Umajati was designed to blend a sense of the old with the elegance and comfort of the new. These heritage houses are airy and light surrounded by glorious gardens. A perfect place to bring family or your loved one to feel the generous spirit of Bali
The Wates Bangbau house at Umajati Retreat is surrounded by tranquil rice fields and set in a lush garden. It is one of two elegantly converted hundred-year-old Javanese teak wooden homes, made throughout with recycled timber, that provide 21st century living in 19th century houses.
• Wates Bangbau house accommodates 5 people.
• An elegant 15-meter swimming pool in a lush garden offers poolside lounging.
• A master bedroom with queen-size bed has an en suite bathroom with a shower.
• A second bedroom with a king-size bed that splits into twin beds also has an en suite bathroom with a shower.
• A single bed in the main living room has direct access to the master bathroom and shower.
• All beds are draped with mosquito nets and cooled with ceiling fans.
• The bedrooms have lots of windows that can be opened to catch the cool evening breeze off the rice fields, and the windows have elegant ironwork to maintain security.
• The living room has comfortable couches and chairs, with a large dining table indoors.
• The house has wrap around porches with several private garden spaces and your own sitting pavilion overlooking the garden. Great space to do yoga or meditate.
• The house has free Wifi
• There is a fully equipped kitchen with wine, beer and soft drinks available for purchase in the refrigerator.
• Full breakfast is included in the rental price – with our own homemade muffins or scones, yoghurt and homemade granola, choice of eggs and the best tea and coffees offered in Indonesia!
• Healthy, home cooked meals are offered for lunch and dinner.
• Afternoon complimentary traditional Balinese cakes from our village are served with our own special blend of tea.
• This antique house has been refurbished throughout with recycled wood.
• LED lighting minimizes the carbon footprint.
• Wastewater gardens safely handle all gray and black water.
• We recycle and compost and do a weekly river clean in the sacred Tirta Tawar springs, 5 minute walk from the house
• Umajati staff is happy to guide you on a rice field walk to see the herons roost in Petelu Gunung, a 20 minute walk away.
The house is hosted by English-speaking Balinese housekeepers and cooks who specialize in healthy cooking. Most of our food is grown in our own gardens! We offer daily home cooked meals for lunch and dinner. If you would like to join us you just let the staff know the night before or enjoy the many restaurants in Ubud.
Interaction with guests
Our house staff always have time to sit and talk, and will take you to the local ceremonies; and the houses are quiet and spacious, giving you the space to take in all that Bali has to offer.
Other things to note
Traditional passive solar design creates naturally cool and breezy living spaces. Wastewater gardens safely filter all grey and black water. LED lighting offers a low carbon-footprint by significantly reducing energy usage. All organic waste is composted on site and reused in the garden. Material that is not compostable is recycled. Wifi is available in each house, connecting all this local thinking to the global context. Each house at Umajati is decorated with select art from the Threads of Life gallery in Ubud. The 4.5 meter (15 foot) wall in each house’s living room showcases masterworks from traditional weavers across Indonesia. Cushion and pillow coverings display how these heritage arts can make beautiful homewares. Basketry made for traditional functions finds new roles around the house. Combined with the hundred-year-old timbers of the house structure, the effect is intimate, accessible, redolent of the past and yet expressive of the present.
We don’t have many house rules. We have a peaceful place where people come for rest, relaxation and recuperation, so we ask that there be no noise after 10 pm that could disturb guests in the other house. We have wooden buildings, so we ask that there be no candles and no smoking indoors. Small children should be supervised at all times: the architecture of the house’s wrap-around porch is very open, and the lack of railings and a 1 meter drop into the garden can be a hazard; at the swimming pool there is only a small shallow corner beside a deep lap pool for confident swimmers. And finally, we invite you to be respectful of the Balinese culture and sensitive to the different ways things may be done in a different culture.
I come from a small farming village in Tabanan in west Bali, but have lived in Ubud since I was in junior high school. For most of the 90s, I worked as a guide of cultural tours in Bali and to the remote islands of eastern Indonesia.
While leading these groups I saw the value of the traditional textile arts. Due to the many uses of traditional cloth -- as everyday clothing, ceremonial dress, rituals gifts, religious offerings, and shrouds for the dead -- explaining the textile arts to the groups we led became a powerful way of accessing the culture of any community we were visiting. The more I learned, the more I saw that the textile arts, and by extension the cultures we were visiting, were in crisis. People were struggling to maintain their cultures and identity in the face of modernization and globalization.
In 1997 I co-founded Threads of Life in Ubud as a fairtrade gallery to work directly with weavers and support cultural continuity. By 2002 it was clear the business could not support all we wished to do in the field, and the Bebali Foundation was established to support sustainable resource use and cooperative development in the communities where Threads of Life worked. Both organizations now work with over 1,000 women weavers in 40 cooperatives on 11 islands across the archipelago.
One of the Bebali Foundation's central activities is the research, documentation and teaching of traditional natural dye recipes. This is to both save traditions and safe-guard incomes for the weavers. And one of the main functions of Umajati Retreat is to support this dye work. Fifteen percent (700 square meters) of the property has been made into the foundation's research garden as both a living archive of dye plants and a source of materials for our dye experiments. Even if you don't stay at Umajati Retreat, please come and see our botanical dye plant garden.