Ritz-Carlton goes big in Bali with Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
Why Go: Located amid the jungles of central Bali, Ubud has long kept some of the world’s best resorts. Amanresorts opened its second property there 26 years ago, and the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan, with its incredible cliff-hanging pool, arrived the same year. A decade ago, Christina Ong opened her flagship health retreat Como Shambhala Estate, and this year Ritz-Carlton’s exclusive Reserve brand debuted in September. It is no coincidence the town accommodates such revered hotels. From its natural beauty to its wealth of healers, its exotic temples and artwork to its potential for outdoor adventure, Ubud’s 14 villages offer the essential raw materials that allow top hospitality talents to push the envelope of luxury as far as it can go.
What to Expect: The “tiniest” of the 60 suites and villas (from $570) measures more than 1,000 square feet. Guests should expect spaciousness not only in their accommodations, but also throughout the property, which is built around a working rice paddy. Passing through dramatic stone entrance gates, guests arrive to a beautiful view of the resort that is styled like a traditional Balinese village. Each villa has one, two, or three bedrooms; a pool; a tropical garden; and colorful floor-to-ceiling murals. Some of the tables at fine-dining restaurant Kubu are tucked within private bamboo huts overlooking the river. In addition to eating at the three other restaurants and lounges, guests can request private dinners among the rice fields or before a live Balinese performance. The eight-treatment-room spa offers daily yoga classes, Espa treatments, and a range of wellness programs, such as detoxes and traditional Balinese healing.
How to Get There: The resort can arrange transfers by luxury car for the 60-minute drive from Bali Ngurah Rai Airport or from Bali’s other popular resort cities—including Nusa Dua, home to Ritz-Carlton’s beachfront resort. (ritzcarlton.com)