Entering Uma Ubud—the first Balinese resort from Christina Ong, the creator of Parrot Cay and the Metropolitan in London and Bangkok—requires passing between monolithic stone walls and a bench wrought from a centuries-old tree root. And that's just in the open-air lobby. The 29 thatched-roof villas have reflective stone floors and private gardens; some even come with plunge pools carved from jade-hued Batu Hijau stone.
In Bali's cultural center of Ubud, this riverside hideaway is encircled by a lush patch of jungle and strewn with banana trees and plumeria. Equally dramatic is the Kemiri restaurant and bar, where chef Chris Miller transforms local produce into spice-driven dishes such as tuna tartare with masala snow-pea tendrils. Activities director Phil Bowen can arrange temple visits and volcano ascents, both of which are just steps from the resort gates. But for guests who don't want to leave the grounds, there's an outpost of the famed Como Shambhala Retreat, where yogis such as Rodney Yee lead seminars. No wonder two yoga mats are standard in every suite. Uma Ubud, Bali; 62-361/972-448; www.uma.como.bz; doubles from $145.