I am breaking up my Bali posts because there is just so much to write about! I am going to write a post for each resort I stayed at in Bali along with all the activities I did at each. I’m also going to share some information about Ubud in this post. My first stop in Bali was the Ritz Carlton Mandapa Reserve.
The town of Ubud is an hour and a half drive from Bali’s international airport, Denpasar. Ubud represents traditional Bali, you can really feel the authentic Balinese culture. It’s in the uplands and surrounded by rainforest, rice terraces, Hindu temples and shrines– Bali’s most iconic landscapes. Ubud is also known for the center of Balinese crafts and dance. It feels very far removed from the hustle and bustle of the populated town of Kuta and Bali’s beach party scene in Seminyak. It is the ultimate place for serenity and relaxation, and the perfect place to practice yoga and mediation. If visiting a spiritual healer interests you (like the healer Ketut in the movie Eat, Pray, Love), Ubud is the place to do it. Visit the Ubud markets, and don’t leave without visiting the iconic rice terraces.
Foodie tip in Ubud: Visit Naughty Nuri’s for local street meat in Ubud- I had the best pork spare ribs I’ve ever had in my life!
RITZ CARLTON- A MANDAPA RESERVE
I spent my first few days in Bali at the Ritz Carlton Mandapa Reserve in Ubud. I have to say I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Bali. It was love at first sight the moment I walked in. The entrance to the hotel was like a magical kingdom high up in the mist of the clouds. It overlooked beautiful rice terraces, luxury villas and the sacred Ayung River. After a warm welcome from the resort staff, I was brought to my one bedroom river front villa. It had a private pool overlooking the Ayung River and rainforest, a separate living room/lounge area next to the pool, and the actual villa itself was exquisite with a beautiful spacious bedroom and a bathroom with an indoor/outdoor shower. It was one of the most breathtaking villas I’ve ever stayed in.
Yoga was the very first thing I did when I got there, and it was one of those surreal “pinch me” moments. The open air studio located on the 2nd floor of the spa opened up to the rainforest and the Ayung River. My friend and I were the only ones in the class and all we could hear were the sounds of the birds chirping and the river flowing. It was one of those perfect moments in life that I felt at peace and I knew I was right where I should be.
Usually when I travel I like to explore and constantly move around to see as much as possible, but this was the first time I wanted to stay in one place and was content in just being. I really wanted to soak in the beauty of my surroundings and felt no need to leave the resort. The staff went out of their way to make my experience above and beyond incredible. A few highlights aside from morning yoga was a private picnic lunch by the river, a relaxing massage at the spa, and a beautiful dinner under the stars at Kubu- the resort’s fine dining restaurant which offers a fusion of Mediterranean and European cuisine. I also participated and learned about the process of rice planting. It was enlightening to see the hard work that goes into harvesting one of the world’s most simple foods.
Mandapa Reserve exceeded my expectations. Everything from the accommodations, food and service during my stay was impeccable. The whole time I felt like I was in a dream. This resort is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a honeymoon or a relaxing getaway. It’s definitely one of those places I plan on visiting again.
The pictures don’t even do this place justice, but below are the rest of the pictures from my experience at The Ritz Carlton Mandapa Reserve. If you plan to visit or make reservations, make sure to mention my name 🙂