Driving down palm-fringed roads enveloped by sprightly rice fields leads to COMO Shambhala Estate, an award-winning wellness destination and boutique resort just beyond Ubud in the authentic Begawan Village.
Resting along the sacred Ayung Riverbank, the exclusive grounds include residences, villas, and suites embraced by the lush jungle terrain—where the sounds of nature and its animal inhabitants, including wild monkeys, resonate. As you stroll around the estate, a spiritual aura emanates from the numerous ceremonial offerings dotting the property, which are dedicated to Bali’s three primary Hindu gods—Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu.
Designed by Cheong Yew Kuan and featuring interiors by Koichiro Ikebuchi, the essence of Balinese culture is skillfully captured in its architecture. In harmony with the elements of nature (earth, wind, water, fire, and forest in this case), each accommodation shares standard features: traditional alang-alang thatched roofs, supple teak wood flooring, and upholstery, plus lavish bathrooms with rain showers and deep soaking tubs dressed in stone adorn these refined homes.
The pinnacle of relaxation is achieved here, from exquisite Japanese water gardens to private turquoise infinity-edged pools and expansive outdoor lounge decks. Opt to book the “Wanakasa” lodgings, encircling an ancient Banyan Tree, or “Tirta Ening” quarters with a floating pavilion and serene waterfall. Sunlight streams through floor-to-ceiling windows, offering guests a morning welcome with breathtaking views of the tropical verdant valley.
As for dining, two on-site restaurants uphold the holistic ethos: Kudu’s House, occupying an original 19th-century Javanese residence, serves both breakfast and dinner and presents an inventive menu spotlighting organic Indonesian cuisine; Glow Restaurant, an elevated all-day dining venue, showcases contemporary Western and European flavors. Expect dishes such as Beef Rendang, comprising braised organic beef short ribs tossed in a rich rendang curry sauce, and Lawar Kacang Panjang, containing long bean, minced chicken, roasted coconut, and turmeric salad with kaffir lime. Daily, cold-pressed juices, medicinal shots, and coconut tonics served in an entire raw coconut are as fresh as they come.
COMO Shambhala Estate enlightens visitors about Eastern medicine and Ayurvedic practices through its integrated wellness offerings and avant-garde spa. There’s a medley of curated experiences centered on holistic tactics, including a Hot River Stone Massage to Dead Sea Mud Therapy and oriental treatments, such as acupuncture. Newcomers are encouraged to schedule a consultation with the Director of Wellness, Kimberly, who provides personalized guidance and support throughout the wellness journey.
For those seeking a complete rejuvenation of inner zen, staying at COMO Shambhala Estate for one to two weeks is recommended, during which achieving the highest level of tranquility becomes attainable.
Location: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Address: Banjar Begawan, Desa, Melinggih Kelod, Kec. Payangan, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The vibe: An idyllic jungle retreat adorned with luxurious treehouse-style accommodations, emphasizing holistic wellness practices and facilitating spiritual reconnection.
Food + Drink: Kudu’s House, occupying an original 19th-century Javanese residence, serves breakfast and dinner and presents an inventive menu spotlighting organic Indonesian cuisine; Glow Restaurant, an all-day dining venue, showcases contemporary Western and European flavors. (We highly recommend ordering the Salmon Crudo with ginger, green chili, radish, and cucumber pickle with orange and soy dressing for a poolside lunch.)
Our Favorite Part of the Hotel: We love the Kedara Picnic excursion, including a guided Estate Walk to explore Kedara, the hidden water garden at the jungled heart of COMO Shambhala. Guests enjoy an elegantly plated organic lunch by the 10th-century water temple, Tirta Empul, which is significant in Balinese mythology. The experience offers a spiritually enriching swim in the holy spring water, complementing afternoons at Tirta Ening’s private sparkling infinity lido.
Amenities: Outdoor Swimming Pools; Spa; Fitness Center; Guided Experiences; Free WiFi; Breakfast
What’s nearby? Tegallalang Rice Terrace; Ubud Palace; Ubud Monkey Forest; Museum Puri Lukisan; Tirta Empul; Penglipuran Village
Any personal neighborhood recs? We suggest venturing into Ubud for dinner at Uma Cucina, an innovative Italian restaurant located at the sister property, COMO Uma Ubud. While in town, visit Room 4 Dessert for exceptional sweet treats by pastry chef Will Goldfarb. Guests can immerse themselves in the local expatriate dining scene, gaining a glimpse into their vibrant lifestyles.
Pricing: Rates start at $536/night.
Closest Airport: Ngurah Rai International Airport