Tucked away in the mountains of north Bali, you'll find the exquisite and serene Munduk Moding Plantation. The resort's infinity pool has been named one of the top 10 in the world by Asia Spa magazine, and as soon as you arrive you can see why.
The end of the pool pours into the mountain clouds and makes you feel like you're sitting on the edge of the world.
We arrived in Munduk Moding after a long drive from Canggu in the south of Bali. The mountains, as mountains do, create their own weather pattern. So while it was blue skies and sunshine when we left Canggu, it was thick fog, grey clouds and light rain by the time we reached Munduk Moding. But rather than be a downer, the weather actually added a moody, dramatic atmosphere to the place which seemed entirely fitting for such a spectacular property.
Munduk Moding is situated on a five hectare property in the mountains of north Bali near the Gobleg village about half an hour from the north coast. It opened about seven years ago with only five rooms and has since grown to 17, with a combination of garden suites, free standing villas, pool villas and two huge suites. With its expansion came employment growth for the local community, and 70 per cent of the staff are locals.
We stayed in a villa, which was huge, private, luxurious and offered absolutely stunning views out over the greenery to the mountains (when they weren't shrouded in clouds).
The villa had both an indoor and outdoor shower, a lounge area, a huge flower-filled bath and big, extremely comfortable beds covered in a canopy which gave the impression of being in a cocoon when the curtains were drawn at night.
But as beautiful as the villa was, we were immediately drawn to the world class infinity pool, which was set against such a stunning background that we couldn't help launching into a photo shoot with a few yoga poses.
Every time the light changed, we took more photos...
When the light disappeared altogether, we plopped ourselves into the jacuzzi and watched as the lights started twinkling in the village below while we sipped on white wine (which I brought from Australia since I still find Bali wine undrinkable). Once we were well and truly wrinkled from hours in the spa, we headed up for dinner in the restaurant. The food was fresh and delicious, with a mix of both Indonesian and western dishes, and because it was off-season, we had the restaurant mostly to ourselves.
Much of the produce used in the kitchen comes directly from Munduk's own gardens, and the next morning I went on a plantation walk to see just what they're growing. Being a coffee plantation, this is obviously the main crop, and they grow two main types: arabica and robusta, which are served in the restaurant and are also available to buy on site.
They also grow heaps of produce, including papaya, strawberries, pineapple, lettuce, as well as roots such as ginger and spices like turmeric. All these are used in the restaurant, which makes everything taste so fresh and delicious.
Other than gazing at the infinity pool, there's heaps to do at Munduk Moding. They have four ponies on site that you can ride around the local area. There's also a tennis and badminton court, as well as a gym and games room which features a pool table, ping pong and even foosball. There's also a small reading room which leads onto a balcony with sweeping views over the plantation.
There are also dozens of tours you can do from the hotel including trekking, cycling, visiting waterfalls, temples and hot springs. We were all signed up and ready to take a three hour trek to the Munduk waterfall when I realised I'd forgotten my walking shoes. Since it wasn't the kind of trek I could do in thongs, we opted to get a driver instead and made the half hour journey in the car before walking about 15 minutes down to the waterfall (this part, I did manage in thongs).
After such vigorous physical activity, I needed a massage, so we headed off to Munduk Moding's day spa for a bit of pampering. Set in a tiny, cute little hut, the day spa offers the full set of treatments including massages, facials, manicures and scrubs. I opted for an aromatherapy massage, which was delicious, and a pedicure, which I had lying down because the therapist thought sitting up might be too stressful!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Munduk Moding and would absolutely recommended it to anyone looking for some peace and quiet. It's a place you can truly unwind, unplug and get in touch with the beauty that surrounds you. And of course, there's the added bonus of getting to experience being on the edge of the world.
Notes: We travelled to Bali in March, which is off season. Even though the weather is slightly unpredictable, it was a great time of year to avoid the crowds. Peak period in Bali is June-August.