The village of Keramas, some 15 kilometers southeast of Ubud on the coast, needs no introduction among Balinese. It is famous for its Arja, a form of dance-opera in which the players must be skilled not only in dance and the classical forms of sung poetry but also — and this is important — great comics.
But in the world of tourism, Keramas is little known. That is about to change. Komaneka Resorts — founded and run by a Balinese couple from Ubud — has been slowly building a beautiful new resort on the beach at Keramas, due to open in late 2016.
The village of Keramas was founded in the mid-1700s by princes from the old royal capital of Gelgel, near Klungkung. The story goes that, after migrating to Jimbaran in south Bali, the nobleman Ida I Gusti Putu Agung saw a golden light while he was meditating. The golden light was coming from the east, and he set out to follow it. Through a series of magical signs, he came to the place that today is called Keramas, from ‘karamas’: kara means ‘light’, and ‘mas/emas’ means ‘gold’. Today Keramas is part of the district of Blahbatu in the region of Gianyar.
There is much to see in Keramas. There is a lively morning market, a number of temples with fine carvings, and many holy springs.
Komaneka at Keramas Beach has all the hallmarks of the Komaneka brand — bold, handsome architecture, luxurious interiors, and big-hearted Balinese hospitality. And it is on a beautiful beach of black volcanic sand, with vast views of the Indian Ocean.