As Elizabeth Gilbert proved in her book Eat, Pray, Love, there’s a side a Bali far away from the crowded beaches and the crowds on Indonesia’s island province. Luxury resorts nestled among the banyan trees, bamboo forest, and meandering rivers provide an escape to the tropics on island vacations.
The Mansion Resort Hotel & Spa outside Ubud feels far removed from the ordinary world with its lush gardens, villas with plunge pools, and expansive grounds. The staff that works here are very friendly and always willing to help. Yet, it’s not difficult to reach the resort from the capital city Denpasar and other locales in Indonesia. Here’s our take on a stay at the Mansion Resort Hotel & Spa.
Things to do
It’s not surprising that a tropical resort offers several ways for its guests to enjoy the sun and the warm weather. The pool and grounds were a nice break from the heat and crowds in town. The plants and flowers on the grounds are the highlight. The multiple pools are surrounded by palm trees and statues, combining the artistry of nature and Bail’s creative community. With lounge chairs and bistro sets, it’s easy to find a place to relax taking a dip. Grab a drink and enjoy the distinctly Balinese atmosphere. Guests also have access to a fitness center, and a kids club runs during the day.
Mansion Resort Hotel & Spa Directions
The resort’s address reveals more about its location: The Mansion Hotel Resort & Spa Jl. Penestanan, Sayan, Ubud 80571, Bali, Indonesia. It’s situated in Penestanan, itself located on the Sayan Ridge overlooking the Ayung River. This quiet spot above the island’s longest river feels remote, but it’s close to Ubud, the center of arts and crafts on Bali. The town is well stocked with cute shops and galleries close to museums, a zoo, and the Ubud Monkey Forest.
Chefs prepare menus with a wide array of flavors. The Indochine restaurant serves a combination of Asian food and Continental cuisine, and more casual meals are offered at Café La Terrace, located in an art-filed conservatory. Breakfast is included in the price of the stay, but don’t expect a grand spread. The included breakfast is buffet style and pretty poor, offering very little selection. We noticed that the croissants and muffins were dry and old. A basic section of fruit was available, but it’s not what you'd expect for a tropical paradise. We recommend at least one meal at the great eatery nearby called Moksa Restaurant.
The chefs here take healthy eating to a new level by serving fresh food from its own gardens. There’s also space for a farmers market, live music, a deli, and boutique.
At 150 rooms, the resort offers a variety of places to call your own. Whether you’ve booked the deluxe room or the two-room pool villas, you’ll enjoy luxury hotel amenities such as mini bars, air conditioning, and free Internet service.
The deluxe rooms, the smallest available, still have plenty of room to stretch out with king-size beds, seating areas, and garden views. From there, rooms get bigger with options for families, villa rentals, and suites.
The resort has received a number of awards since opening, but now guests who have stayed at the Mansion Resort Hotel & Spa often rank the hotel in the middle of the pack of lodging in the Ubud area. This place is huge, but it can feel empty. As you walk around, you'll run into wing and wing of doors locked off. Be careful when walking around the paths are slippery and dangerous. They could use some safety upgrades. Work is underway to renovate the northwest corridor of the property, and steps are being taken to make sure that noise and disruptions are kept to a minimum.
Must-Sees Beyond the Resort
A free shuttle brings Mansion guests to a convenient spot in town right next to the Ubud Palace. This historic site has a connection to the ruling family of Ubud, that, centuries later, is still regarded for its spiritual energies and religious ceremonies. From the palace, it’s easy to branch out and see more of Ubud on foot. It’s not too long of a walk to the central market to the Monkey Forest on the outskirts of town. Check out the local artists at work and learn about the creatives of the past at the Agung Rai Museum of Art. There’s also the chance to visit temples, take tours of the bamboo forest, and sign up for bicycle excursions.