods and other specialty stores. With a philosophy that balances ecology with economy, Big Tree Farms has become not only a successful “green” business, but also a successful leader in the empowerment of local communities…and their food is great.
Firefly Dinner at Big Tree Farms
Our meal here will be a creation of the season, with almost all ingredients coming directly from the surrounding fields where everything is grown organically. The dining pavilion is located within an aged robusto coffee plantation that is the North-eastern boundary of the highland organic farm. The view from your table is of the last remaining old growth forest in Bali….the roof above your heads is thatched with fresh banana leaves. Hundreds of coconut torches lend a soft light to the paths that meander throughout the coffee fields. An evening under the stars with the torches to guide you is an experience unlike any other.
“The vision of Big Tree Farms, Bali is to highlight the natural bounty
of the world’s largest archipelago, while maintaining the ideals
of sustainability and cultural preservation.”
“The vision of Big Tree Farms, Bali is to highlight the natural bounty
of the world’s largest archipelago, while maintaining the ideals
of sustainability and cultural preservation” www.bigtreebali.com
Day 8 -
A day that you get to choose….
Group tours are a great opportunity to explore new and exciting places, but sometimes it’s nice to do your own thing. On this day you will have a chance to participate in an activity of your own choosing and we arrange it all for you. Whether you choose to go golfing, scuba diving, sailing, take private yoga classes, treat yourself to a full day at the spa, take cooking classes, go white water rafting, attend Balinese dance etc., we will make all the arrangements for you, either individually, as couple, or small group. A compete selection of options will be offered for you to choose from (please note additional fees may apply for certain activities).
Day 9 - Private Home Tours
Day 10 - Departing Celebration at a "Created Palace"
For our final evening together in Bali we have arranged a visit and dinner at the home of Anak Agung Gede Rangki and Rucina Ballinger. Set in the middle of the rice fields in a tiny village north of Denpasar, their "created palace" integrates with the natural surroundings. Designed to preserve the ancient philosophy of Balinese architecture, it was built out of respect for the harmony found in the natural elements of earth, water, flora and fauna. Palace Rangki, reflects the important Balinese philosophy of "Tri Hita Kirana" or the three causes of happiness which consist of a human being's relationship with the Gods/spiritual world, with each other and with the environment. Located on their property are sacred springs and temples which we have a chance to visit.
Rucina is a celebrated author and expert on Balinese dance and music and due to her relationships with the arts community in Bali, we will be treated to a Master Dance Performance. This is truly a special treat for anyone interested in the performing arts.
Day 11 - Relax at the Villa
Bali is setting international standards for its fusion of contemporary design with old world craftsmanship, culminating in the Bali Villa. We offer the Villa Experience with its wonderful design concepts, décor, furniture and general ambience of unique and exclusive luxury, Bali-style.
This is your last day in Bali to explore the great shopping of Seminyak & relax before heading home or continuing your journey on the Borobudur excursion.
Land package cost of tour is $6,200 per person based on double occupancy with air options listed on tour registration page. Options are available for single travelers and please contact us for details.
All meal are included except two dinners to enjoy on your own and lunch on day of arrival and departure. Alcohol, other then beer, not included except at cocktail receptions and other invited events.