Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
The third resort in Ritz-Carlton's ultra-exclusive Reserve group, Mandapa occupies a pristine, 24-acre swath of land where the Ayung River meets a plunging valley in the heavenly high country of Ubud. Step into the breathtaking open-walled lobby, which looks down onto jungle and water, and you're hooked. Expansive, yes, but Mandapa is also serene and select, with just 35 suites, and 25 private pool villas. Higher ground is given to penthouse-style suites that are cool and spacious (even the bathtubs command views); the lower valley villas are walled garden retreats featuring private pools, some so close to the river's edge you can hear a soothing babble. Personal butlers will arrange tours to villages, temples, and craft markets, but the rhythms of Balinese life can also be seen on site. Every morning and afternoon, local villagers leave offerings at a century-old temple, while farmers work the bucolic rice fields that form Mandapa's core.