The Beauty of Tanah Gajah, A Resort by Hadiprana

Photography By Wirawan Sanjaya
2/12/2020

Known as one of the best hotels in Bali, the Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud has been run by Singaporean hospitality group, GHM, since 2004 after the late Hendra Hadiprana decided to open his cherished property to the public. Now, 15 years later, the Hadiprana family has decided to take over and relaunch the property with a new name: Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana.

The year was 1960; Hendra Hadiprana and his wife just got married and decided to visit Bali for the first time on their honeymoon. After immediately falling in love with this beautiful island, Hendra and his wife started visiting Bali more often, bringing their family and friends with them. A few years later, Hendra was out on the sacred and mountainous area of Ubud where he visited a historic site called Goa Gajah. Near this site, he saw a massive field of rice paddies. That’s where he vowed to build a sanctuary for his family one day.

In 1984, he decided to fulfill this vow and built a small, 500sqm villa on this land. For years, he and his family enjoyed their quiet and secluded property whenever they visited Bali. The serenity of the place was magical and it can’t be found anywhere else. Hendra has even made an impact on the surrounding community by employing locals to work on the property, training them personally about hospitality and service. After realising that this beautiful place should also be enjoyed by the public, in 2004, Hendra allowed GHM to take over, and they named it the Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud. It has since won numerous awards and accolades from around the world.

After Hendra Hadiprana’s unfortunate passing in 2018, his family took over his legacy and has taken control of his numerous ventures, and this includes the management of The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Ubud. In January 2020, the Hadiprana family officially renamed and reopened the resort as Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana. This five-hectare land is a luxurious, private estate within the cultural area of Ubud, providing 20 villas and suites surrounded by beautiful rice fields.

The whole resort was built and designed by the late Hendra Hadiprana himself. It features the best of Balinese culture all around the property as well as priceless artefacts from the renowned Hadiprana collection. Stepping into the property feels like walking into a beautiful historical site, with statues of elephants welcoming you at the entrance. The reception area is filled with striking art pieces that represent Balinese culture. If it’s your first or even your tenth time visiting this resort, you will always discover something fascinating in the area.

The resort boasts 20 villas and suites comprising of the One Bedroom Club Suite, One Bedroom Club Pool Villa, Two Bedroom Club Family Pool Villa, and the Hadiprana estate. Local culture is honoured in every area, as all accomodation types are filled with unique pieces of Balinese art and furniture that are different in every room. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or just want to explore the area of Ubud with your family, the resort is the perfect place to get to know Balinese culture.

The food and beverage venues at the resort include the Tempayan Restaurant offering Indonesian – Asian cuisine with Western influences, the Bird Lounge for afternoon tea or cocktails, the Panen Padi Lounge overlooking the rice fields and swan pond for some coffee and light meals, and the Pool Bar right by the main swimming pool for snacks and cocktails to complement your swim.

The property may be secluded, but it offers neverending activities to suit your every need. For those who want to spark romance, get married or are on their honeymoon, the resort provides numerous romantic events that can be organised especially for you. Those who want to relax can visit the spa which offers an incredible view of the rice paddies and signature treatments such as the Jade Massage. For a workout, go visit the Yoga Studio and Health Club amidst natural surroundings.

Other activities include an amazing hot air balloon ride overlooking the lush surroundings of Ubud (the only one available on the whole Island), a 60-minute leisure walk along the rice paddies, a Kecak dance performed by the local surrounding community at the Ampitheatre every Tuesday and Friday, and a visit to Bumi Duadari, the Hadiprana family’s private estate along the Petanu River.

Bumi Duadari is a special place that Hendra Hadiprana built especially for his family near the resort. It stands along the sacred Petanu River, and is surrounded by lush flora and priceless Indonesian artworks. Dua dari means “Two Angels”, and Hendra dedicated this estate two his two daughters, Puri and Mira Hadiprana. The late designer’s love for personification is evident as statues of angels are present around the property. Guests can visit this tranquil spot and enjoy Bale Barong, an open-air pavilion overlooking a swan-filled pond. Weddings can also be held at this beautiful estate, with a maximum capacity of 40 people.

It is no doubt that Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana, is one of the most beautiful spots on the island of Bali. Designed by one of Indonesia’s most respected and influential designers, this place truly represents the best of Balinese culture in its design, layout and artefacts featured all over. Hendra Hadiprana’s influence and legacy will never be forgotten, and those who want to experience his creative genius, be sure to visit Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana.

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Wirawan Sanjaya
Photographer

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