With tropical surroundings and a personal butler, the Mandapa reserve in Bali offers complete escape
Don’t call Mandapa a hotel. It’s described as a “reserve” – the third in Ritz-Carlton’s portfolio of properties – and it’s a name that hints at a place set aside for exclusivity. This hidden tropical retreat, caught in a valley between Bali’s lush Ubud jungle and a twist in the Ayung River, introduces a whole new standard of luxurious seclusion.
In this village of just 35 suites and 25 villas, linked by a tangle of lanes and a fleet of electric buggies, you may be forgiven for thinking you are the only guest. Despite it only opening last year, hi-tech amenities are paired with thoughtful design, and the attentive service (each room has a discreet patih, or butler) is countered by the sense of total escape. Pick a private villa, enjoy complimentary room service and entertain the fantasy that this plush, frangipani-scented residence – with its large pool is your very own Balinese bolthole.
However, as you’ve flown all the way to Indonesia, try to tear yourself away from your villa occasionally. Make time for a visit to the tranquil spa and yoga pavilion (Mandapa means “temple” in Sanskrit, and Ubud is considered the spiritual heart of Bali, after all), a meal under the bamboo arches of the beautiful Kubu restaurant (reserving a table in a private riverside pod, naturally) or a tour of the nearby rice paddies. There is plenty for adventurers, too, including river-rafting or a sunrise hike up Mount Batur volcano.
And this is what the reserve concept is really all about: it’s a destination that feels like a secret.
Rooms at Mandapa Reserve from £527 a night Ritz-Carlton Mandapa, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia, mandapareserve.com
Cathay Pacific flies from London Heatthrow to Hong Kong five times daily, and onwards to more than 190 destinations. Flights to Bali via Hong Kong are priced from £829 return.