Bali & Beyond - - LIFESTYLE & LEISURE - By Risty Nur­raisa Man­dapa, a Ritz-Carl­ton Re­serve Jalan Kede­watan, Ban­jar Kede­watan, Ubud (0361) 479-2777­da­pare­

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.”


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).

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