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Discover inner peace and serenity in a riverside sanctuary at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Spoiler alert: Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is probably the best hotel we have ever stayed in. And the thing is, we have stayed in plenty of luxury 5-star hotels prior to this amazing experience. Read on to discover what makes Mandapa command such a special place in our hearts.

Mandapa literally translates to “temple” in Sanskrit. And so, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve offers guests a temple to call their own – a luxe riverside sanctuary for inner discovery and serenity. This 5-star resort is located amidst the lush rainforest of Ubud, with uninterrupted rainforest, rice paddy, and Ayung river views within your reach. Situated in Ubud, Mandapa is a breathtaking place where culture and nature infuse together, whether it is through dining on a Balinese barbecue overlooking the rice fields of Ubud or enjoying a soothing spa treatment from the resort’s riverside spa. It truly combines the essence of Bali in the most perfect place. In this article, we will share 9 reasons why you should stay at the blissful Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

9 Reasons to Stay at the Blissful Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

1. Soak in picture-perfect views in the comfort of your own villa

The essence of Bali is celebrated in all villas and suites at Mandapa. And true enough, when we stayed at their One Bedroom Pool Villa, we were greeted with a really breathtaking view of the lush Ubud rainforests. We even had our very own outdoor pool, which was so relaxing to swim at, especially at night when you can truly feel the cooling breeze from the forest. Our little Ally especially loved splashing around! 

MJ with little Ally making splashes
MJ, Ally and Aaron enjoying the stunning pool villa

The inside of our villa was as beautiful as the view from the outside. The villa was equipped with a separate large living area (enclosed and air-conditioned so it is perfect for our babies and helpers), a private garden facing rice paddies, a walk-in closet, an outdoor rainshower, and so much more. But what we really loved was how our villa was luxuriously designed – mixing modern elements with traditional Balinese decors. You can truly feel the essence of Bali by just looking at those beautiful artworks and artefacts! We especially loved the stunning wooden sink perched on a dark grey marble countertop with dark rose gold faucets – really, really exquisite. It is such a great inspiration for the future Bali villa that we are looking to purchase! 

2. Experience the crème de la crème in a luxury hotel service 

Wow…where do I begin? The service at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve was definitely world-class. They treat every guest as part of their family! The crème de la crème, indeed. Staff from various places are so dedicated and lovely, and really attentive; they pay meticulous attention to everything that you do. There was one time that I just came back from taking pictures with little Ally by the rice paddies and it was midday so I was perspiring a bit. And just like that, I was given a standing fan and cold towels to help me cool down without asking! 

Some snaps from little Ally’s mini photoshoot

Our stay was made more luxurious with Mandapa’s 24/7 certified butler service. We were assigned our very own Patih (assistant to a Balinese king), Tapsir, who was always available to attend to our every need. We felt super pampered! He even helped us to buy diapers for our little kiddos so that we can enjoy ourselves fully. Tapsir also maintained communication with us via WhatsApp, which we find truly convenient. 

MJ with butler Tapsir

Everyone we talked to, from the butler to the spa masseuse and even the buggy driver, mentioned that they really love their jobs at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. We also heard that the owners are great bosses that take good care of their staff, and it truly reflects in the high levels of hospitality the staff goes on to show to their guests.

3. Take in lovely rice field views 

Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is set in a gorgeously lush natural setting, so there were plenty of spots to take wonderful photos. Aside from the mini photoshoot that I had with little Ally, we also had a professional photographer to take pictures of our small family. The rice fields made such an amazing backdrop! We highly recommend starting the photoshoot at 7am in the resort’s lobby, as the morning sun hits the top part of the resort first.

The gorgeous lush backdrop of Mandapa’s rice fields make for amazing photos

4. Savour decadent dishes in restaurants inspired by nature 

Dining at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton is a feast for all five senses. The resort boasts 4 dining destinations, all immersed in nature for the most delightful experience. Not only will you enjoy the fantastic food prepared by the resort’s talented chefs, but also get to savour every bite with a mesmerising view.  Head over to the casually serene Pool Bar for a light breakfast by the pool, the famous Sawah Terrace for an authentic Indonesian lunch beside Ayung River, The Library for an afternoon tea in a refined setting, and Kubu for a romantic six-course degustation dinner in an intimate bamboo hut.

We especially loved dining at Sawah Terrace. Their dishes truly capture the rich flavours of Indonesian cuisine, which perfectly matches the sweeping views of the lush landscape from the outside. The food was incredibly delicious, to the point that it was ridiculously delicious. We were also accompanied by the sweet symphony of the soothing river water flowing and the chirping birds as we ate, which definitely added to the experience. 

Sawah Terrace

Our dinner started out simple with a Soto Udang Pesmol (tiger prawn and coconut soup with turmeric and kaffir lime leaves), with broth so rich in flavour that it packs a punch. We also had oxtail soup, Sop Buntut, as well as Tumis Udang Telor Asin (stir-fried prawn with brined duck egg, spring onion and curry leaves) which were both so tasty. And those were just the start! 

Tumis Udang Telor Asin

As for the main dish….boy, was it amazing. We had the Iga Babi Bakar  – char-grilled slow-cooked pork ribs with bumbu genep, kafir lime leaves and sambal embe. I knew that it would be an exceptional dish when I started cutting the ribs, as the meat literally fell from the bone upon cutting. The meat was so juicy and tender – definitely a must-try when you are to visit Bali! I also requested the sambal matah which complemented the dish really well. Our other favourites were the Udang Karang Bakar (char-grilled Balinese style rock lobster) and Nasi Bakar Ayam (char-grilled coconut rice and shredded chicken wrapped in banana leaf). Super delicious! 

The star of the night – Iga Babi Bakar

As if these dishes from Sawah Terrace were not amazing already, the best of the lot was the “Kiwami” Wagyu Beef Rib Eye Mb9+ that we ordered through in-room dining. We were initially planning to watch TV and eat at the same time, but the dish was so good that I had to pause the show (and it was a really good show, too!) in order to fully savour the decadent flavours of the beef. Mind you, I have never paused any shows for food prior to this. We highly, highly recommend that you try this one out despite the higher price (IDR 1,450,000) as every bite was truly worth it. By far, the best beef that we have ever tasted. The beef was super tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness, with buttery smooth textures and rich flavours that I’d love to taste over and over again. The meat-to-fat ratio was just pure perfection.

By far the best beef we have tasted ever. Our picture absolutely does not do it justice. Must try!

Breakfast was pretty amazing as well. On top of the buffet, they also offer an extensive selection of À la carte menu, where you can order exotic dishes such as Egg & Caviar, Foie Gras Cocotte, and Mandapa Crab Benedict, as well as vegan options. You can order unlimited servings, so they are definitely a great way to start your day! Don’t worry, they give smaller portions of the dishes so you can try a bit of everything without getting full easily. 

Our little Ally getting too excited for breakfast

In addition to dining at these restaurants, Mandapa also offers other options for guests who wish to indulge in a more unique dining experience. You can try having a barbecue by the rice fields, a riverside picnic, or a romantic dinner on a private terrace overlooking the Ayung River. 

5. The ultimate relaxation at a riverfront spa

Mandala is also a destination for wellness and spirituality, so make sure that you try out at least one spa treatment at Mandapa Spa. I know, the view from your villa is already pretty relaxing, but it could be made even better by the resort’s skilled spa therapists. From relaxing skin-soothing rituals to stress-relieving massages, Mandapa Spa is guaranteed to provide guests with a deeply personal and sublime connection to body, mind, and spirit.

What we tried was the signature Mepijet Massage which really relieved our aching bodies. This deep, yet relaxing massage combines long rolling, kneading, and stretching with acupuncture movements that truly target the tight, sore muscles. It was truly perfect for us! The Mandapa Spa also boasts a steam room, sauna, and open-air vitality pool with air and water massage jets. 

6. Go on an ultimate mindfulness and wellness retreat

For those seeking the ultimate relaxation, Mandapa also offers a Wellness Retreat programme. This retreat combines movement and therapies to bring out a renewed internal focus and a heightened connection to the divine – you’d feel like a brand new person afterwards. 

Activities include Guided Chakra Meditation, Traditional Healing Session, Mindfulness Movement Session, Water Purification, Sleep Support Therapy, Yoga, and a whole lot more. 

We also found out that Mandapa has its very own Master-in-Residence, so if you want to open and awaken your inner lights, you may do so with Raden Ardie. Gifted with psychic reading, he helps guests become more enlighted and also guides them into deeper relaxation with sound healing, guided meditation, purification, and ancient Javanese mantra.

7. A naturally beautiful setting for your dream destination wedding 

The atmosphere at Mandapa is really awe-inspiring, so it is not surprising that some couples also flock here for their dream destination weddings. With rolling hills, a gentle river and verdant rice paddies as a backdrop, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve makes saying ‘I do’ in front of your loved one feel more surreal. The beauty of nature in Bali outshines any wedding decor you can possibly think of! 

After the wedding ceremony, the reception can be held in one of the luxurious 3-bedroom villas, complete with a private outdoor garden and pool. Then, continue your celebration with a honeymoon in a beautifully luxe rainforest villa. 

8. Luxuriate in romantic experiences with your loved one

Indulge in an unforgettable romantic escape at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve with so many lovely experiences that await. If on a honeymoon, having dinner at Kubu is definitely something you should not miss out on. Love is truly in the air when you dine inside the private cocoons at this restaurant, as the Ayung River is flowing alongside. As for the food, Kubu offers 6 to 8-course degustation menus, showcasing Mediterranean-European specialties prepared with Bali-sourced ingredients

You may also have a romantic candlelight dinner under the stars on a private deck at The Cliff At Sawah. Their eight-course contemporary Indonesian cuisine menu combined with a peaceful ambience – this is probably one of the best dinners you are going to experience.

9. Allow your little explorers to enjoy Mandapa Camp

If you are in Bali for a family vacation, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve also has something for your little ones to enjoy. At Mandapa Camp, kids will be given a chance to learn new skills, make new friends, and take part in a range of activities that would help them learn Balinese culture. There were lots of books and toys that our little Ally loved to play with, but the highlight of the indoor Kids’ club would probably be the slide from the second to the first floor. It looked really fun! 

What makes Mandapa Camp truly special is its organic garden and educational farm where young explorers can tend to the resort’s cows (hello Manda and Dapa!), chickens, ducks, and more. The ducks were just running around the rice fields eating pests, which was really cute to see, so it is not at all surprising that our little Ally adored them. Special thanks to Rina at the Mandapa Club who took good care of us throughout the tour, and she even gave us water right after our little excursion.

Our little family with Manda (or was it Dapa?)

To say that we had an amazing stay at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is an understatement. It is honestly the best luxury resort that we have ever stayed in! From the world-class service to the luxurious facilities and even the food…we had the grandest time. Please add this resort to your travel bucket lists, especially if you are travelling the world with your family. We truly hope to be back in the future! 

Check out Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve >
Address: Jalan Kedewatan, Banjar Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar Bali, Ubud, 80571
Contact: +62 361 4792777
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