The Luxe List 2016: Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Overlooking the paddy fields from the One Bedroom Rice Terrace Pool Villa.

Overlooking the paddy fields from the One Bedroom Rice Terrace Pool Villa.

Mandapa's riverside Kubu restaurant.

Mandapa’s riverside Kubu restaurant.

One of the most astounding views in Bali comes not from a cliff top or sandy shore at sunset, but rather from the lobby of the Ritz­-Carlton’s first Ubud resort, the third of its highest­-of-high­-end Reserve properties to open. A breezy walkway lined by fountains leads to a high platform that faces a hillside swathed in jungle all the way down to a private valley, where the resort is laid out like a village by the Ayung River. Despite covering nearly 10 hectares, the property has but 35 suites and 25 pool villas—seclusion and personalized service come best when guests are few—that stand out from the crowd of other luxe Ubud rooms with their dazzlingly colorful hand­-painted wall murals (though the windows carefully framing surrounding foliage could count as art as well) and deep rattan­-encased soak tubs. Kubu, with its chandeliers of glowing globes and degustation dinners served in spherical bamboo dining pods, now counts as one of the island’s best restaurants. But arguably the loveliest thing about a stay at Mandapa are the mornings, when there’s yoga by the river, offerings made at the on­-site temple, and staff tending to the rice growing in fields fronting the pool. (62­ 361/479­ 2777;; doubles from US$570).

This article originally appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2016: Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve”).

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