TRAVEL WITH STYLE
A TRAVELING PROGRAM TAILORED BY MANDAPA, A RITZ-CARLTON RESERVE TAKES YOU ON A JOURNEY TO EXPLORE BALI LIKE NO OTHER…
Nestled in Ubud, Mandapa, a RitzCarlton Reserve resort is truly a serene place to hide from the world. While I can understand if all you want to do at the resort is sit back, relax and enjoy a view of the rice fields that lie right at the heart of the property, I can assure you that there is more to the resort. The property gives all the more reason to be a sanctuary for cultural enthusiasts and nature explorers with its “Vintage Tour - Hidden Jewel” program that takes staying guests on an adventure with style, like I experienced with a group of friends a while ago.
It was indeed a weekend full of fun at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Together with some friends, I stayed overnight at the resort, and could barely wait for an adventure that was scheduled for the next day. To keep our energy up the next morning, we had an easy Saturday, indulging in afternoon tea at the Pool Bar, followed by a delectable dinner at the Sawah Terrace. We were just about to return to our room once dinner was done when one of the waiters approached us to arrange our choices of “Mandapa Picnic Snacks” – a take-away picnic nibbles packaged in rattan boxes to accompany our journey the next day. Options include homemade potato chips or rempeyek (Balinese chips), and choices of salad for appetizer, sandwiches for the main course and sweet delights for dessert.
The adventure with “Vintage Tour - Hidden Jewel” hadn’t begun yet,
but I was sure we were off to a good start. And the next morning, I woke up to realize that the journey was beyond my expectations…
After a good night’s sleep at the one-bedroom River Front Pool Villa, I woke up early to indulge in some breakfast at Sawah Terrace before our adventure began. Once our stomachs were full, we were escorted to the lobby where two 1960’s Volkswagen 181s were already waiting for us – it was cool to see the vintage-style cars on the parking lot already, let alone to ride it to explore Ubud. To accompany our journey, the resort provided a rattan bag filled with a towel, a rattan hat, mosquito repellent, a sarong and a sash as well as “Mandapa Picnic Snacks” and bottles of mineral water. We were off on our adventure guided by the resort’s recreation manager, Made Winarta.
We traveled with the open convertible car, and let the breezy wind caress our hair and our skin soaked up the sun, while the rice fields of Ubud pleased our eyes. After about an hour of driving, we arrived at our first destination; the Tukad Cepung Waterfall. Nestled in Bangli region, this waterfall is truly a hidden gem as it nestles between high cliffs. We had to descend some stairs from the parking lot to the waterfall, and a clumsy person like me should be careful once inside the cliffs as natural stones make quite a steep path – but they also make a wonderful spot for pictures.
The walk was all worth it once we stood in the ankle-deep water with the waterfall before us. Above the waterfall, there was an opening that let sunrays in and gave light to the living nature under the cliffs. It was such a marvelous sight to see. “Tukad
Cepung Waterfall is protected and unspoiled,” said Made on why, of all the waterfalls there is in Bali, Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve chose this one. “The waterfall doesn’t flow into a river, a stream nor a jungle but gently down to a canyon around 15-meter high. We handselected this destination to take our guests away from the crowd.”
CULTURE AND COFFEE
Our “Vintage Tour - Hidden Jewel” continued with a visit to an ancient cultural site, the Kehen Temple, also in Bangli. “This temple was built in the 11th century, also known as the miniature of Besakih Temple, the Mother Temple of Bali,” Made explained. “In Balinese, ‘ kehen’ means household or fire place which symbolizes Brahma, the creator of this universe in the ancient Hindu philosophy.” Just like other temples in Bali, the Kehen Temple has stunning details in architecture. A huge centuries-old tree stands in the area, adding a mystical yet majestic vibe to the temple. “We take our guests here to let them discover an ancient temple of Bali that is not full of tourists,” Made continued.
On the way to our last stop, we grew an appetite, and it was only right that the resort took us to Segara Windhu Coffee Plantations in Tampaksiring area. As soon as we arrived, we were escorted to a corner that is especially designated for the “Vintage Tour - Hidden Jewel” guests. Here, we indulged in our “Mandapa Picnic Snacks” – my choice for that day were homemade potato chips, tomato with bocconcini mozzarella and pesto, Smoked Tasmanian Salmon sandwich and a rich chocolate brownie. The breakfast was made perfectly with selections of Bali’s fresh coffee and tea from Segara Windhu, and a view of the coffee plantation. Clearly, it was a sweet ending to our stylish adventure.
“Vintage Tour - Hidden Jewel”
is available for guests who stay at the resort with rates from US$595/room/night. The program also includes a Subak Farming Exploration, a Pod Chocolate Tour, a Kintamani Trekking, sunrise at the Mount Batur, and more. The resort’s recreation team can tailor a customized tour based on guests’ preferences.
Travel with style using open convertible 1960’s Volkswagen 181 (below), and visit Tukad Cepung Waterfall (left) and Kehen Temple (this photo).