Mandapa Review: A Suite Upgrade in Bali


Mandapa, a luxurious retreat in the heart of Bali, Indonesia, is one of a small handful of Ritz-Carlton Reserve properties in the world. These properties are ultra-luxe resorts in far-flung places around the globe — crown jewels of the Marriott portfolio, if you will — and Mandapa is no exception.

Located in Ubud, the spiritual and cultural center of the island, the five-star hotel offers guests a place to embrace tranquility while still offering opportunities to explore popular nearby tourist attractions.

With only 60 suites and villas to book, Mandapa feels intimate despite being set on a sprawling property filled with amenities like a pool, a wellness center, a children’s play center and multiple dining options, including one with complimentary breakfast.

Location

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A small sign in the middle of an intersection points to the Mandapa entrance. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Mandapa sits on a recessed property, away from a main street in Ubud. An understated sign points you down a narrow street to the property’s front gate.

The hotel sits along Bali’s longest river, the Ayung, a popular spot for white water rafting. The peacefulness of the secluded property is a dramatic contrast to the bustling noise outside of locals and foreigners alike zipping by on scooters.

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Ubud’s downtown markets give visitors an opportunity to shop for a wide variety of goods. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Mandapa guests can take the complimentary shuttle to downtown Ubud, which is about 10 minutes away (unless Bali’s notorious traffic gets in the way). There you’ll find tourist attractions like Ubud Palace and Ubud’s art markets.

It’s possible to walk outside the property, but exercise caution. Crosswalks are virtually nonexistent, and large potholes can appear out of nowhere.

Design

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A Mandapa employee welcomes me with a small gift. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

From the moment I arrived, it was clear that guests at Mandapa are treated like royalty. A Mandapa staff member first welcomed me and tied a Tridatu bracelet around my right wrist, symbolizing blessing and protection.

He brought me into the hotel’s wantilan — a Balinese open-air pavilion that serves as the lobby — which overlooks the expansive resort situated in a lush green valley. Another staff member brought me a cold towel and a refreshing cup of loloh cemcem, a traditional herbal drink.

Then, I was introduced to Darren, my patih — which I’m told means “the king’s assistant.” We exchanged WhatsApp contact information, as he was my dedicated butler during my stay.

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Mandapa’s open-air lobby sits above the resort property. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Unlike most hotels, you don’t check in at the lobby. Instead, your patih will take you on a resort tour before bringing you to your room for check-in.

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From the lobby, guests get a bird’s-eye view of the sprawling property. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The hotel’s design incorporates traditional Balinese and modern styles. Around Mandapa, you’ll find thatched roofs, reflection pools, and bamboo architecture, as well as beautiful stonework and dark brown wood tones.

Ubud is known for its jungles, and that’s reflected in the well-manicured greenery on the property. Mandapa even has working rice fields, where guests can learn about subak, the Balinese irrigation technique.

The property’s 35 suites all have a resort view and face the jungle. The other 25 villas, ranging from one to three bedrooms with private pools, are scattered around the property.

Food and beverage options

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Kubu offers a high-end dining experience at Mandapa. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Mandapa’s signature restaurant is Kubu, which serves Mediterranean-European cuisine in an open-air dining area on the banks of the river.

Kubu offers a 10-course tasting menu in addition to its à la carte menu, with dishes like eggplant ravioli, lobster linguine and beef Wellington.

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For a memorable experience, diners can reserve a table inside a bamboo cocoon alongside the river. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

If you’re looking for a more private dining experience, you can reserve one of nine bamboo cocoons to dine in.

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Hotel guests get complimentary breakfast at Sawah Terrace. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Breakfast is complimentary and served at Sawah Terrace, an all-day dining establishment overlooking the river.

The extensive buffet featured a variety of dishes, from oxtail fried rice and sashimi to dim sum and pastries. There were also stations for Cantonese congee, Indonesian pancakes and Indonesian noodle soup. Beverage options included fresh juices, smoothies and local Kintamani cold brew.

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The a la carte breakfast offerings include eggs and caviar. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

An à la carte menu featured crab Benedict, eggs and caviar, and coconut French toast. (Let’s just say I may have had two breakfasts during my one-night stay.)

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The Ambar Ubud Bar is a great place to catch the sunset while enjoying a few drinks. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Since I had a short visit, I couldn’t dine at all of Mandapa’s restaurants, which include the Pool Bar, the Library and the Ambar Ubud Bar. The latter serves Japanese fare and guests can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the resort and live jazz music in the evenings.

Mandapa also has 24/7 room service and a Dining Beyond option, where you can have dinner in the rice fields, along the river or elsewhere on the property.

Booking

I redeemed 106,000 Marriott points for my one-night stay in October. NerdWallet values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, meaning I spent about $848 worth of points. I was very happy with this redemption since cash rates at Mandapa can reach upwards of $1,500 a night after taxes and fees.

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Booking a suite at Mandapa can be a great use of Marriott points.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

NerdWallet Rating

Because you can top off those awards with up to 15,000 points, you’d need to find a night costing 100,000 points or fewer. (At the time of this writing, multiple dates were available in March 2025 for 100,000 points.)

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The points calendar for March 2025 shows multiple nights costing 100,000 Marriott points or fewer.

Accommodation

I requested an early check in since I was coming directly from the airport after nearly 22 hours of flying and was pleased to find my suite ready on arrival. I had booked a base-level Reserve suite, so I was doubly pleased when they told me I had been upgraded to a Mandapa suite, the largest available.

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The living room in the suite was a great place to hide out from the outside heat. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The spacious suite was divided into three distinct areas: the bedroom with a large walk-in closet, the living room with a daybed and the bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Each area had doors opening up to a large balcony that spanned the entire length of the suite. The balcony had two outdoor seating areas, although I opted for the air conditioning inside over the 90-degree heat outside.

The suite’s dark wood tones paired well with the natural light flooding in from the windows. Beautiful art pieces adorned the room, including multiple murals depicting local landscapes.

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The bedroom comes with a seating area and a spacious walk-in closet. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The bedroom nightstands had USB ports and universal outlets for easy charging access, as well as a Bluetooth speaker.

There were two Samsung TVs — one in the bedroom and one in the living room — with a variety of channels, although there didn’t seem to be a way to connect to Netflix or other streaming services.

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The bathroom includes private shower and toilet rooms. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The bathroom had two sinks, a walk-in shower room and a fully automatic smart toilet with a heated seat. It was stocked with amenities, including dental kits, shaving supplies and combs.

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The bathroom also has a bathtub for guests to relax in. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The freestanding soaking tub with bath salts was perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring.

In-room amenities, such as multiple water bottles, local Indonesian snacks and a plate of fresh fruits, were all complimentary.

Mandapa also does turndown service, which I discovered after my dinner at Kubu. I also found a plate of klepon, a local rice cake dessert, to snack on before bed.

Amenities

Mandapa has everything you need. One employee told me some guests stay on the property for their entire stay.

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If you’d rather not walk, Mandapa staff will drive you around the property. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Although everything at Mandapa is a short walk away, there’s also a 24/7 buggy service — especially helpful when you’re headed uphill or have trouble with stairs.

Whether you walk or ride, there’s complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property.

Pool

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The main outdoor pool comes with a lot of space to lounge around on the deck. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The main pool area has two pools next to each other, with a smaller one for children. The larger pool was undergoing maintenance during my stay, so only a few people were around.

Multiple pool chairs, daybeds and cabanas make this a good place to lounge.

Mandapa Spa

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The Mandapa fitness center is open 24/7. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Mandapa Spa is the hotel’s wellness center, which includes a yoga pavilion and a 24/7 fitness center with treadmills, weight machines and free weights.

Guests can opt for paid treatments at the spa, such as a full-body blissful marma massage. The treatment rooms sit above the Ayung River, allowing you to relax to the sound of rushing water.

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The outdoor hot tub is huge and secluded, making it a great spot to relax. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

The spa also has a large hot tub overlooking the jungle and steam and sauna rooms — all complimentary for hotel guests.

Throughout the facilities, you’ll find complimentary snacks — such as herbal teas, dried apples, dates and cookies — alongside explanations of their health benefits.

Activity offerings

The Mandapa experience begins long before you set foot on the property. After I booked my stay, hotel staff reached out to me via email to explain and help me pre-book different experiences at the resort, from dining to wellness to activities.

They introduced me to Mandapa’s Disconnect to Reconnect program, which offers complimentary activities such as breathwork, Balinese cooking and yoga classes.

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Guests can sign up for yoga classes at the pavilion facing the jungle. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

I signed up for a morning vinyasa yoga class, which was a perfect way to start my morning (and work off calories between my two breakfasts).

You can also sign up for other programs, including subak farming and rice pounding. The number of participants for each activity is capped, so it’s best to register early.

Popular paid activities include arranged tours around Bali in Mandapa’s Volkswagen Type 181 convertibles.

Mandapa Camp

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The Mandapa playground gives kids their own space to explore. (Photo by Benjamin Din)

Mandapa also has a variety of children’s activities — perfect for the multiple families I saw with kids during my stay. A dedicated kids’ area called Mandapa Camp features a slide, bean bag chairs and children’s games. Scheduled activities during my stay included kiddy yoga and feeding the cattle on the property.

How to get to Mandapa

If Mandapa is your first stop upon arriving in Bali, you’ll likely be coming from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) on the outskirts of Denpasar.

You can ask Mandapa to arrange a ride to the property, although there are cheaper third-party options you can book online.

The drive takes roughly one to more than two hours, depending on traffic. On my way there, the last five-minute stretch, per Google Maps, took a little over 20 minutes.

For those feeling adventurous, traveling light and hoping to avoid traffic, you could even book a scooter ride through a ride-sharing app, one of my favorite ways to get around Bali.

If you’re looking to stay at Mandapa…

I had an exceptional stay at Mandapa and I was impressed by the personalized care and attention from the staff — everyone seemed to know my name before I introduced myself. The plethora of amenities offered in-room and on the property were also top notch. If you can book through a point redemption that is well worth the value, I’d say it’s worth it.

(Top photo by Benjamin Din)

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