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Designing with Nature – When Siddhartha first laid out plans for the resort, minimizing their impact on the surrounding land was a core intention. Many of the original trees are still standing on the site. Some accommodation options even incorporate the native growth into the design of their outdoor bathrooms.

Spaciousness was also at the center of what Siddhartha wanted to offer its guests and only 32 bungalows and villas are spread out over the 2.4-hectare landscape. Each has been positioned to create a sense of privacy while also allowing each room to take in ocean views. The terrain of old-growth trees has been added to, through the property’s fruit and vegetable gardens that were laid throughout the site over the past 12 years.
Villas and bungalows are inspired by Balinese aesthetics with high-pitched ceilings and traditional thatched roofs. While a natural indoor-outdoor flow is evident with ample private terrace spaces, a local-style open-air studio with ocean views where daily yoga classes take place, and a breezy open-air restaurant.

The Founders

In 2007 Stefan Brand and Barbara Ebel traded in illustrious diving careers to help develop a resort in an untouched area of Bali. Attracted to the unknown, the couple invested in coastal land dense in mango trees and perfectly positioned near some of the island’s most popular diving spots. Over the course of the next two years – with reverence to the land that the resort was being built upon – Siddhartha was created. In 2009 the resort opened and since then the German and Swiss couple have spearheaded the effort to develop a personalized and authentic Balinese resort experience that connects with and gives back to the local environment and community.

Stefan and Barbara have cumulatively spent over three decades in the diving industry, managing operations throughout Asia and the Maldives, before making the switch to hotel management. Since then the diligent duo have built the property and overall guest experience in a truly hands-on manner, being deeply involved in all facets of operations and approaching every obstacle with a can-do attitude.

Their pioneering spirit guided them to develop a marine life sanctuary and coveted dive site directly in front of the resort, to implement sound sustainable practices from waste management to an impressive vegetable garden project, and to create a truly tranquil resort in an underdeveloped area of Bali that still holds the island’s historic charm.

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A Local Touch

With a location away from the regular tourist beat, Siddhartha offers an experience of the island that is deeply and naturally rooted in local culture. Eighty percent of the 115 staff come from the surrounding rural area and have been working there since the property first opened. Staff have been personally trained to European standards of hospitality and the team provides the level of service you’d expect from an international chain, but with a dose of local charm and charisma that adds to the experience. The spirituality that underpins Balinese culture is also omnipresent at the property, as staff including several who are local priests (mangku), bring ritual and ceremony into their daily routines on site.
Through education, training and work opportunities Siddhartha is supporting one of the poorest areas of Bali, and in turn, guests enjoy creating meaningful connections with team members that become a highlight of their trip.

Seeking Sustainability

Siddhartha has always strived to go beyond eco-friendly gestures that are commonplace at hotels. While limiting the amount of linen and towel changes (at the guests’ request) is important, there’s a lot more that can be done to lessen our impact on the land and sea or, in the case of our house reef project, to take an active stance in improving it. Through our vegetable garden initiative, the development of a waste management and recycling program, and working together with the community to raise environmental awareness, we are prioritizing sustainability.

Respecting the land

When Siddhartha first opened there was no official waste management system in place on the island. Wild landfills abounded and the resort owners didn’t want to contribute to the growing problem. Within a year of opening, Siddhartha developed and implemented its own sustainability plan.
The property has no single-use plastic onsite and offers guests free refills for reusable water bottles throughout the resort.
In an attempt to limit their impact on the natural environment the team follows a separation system that results in all food and garden waste being composted and used again on the land. This compost is an essential element in the raised vegetable garden beds that were added in 2021. Over 120 meters of thriving plots now wind their way through the property.
With the resort’s location in an area known for highly acidic soil, that is not conducive to gardening, Barbara and Stefan continue to work with local resources to develop their own soil mix (through trial and error) and train staff in order to bring the project to fruition. A variety of crops ranging from eggplant, chili, pumpkin, and cassava, along with an assortment of tropical fruits, are constantly being tested and grown. During the pandemic, 100% of the yield has gone to the staff and their families, with a concerted effort to grow foods that are familiar to them and can support their ongoing health during these difficult times. Plans are in place for the new food supply to contribute to the menu at the resort’s restaurant wherever possible.
All other forms of trash onsite are sorted and separated and picked up by locally-based partners who process and transport the remaining waste to recycling facilities in Java (there are currently no Bali-based recycling centers). Over the years the Siddhartha team has found inventive ways to utilize larger items of waste, including the creation of a house reef and marine life sanctuary from repurposed, discarded man-made objects.

Protecting our oceans

Siddhartha started the Kubu Marine Park in 2011 as a way to work together with the local village to protect the ocean. Through organizing educational events, along with beach and village clean-ups, Siddhartha’s staff have raised awareness and mitigated some of the impact plastic was having on the community.

The most enduring element of the project is the immense house reef, spanning 100 meters just off the shore of the resort. The diving hotspot has thrived since the first elements were laid back in 2011 and an array of marine life, from turtles and leaf fish to schooling trevally fusiliers and sweetlips, and the occasional reef tip shark or eagle ray, have proliferated the protected area (read more about the dive/snorkel sites here).

Siddhartha’s artificial reef is a passion project created by the couple behind the resort. Bringing their wealth of diving experience and an attitude that anything is possible, Barbara and Stefan tended to the underwater garden with meticulous attention. With the motto, we will not break anything to create something new, the duo collected broken stone corals and soft corals that had separated naturally from other reefs – from strong current, for example – and used discarded man-made materials as a foundation for growth.

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