‘A Reserve’: A protected area of importance for wildlife or features of geological which is reserved and managed for conservation.
‘Mandapa‘: Sanskrit for temples, is a place where people can rest their mind, body, and soul.
‘A Mandapa reserve’: A conserved surrounding secluded from emotional stress and chaotic noise from everyday life. A safe place of acceptance and love build in nature where you can feel your lungs inhaling good and exhaling the negative. Where the sunlight claps through the trees, into your room window. A remedy for those who wants to stay away and just be silent.
Travel to Bali and make sure you stay in Ubud.
That’s what I usually hear when they speak of Bali. Your ‘Eat-Pray-Love’ experience. Despite the neighbouring islands in Bali being on people’s bucket list recently, you still find travellers lurking their way back into Ubud. The commercial and over-populated Holy mountain desperately trying not to lose it’s magic, gasping for air behind every tourist.
I was in Bali for 30 days and despite being back for the 3rd time…I ignored most people’s suggestion on skipping Ubud and I’m glad I did.
My last 3 nights in Bali, would end in the luxury property of Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve.
I’ve found my happy ending.
I had entered an incredible open-air (lobby) that sits on top of a hill and looks down on the village-like property surrounded by trees in a vast open space and all you see is an inception-like world inside Ubud, listening the water running from the river Ayung and the nature all around you.
Things are different since the last time I first landed here.
It was 14 years ago when I had my first encounter with a monk in Bali who blessed me and told me that I was going to be a stubborn woman while growing up. Thankfully, he was right, I am more stubborn than I ever was and maybe that is what got me today to where I am now in my career.
14 years ago felt like yesterday, but the culture and beliefs seems to be hanging on a thin thread washed by mass tourism and westernization.
But then, you have Mandapa, a reserve that opened its doors in September 2015 with 60 intimate private villas and changed the ideology of the present Bali and maintained the past, where time stood still and nature, beliefs and culture ruled.
Hence, establishing dominance in the area.
There were days where I couldn’t wake up as early as I used to and so breakfast would be served in my room facing the rice fields by the pool. It’s almost as if the reserve contained everyone’s balanced energy.
If you travel to Bali, travel to Ubud one last time…and experience Mandapa
I never needed to step out of the reserve. Shopping was 15 minutes away to the city center with a free shuttle bus but I was not looking to shop. The dining options were 3 restaurants to chose from with impeccable service and delicious Indonesian cuisine, especially the picnic by the river Ayung kept me busy, the activities schedule of planting rice in the fields with the farmers and learning about their day and their job kept me looking for more answers.
Yoga sessions where on a daily basis every morning at 8am and at sunset and kept me balanced. I was also offered to meet with a medicine healer, today I wish I had, just out of curiosity… and the spa room was right by the river with the window facing the water that drowns every thought with the loud rush noise it makes. My 4 year old daughter joined me halfway across my journey. She was fascinated by the Mandapa Camp (acting as a kids club), an opened air kids area.
There was a day where I booked a vintage car, a classic VW 181 convertible to be specific, to visit a little bit up north. I remember it being our last day in Bali and Chloe and I amused by the wind while driving.
Distractions. . . .
that’s what makes up a big part of our lives, every person is driven in the direction of their own destination with the help an invisible rope called dream.
Distractions distances me from those goals (dreams).
When I learn to follow my instincts and not the voices around me, I know I end up in the right direction. Mandapa is a place you come to leave everything at the door when you walk in and take everything out with you from the inside as you walk out.
It’s not just a property or a resort.
It is a place where people can rest their mind, body and soul.
*Insider tip: I stayed in a One bedroom Rice Terrace Pool View – Make sure you order room service for breakfast one morning and sit outside by the pool! The two & three bedroom villas are directly facing the Ayung River! Also, make sure you try the Indonesian cuisine at Sawah Terrace!
*Insider tip: Here is a number of a brilliant educated tour guide and a friend: Nyoman : +62 813 3776 5040 | Make sure you send him my regards!