Long before “Eco” and “Sustainable” became travel industry buzz words, they were a part of the human identity. From the American Indians to the Tjimba people of Nambia, humans had long respected nature and only took from the land what was needed. Grew what was needed. Practicing sustainability as a form of being rather than preservation. Unfortunately globalization has pushed these practices to the brink of extinction. Some are leading the way in terms of preserving the bond between humans and nature. The team at Bali Floating Leaf Eco-Luxury Retreat have created a comprehensive plan to not only minimize their carbon footprint, but to help guest achieve true personal growth through healing and personal exploration.
A Unique Spin on Luxury Accommodations
Rooms at Floating Leaf have been optimized to ensure comfort and sustainability work hand in hand. All have been designed in the round, in an effort to conserve building materials. This resulted in Floating Leaf saving approximately 15% on building materials. But the sustainability doesn’t end here. All toiletries are organic, biodegradable, and locally sourced. Even the floors, tubs, and sinks are made from recyclable terrazzo materials.
Despite their dedication to sustainability, Floating Leaf has managed to create spacious and welcoming rooms that feel unique and comforting. The bathrooms in particular stood out to me. A persons time in the bathroom is usually their most private and intimate. With a unique “open” air design that still ensures privacy, it connects guest to nature with sky views and plenty of floral.
And the Teak wood bucket for recycling excess shower water had me wondering what other simple ideas I could implement into my everyday life to conserve resources.
Dedicated Team who exemplify Balinese Hospitality
Community is built into the foundation of Floating Leaf. Literally. Prior to opening their property Mikaku and his wife Putu donated this land to the local village to grow and cultivate whatever crops they needed. Upon making the decision to open Floating Leaf, Mikaku and Putu understood taking the land away from this community and turning it into an eco retreat was a serious thing. Something many hoteliers don’t acknowledge. The participated in about 8 ceremonies to bless the land and transform it from productive rice to an Eco Retreat. All according to local Balinese customs and courtesies. They worked with the village hand in hand and made communal decisions throughout the entire process.
Floating Leaf employs an all Indonesian staff, hired from several different villages to ensure resort operations aren’t interrupted by communal ceremony commitments which are fully supported. Staff members are also provided with competitive wages, health insurance for them and their families, retirement fund, and education services.
I personally found the staff went above and beyond to ensure all of us were taken care of. Often times predicting our needs before we did. The staff at Floating Leaf are just extremely positive people who happened to be expertly trained in hospitality. The human aspect from this staff is what truly makes me want to return.
An Oasis beyond the Tourism Chaos
Serenity is often touted as a selling point for many resorts. Floating Leaf truly has this in spades. Strategically located between Sanur Beach and Ubud, two large tourist areas, Floating Leaf offers an escape from the chaos that these tourist destinations are becoming known for.
Floating Leaf is in Sukawati Bali. A traditional Balinese fishing village. What makes this place so special to Floating Leaf is that the cultural events here are real. Not put on for tourists. The people are open and honest. They do everything to maintain their traditional Balinese way of life and this can been seen, and at times experienced by guest. Floating Leaf ensures they have a continuous connection with this local community through philanthropy projects. One particularly inspiration project involves Rosella Tea and Heirloom seeds.
Floating Leaf donates these seeds to local farmers, teaches them how to cultivate these crops. Upon harvesting they then sell the teas on site and donate the proceeds to the community. And then the cycle of life starts all over again.
From a tourist logistical standpoint, the location is an intriguing one. It’s located in between two of the bigger tourist areas but still maintains its solitude. Being a big city boy I had to prepare myself, when night falls, running to the 7/11 for a Sprite wasn’t an option. In hindsight, probably a very good thing.
Transformative Healing and Personal Growth
Floating Leaf is far from your typical retreat. They offer a dynamic range of holistic healing services as well as support staff. Their wellness programs include Yoga, Healthy Eating, Detox, Ayurvedic treatments, and custom programs specifically designed to address any issue you would like to change. They work with holistic, chiropractic, cranial sacral, and natural healers/practitioners. Floating Leaf aims to provide a road map for people to take control of their wellness journey. Not only while on site but when they go home also, providing a specific plan for offsite treatment and care. This commitment to healthy living extends to their restaurant menu as well.
Floating Leaf consulted Balinese and Indonesian chefs, as well as Naturopathy chefs and nutritionists, to ensure a menu beneficial to internal organs and skin. Not to mention that the menu is tasty. My how they’ve succeeded.
Much of the produce used here comes from Floating Leafs own organic permaculture garden, with anything else coming from local organic farmers. Their fish is purchased from local fisherman to ensure maximum freshness. This kitchen doesn’t serve pork or beef but does serve organic, hormone and preservative free chicken.
I can definitely speak to the quality of their food. If you don’t try anything else here, try their breakfast burrito. It’s ridiculously good. I felt like I was cheating on my bacon and eggs.
A Paradigm Shift worth Experiencing
Bali Floating Leaf aims to change the way their guest not only see and treat the nature around them, but their bodies as well. This retreat is a place for you to learn and understand what holistic living is. A place to witness sustainable tourism at its best. Too often, resorts put all the decision making into the hands of guest. Floating Leaf flips this paradigm and crafts an experience which allows them to show you the best that Bali and holistic living have to offer.
On a personal note, I’m proud to see an American truly embracing local customs and making a concerted effort to ensure that people live long and happy lives. What makes Bali Floating Leaf truly special is the vision of Mikaku and his family. Many talk about what needs to be done but their truly doing it. Prepare to be changed because anyone that stays at this resort will be transformed for the better.
This trip was made possible through the generosity of Bali Floating Leaf. Be sure to give their website a visit and stop by next time you’re in Bali.