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Review: Mandapa, A Ritz Carlton Reserve property in Ubud, Bali
Boy, oh boy, oh boy…it was surreal arriving at Mandapa. So many hours had been spent on making this part of the trip work. When we first planning, we were initially going to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Nusa Dua using points, but as we researched the various parts of Bali, it became very clear that Ubud was where we needed to spend most of our time. After much research, we narrowed the field down to three: Amandari, Four Seasons, and Mandapa. Clearly this was going to be a splurge and a half, but this was my mom’s 75th, and this was one of the places she had ALWAYS wanted to visit. We wanted to find a truly experiential property that would create a lifelong memory. I know, no pressure. We just kept coming back to Mandapa, and I’m so glad we did. The location, staff, food, weather, healers, villa, wow THE VILLA, was beyond expectation.
In case you didn’t know…Bali was a KEY part of my Mom’s Surprise Trip Around The World celebrating her 75th birthday.
So what were the deciding factors that lead to us choosing Mandapa?
- It’s small, intimate, and spiritually motivated.
- It overlooks the Ayung river and has 35 suites and 25 private pool villas, each with its own butler
- It was the newest of the 3 we were choosing between – opened in the fall of 2015!
- Tripadvisor lists the hotel as #2 in the world voted by travelers
- The price of a Mandapa Suite was significantly lower than that of the entry level rooms at Four Seasons and Amandari
- Mandapa is a Virtuoso property
- Great benefits…I’ll list below
- Our rep, Josh King, also is a Ritz STARS rep which adds to the upgrade possibility
- Even though Ritz Reserve properties technically don’t participate in Marriott Rewards we figured it wouldn’t hurt we had Platinum status
Mandapa is a Virtuoso property
The included benefits:
- Upgrade at time of arrival, subject to availability
- Complimentary Buffet and A La Carte Breakfast for two daily in the restaurant for duration of the stay
- $100 USD equivalent Resort or Hotel credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, not valid on room rate, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
- Early check-in/Late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
We used Josh King of Great Getaways
- He arranged our trip and also notified the hotel that we would be celebrating my mom’s 75th birthday
- He made a special request that we get a dope upgrade too…and we did!
- When: April 2017
- Where: Ubud, Bali
- Loyalty: Marriott Rewards…although it doesn’t matter
- Room: Mandapa Suite upgraded to a Rice Terrace Private Pool Villa – OVER 4000SQ FT!
- Benefits: Virtuoso…see above
- Rate: Mandapa had a 15% off special – we locked in 6.9M IDR + 21% + $75 for the extra person. $705 a night.
We arrived at night. You can’t really appreciate the beauty of the location…so all the pics are from the daytime. It sits on the Ayung river valley, and has only 35 suites and 25 private pool villas. Mandapa also blends into the local community – one being the working rice paddy upon which its intermingled. I mean…cahmon!
One of the additional benefits of Virtuoso is that you’re greeted by the senior most member of the staff upon arrival. However…our flights had been significantly delayed so it was quite late when we arrived, and the general manager had gone home for the night. A VERY nice gentlemen took us to Our Rice Paddy Villa ( A DOUBLE UPGRADE, thanks Josh and Mandapa) and our mouths were AGAPE. Mandapa is an experience, not just a resort or hotel. Everything about it settles the mind, body, and spirit.
We had reserved a Mandapa Suite which is in the main building and has 270 degree views. It was a damn good backup room. BUT…we got double upgraded to a Rice Paddy View Villa with a separate living room and it’s own private pool. Who are we? Seriously…WHO ARE WE RIGHT NOW?! This is amazing.
It’s incredible Mandapa is opened in the fall of 2015. Barely over 18 months ago. It seems filled with history.
The Rice Terrace Pool Villa is 4600+ Sq ft in total.
There is a toto toilet ( Miles’ fave), a soaker tub, GORGEOUS window treatments, and outdoor shower, and they brought in roll-a-way bed for me.
And a birthday cake…
There was also a living room detached from the main room. It featured a MEGA tv, daybed, and every single wall slid back to create a wholly open air experience.
The view was straight out to the rice paddy…you could hear the river as well.
Everything at Mandapa has been infused with passion, including the food.
We ate breakfast at the hotel each morning. It’s buffet + menu items and was nothing short of extraordinary. Fresh, plentiful, and superbly delicious. It’s also included with Virtuoso, but also pretty much every rate I encountered online.
We were at Mandapa over Easter and I couldn’t recommend it anymore…
I would highly recommend KUBU. It’s the #1 rated restaurant in all of Bali and is truly unique.
It overlooks the River and I would recommend requesting a cocoon as it provides an ambience as unique as the food the chef designs. If you aren’t staying at Mandapa this place is truly worth eating at. I’ve eaten at a lot of Michelin starred this and that, and Kubu will go down as one of my most memorable experiences.
The Spa and healings.
I don’t want to disrespect the healers and what they do, but I will say that all 3 of us had treatments and were all impacted by the healers work. The spa facility, in general, was breathtaking. Situated only 10-15 feet above the river’s edge.
Mandapa was everything that we could have hoped it to be. A spiritual escape that created an experience that was magical, unique, and worthy of pivoting my mom’s entire 75th Surprise Birthday Trip Around. I think Miles did a great job…or at least my folks thought so 🙂
You don’t have to stop here. Check out how we paid $5k and took a $125k Surprise trip Around The World to celebrate my Mom’s 75th
Wanna Read more of our Crazy Trip Around the World?
- Boston to Beijing
- Beijing to Singapore
- Singapore to Bali Roundtrip
- Singapore to Dubai
- Abu Dhabi to Cannes, France
- Cannes, France to Dallas
- JW Marriott Beijing, 1 Bedroom Suite ($450 for 5 nights)
- Club King ($250)
- Abu Dhabi
- Cannes, France
- JW Marriott Beijing, 1 Bedroom Suite ($450 for 5 nights)
- Hong Kong
- Abu Dhabi
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based.
60k Points after $4k spend in 3 months
80k offer in branch currently – I think this should be online soon
Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards
Super solid welcome offer.
If you carry this card alongside Chase’s cashback cards like the Chase Freedom Flex℠and Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the business versions: Ink Business Cash , Ink Business Unlimited you can combine the points into Preferred account and transfer into hotel and airline partners
Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.
- 3x on dining
- including eligible delivery services for takeout
- 3x on select streaming services
- 3x on online grocery purchases
- (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
- 5x on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards – Chase Travel Portal
- $50 Annual Credit on hotel stays purchased via Ultimate Rewards/Chase Travel
- The begins immediately for new cardmembers and after your account anniversary for existing cardmembers
- 10% Anniversary Bonus
- Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® continues to redeem at 1.25c in the Chase Travel Portal and the slew of other benefits remain in tact including primary rental car insurance, purchase protections, etc.
- Points are transferrable to 13 Ultimate Rewards partners
- Redeem in the Chase Travel center for 1.25 cents per point
- No foreign transaction fees
- Suite of Travel and Purchase Coverage
- Primary rental car coverage is my favorite
There is currently an 80k offer after $4k spend in 3 months available in branch, and up to 90k after $6k spend in 6 months. I suspect some version of this will be online soon if you don’t want the hassle of going into a branch.
We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.
Historically 60k is a very, very good offer. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back. .
Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.
Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on.