The 25-room Elephant Safari Park & Lodge is a luxury property that delivers a one-of-a-kind vacation on a refuge with 31 Sumatran elephants, safari rides, elephant chauffeur service, a show arena, a museum, a gift shop, and a botanical garden. There’s also a modern gym, spa, and on-site indoor and outdoor dining. Balinese-style rooms have flat-screen TVs, safes, and elephant pick-up platforms, and some even have elephant park views. Suites feature whirlpool tubs and butler service. The gritty safari experience (which requires getting your hands dirty) isn’t for everyone, and the location is a bit removed from the sights, but it nonetheless delivers a luxurious stay with high-end amenities and features. Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are all free.
Luxury elephant park and lodge with shows, elephant rides, and a museum
The Elephant Safari Park & Lodge was founded in 1997 by England-born Nigel Mason, who rescued nine mistreated elephants that were living on a rice field in Bali. The English businessman then transported 18 more rescue elephants from Sumatra to the park, which has since hosted visits from celebrities like David Beckham, Jessica Biel, and Julia Roberts. Two double wooden doors at the park entrance (visitors can also come for day tours) lead into the property that’s adorned with elephant statues and carvings. There are beautiful rice paddy views and a botanical garden that has fishponds, patio seating, and canopy beds.
Staying at the lodge offers a unique experience where guests can interact with a herd of 31 endangered Sumatran elephants. A line of elephant chauffeurs, with their manhout (rider/trainer), take guests from their doorsteps every night to dinner. Some guests complain, however, about elephants being chained for certain times of the day (elephant rides are controversial animal attractions). Guests can ride elephants while they bathe in a pool, watch an elephant talent show, or visit a museum that features a 15,000-year-old mammoth skeleton. The large gift shop sells elephant souvenirs, clothing, and jewelry. There’s also a photo shop to capture guests riding elephants.
The resort is located on a hilltop, surrounded by forests and rice fields in Taro village. The remote location isn’t in a very walkable area. It’s a 10-minute drive to the closest town where there are a few cafes, a market, and shops. The bustling Ubud district -- with Ubud Market and Ubud Palace -- is 30 minutes away by car (the hotel provides a free shuttle). A car trip to Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Blanco Renaissance Museum, and Campuhan Ridge Walk, will take about 35 minutes. The Ngurah Rai International Airport is an hour and 45 minutes by car. Elephant Cave, or Goa Gajah, is 30 minutes by car.
Large rooms and suites with elephant decor, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and balconies with elephant park views
All four room types offer stylish and simple Balinese designs, wooden elephant-footed beds, rattan furniture, thatched-roof ceilings, stone tile floors, writing desks, and elephant artwork. Features include flat-screen TVs, minibars, iPod docks, umbrellas, bathrobes, slippers, air-conditioning, coffeemakers, free Wi-Fi, balconies, and elephant boarding platforms. Marble bathrooms have hairdryers, toilet hoses, and lovely glass walk-in showers. Paddy View Rooms do not have elephant chauffeur boarding platforms, but look out at rice paddies. Park View Rooms offers two floors, views of the elephant park, and sitting areas. The Taro Executive Suite has two bedrooms, elephant park views, floor-to-ceiling glass doors, a wraparound terrace, a sitting area, a master bedroom with a sitting area, private butler service, a bar with a counter, a whirlpool tub, and a bidet.
On-site dining and cocktails, an outdoor pool, a gym, spa services, and outdoor adventures
The Park Restaurant serves Indonesian fare beside the elephant pool. The Mammoth’s Head Bar offers a buffet, patio seating, and a lounge with a sectional sofa and a flat-screen TV. The Ivory Cafe serves pizza, sandwiches, and snacks. A small outdoor pool is surrounded by palms and a deck with a few lounge chairs. White water rafting, kayaking, hiking, and mountain biking can also be arranged. Night or day elephant safari rides are available. The small gym has modern cardio machines, free weights, and a flat-screen TV. The Safari Wellness Spa features an atrium lobby, joint treatment rooms with dividing curtains, and a whirlpool tub with elephant park views. Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are all free.
This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivity here.
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