We were riding our scooter along the ricefields one day, mainly exploring the area around Ubud. We had not much planned that day, so we were open to see where the flow would take us. A balinese friend had shown us a quite area of Ubud and that is how we stumbled upon a sign saying ‘Glamping’. On Bali! How romantic can it get to spend the night so close to nature, yet in style? The perfect honeymoon escape we thought. So we went and had a look. And WOW. We met Emanuela and Federico who are the passionate ‘locals in love’ behind Sandat Glamping. Their incredible love for the place and their passion behind quickly shined through in our conversation. The love, work and attention to detail they put into everything is incredibly inspiring. Enjoy in love!
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF. WHERE DO YOU BOTH COME FROM? WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS?
We are both Italian, we live few kilometers far from Venice, in the beautiful countryside of Venitian Lagoon, Mirano. I am a lawyer ( Emanuela ), Federico owns two Tattoo & Piercing Studios located in Italy and in Spain.
United by the love for nature, the passion for travel, the vocation for hospitality intended as sharing of experiences and meeting. Adding these ingredients to a personal interpretation of furniture, attention over the details and looking for unusual and refined locations, we found in “Glamping” the expression of these our passions.
SINCE WHEN DO YOU LIVE IN BALI?
We fell in love with Bali from the first time we came in 2005, since then we spend many months a year, in line with our commitments in Italy. And also with the needs of our eighteen years old daughter, Matilde, who attended the last year of language’s high school- then we’ll see!
WHEN DID YOU GET THE IDEA OF OPENING A GLAMPING TENT CAMP?
The realization of Sandat Glamping Tents is the result of previous experience with the Canonici di San Marco Glamping, the first Glamping born in Italy in 2009, in Mirano, just 13 km far from Venice.
WHAT’S THE STORY?
When in 2009, finished the restoration of a rural house dating back to the Napoleonic era in Mirano, in the hinterland of the Venetian Lagoon and only 13 km from Venice. Driven by the desire to share with friends the wonderful slice of heaven where we had the fortune to live, we decided to install the first tent on the large garden to enjoy “more closely” the colors, the smells and the sounds of the surrounding nature made of golden wheat fields, of fiery red sunsets and songs of birds that live on our trees. Sleeping in a tent on a comfortable canopy bed, gave us the feeling of having a more direct and “real” contact with nature.
My passion for interior decoration has done the rest: furniture and objects bought in trips that led me and Federico around the world have found their harmonious placement inside the tent, creating a refined and unusual environment, where the attention to details creates a pleasant atmosphere… seems very much appreciated! The first friends that we hosted were really excited and so we thought we would be able to offer this experience to a wider audience.
The funny thing is that we didn’t know that what we were making already had a name: “Glamping”. we only discovered thanks to the site goglamping which brings together many glamping all over the world (in Italy we were the first!). Clearly we were not the first to be motivated by the need to find again the contact with Nature to slow down the hectic pace of city life.
In the meantime, our desire to travel led us to Bali, the island known as the Island of the Gods: it was love at first sight! The idea of the Glamping in Bali has not been a choice, it was an inevitable step! We have been “captured” by the wild and untouched nature of the island and by culture and the smiles of the local people. Here, among lush green paddy fields and forests, our desire to “enjoy nature” would find its highest expression. purchased a charming paddy overlooking the forest, near the famous village of Ubud – the cultural heart of the island – we made the first Glamping in Bali.
WHAT IS SO FASCINATING ABOUT GLAMPING?
The charm of Glamping is in the opportunity to live in harmony with nature but with all the comforts of a 5-star hotel! The need to escape from the towns and take refuge in wild places is increasingly becoming the decisive factor in the choice of holiday destination. The comfort, the elegance of the furniture, understated luxury of small details complete the atmosphere. And transforming your stay into an unforgettable experience.
HOW IMPORTANT IS ECO FRIENDLYNESS TO YOU?
Pure water and clean air are becoming increasingly rare and precious goods: it is everyone’s duty to safeguard the environment where we live.
WHO CHOOSES GLAMPING?
The Glamping attracts tourism “genetically” determined: eco-educated, non-standard, enterprising, curious and individual, “word of mouth” tourism, distrusting tour operators’ offers, who shuns crowds and searches for nature, landscapes and spaces with a low density of settlements.
Those who choose Glamping love to find all comforts but at the same time want to feel a little bit like Robinson Crusoe, not seeking “over the top” luxury but charm and refinement, a discreet elegance, with sports (trekking, mountain biking, hiking) and are interested to learn about culture and local traditions, are lovers of good food and local products.
WHAT DOES SANDAT MEAN?
Sandat is the name of the most popular flower of Hindu ceremonies here in Bali… and it’s a good omen….
WHO DID THE INTERIOR DESIGN ? WORK?
The idea for the project, architecture and interior design is all made by ourselves! We like to test us!
Our staff is completely Balinese, chosen mainly among the young people of the nearby village professionally trained in local schools, and even the company that has been able to create the particular central structure, made entirely of bamboo and an example of the most modern green building, is from Ubud and it has been a very valuable partner in the implementation of our Glamping: unique and innovative structure of the island of Bali! It took about 20 month to finish.
CAN YOU TELL ME THE STORY OF THE MIRRORWALL IN THE OPEN LIVING ROOM?
On The wall there are … 101 mirrors! The mirror is the most direct symbol of the spiritual vision of harmony. It’s thought to be like a window that looks into the distance of space and time, in the past and in the future. Or as in the famous fairy tale of Alice, a door that allows you to go into another world.
WHAT STYLE WERE YOU LOOKING FOR AT SANDAT GLAMPING?
We want to create an atmosphere that is romantic, sophisticated, relaxing and wild. Shabby chic, gipsy, white… with lots of natural materials and bamboo! A meeting between East and West with a completely Italian direction. At night you can only hear the sound of water, the rustling of palm trees, the singing of birds, the croaking of frogs and the noise of the gecko. None of these eco-structures have been equipped with Tv or phones: all the senses must focus on the Nature! The only concession: iPod speaker, walkie-talkie to contact the reception or the other guests and of course wi-fi!
HOW MANY TENTS DO YOU HAVE?
There are 8 Tents/houses – we do not need many tents to guarantee the tranquillity, peace, relaxation. Plus the level of refined and personalised service is only possible with a limited number of guests.
All structures are Eco – structures. The used materials are only cotton, wood, stone, alang alang and many, many, many plants and grass.
There are also two Lumbung houses. Lumbung means “barn” and it is a magnificent example of bio-architecture as it’s made exclusively of wood and local straw. As the name implies, they are fascinating barns converted into small houses on two floors, the bedroom on the first floor, the bathroom and the living on the ground floor, which are characterized by a large roof in Alang-alang (local thatched). The tents are incredibiles! Of the highest quality, provided us by a leader company of the world, they have the appearance of the typical safari tents.
WHAT IS TYPICAL BALINESE?
Excluding The Tents (coming from South Africa) everything is balinese! All the furniture are made in Bali from local artists. The mixture of furniture, colors and the attention to detail creates a cozy atmosphere. Italian style!!!
WHAT IS TYPICAL ITALIAN?
Warmhearted hospitality, lots of attention to details with rafined Italian style!
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE SPECIAL PIECES OF FURNITURES, ACCESSOIRES AND ARTWORKS?
I love to discover small dealers, private homes, artisans, shops and local markets. There you can find everything, especially objects of everyday life of the Island. Objects that can be transformed into new furniture: trying to re-interpret simple objects … this is the secret! De-contextualized objects that we use continually, and redirect them to a different function!
PLEASE DESCRIBE A PERFECT DAY ?
Follow the rhythms of nature, letting go to the magical atmospheres of places without predetermined programs. This is a MUST for the Sandat experience! Satisfy your own emotions!
Even our excursions will be customized and off the common routes! The highlight of a typical day looks like this. After a day of exploring the magnificent temples that surround Ubud, stroll around the paddy fields and colorful markets. Then enjoy a cool drink while being nestled in your own pool and watch the sun setting behind the forest of coconut palms! Heaven.
WHAT IS YOUR MANTRA?
Our mantra is ESCAPE ! Far away from the world deep in the nature .
IF SOMEONE HAS 48 HOURS IN BALI, WHERE SHOULD THEY GO FOR EXPERIENCING THIS ISLAND, THE WAY YOU LOVE IT?
Take a scooter and get lost among the green rice fields of Ubud. Explore moments of real Balinese life, farmers sifting rice, ceremonies and spectacular hidden Temples. Understand why Bali is called “The Island of the Gods”.
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A COUPLE TO EXPERIENCE THE MOST ROMANTIC EXPERIENCE?
Have a drink immersed in the private pool strewn with flower petals. Enjoy the sunset overlooking the forest at Sandat Glamping !
YOUR MOST ROMANTIC MOMENT ON THE ISLAND?
Having dinner overlooking the ricefields and feel the traditional Balinese music that comes from the nearby village Temple.
SANDAT GLAMPING BALI FOR ‘IN LOVE AROUND THE WORLD’ BY CHRIS SPIRA PHOTOGRAPHY