In central Bali lies perhaps Bali’s best kept secret – Bumi Duadari. The private residence of renowned Indonesian art collector and designer Hendra Hadiprana, this holy estate is now open to the public by appointment, and is sure to leave visitors enchanted.
Along the holy Petanu River, just outside of Ubud in central Bali, sits a sanctuary of serenity. Situated just a 15-minute-drive away from The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, this sanctuary is what locals call Bumi Duadari, and it is perhaps one of the most exquisite hideaways in central Bali. Bumi Duadari, which translates to “earth protected by two angels,” is the late escape for Hendra Hadiprana after deciding that the Hadiprana Villa at The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah was better left to visitors of this small central Balinese town. Now used as an appointment-only space for events and unique experiences, Bumi Duadari offers something that very few other places across the Island of the Gods can.
To the Balinese who regularly make use of the holy water of the Petanu River, the land in this deeply forested part of Ubud is sacred, and is said to be protected by two angels.
Built by Hendra Hadiprana, the roughly 2 -hectare estate was constructed upon a site that was chosen after Hadiprana had entered a discussion with a number of locals in the area. To the Balinese who regularly make use of the holy water of the Petanu River, the land in this deeply forested part of Ubud is sacred, and is said to be protected by two angels. After much discussion and the navigation of local customs, cultures and traditions, Hadiprana was given permission to construct a private home here, and with a nod to the local tradition, constructed the estate with two prominent statues that face one another – the angels that protect this land. Made up of three bedrooms – one Hadiprana’s private room and two family bedrooms – this traditionally Balinese home features two ponds that have regular black swan guests, a swimming pool, an altar, and a beautifully crafted pendopo and Balai barong (king of the spirits in Balinese tradition) which overlooks the swan ponds. And while Hadiprana’s private room is off limits, lucky for visitors, the rest of the estate is open for appointment-only artistic forays, afternoon teas, and even intimately planned weddings.
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of the Hadiprana Villa is the artistic scene that underlies the hand-built walls of this forested escape. As an Indonesian art collector, art has always been one of the foremost priorities for Hendra Hadiprana, but he has never looked at art without the artists, and owing to this view, as well as his heritage, Hadiprana has always sought to form lasting relationships with locals, especially those that are interested in the artsier side of things. It is because of this dedication, interest, and loyalty, that Bumi Duadari is filled with art that comes only from local Ubud-area-based artists, including five very talented artists that he hand chose to be representatives of this vision. These artists, which Hadiprana has supported in their quest to seeking international acclaim and recognition through universities and art schools, aren’t, however, recluses, and any visitors have the unique opportunity of not only discussing art, but participating in art with them if chosen. The experience is called Art Expression, and allows guests to meet with artists, describe their feelings, emotions, or anything really that comes to mind, and work with the artists in creating a unique piece that represents these expressions. If that weren’t enough, shortly after creating a uniquely authentic piece in central Bali, visitors are then asked to stay for afternoon tea, coffee, and snacks in the Balai Barong, which overlooks a swan pond surrounded by lush flora and tropical gardens for a truly magical experience.
Though if art isn’t up your alley, afternoon tea can also be arranged sans art experience, and a quiet afternoon can be spent meditatively along the holy Petanu River, free of distraction and burden. But aside from merely getting into touch with your inner artist and tea connoisseur for an afternoon, Bumi Duadari can also play host to something a bit more serious: an intimate Balinese wedding in the mystic central highlands of Bali (while accommodation at Bumi Duadari is not possible, guests can stay at the nearby Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, which is comfortably 10 minutes away). With a swimming pool that can be set up for a cocktail and food reception (up to 40 guests) and an altar that was conceptualised by one of Indonesia’s premier designers, there are few places that will present the experience that can be had here. Quiet, private, and in the company of museum-quality art, if you’re not getting married somewhere along Bali’s famed coastlines, it had better be because you’re tying the knot deep in the holy lands of Ubud’s fringes – in a land guarded by two angels.
But aside from merely getting into touch with your inner artist and tea connoisseur for an afternoon, Bumi Duadari can also play host to something a bit more serious: an intimate Balinese wedding in the mystic central highlands of Bali
A place that defies the norms of the western world, this private home of one of Indonesia’s greatest artistic minds and design visionaries can be seen, used, and enjoyed by any and all guests of Bali, so long as an appointment is made beforehand – and if it were me, I’d be making that appointment sooner rather than later.
Note: For those interested in touring Bumi Duadari for the Art Expression programme or Afternoon Tea at Bumi Duadari, you may contact The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah via phone at (+62) 361 975 685 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on arranging intimate weddings at Bumi Duadari, please visit: www.ghmhotels.com/en/tanah-gajah/weddings-occasions/.
(Featured image: Guests are welcomed by the estate manager at this beautifully decorated lobby lounge area of Bumi Duadari.)