Hotel Como Shambhala Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
Ubud, Indonesia -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

This is an exceptional hotel in an exceptional setting, a truly amazing place! Located not far from Ubud, this jewel of a hotel in a huge Garden of Eden setting is sure to impress, whether because of the remarkable beauty of the 23-acre estate, the first-class service or the superb amenities, which include two spas. Tranquility, luxury and sensuality are the words that best define this uncluttered and stylish place. The Como Shambhala Estate in Begawan Giri is perfect for honeymooners and people in need of revitalisation. This is without a doubt the editorial team's favourite!

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    • Hotel Como Shambhala

      Como Shambhala   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Como Shambhala

      Como Shambhala   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    • Location

      6.5 /10
    • Accommodation

      7.75 /10
    • Overview

      7.75 /10
    • Food and drink

      7.75 /10
    • To know

    • Lost and isolated amid the lush vegetation of the Payangan region, the Como Shambhala stands on one of the small winding mountain roads leading to the village of Begawan Giri, 15 minutes from Ubud, "the place of the gods", and around 31 mi from Denpasar airport (about a 1 hour transfer time). The closest beach is at Sanur.

    • The 47 bedrooms all offer superb views and consist of single rooms and suites, including the Shambhala and the royal suites. The rooms vary in size but all are spacious and are housed in the hotel's 5 pavilions (21 rooms) and 10 villas (26 rooms). Not to be missed, the 5 pavilions are each decorated and furnished to reflect a specific element, such as fire - where the very masculine decor has been deeply inspired by the Indonesian island of Sumba, water - where the ambience is very Zen-like, and also air, forest and earth. The "Tirta-Ening" villa is characterised by a water garden and bungalows on stilts: The "Wanakasa" is built around a sacred tree; the "Tejasuara" was built using upright stones from Sumba; the "Bayugita" combines Balinese architecture with Javanese colonial-style architecture; the "Umabona" has the most spectacular view of Mount Batu Karu; and the river Ayung is recommended for a romantic break. Needless to say, the result is superb! In a single block, 4 or 5 guest rooms (suites and master suite) are constructed around a huge terrace with a long swimming pool and a covered outdoor area set aside for dining and relaxation. Only residents have access to this area and the rooms are far enough apart to maintain guests' privacy. The rooms are unusually elegant and are equipped with a large flat screen television broadcasting 16 channels, a DVD player, an alarm clock, a Hi-Fi system, individual air conditioning, a direct-dial telephone line, an Internet connection, a mini bar with tea and coffee-making facilities, and a free safe. Some of the Javanese, Balinese and Chinese furniture, some of which is Colonial while some is more contemporary in style, is 150 years old, whilst the materials (such as woven leather from the Philippines), fabrics (such as Thai silk) and precious woods that have been used have been very carefully chosen. The bathrooms, for their part, are highly sophisticated and come with a bathtub, shower, separate toilet, double washbasin, vanity mirror, hair dryer, bathrobes, slippers, and a large selection of hospitality products. Some suites have a jacuzzi and a shower on the private terrace. Of course, room service is available 24/7 and there are 13 butlers working at the hotel.
    • The unpretentious pleasure afforded by the luxury provided here is simply divine! When you consider the jungle, rice fields, mountains, beautiful flat grassland and deep valleys, where the sacred river of Ayung and one of its tributaries flow, you realise that the Como Shambhala, which opened in December 2005, enjoys a truly idyllic and well preserved setting. The huge reception, just like the rest of the hotel, boasts minimalist white surroundings. All of this contrasts nicely with the lush green environment around the hotel, and leaves you guessing as to where you will find the guest rooms. Indeed, you have to go through a door and into the garden to see the grounds and the villas, which are hidden behind small and distant hills some 10 minutes' walk or 2 minutes' drive away (a shuttle service is available on request). Health and well-being are a state of mind here, and there are two areas entirely devoted to them. An easy walk up above the complex will take you to one of the numerous treatment rooms where you can see a specialist (nutritionist, naturopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor, specialist in ayurvedic massage, etc.) and which very pleasantly open onto the superb gardens below. There are also two adjacent rooms for pilates and yoga. Outside, guests can enjoy one of the two swimming pools. 200-300m below, braver guests can relax beside the sacred river at the heart of the Balinese jungle, perhaps even taking a dip in the reinvigorating pool or in the long pool hollowed out of the rock. An amazing and naturally wonderful narrow set of steps leads gradually up to the different treatment areas dotted around the mountainside, all of which have a bathtub, shower and jacuzzi using spring water. The architecture and soft decor incorporating stone and wood throughout are entirely conducive to serenity and revitalisation.
    • The main restaurant, Glow, serves Indonesian and international cuisine for lunch and dinner, using and showcasing the freshest and healthiest of ingredients. In addition to the 11 main courses, guests can also choose from a selection of vegetarian dishes that are light and suitable for those following the various courses of treatment available. Among the tasty dishes on the menu created by chef Chris Miller, do not give up chance to try the Mahi Mahi, an Indonesian dish made with quinoa. With a capacity of 50 to 60 people, this open air restaurant offers superb views out across the deep valley and the sunset, while the chefs keep busy at the impeccable ovens alongside the dressed tables. Guests will appreciate the calm and minimalist ambience here but may be disappointed with the coldness of the surroundings. On the other hand, the second restaurant, delicately decorated with carved wood, has an extremely warm ambiance due to the omnipresence of various types of wood and variations thereof (wood panelling, armchairs, etc.). Dating back over 150 years, this traditional Javanese house is the ideal setting for discovering Indonesian cuisine (at both breakfast and dinner). The Kudus House can seat a maximum of 30 people.
    • Due to the steepness of the site, with sheer drops in several places, this is really not the best place to come with children The hotel is very much centred on health and well-being and offers courses of treatment lasting several days; indeed, you are advised to set aside at least 3 if is to be effective. You can consult various on-site specialists and you will have a personal assistant to help you with your well-being programme. You will also be able to receive coaching (anti-stress, emotional, etc.) and attend classes in yoga, pilates, gym, Chi Gong, Taï Chi and meditation (with external instructors). The hotel opened two years ago and the section devoted to treatments and well-being is continually expanding. Over 20% of the hotel's clientele come here specifically for this. The Como Shambhala employs 280 staff members, 30 of which are employed exclusively for the spa. Other activities, including trekking, cycling, climbing, etc., are also available, and it's worth taking the guided tour of the property on arrival to get an idea of the scale and diversity of the site and its facilities!

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Spa

      massage, beauty salon, sauna, hammam, physiotherapy, stretching, keep fit, spa

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      tennis, gym, fitness

    • Whirlpool bath

    advantage

    • A unique setting in the mountains.
    • A haven of peace
    • The design and furnishing of the villas
    • The upmarket facilities
    • The two spas
    • The 150 year-old Java house
    • Far from the very touristy areas
    • Luxury without ostentation.
    • The restaurant services

    disadvantages

    • The cold decoration of the open-air restaurant
    • Many staircases in some parts of the hotel
    • Note: smoking is prohibited in this hotel

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