Terracotta and thatched-roof residences with spring water infinity pools jut from the hillsides and line the Ayung River at this 22-acre retreat outside Ubud. Everything, from the dining experiences to the custom health programs, is designed to nurture and push guests closer to their wellness goals, whether they’re aimed at fitness or stress reduction. A cadre of resident experts, including a dietician, Ayurvedic doctor, reflexologist, and an expert in Oriental medicine along with fitness, yoga, Pilates, and qigong instructors are all here to guide guests away from old habits toward their higher powers. Most people come to Como Shambhala Estate as part of one of the resort's yoga or health retreats, or for consultations with regular visiting experts. After a day of practice or outdoor adventure, guests can retreat to a beautiful residence made from indigenous materials. The five principal Residences were inspired by the five elements, and each has an Indonesian name that translates to an earthy concept like “wind song” or “forest in the mist.”
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Central Bali, which gravitates toward the art colony of Ubud, offers the best of “the Island of the Gods” in a small area. Cultural attractions such as the Museum Puri Lukisan and Blanco Renaissance Museum are some of the best on the island, and intriguing religious sites range from the cave temple Goa Gajah to the holy bathing ground of Pura Tirta Empul, which is particularly popular during the full moon. Nature and agriculture experiences are nearby, too. Guests can climb Mount Batur, an active volcano flowing with hot springs; explore the Kebun Raya Botanical Gardens; and feel like children at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
Need to Know
Rooms: 30 rooms and suites, 5 residences, 4 villas, 5 retreat villas. From $600. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: The open-sided Glow restaurant is Como Shambhala’s all-day dining venue that specializes in raw salads and energizing juices, infused with fruits and vegetables grown on-site. Health-conscious substitutes such as soymilk in place of cow’s milk and raw honey instead of sugar help guests detoxify. On Sunday, a casual brunch is set to traditional dance and gamelanmusic. Traditional breakfast and dinner items from all over Indonesia are served at Kudos House, built from a 150-year-old former Javanese residence. Spa and gym details: Wellness is what Como Shambhala does best. That means a tranquil spa with a sauna, steam room, reflexology area, an open-air yoga pavilion, and a meditation gazebo. Experts perform Balinese and Ayurvedic treatments, and weeklong wellness retreats combine morning yoga, guided hikes, and meditation with spa therapies and targeted talks. There’s also an outdoor jungle gym, climbing wall, and an 80-foot swimming pool filled by a natural spring that’s revered by locals for its healing properties.
Who's it best for: Soul-searchers looking for new perspectives and philosophies to help them through dramatic life changes. Wellness junkies. Our favorite rooms: The rooms and suites housed inside the Residences share a pool, lounge, and dining area and are traditional in style—with wooden four-poster beds, Indonesian antiques, and glass walls revealing a mirage of green. Guests visiting for a retreat might prefer the Retreat Villas, which are more modern and have private infinity pools, treatment rooms, and butler service. Retreat Villas are also just steps from Olas, one of the Estate’s principal wellness centers. For adrenaline seekers:Outdoor junkies should inquire about rigorous hikes and biking adventures that explore the local rivers and jungle gorges.