Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve has been making waves in Ubud, Bali’s vivacious cultural hub. The heavenly resort, perched just above the Ayung river, sprinkles guests with a generous dose of elegant and tranquil pixie dust throughout their stay. Weaving in a thoughtful mix of indigenous and contemporary Balinese accents, the 35 luxurious spacious suites and 25 private pool villas are absolutely worth your holiday extraordinaire splurge.
Upon arrival, we immediately caught sight of the resort’s Wantilan (welcome pavilion) that stands hundred metres from the ground. The swoon-worthy views of the greener-than-green rice paddies from here already upped the calming factor a notch. At the lobby, we sipped on refreshing Loloh Cemcem and freshened up with a cold towel. It actually felt like we were floating around an ethereal tune of soothing traditional acoustics the whole time. During our stay, we were very impressed with the round-the-clock Patih (butler), who made sure all our needs were well-taken care of. The highly personalized treatment was truly the icing on the cake. In essence, we re-discovered the joy of leisure time through every luxurious detail in the drool-worthy villas.
Surrender to the splendour of Mandapa and invigorate your soul with the lush natural settings. Regardless if you’re searching for an authentic cultural experience or just a chance to disconnect from all the chaos, a complete reset for the mind, body and soul begins at this resort. Create some of those sparkly, treasured memories right here and right now.
Savour some of the restaurant’s signature dishes in the comfort of your own bamboo “hut”, overlooking the mighty Ayung river and lush tropical flora. From the fine Hokkaido scallops to the foie gras parfait, delight in some of the most scrumptious Mediterranean-European fare. As the wind gracefully caresses your cheek amidst the soothing sound of water, enliven your senses in this elegantly orchestrated dining experience!
If you wish to just plonk yourself within the resort’s vicinity, don a fancy Balinese sarong and partake in a myriad of daily activities. Try your hand at Subak – a traditional irrigation method deployed by the majority of Balinese farmers – at the resort’s very own rice fields! You could also learn how to pound rice, the staple food here in Bali, and inquire more about this unique preparation. Aside from that, get crafty and replicate a typical Balinese offering known as “Canang Sari” using coconut palms. When the effects of the scorching heat kick in, enjoy a traditional local herbal drink more commonly known as Jamu. Learn the special healing recipe and enhance your sense of wellbeing even after you’ve departed the “Island of the Gods”.
Ever wanted to explore the depths of Ubud’s countryside at the back of an uber-cool convertible? Hop on your ride for the day: a classic VW 181 Volkswagen! As you pass the rice fields of quaint Ceking Village, spot the diligent Balinese farmers plowing through the perfectly manicured hilly rice terraces.
Next, embark on a spiritual voyage to the holy Tirta Empul water temple and the historical Gunung Kawi. The emerald-blue bathing springs in the former are a must-see, besides the intricate shrines housed in colourful pavilions. At Gunung Kawi, Bali’s largest 11th-century temple complex, travel back in time to the Udayana dynasty and marvel at stunning monuments honouring legendary royalty members. Conclude this funky tour with a picnic lunch before returning to your safe haven.
A gastronomical adventure awaits your arrival, whether it’s an elegant picnic at the Lumbung (rice barn), hearty family barbeque by the rice field or an intimate in-villa dinner. This novel concept is an opportune chance for you to discover the nooks and crannies of this charming sanctuary while you relish in a bountiful mouth-watering spread. Inspired by exotic Balinese flavours, the carefully-curated degustation menus will certainly delight the adventurous foodie in you.
As you soak in the classical spa ambience that harks back to Bali’s forgotten era, let the hand-selected local and international healing masters of Mandapa transport you to another realm. They can perform various healing modalities such as the intuitive blind healing, palm reading, chakra healing, reiki, and many more. Inhale good vibes and embrace these sacred healing experiences, as you leave with an induced deep sense of stillness and an awakened spirit.
With a decadent range of cocktails that pay homage to Bali’s extensive range of local herbs and fruit, sample some of these unique concoctions at The Library. Gather as a Sekeha or “group” and marvel at the Sun’s spellbinding silhouette with a Tris Exotica in hand – a sensational tropical ginger-salak martini! For the more curious ones, choose between the sambal-lemongrass Bloody Bawa or the Wedang by Oka which infuses an intriguing mix of chocolate, coconut, coffee and vanilla.
Upon arrival at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, a 90-minute drive will take you to the sacred steps of Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. If you prefer a hassle-free airport transfer, simply drop the hotel an email in advance with all your relevant travel details. The resort offers a complimentary one-way only scheduled shuttle bus service from Mandapa to Ubud Palace five times a day. Should you wish to arrange a return transfer, just coordinate with your Patih (personal butler). Alternatively, you can also board a taxi directly from the airport’s arrival hall.
If you want to explore the nearby arty town area, ask the resort for local transport assistance. The resort also offers bicycle rental programmes, giving you the liberty to roam around nearby villages and terraced rice fields all at your own comfort and pace.
Bali’s preeminent centre for fine performing arts and culture harbours some of the most breathtaking ancient places of worship, art galleries and intriguing museums. A visit to Ubud’s renowned Puri Saren Royal Palace cannot be skipped. This well-preserved lavish palace features charming Balinese architecture and once housed rajas and their kins from the 18th century. This cultural repository is also situated in close proximity to Ubud Art Market and several notable eateries, making it a valuable pit-stop. Don’t miss out the main highlight: the dramatic evening dance performances!
If you’re craving for a little more intimacy with Mother Nature, explore Ubud’s Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal where you can hike through the leafy nutmeg forest and spot hordes of grey long-tailed macaques. If you still haven’t had enough of the rice paddies, spend your afternoon at Tegallalang and gaze at the famed cliffs of lush sprawling rice terraces. Be sure to snap that brilliant quintessentially Bali photo and leave your loved ones back home green with envy.
Level up your hiking experience by conquering Mount Batur, an active volcano and one of Bali’s sacred mountains. With an elevation of 1,717 metres above sea level, the summit can be trekked in about two hours. Local and foreign visitors alike hike the majestic peak for its stunning sunrise and awe-inspiring rural views. The climb here is truly an adventure worth checking off your bucket list.
Adventures also await at the Ayung river where you can muster up courage for an exhilarating white-water rafting ride. Chase those blazing rapids and leave with beaming smiles and hearty laughters, after a splashing good time. By the way, Mandapa has its own jetty or rafting finish point, so you can save yourself from climbing hundreds of stairs when finishing at any rafting companies.