I’ve posted blogs in the past from my Ritz Carlton sales rep extraordinaire Jeremy. Here’s his latest:
As my family and I continue this cruise and make our way back to Washington, DC I find myself thinking about my adventure in Bali and how fortunate I am to have journeyed to the Island of the Gods.  Such a mystical place that is so rich in tradition and spiritualism…but I have found that only when I slow down can I truly reflect on the experience and hopefully capture the sentiment into words.
Ubud is truly a spiritual place and it is not uncommon to pass temple after temple along the road or trees, statues or other items draped in black and white checked cloth.  A little interesting fact that I learned on my trip to Bali is that while Ubud may actually seem like one little town, it is actually 14 small villages each run by their own committee and all incorporate small temples and places where offerings may be made and left for the Gods.  These villages are home to the most gorgeous people who are almost innocent in a way…but always kind and always greet you with a smile.  This is the heart of culture for the island and home to some of the most amazing arts and crafts in the world.  From wood carvings to fabrics, visiting this area of Bali is a must and should be paired with a stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali in Nusa Dua or The BVLGARI Bali in Aluwatu.
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve:

  • Expertly woven into the cliff of a gorge, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve offers both suite and villa accommodation.

o   The suites are extremely large and feature local product and indigenous design elements with either king or twin/twin configuration
o   The villas are located along the working rice paddy or the Ayung River and also feature gorgeous design elements intrinsic to Ubud as well as private plunge pools.  Your choice of one bedroom, two bedroom or three bedroom villas is available at Mandapa.  Please see the attached overview highlighting the various accommodation options

  • Green Camp:  While you may think that the Reserve product is not family friendly due to the romantic location in Ubud…please think again. In keeping with the ideals of sustainability and education, Mandapa offers the Green Camp experience where children can play under supervision and make crafts for their parents.  There are even chickens, rabbits and a cow that call the Green Camp home and children light up when it is feeding time!
  • Kubu at Mandapa: This is truly the signature dining experience for the property…and probably one of the most spectacular venues I have ever seen.  Imagine handcrafted cocoons perfectly situated along the cascading Ayung River!  Super romantic, super fun and super intimate…only outdone by the gastronomic wonders from the kitchen
  • Subak Farming and Rice Planting: The Reserve concept is all about authentic experiences and at Mandapa there is actually a working rice field in the heart of the resort.  Guests can learn from the Ladies and Gentlemen about the rice culture and truly understand the importance of rice as part of the identity of Ubud.

Personal Notes:

  • Yoga!  Trust me…I am about as flexible as a rock, but given that I was in Bali, I woke up early for the sunrise yoga and the experience was magical.  First about the yoga – while I thought it was really just a bunch of stretching, I can assure you that I got a great workout and was sweating by the end of the hour….so for all your customers who go to the gym…this is an amazing workout!  Beyond the fitness aspect is the serene sense of place in having the rippling sound of the Ayung River in the background and the lush green of the gorge and rice paddies.  This is an early experience not to be missed!
  • John Hardy!  I must confess that I did not know who John Hardy was before traveling to Bali.  Honestly, I thought all the ladies with me kept talking about the clothes designer famous for skull and crossbones….and I couldn’t understand their fascination and basically kept my mouth shut from asking questions (for those who don’t know…the skull and crossbones designs is Ed Hardy)J.  Wow, was I in for a surprise to see the “temple” to silver and the gorgeous handcrafted creations of the Balinese silversmiths.  For anyone, man or woman who loves gorgeous hand crafted jewelry…this is a journey that should not be missed and is only about 20 minutes from Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • Segara Windhu Coffee Plantation:  Probably a well-known fact is that the most expensive coffee in the world hails from Bali.  I am confident you all know the process by which these coffee beans are processed by feral cat digestion, before being ground into coffee.  I have to tell the truth…I did not try the coffee, but hear that it was remarkable.  I know I know…but I just couldn’t do it.  That said, the team at Mandapa crafted gorgeous “boxed luncheons” that we enjoyed at the outdoor pavilion of the plantation.  When I say crafted….I mean…they literally handmade the boxes and every food ‘wrapper” from banana leaves for the most eco-friendly, gorgeous lunchbox I have ever seen!
  • VW Vintage Tour!  This was so cool and totally of the Reserve concept!  Did you know that Volkswagen once made a car called “The Thing” in the 1950’s?  Apparently there is a whole fleet of well-preserved cars in Bali and they are available for a vintage tour of the Ubud landscape to include local temples to include Tirta Empul and Gunung Kawi
  • Facebook Moment!  Make sure that you travel to the Tegalalang Rice Fields for the iconic terraced rice paddy photo shoot.  This is the total “Eat.  Pray.  Love” backdrop!

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
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Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.
His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.
Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.
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