Tropical Modern is not what you expect to find on a bumpy cobbled lane set back from Ubud’s main road.
Entering Bisma Eight is like walking into a modern gallery space. Furniture and artworks are set in a shell that is unashamedly concrete. But there’s no hushed tone typical of a gallery, instead I find the lofty open spaces welcoming, the furniture cosy and comfortable and the artworks and collectibles feel personal rather than curated. A reflective pool, a view through to a jungle like garden and a humid breeze remind me I’m still in the tropics.
I’m here because I was so impressed with Folk Gardens and Pool, another hip place on Monkey Forest Road, another Bisma Eight concept. The two properties couldn’t be more different.
Folk has a chilled out pool party vibe. Think low slung mattresses, deck chairs, hammocks and cabanas scattered around a pool set amongst low key Balinese gardens.
In complete contrast, Bisma Eight is cool, calm and minimal, rightfully claiming the Tropical Modern title.
Rooms have a lounge area cleverly separated from the bedroom by sliding wooden screen doors. The lattice style lets in light adding to the lofty feel of the room. The tropical modern mood continues with the use of bamboo lampshades against polished concrete.
The bathroom holds a surprise.
Nestled in the corner is a deep wooden tub, what a treat.
The small wooden step and the fluffy white towels hanging on a wooden ladder, an arm’s reach from the luxury tub complete my idea of a perfect bathroom.
There are personal touches amongst the clean minimalist spaces. Thoughtful collections, old doors, intriguing works of art.
Whilst the rooms feel private and secluded, that all changes once you hit the rooftop. A big blue sky is the backdrop to open air dining at the Copper Kitchen, Bar and Rooftop during the day, stars and soft lights at night.
Serving up a farm-to-table experience (they have a vegetable patch on the rooftop and their own farm supplying most of their fruit and vegetable produce) the menu is described as ‘International Asian’ changing seasonally. You don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy the restaurant as it’s open to the public.
My next surprise…. I was not expecting such an expansive view from the infinity pool located at the back of the hotel.
It’s hard to believe such a serene spot is so close to the centre of Ubud. This is the place to kick back in a cabana with a book, taking dips in between naps. If you can hang out until 4pm, join the happy hour two for one deal on the signature cocktails from the very stylish Pavillion Bar just a few paces from your cabana. The Bisma Lemongrass Sling got my attention… gin infused lemongrass, lime, vanilla powder, mint leaf, passionfruit puree, egg white.
What else to do during your stay?
The Fit Space is a small gym with enough equipment to get you into a sweat.
Go to the Library Café for a quiet space to get online, or some holiday reading. And as you’re on holiday you’re allowed to indulge in one of their ‘warm cocktails’ whilst tapping away. The Caramel Mocha is tempting…. espresso, chocolate, bourbon, amaretto, marshmallow and caramel.
Or try one of the 1 hour complimentary classes:
Rooftop Yoga classes are on every morning at 8am. Introductory level, so anyone can join. Get behind the bar in a Crafty Mocktail Masterclass. Take home some new cooking skills by joining the Copper kitchen team. Learn the art of Balinese offerings in a Canang Sari making class or try some moves in a Balinese Dance class.
Rates: Whilst at luxe level they are very fluid depending on the season or the availability. You need to check daily, my search found rates ranging from $USD340-425 across the three room types. As I’m an Agoda member I found deals from $AUD312-395 (outside of high season).
They do also offer a range of packages. Some are last minute deals, others are the likes of extended stay benefits or special event packages.
Location: Jalan Bisma. Go right and it’s a 15 min walk to the Monkey Forest. Go left for a 10 min walk to Jalan Raya the main road of Ubud, taking you to the centre of town.
I’ve always found Jalan Bisma to be kinda messy in a good way. I love that I can still drop into a local warung and pay 30 cents for a Bali coffee, whilst further down the road there’s a gluten free breakfast fix. There’s loads of little laneways with signs promising a spa, a villa, or a bintang and pool offer. You can still book a day tour at a ramshackle kiosk. Cars get stuck passing on the cobbled road that seems to always have sections under construction. And there’s random rice fields (not many now!) in between villas, cafes and spas. Bisma Eight with its own unique character has settled into this stretch of road quite nicely.