Joanna’s Review of Como Shambhala Estate, Bali
- 22 August 2018 22 August 2018
What is COMO Shambhala Estate and who’s it for?
COMO Shambhala Estate aims to improve physical, mental and spiritual well-being for every individual and the flagship retreat does exactly that. In a secluded setting within the breathtaking Balinese rainforest near Ubud, this wellness retreat is the perfect location for anyone looking to relax and rejuvenate.
With numerous flights departing from the UK daily, there are plenty of airlines flying to Denpasar with a short stopover. The retreat is only a 90-minute drive away from Denpasar airport. COMO Shambhala also offer a fast track service which means you will be met as soon as you step off the plane and are able to skip the queues at immigration.
The Hotel and Accommodation
There are just 30 rooms and villas spread over 5 residences, all named after different elements, which range over 23 acres of land to ensure peace and privacy during your stay. All the residences have an infinity pool with a relaxation area and a communal sitting area. I was lucky enough to stay in a Terrace Suite in the Wanakasa residence that means ‘Forest in the Mist’. The suites are spacious, and the bedroom boasts large floor to ceiling windows with stunning views of the rainforest. The open plan living area was equipped with a desk and Wi-Fi as well as the appreciated accessories of aluminum water bottles and yoga mats for those who want to practice in their room. All rooms have outdoor terraces or garden areas with rain-showers and outside my suite was a large outdoor bathtub already lined with candles and a daybed to relax outside.
It’s no surprise that the Ojas spa, which is Sanskrit for “Essence of Life”, has won so many awards. Here you can enjoy the holistic spa treatments with therapies ranging from Ayurveda and acupuncture to reflexology. There are 9 treatment rooms in Ojas spa, as well as plenty of outdoor pavilions where you can relax and enjoy your massage to the calming sound of the birds and insects in the rainforest. Upon entering the spa to the trademark scent of COMO Shambhala, my experience started with a ginger tea to drink at leisure before being led to the treatment room which, of course carried the soothing sound of the birds and the jungle, exactly as it sounded outside! My Indonesian massage was probably one of the best I’ve ever had, leaving me blissfully relaxed and content.
COMO Shambhala offer complimentary classes and group activities, including yoga and Pilates on their outdoor pavilions, walks around the estate and specialist learning seminars. For those looking to be more active, COMO Shambhala also offer a range of guided activities with their local trainers from mountain biking to Mount Batur, guided hikes around the villages and temples, and white-water rafting down the River Ayung, as well as interesting facts about Indonesian culture. I highly recommend the estate walk as it’s a great way to see the facilities hidden within the trees including the source of the natural spring which is known for its healing powers. Most interestingly, water is drawn from here and used within The Estate through to the spa and restaurants. Considering there are only 30 rooms, the facilities are fantastic with 2 gyms (indoor and outdoor), a climbing wall, a hydrotherapy pool and tennis facilities.
The food is locally sourced, organic and flavorsome which perfectly compliments the wellness ethos at COMO Shambhala. Rather than calorie counting, COMO Shambhala focuses on a clean and balanced approach. There are 2 restaurants with varied menus. Kudus offers delicious traditional Indonesian cuisine, whereas Glow offers a raw food menu which can you can watch being made at the open kitchen.
Breakfast takes places at Kudus and the staff were great at recommending dishes as there were so many to choose from. I started my day with a wheat grass shot followed by a smoothie and a healthy cooked breakfast; make sure you try the smoked salmon with zucchini cake, dill and lemon scented cottage cheese which I had 2 days in a row because it was so delicious!
The Wellness programmes
COMO Shambhala Estate offer 5 wellness programmes; Fitness; Detox, Rejuvenation, Ayurveda and Oriental Medicine which is perfect for those who are looking for something more tailor-made. I had an ayurvedic consultation with Dr Prasanth, who in turn recommended certain foods to eat and avoid as well as certain treatments from the spa according to my dosha, as well as complimenting my programme with the group activities from the daily program.
I was immediately captured by the beauty of The Estate and I knew I was going to be well looked after when I was personally greeted by the manager with a flower lei in hand. After getting acquainted with my personal assistant, which is included when booking a wellness programme, I got in my golf buggy and was driven to my residence and shown around the room. The hospitality of all 288 staff was exceptional, from the team who keep the estate running so smoothly with a friendly hello, to the gardeners who help to maintain the beauty of the rainforest, to the restaurant staff who always knew your name before you had even sat down and lastly to my personal assistant who was always there at the right time; especially at the beginning when I managed to get lost within the trees!
The award-winning spa
Complimentary daily shuttle into Ubud; Bali’s hub of temples and markets
My Summary and Verdict
I would recommend this leading spa destination to anyone looking for a fitness holiday, detox cleanse, de-stress or general spa holiday. COMO Shambhala Estate is one of the most beautiful hotels I have stayed in and I would recommend booking a wellness programme with your stay in order to benefit from the wellness experience that the flagship COMO Shambhala Estate offers.
How to Book
To request a quote or for more information visit our COMO Shambhala Estate page. You can also talk to one of our Travel Specialists on 0203 397 8891 or contact us here to discuss tailor-making your perfect healthy holiday.