The Como Shambhala Estate, Temple of well-being (Ubud, Bali)
A breathtaking holistic retreat that will make you… breathe again.
The Como Shambhala Estate is not a traditional hotel. It is a luxury retreat with state-of-the-art facilities, health specialists and thrilling accomodations (villas and private residences divided according to the five elements), offering the most exceptional experiences and holistic therapies. Como Shambhala is singularand unforgettable though not for every traveller. People come here to relax, discover, be guided by their personal assistant, to find a balance of body and mind. Yoga, Tai Chi, various martial arts, tennis, outdoor activities, spa therapists from various backgrounds, Vitality Pool and spa are on the menu (among other brilliant ideas).Do everything, do nothing, do as you feel – but breathe, you’re there for. Reflections on an award-winning retreat which nevertheless managed to retain a confidential and soothing spirit.
Jungle and rice paddies over the Ayung River
A few miles away from Ubud center, the Como Shambhala Estate is a large though confidential resort located on the hillside overlooking the Ayung River valley. Silence is a luxury you can afford there, as the only sounds you may hear are those from animals or laughs from the rafting, far, far (down!) away. The resort instantly evokes us a temple of well-being. The apeasing sound of the river, leaves rustling through the trees, waterfalls, birds and… nothing but perfect quietness. You walk through the domain along small paths and various steps (steep is a key word, hence the amazing views you get at Como’).Villas and retreats are unique in their very own way. Will you be “Fire”, “Wind”, “Earth?”. Up to you.
Villas, Retreats and Residences
Fire, Wind, Water, Earth and Air: Here are the identities of the five residences. Each and every one of them highlights one of those components and consists of several large villas and suites that share a common space. This may be a pool above the forest, a fire pit at night or a terrace reading room surrounded by the trees.
The other option is to book a retreat or a private suite. Whatever your preference you will have access to a private terrace, large beds surrounded by curtains, wonderful Como Shambhala products (with essential oils). Side amenities include free WiFi, an iPhone dock and a TV (though who’s there for that, really). A special note to smokers: it’s on your private terrace or nothing! One single space is open to smoking in te resort – but that is part of the healthy experience and believe us, though big smokers, it was not a big deal.
We tested two types of housing, our favorite being one of the Private Retreats and its pool which seems to directly fall into the forest. You even have your private steam room! The Como Shambhala Suite is also a beautiful option, with magnificent furniture and pieces of art.
Traditional architecture and precious metals
Noble materials, freestanding bathtub, copper sink and original vases, carved and painted doors and walls in the traditional Balinese style… the whole hotel is extremely elaborate and provides a one-of-a-kind decorum which you will not meet on touristic markets around in the Ubud area. The hotel even has its own temple.
There is something very spiritual in this estate- expressing itself through temples and the overall spirit of the place. Yoga room and old Buddha included…
Raw Food cuisine sublimated at Glow Restaurant
The Como Shambhala Estate has two restaurants, balinese Kudus (for breakfast too) and Glow, where you can have lunch and dinner. Glow takes the prize of great finesse and balance. On the menu, everything is of rare quality and taste. It is definitely our top choice restaurant in Bali after this week of testing and reviewing many places on the island. Centrifuged juices (herbs, fruits, vegetables – try out the Stress Releaser or Body Armor) meet the appetizers of an unprecedented refinement. Salmon tartare and quinoa salad with asparagus, artichokes and herbs with incredible seasonings, maki kale, followed by divine dishes (steamed salmon, lemon, Jerusalem artichoke puree and seaweed salad), accompanied by house made breads and raw crackers. A must-have on your list!
A special mention to the desserts, delicious and free from all superfluous fat and added sugars. Revisited mango cheesecake , chocolate and beet root cake, orange sorbet and almond.
You can also book your private dinner …
“A sacred spot of bliss”: finding a balance in life
It is all about that: a haven to get a new energy.Whether you come alone or as a couple, everyone will find something to satisfy its desires: getting back on track, practicing yoga, going rafting, taking a week of spa and massages, discovering the local life.. or perhaps the simple joy of getting a private dinner for two over the jungle! Many activites (yoga, aqua therapy, walking) are included in the price of your stay. Everyone’s expectations are very personal, but the wide range of options should work it out.
You’ll find nutritionists, yoga retreats (with a dedicated pavilion and invited Masters), Tai Chi, Qigong and Pilates specialists, Health Domains, a great Spa, several outdoor and cultural activities, a Vitality Pool, experts consulting in more than 8 realms (Ayurveda..), special programs (starting at 3, 5 or 7 nights).
But doing nothing is also a great option, as Como Shambhala Estate is an anti-stress in its very own design and spirit!
An amazing holistic spa
Treatments at the Spa include more than twenty holistic therapeutic techniques from Asia and Western countries, which have been specially developed by and for COMO Shambhala. The spa itself has nine treatment rooms, including three for couples. Note that this is not its only strenghts, as little glamorous but efficient treatments are also available (colon hydrotherapy) with state-of-the-art equipment. We both loved what we experienced there. Signature massages combine wellness and therapy. Your masseuse feels precise needs and tensions of the body and adapts the treatment accordingly: now that is pure attentive care!
Como Shambhala Products: essential oils and weel-being
Not only is the hotel ecofriendly (for real, not for labelling like other hotels) , but it also provides quality products in the bathroom. You may also buy them from COMO Shambhala website. Time to pamper and forget about chemical components!
Nuit and breakfast
Sleep is coming back step after step, for us that is pure victory. You learn to get up whenever you want and go enjoy a wonderful breakfast at Kudus, directly overlooking the Ayung Valley. A varied and balanced breakfast, including fresh juices, fruits from the Estate, an amazing home made muesli… we’re left speechless! Tofu or pastries, everybody will find its taste.
A Personal Assistant accompanies you throughout your stay. The service is friendly and efficient, whatever you experience (restaurant, spa, lounge and library). We will long remember our PA on this trip. Ningsih thank you! Almost the beginning of a friendship.
Verdict Sex&the City
Brilliant, and yes, that is a “healthy living concept”.The Como Shambhala Estate is a rare gem that we will not forget. We understand why some visitors make it their home two months a year.
We look forward to the day where we will introduce you to other Como Retreats. But note already that the Metropolitan Bangkok (Nahm) is part of Como Hotels and Resorts!
Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Gianyar Ubud 80571, Indonesie
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