Hide out under canvas at Sandat Glamping tents, where originality and flair meet in the ricefields. Words: Ondy Sweeting. Images: Stefano Scatà.
Tucked deep in the forest of Ubud is a glamping destination where luxury and nature converge in exquisite Italian design.
Sandat Glamping Tents – Bali’s original glamping destination, is a passion project that sizzles with the personal style and a flare for interiors of owners Emanuela and Frederico.
It is an elegant destination that exudes ample chic and is as welcoming as it is casual. It delivers a romantic interlude enveloped in splendor and the landscape.
Sandat has five uniquely designed glamping tents and three traditional Indonesia lumbungs – two-level rice store houses – with a series of hidden away spaces where couples can get cosy or singles can chill in privacy. Garden pathways to the tents meander through stone steps and jungle foliage.
In the grassy lawn beside an mesmerising succulent garden is an antique day bed bedecked with a dozen cushions and veiled with sheer curtains while on the other side of a massive bamboo structure that is the restaurant, are more tucked away corners.
At the centre of Sandat is a captivating bamboo structure that houses the restaurant, bar and kitchen. Soaring ceilings are juxtaposed against the most elegant of interiors with a gently serpentine staircase mirrored by a curved wall where 101 mirrors of different shapes and style are hung and defends guests’ glorious vision from the busy kitchen. The toilet is a tribute to the owners love of cycling with the wash basin sunk into an entire vintage push bike and other retro memorabilia decorating the walls.
Sandat is quirky and fun. An interior tree has dozens of decorative mirrored mobiles dangling from every branch in the dining room that has a long central shared dining table plus seating for couples and groups of four. A library is tucked into a corner with a soft sofa and coffee table loaded with candle twinkling in the night light. This elegant building was created with the help of an architect and local artisans helping Emanuela and Frederico realise their dream of creative a peaceful escape. They had already made a success of their first glamping venture in the rural borders of Venice in Italy.
The tents are dotted throughout the property in such a way that maximises privacy and the beautiful jungle views. Access is via small paths that wind through flowering gardens and mature trees. Indigenous Indonesian wooden rattles are used to attract the attention of staff, who will come at dusk to light candles upon the path and timber deck upon which the tent is secured. Waking at night to see these tiny lights is like a fantasy dream.
The tents have screen windows with canvas curtains that are tied back to let in the gentle breeze, capture the lush green views and the ambient sound of nature the floods the space. Banishing TV was an excellent decision.
Every tent has a private pool, which is bigger than a plunge pool, plus sun lounges and an open air ‘sexy shower’. Occasionally it is possible to hear a new arrival marvelling at their smarts for booking such a place, but that quickly dies down as the birds chirp, monkeys chatter and the breeze whispers through the tropical forest.
It is inside the Sandat tents that the true luxury of the retreat declares itself with leather and steel chairs, and a circular centre bed, original art, powerful air conditioner, a fridge and implements for tea and coffee making. Copious fresh flowers uplift the room as do the canang sari – or little Balinese offerings to the gods which are packed with goodies such as flowers, fruit and rice. Little bedside lamps made from shells dot the low tables and a fabulous big-top circus style shower curtain in bold black and white stripes conceals a fully equipped power shower above a stone floor carved to contain and drain water. It’s shockingly fabulous with a marvel of an antique wire framed chandelier perched above the entire fantastic scene. A canvas wardrobe, with a safe and swirlingly girlish wire coat hangers, separates the bedroom from the bathroom.
All five tents are individually designed and one has opulent two peacock chairs either side of a coffee table while another has bamboo wardrobes, a four poster bed and strings of pearls and cocktails jewels as decorative accents.
Tropical safari with more than a dash of Italian style is in full flight at Sandat where every convenience is located deep in nature.
Dining at Sandat is a must with the local chef well versed in Italian cuisine and executes an excellent spaghetti carbonara. The level of detail is impressive from glittering glasses to jugs of chilled water provided on arrival, to the series of healthy vitamins supplements are available at the impressive breakfast buffet. Massages are booked to order directly to the tent and yoga instruction can be arranged.
With a capacity to accommodate about 20 people throughout the tents and the lumbungs – which has a large shared swimming pool, Sandat has to be one of Bali’s most beautiful wedding destinations.