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Uma by COMO, Ubud

If COMO Shambhala Estate is the queen of decadent wellness retreats, Uma by COMO is her chic, edgy little sister styled in haute white, radiating understated elegance. Popular with the yummy mummies, swooning honeymooners and gallivanting globetrotters, Uma by COMO is a luxurious, serene getaway minutes from the artists’ town of Ubud.

Uma means tranquillity in Sanskrit and bright in Hindi. Since its inception in 2004, the second inland luxury retreat by COMO Hotels & Resorts is indeed a bright and tranquil place, a harmonious fusion of Asian contemporary touches and a charming traditional Indonesian village vibe. Accentuated by interior designer Koichiro Ikebuchi’s simplistic approach, Zen aesthetics and love of indigenous materials, Uma hits all the right notes for a peaceful five-star mountain-village setting.

Perched above the Tjampuhan Valley with scenic views of steep hills, lush paddies and forested volcanoes, Uma by Como, Ubud’s 46 exquisite sun-drenched rooms, suites and villas are accessed via narrow winding paths shaded by tropical plants. Beneath the alang-alang thatched roofs, the 18 Terrace Rooms and ten Garden Rooms feature modern architecture and uncluttered interiors infused with traditional Balinese elements. Fresh, expansive and airy, the rooms are equipped with lavish comforts such as king-sized four-poster beds, open-air bathrooms with enormous baths, COMO Shambhala’s signature bath amenities and comfortable terraces.

Uma Ubud’s five 77sq.m. Pool Villas each come with a private plunge pool and a huge sundeck with a spectacular view of the deep gorge below. For the ultimate in privacy and indulgence, stay in one of the three spacious 94sq.m. Uma Pool Villas with an infinity plunge pool and a panoramic view of the verdant valley and meandering river below. The inside is just as impressive with a tranquil daybed, roomy seating and living areas, a king-size bed with 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linen, fine goose down duvet and a double-vanity bathroom with a massive shower and bath.

Uma Ubud’s Kemiri restaurant serves up delicious gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner in an open-air space beside a beautiful waterfall-fed fishpond. Kemiri’s COMO Shambhala Cuisine features light sophisticated Indonesian and modern Asian dishes using locally sourced produce.

Designed by COMO Shambhala Estate’s architect Cheong Yew Kuan, the resort’s newest restaurant, Uma Cucina, is informal and social; a large communal dining table at the heart of the restaurant and outdoor terrace seating create a homely, rustic Italian kitchen atmosphere. The flavours of choice are Italian and Mediterranean with a primary focus on sourcing fresh, seasonal local produce and using traditional cooking methods: pizzas and breads are freshly baked in a wood-fired oven, pastas, cheeses and sausages are handmade in house and desserts feature classic Italian gelatos and granitas.

Uma Ubud’s holistic heart lies in the COMO Shambhala Retreat, a wellness sanctuary offering Asian-inspired body treatments and massages, incorporating natural ingredients with the wisdoms of ancient beauty rituals and the powers of traditional Balinese medicine. The spa facilities include four divine treatment rooms, an open-air yoga studio overlooking the Tjampuhan Valley, a meditation pavilion, a reflexology area, steam rooms, sauna, gym and a super sleek 25m infinity pool.

Nobody will blame you for working on your holiday tan by the pool and lounging at the pool bar all day long. But do take advantage of what Uma has to offer: complimentary yoga classes, guided rice paddy walks, holistic therapies, fine cuisines and cultural activities that bring you closer to Bali and its nature. Adventurous guests are encouraged to participate in cultural activities – temple tours, local events and festivals, gallery visits, artisan workshops – or physical challenges such as biking, white-water rafting and volcano trekking, or to design their own bespoke itineraries and expeditions.

At Uma Ubud, every nook and cranny exudes the boutique resort’s understated philosophy of quiet comfort in inspiring and culturally immersing environments. Relish the holistic connection with nature, nurture your spirit with therapeutic treatments, nourish your mind with cultural adventures and treat your body to a wholesome dining experience.

The Uma Ubud experience is all about discovering the true essence of Bali.

EDITOR’S PICKS:

  • Don’t miss the complimentary yoga class at one of the most beautiful yoga studios in Ubud.
  • Master the art of doing nothing. Allow nature’s creatures to surround and serenade you in the serenity of your private villa.
  • Visit the neighbouring Tjampuhan Ridge for an easy trek in one of Ubud’s best nature trails. Marvel at the majestic new temple on the way uphill.

Uma By COMO, Ubud
Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Banjar Lungsiakan
Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar
Tel: (+62) 361 972 448
www.comohotels.com/umaubud

Notes:
This article was first published in Asia Dreams, January-February 2015.
Photos courtesy of Uma by COMO, Ubud.