Culture and Spirits Soar in Ubud, Bali

Mandapa, Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Immediately after our arrival at the Mandapa, Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Ubud, we added an extra day. It just felt right. The resort is located off the main road and aside from a small sign, the gated entrance is hidden between a few small homes where locals live with dogs, roosters and hens roaming freely through the street.

As our taxi went down the long driveway, I was transported to another world. I immediately felt a sense of peace and relaxation as I walked into the front lobby, which is anything but your typical lobby.  The indoors and outdoors seamlessly meld into one as the sound of flowing water filled the air.

Okta, our personal butler (our pitah), greeted us upon our arrival and walked us to a spectacular bird’s eye view of the resort with the lush, green rainforest in the background. The resort is set up like a Balinese village with rice paddies, a vegetable garden,  and a beautiful temple on-site (in Bali, every village and every house has its own temple and the resort is no exception).

We stayed in a villa on the Ayung River and it was spectacular. There is an infiniti pool that’s framed by fragrant frangipani trees and a separate glass-enclosed living room that has a sofa, TV and table/chairs.  The main villa has a spacious bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower.  Like the rest of the resort, the villa blends the interior and exterior seamlessly into one.  The spiritual and striking surroundings are complimented by minimal, yet perfectly placed Balinese décor giving it a zen-like feel.

The resort opened less than two months ago, but the staff knew everything about the place and its amenities as if they had been working there for years. This is an incredibly special place that I could see myself going back to year after year.

Arriving at Sunset


Villa Pool, morning coffee



Blogging from the villa


View of the Ayung River from one of the upper dining areas


Practicing side-crow in the yoga pavilion with the rainforest in the background

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Items for offering

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Learning to make an offering


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Heated pool surrounded by cabanas and lounges


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Okta, our personal butler (or pitah)

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