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“wellness retreat in the jungle” 5 of 5 stars
Review of COMO Shambhala Estate

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COMO Shambhala Estate
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod | Payangan, Ubud, Payangan, Bali 80571, Indonesia   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Payangan
Certificate of Excellence 2014
hamburg
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“wellness retreat in the jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2010

This hotel calls itself "Estate" - and that's really true. The grounds are huge and wind themselves around a curve of the Ajung River which flows down in the valley, about 300 steps downwards from the residences. The walk is a bit strenuous, but really worth it. You walk through a jungle like area, pass several little cabanas of the spa in the middle of nature and finally reach the kedara water gardens. Several - maybe five or so - pools filled with refreshing pure water from the closeby holy source. Since the hotel wasn't fully booked and many guests seem to avoid the effort of getting down there we were there mostly by ourselves and felt like in paradise. Of course there are loungers and plenty of towels, as well as hidden bathrooms. Sometimes invisible helpers changed our towels or placed some fruits on the loungers while we were swimming.
We had booked a 7 nights retreat in a terrace suite and this arrangement included 12 massages and 4 personal yoga sessions, so we were pretty busy getting all our treatments done. It started out with a long talk and examination by an Indian Ayurvedic Doctor, very nice guy, who worked out our treatmentschedule and it consisted of many different types of massages and some oil puring stuff. All very,very relaxing and applied by very skilled men and women. The best however were the massages in the jungle spa were you could look into this incredible nature and immerse yourself in the sound of the jungle. It's really worth to choose this option - at least a few times. The spa building next to the restaurants and reception is a very cool, but boring concrete building. The treatmentrooms however are very nice.
We had a room in the fire villa tejasuara which was indeed very nice and hardly saw any other guests there, so mostly had the whole outdoor area including an open air living for ourselves
There is a butler called personal assistant who checkes after you several times a day and does all the planing for your treatments etc.
The restaurant (one more like spa food one more traditional Balinese food) were never really full and the service was always perfect. Our only point of criticism is the dietfood.
The Ayurvedic Doctor recommends certain types of food, according to your body type. However this diet does't consist of things especially prepared for you but of sorting out most of which is on the menue and only leaving a few things left from the regular menue you are supposed to eat.
In my case these options were so few (I am not fat!) that after three days I had actually tried everything and therefore skipped the diet part. The food itself was great and always prepared fresh in front of your eyes.
All in all this was an ultimate spa vacation, not cheap but worth the money (less then 10.000 USD including all the food, drinks and treatments).

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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270 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Morges, Switzerland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

We spent 4 nights here for our honeymoon and we have to say this is by far the best place we have ever stayed. Everything here is perfect, from the architecture and decoration (our place, wanakasa, has the most beautiful pool ever) to the food (the cooking class is a must do, and both restaurants are top value) and of course the spa, which has been ranked by many travel magazines as one of the best spa in the world. In addition to "usual" treatments and massages, you can also consult specialists. As I had pains in the back due to stessful job, I have chosen the Indian Docteur, which help people like bankers/traders to recover from their job. He is specialist in something like yoga/ayurveda - did not understood everything - but is highly recommanded. We travel a lot around the world but this is the new place to be beaten. We now understand why people like Donna Karan or Julia Roberts visit the resort. Highly recommanded.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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zürich,switzerland
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

actually, we stayed in Como Shambala`s sister hotel Uma Ubud , but we visited the Begawan Giri for 1 day , to check for the future and also to try the SPA , I cannot comment on the restaurant nor the rooms but the SPA is yet to be beaten.
We booked the SPA treatments in Uma Ubud , they drove us to the broken bridge , we had to walk 100meters to the other side where the car from Begawan Gir was waiting for us , they apologized for that event already at Uma Ubud , great serivice to say.
The surrounding at the resort is amazing , beautiful and peaceful and the SPA ceremony is the TOP we enjoyed in Asia so far , congratulation.
Next time in Ubud area, we would share the two fantastic places , Uma Ubud and Begawan Giri to find the perfect balance. Glad such places exists on the planet.

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Boulder, CO
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2009

This was our first stop on a three-hotel stay in Bali for our two week honeymoon. We were originally booked at COMO Shambhala's sister resort, Uma Ubud, but were upgraded when the film crew of Eat, Pray, Love took over the entire Uma Ubud hotel. What a blessing! I had to give COMO five stars for value, since they honored our original Uma Ubud price, though I’m sure COMO is much pricier.

When we first arrived, I was a little nervous because the main road to the resort was impassable due to a bridge collapse earlier in the year. We took the “back way” through some poorer villages and rice paddies with very worn dirt roads. As we approached the security checkpoint to the resort, a motorcycle passed with a man on the back holding a machine gun. At this point we were not in the resort and I started to wonder what kind of place this was. My nerves quickly subsided once we got into the resort, but it was a little unnerving start to our honeymoon.

We were treated like royalty for our entire stay. The service of our Personal Assistants was top-notch; they were available when needed, but did not encroach upon our privacy at all. We ate dinner at “glow” the first night, but then preferred Kudus House for all our other meals. We loved looking over the river valley and found the menu of Kudus House to be more suited to our tastes. All the wait staff was incredibly attentive and friendly.

Our room in the “water residence” TE2 was amazing! Clean and modern, we had a gorgeous view of rice paddies, with full length windows/doors on three sides of the room. The upstairs bathroom had a toilet and sink, while the downstairs bathroom (which we approached from outside stairs) had an enormous tub (easily fits two), and gorgeous shower. The ceilings in the bathroom were easily 15’ tall and it was probably my favorite part of the whole resort!

I took two yoga classes, one with an Indian gentleman whose name I forget, and one with an American woman, Christine (?). I prefer Christine, as her class was more advanced with more moves and less explanation. I did appreciate learning a lot about the medicinal benefits of certain poses described by the Indian instructor.

We had an hour-long couple’s massage in one of the open air pavilions by the river. The massage was wonderful – and the natural sounds of the fauna and the river were incredibly peaceful. While expensive, the massage was definitely worth it!

We went to Ubud one day, expecting to spend most of the day in town, but we found that we preferred the peace and quiet of COMO. It was very hot, there were LOTS of tourists around, and the diesel fumes of the cars/motorcycles was unpleasant. We were not very impressed by the shopping, though I admit, I’m not a big shopper to begin with. We went to the monkey forest, but didn’t stay long because the monkey are CRAZY and very aggressive!!! We were so excited and relieved to just get back to COMO, although we were glad we at least saw Ubud.

After we left COMO, we found out Julia Roberts was staying at the Four Seasons in Ubud while filming the movie. She apparently ate dinner at COMO Shambhala one night and was upset at her "people" for not booking her there! Of course this is all heresay, as we did not talk to Julia ourselves, but I would wager that COMO Shambhala > Four Seasons any day!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2009

They may be nice to residents but don't try booking the spa as an outsider. I tried but after a 2.5hr drive there was left standing on a makeshift bridge to the hotel (the main bridge has collapsed) while the English-sounding Spa Manager called me a liar. Despite my villa manager having confirmed my booking the day before - a matter they denied - they claimed all spaces were taken by residents and that they had informed me of such by email. To this day I've had no email, and my attempts to follow this up with the manager have been ignored. The worst service I've ever received.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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Edinburgh
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2009

Absolutely wonderful experience. Excellent service, food and accommodation. Could find no fault with anything. The most relaxing, hassle-free holiday I have ever had.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2009

When we arrived in the estate, our jaws nearly dropped from how exquisite the place was! Everything was nicely balanced with nature and you can tell that the whole resort was based on its surroundings. The room we had was lovely and it overlooked a stunning view of trees. You can also hear the river on the background and it was just absolute bliss.

The food in this place is mouth-watering! But you do feel a bit of a brat though drinking alcohol when everyone there are health-conscious people. We had the roast piglet on our last night and everyone stared at us!! Hahah

They have daily activities like a yoga class, or rice trekking which we did. We also arranged white water rafting and cycle freewheeling. We were very active but our bodies were soothed by the lovely massages!

The hotel's transport costs are very expensive of course but we arranged a local person to drive us around for a fixed fee which ended up as a cost-saving measure and at least we're liberated for a certain amount of time rather than being rushed around.

Ubud's area is full of gorgeous handicrafts and decent local shopping for women too and the centre is around 15 to 20 minutes from the estate.

We still rave about this place and this is our top 1 hotel until now. Still yet to be beaten!! This is a definite must!

  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about COMO Shambhala Estate

Address: Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod | Payangan, Ubud, Payangan, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Payangan
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Payangan
#1 Romantic Hotel in Payangan
#2 Luxury Hotel in Payangan
#2 Spa Hotel in Payangan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — COMO Shambhala Estate 5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
COMO Shambhala Estate is a residential health retreat with luxury villa-style accommodations near Ubud, Bali. This ‘Retreat for Change’ is a place to relax and improve wellbeing. State-of-the-art wellness facilities include a Vitality pool, private treatment areas beside the River Ayung, a climbing wall, gym, Pilates studio and yoga pavilion. The Estate’s Resident Experts, who all support the 360-degree approach to wellness, include a Yoga Master, Ayurvedic Doctor and guides for outdoor activities, with nutritional menus by COMO Shambhala Cuisine. The range of suites and villas, perched above the Balinese jungle, suits independent guests, couples, or small groups. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Como Shambhala Estate Hotel Payangan
COMO Shambhala Estate Bali/Payangan

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