Fresh off a flight from Sumba, we landed back at Denpasar International Airport. Very warm seems to be the right words to describe being back in Bali. Although, Sumba was just as warm- if not warmer. Upon collecting our baggage, we said our goodbyes to the last of the team that traveled back to Bali with us from Sumba and hello to fresh squeezed orange juice and our air conditioned car. As quick as I could blink, we were whisked off to Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
This is the second Ritz-Carlton Reserve property I’ve had the opportunity to stay at. And just like the first, it did not disappoint.
About an hours drive from Denpasar International Airport, the route will consist of twists and turns along the coast and through the cities and villages that make Bali, Bali. Expect to see many roadside stands selling sundries, fresh fruit and gas out of water bottles (yes, that’s gasoline), more scooters than you can count, sounds of beeping horns and hand motions of frustration due to traffic all whilst locals embrace one another with laughs and smiles.
The entrance is rather discrete in a very busy intersection of Ubud. You’ll drive down a one-way road to the gates of Mandapa. Greeted by a team of security guards and located in a valley surrounded by the Ayung River, in Ubud, Bali you will find this lush oasis.
Once within property grounds you will be greeted with a refreshing iced tea and a beautiful flower necklace (think: lei). The lobby is open air, just when you were cooling off in the AC vehicle, the door opens and a rush of Bali air covers your body, but honestly you don’t really mind because you’ve just arrived in paradise. The lobby overlooks the rest of the grounds, take a look for yourself:
Just like it’s sister property in Thailand- Phulay Bay- Mandapa is expansive. If you caught this post, then you know it’s only natural to have a golf cart escort you throughout the property.
Our one-bedroom villa was located on the river side of the property. Upon opening the gate to our villa I knew I was in for a treat. My eyes first landed on the private swimming pool that overlooked the river. Beside is a large, covered seating area perfect for those long distance phone calls or reading. Moving along, let’s go inside.
The bedroom is what dreams are made of. Each bedroom in each villa is appointed with different wall paintings making that much more unique. Ours was vibrant flora and fauna of yellows, blues and greens with hints of metallic. Accented by dark wood, jewel tone throws and upholstery.
The bathroom is just as beautiful. Wait, Hannah did you just call a bathroom beautiful? YES! PS, this was my first encounter with a talking toilet and bidet. Both as interesting as they sound.
With four separate dining areas the options are nearly endless.
Kubu is the term for hut or shelter in Indonesian. Here you have the opportunity to dine in a cocoon under the stars. The menu is Mediterranean- European with an extensive wine list. Come hungry!
Should you choose to forego in-room breakfast, you’ll head to Sawah-Terrace. The breakfast spread is unparalleled. Vegan coconut yogurt and freshly squeezed juices come to mind when thinking back to this spot.
The Pool Bar
Not just another pool bar. With the health conscious in mind things like juiceology, detox selection and tea mixology are offered.
The afternoon tea or pre-dinner drink spot!
The activities are endless at Mandapa. The hotel car will take you to and from different locations around town, free of charge. Be sure to utilize this perk and get to know Ubud!
Staying true to its Balinese roots, Mandapa Spa & Wellness sticks to six holistic health pillars: Balinese Spa, Detox & Nutrition, Alternative Therapy, Body Therapy, and Healing. Complete with a Yoga & fitness center, vitality pool, and multiple treatment rooms overlooking the Ayung River. Each room is indoor/outdoor making your spiritual connection with nature that much more powerful.
If you’re an adventurer, book a rafting trip!
Volkswagen Vintage Tour
An absolute must add. You’ll tour Ubud like never before in an roofless Vintage VW! One with Bali you will be.
Tirtha Empul Temple
Truly a spiritual experience. There are no other words to describe it.
Tegallalang Rice Terrace
This was not what I pictured in my mind. Located on the side of the road (literally) filled with tourists is Tegallalang. But with photo opps like this you’ve got to stop!
First things first: it is hot AF when you are out in the elements, so dress accordingly. Also worth noting, the Monkey Forest is full of monkeys that are not the least bit shy, they will crawl all over you and try to steal loose items like shiny bracelets (this happened to me), cameras and water bottles. Nearly anything they can get their hands on. Another Ubud must!
Luwak Coffee Plantation
I’m just going to come out and say it, Luwak Coffee is made from digested coffee beans passed through the Luwak. Sounds gross I know. But it is damn delicious!
Just as every other Ritz-Carton experience the ladies and gentleman of this property went above and beyond during our stay. So much, that we decided to stay an extra night. Here are a few more photos to convince you to stay at Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve during your trip to Ubud, Bali- as if you needed any more convincing!