Set amidst a farmer’s canvas of verdant rice paddies and surrounded by mystical mountains, SANAK Retreat in North Bali, is a true testament to a very real, yet elegant retreat that has been handpicked with humanity in mind.There is a unique story behind the birth of SANAK, translated "Kindred/ Kinfolk- one’s family," which makes it a truly appealing place to stay and not just another typical hotel experience.
The French founders, who travelled to Bali for the first time in 2011, befriended a beautiful Balinese family who had a history of rice farming and worked in a nearby village. As their time with them unfolded, it was the owner’s joint affirmation not only to take from the island and its people, but to also give back to the local community. After several days together, the French founders decided to purchase some land within the local village of Kayuputih near the well-known village of Munduk, which is famous for its coffee, clove, cacao plantations and where they believed, along with ‘Pak Gusti’, the Indonesian owner, was the perfect place to create Sanak, a small family run retreat which would be manageable for the Indonesian family to own and operate in the future years once the French philanthropist guides them to set up a sustainable business for their future.
Through the development of SANAK, which is being sensitively considered at every stage matched with a true commitment to making a difference, they hope to provide the local people with a healthy and happy environment to work with their family and friends. It is the creation of a retreat that will be a valuable tool for the community in conserving bio-diversity and culture in a responsible and sustainable manner through its various planned initiatives. One simple initiative already in place is to encourage guests to donate quality used clothes, books and educational items for local families- ‘This is a small first step and the beginning of other great initiatives. Our local village people, including many of our staff and their families, are so grateful for these kind gestures already’ says local co-owner Pak Gusti. It is a small local business who is in no way competing with the international hotels but which prides itself on old-fashioned quality hospitality and beyond the stars service with the vision and understanding of what today’s eco/adventure/responsible/ aware traveller requires. They welcome and encourage future guests to allow their souls to travel.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.