During our most recent stay, Tom and I experienced all of these fantastic offerings. However, our favorite part of Bali is its’ cultural and spiritual heritage, primarily centered in Ubud.
In the artistic hub of Ubud, we checked into the region’s newest luxury property, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Open since September 2015; we were one of the resort’s first guests.
Upon arrival, we were ushered into the reception pavilion. Warmly greeted by our butler and served a refreshing welcome drink prepared with indigenous leaves and herbs, we were able to relax and soak in the tranquility. Perched at the top of the mountain, the view of the resort was stunning. Esthetically designed to feel like a small Balinese village, the property’s heart is a working rice paddy field and the tranquil Ayung River. Guest villas and communal gathering areas are intricately positioned and connected by meandering pathways. Lush tropical forests and beautiful landscaping firmly set the scene of being in paradise. This “local” feel and coupled with private butler service exemplifies the Ritz-Carlton Reserve experience.
Mandapa, Sanskrit for temples, is a place where people can rest their mind, body, and soul. The property and its’ location in Ubud transport guests to this spiritual place. Ubud abounds with local tradition. Beautiful artwork, carvings from wood and stone, lovely architecture, and daily cultural events including dances and temple ceremonies set the unique feel of Ubud. The resort offers shuttle service for guests to the city center, which is located approximately 15 minutes away. A side note- no one told us about this amenity. Perhaps this is due to the recent opening of the property and training of staff is still happening?
Mandapa is a small property. Despite this, there are several dining options. Sawah Terrace is the property’s all-day dining restaurant. Open air and set amidst the tropical forest and overlooking the Ayung River and rice paddies, is there a better place to dine?! The breakfast buffet is supplemented with a la carte options. My favorite choice was fresh wheatgrass juice. So delicious! The pool bar and the library offer snacks and beverages in a casual setting. There is nothing better than lounging by the pool that overlooks the rice paddies while sipping on a cocktail. Although we didn’t take advantage of it, Kubu is an upscale dining venue. Personalized dining options are also easily arranged for a unique and special experience.
A daily activities schedule is available to give guests options of things to do around the property. Guests can learn about the rice growing process and sip on tea concocted with local herbs. My favorite activity was sunset yoga. Although Ubud is known for yoga, I was the only person taking advantage of this complimentary class. The group class turned into my 60-minute yoga session. To relax, take advantage of the spa or take a dip in one of the property’s two swimming pools.
When we review properties, we rarely include our view of the rooms. Our feeling is that all other reviews focus on this while we would instead highlight the experience. However, rooms at Mandapa are genuinely extraordinary and are worth mentioning. The room is very tech forward with multiple USB charging ports. The expansive living and sleeping area can be open or divided with a rotating television. The balcony is large and private. Tom’s favorite “toy” was the smart toilet. The toilet is one of those fancy Japanese versions that are more advanced than any other we’ve tried. The toilet senses your presence, and the lid opens and closes for you. There is a light that turns on (probably lovely for guys to have). It also flushes when needed. Should you desire it, the direction and strength of the water spray can be controlled. The only issue I had with the room is that the robe hook by the shower fell off and bruised my foot where it landed. It was never fixed. Once again, perhaps it’s due to kinks in staff training from its recent opening.
Ubud was our favorite place to visit in Bali, and our stay at Mandapa was fantastic. We love the luxurious yet local feel of the property, which typifies the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand. If you are looking for an intimate retreat in a setting that will calm your mind, body, and soul, we recommend Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve for your Ubud experience.
We are Virtuoso agents and participate in The Ritz-Carlton STARS Program (a highly select group of independent agencies that are invited to take part in these preferred agency programs). What it means is that you will receive our concierge services upon becoming our client.
- Exclusive Stars Offer(s) – Fact Sheet
- Maps / Directions / Ground Transportation – Fact Sheet
- Guest Room Details – Fact Sheet
- Spa – Fact Sheet
- Dining – Fact Sheet
Virtuoso Amenities for your stay
- Upgrade at time of arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary Buffet and A La Carte Breakfast for two daily in the restaurant for the duration of the stay
- USD 100 equivalent Resort/Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (Not valid on Car transfers, not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/Late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
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