The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

COMO Shamb­hala (for­merly Begawan Giri) is about 20 min­utes from Ubud proper. Trans­fers are avail­able and its rather re­moved po­si­tion proves a bonus for its sense of tran­quil­lity and plung­ing hill-ter­race views. Stay in one of five huge res­i­dences with in­fin­ity-edge private pools (rent an in­di­vid­ual suite or take the whole for a house party) or vil­las with names as ap­peal­ing as House of Flow­ers or Bam­boo Whis­per­ing.

Sin­ga­pore-based Como Ho­tels took over the sloped 8ha prop­erty a few years ago but has re­tained the vi­sion of the for­mer owner, con­ser­va­tion­ist Bradley Gard­ner. New to the prop­erty is a su­perb health re­treat with nine treat­ment rooms, hy­drother­apy pool, yoga and Pi­lates stu­dios; the re­sort holds reg­u­lar res­i­den­tial yoga work­shops and well­ness re­treats with guest in­struc­tors.

Como Shamb­hala’s In­done­sian-style Kudis restau­rant is su­perb; it’s set in a recre­ated vil­lage house and of­fers dishes as de­lec­ta­ble as Irian Jaya mud­crab with sour fruit, ta­marind and ginger. I can’t stress enough what an ex­quis­ite hideaway this is but such lux­u­ri­ous seclu­sion doesn’t come cheap (from $US495 or $554 a night plus 21 per cent taxes). A sis­ter ho­tel, Uma Ubud, next to the Neka Mu­seum in Ubud, of­fers a pared-down and bud­get-friendly ex­pe­ri­ence that could be dubbed ‘‘ Como lite’’. From $US185 plus taxes. Susan Kuro­sawa­moshamb­

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