For at least three decades the tropical heart of Bali has been home to some of the world’s best resorts—and now joining this exclusive club is a new Reserve from Ritz-Carlton, the renowned chain of luxury hotels.
When planning our latest trip to Ubud we had a hard time picking resorts to stay at. There are dozens of high-end hotels in this cultural centre of Bali, and over the years we’ve checked out quite a few of them.
Eventually, we booked stays at Amandari, Amankila, and Four Seasons Sayan, but we had a slot to visit one more. It seemed only fair to spruce up our itinerary of the well-established bunch with a property that has just opened.
A Beautiful Creation
Arriving via a small road and entering the elegant, but somewhat nondescript lobby does not prepare for spectacular views.
Set on the cusp of the Ayung river valley, the terraces behind the lobby are designed to maximise the vantage point, ensuring some truly beautiful vistas over the rest of the resort and beyond. The villas and restaurants are far down, spread by the river which cuts through Bali’s lush jungle and outlines the Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
The stunning setting is just one side of the holistic luxury offered by this tropical resort. There are restaurants, spa and over sixty suites (the smallest of which is almost 100 square metres)—as well as spacious and beautiful private pool villas.
Our Riverside Villa
This is where we were led to from the lobby, for a seamless and speedy in-villa check-in. Once our all-smiles-butler left we could begin to take in and appreciate just how beautiful our guest accommodation was.
Our villa was set right on the riverbank, enclosed within walled space with a separate living room, veranda and the pool. The highlight was the bedroom, superbly designed in an understated luxury style that prompted various oohs and aahs from both of us. The swanky bathroom also had a serious wow factor. White and dark-brown, it delights with a classy, glamorous look.
Beyond Guest Accommodation
Spaciousness is the feature here not only in the suites and villas, but throughout the hotel grounds, which include a sizeable chunk of paddy fields as an integral part of the property. The landscaping is at least pretty, but it will be beautiful, once the newly planted trees, bushes and flowers age sufficiently.
With its treatment rooms opened up to the river, the spa invites to try individually tailored wellness and health programs, which include “Heat Experiences” consisting of Sauna, Steam Room, Ice Fountain. The next-door Kubu restaurant is a lovely surprise—and it became our favourite spot, especially for the evening drinks.
Set against the clean, elegant luxury of the resort, the Kubu’s nine private cocoon pods seem like organic creations as if from a fairytale. They almost feel at odds with the rest of the resort—but then, when creating a property like this in Bali, it certainly is a good idea to have at least one of its elements veering into the organic realm—among all the sophisticated luxury of the Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
Boutique Hotel, Countryside, Culture, Island, Local Flavour, Luxury, Modern Design, Private Villa, Quiet, Relaxing, Resort, Shopping, Sightseeing, Spa, Tropical, Wedding,
Number of rooms & suites: 60
Rate per night: From USD 446 (EUR 399)
*The rate is only approximate and is based on our own independent research, at the time of writing. We cannot guarantee the rate in any way.
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