Gajah Mina Beach Resort
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Far removed from the bustle of downtown Bali, Gajah Mina is a boutique resort that sits amid tropical gardens on cliffs above the dramatic coastline at Balian. Gajah Mina has its own private "Secret Beach" with natural caves, ancient stone carvings and beautiful trails along Bali’s tranquil west coast.
What's the appeal?
While still a relatively sleepy little surf-town by most Bali standards, Balian has become enough of a travel hub to offer a wide variety of dining and (relatively peaceful) drinking establishments. Gajah Mina is ideally suited to benefit from this, yet has the appeal of being a peacefully secluded little shangri-la retreat in its own right, perched high above the beach-side surf-shacks.
Conscious travel & eco efforts
Hundreds of fruit trees have been planted on the property at Gajah Mina, and there is also a herb garden that supplies the kitchen with herbs needed. The hotel buys fresh produce from local organic farmers and fishermen. The owners of the hotel have set up The Natural School at Bonian village, where classes are taught to Balinese and expat children. The staff at Gajah Mina clean the beach regularly. All trash collected and produced by the resort is sorted and sent for recycling, and organic waste is composted.
With just 12 villas sprawled across the resort’s expansive luxurious gardens, you have the feeling that Gajah Mina is more boutique accommodation than the usual idea of a Balinese resort. The villas have been decorated by the French owner with antiques and collector-pieces sourced from his travels through Indonesia and each villa has a garden and veranda.
The resort's Secret Baly restaurant is next to the 27m long swimming pool (landscaped to follow the sinuous curve of an old rice paddy) and features classic cocktails as a prelude to sumptuous Indonesian, French and Thai cuisine. The resort has a beautifully appointed spa, set right on the clifftop above the (always deserted) Mejan Beach and now also offers yoga and meditation retreats. Rice-paddy and beach treks are available as well as mountain-bike tours and surf guides.
Gajah Mina is easy to find as it is located down a quiet lane leading to the clifftops, just a short drive off the main highway along Bali’s southwestern coast at Balian. The drive from the airport will take about 2.5 hours (ask your driver to take you the pretty way via Pejaten village to travel through a side of Bali that few people ever see).