Occasionally you’ll find a gem in unexpected places and tucked far away from the hustle and bustle of the south of Bali’s touristic hot spots is Wapa di Ume Sidemen.
It’s about a 1,5 hours journey to Karangasem region in the east of Bali. Along the way the trip opens to scenic rice fields and verdant hills, slithering through quaint Balinese villages, and just when you think it’ll take a while more to reach the destination, you’re there.
With its cool breezy atmosphere, Wapa di Ume Sidemen offers the same experience as its sister resort in Ubud: a quiet escape surrounded by nature. It’s in its own world inhabiting a 1-hectare space that slopes three stories down. Staying true to its roots, there is no TV in each of the rooms, in which there are three categories: the Lanai Room (6 rooms) at the bottom, the Suites (10 rooms), and the Villa with a Pool (5 rooms). All the rooms offer the spectacular and serene view of a green hill.
Nature-bound activities can provide a diversion if you’re not inclined to simply sun soaking next to their infinity pool all day. You can plan a trek (by foot or bicycle) through the hill, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, go rafting or tubing at the nearby Telaga Waja river. You can also do yoga in their super spacious Yoga Pavillion, have a relaxing Balinese massage in the spa or join a weaving class for free in their boutique shop, in the process learning about the famous endek cloth that is native to the Sidemen area.
To fill your tummy, the Sleeping Gajah Kitchen and Bar Western awaits! The bamboo-structured restaurant offers a delicious mix of Indonesian and western dishes but not forgetting as well to highlight the local signatures. Must-try dishes include the Tebola Yellow Curry (homemade Balinese cooking of yellow curry served with steamed rice and fried shallot), Bebek Goreng Wapa (deep fried crispy duck with Balinese salad and sambal matah), and for dessert we recommend the nicely textured Godoh Pisang (traditional deep-fried banana fritters with cheese, palm sugar, and vanilla ice cream). To end the night, head up to Bar 57 for intoxicating arak- based cocktails (arak is the signature liquor from Karangasem) as well as other delicious signatures like Es Rujak Daquiri and Sidemen Bloody Mary. With all the noises we encountered in our daily lives, a place like Wapa di Ume Sidemen certainly provides a welcome, peaceful respite. Come join the peaceful quiet.