We were delirious touching down in Denpasar, the capital of Bali, after an extremely turbulent overnight flight from the Maldives. It had been five years since our last visit to Bali and we were immediately bewildered as we wandered through the new airport. Were we in the right place? Just as we were confronted with the dense humidity and massive tour groups, we spotted a familiar face in the crowd. Dewa, a good friend who has lived in Ubud his entire life, was there to escort us. A feeling of relief set in as we hopped in his car and headed out of the madness and straight inland, through the sun-kissed rice paddies to Ubud. We had a good night’s rest at Dewa’s house and spent the next day visiting some of our favorite food joints and wandering town. The following morning, we made our way to COMO Shambhala Estate, where we would stay for the next two days.

Nestled in the jungle outside of Ubud, COMO Shambhala Estate is a heavenly retreat from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. While the estate occupies twenty-three acres of dense green jungle, the property only has five residences, each with four or five rooms and suites, in addition to a few private villas. As a result, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only guests on the property. People come here for wellness, relaxation and simply to breathe. Based on the premise of sustainability and support of the local community, the overwhelming feeling of peace is all around you as you experience the resort.

We arrived to a warm welcome by the hotel receptionists and the Regional  Marketing Communications Executive, and after being greeted with a refreshing beverage and chilled hand towel, we embarked on a tour of the lush property and unbelievable villas which eventually led us to our own gorgeous suite overlooking the rice paddies. We then headed to Glow, the beautiful open-air restaurant in the middle of the estate. We were excited to learn that the restaurant focused on a “perfectly calibrated mix of raw and cooked ingredients with very specific nutritional purposes.” Everything was made from organic and locally sourced ingredients resulting in a plethora of delicious options to choose from. Leaving lunch fulfilled and energized, we had our minds set on descending the roughly 300 stone steps through a meticulously manicured path of lush green foliage down to the Ayung River. Along the way, the walkway branches out to spa pavilions and natural spring pools. We spent the rest of the day soaking in the pools and exploring the ferns and greenery surrounding us.

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We arrived to a warm welcome by the hotel receptionists and the Regional Marketing Communications Executive, Stella. After being greeted with a refreshing beverage and chilled hand towel, she took us on a tour of the lush property and unbelievable villas which eventually led us to our own gorgeous suite overlooking the rice paddies. We then headed to glow, the beautiful open air restaurant in the middle of the estate grounds serving the specially developed COMO Shambhala Cuisine. We were excited to learn that the restaurant focuses on a “perfectly calibrated mix of raw and cooked ingredients with very specific nutritional purposes”. Everything is made from organic and locally sourced ingredients (whenever possible) resulting in a plethora of delicious options to choose from. After all, this is a wellness retreat, so the emphasis on clean living, relaxation and fitness is all around you. Leaving lunch fulfilled and energized, we said our goodbyes to Stella and got straight into our bathing suits. We had our minds set on descending the roughly 300 stone steps through a meticulously manicured path of lush green foliage down to the Ayung River. Along the way the walkway branches out to spa pavilions and natural spring pools. We spent the rest of the day soaking in the pools and exploring the ferns and greenery surrounding us.

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After just two days of experiencing the true wellness of COMO we were literally glowing and ready to take on another travel day ahead of us. As always, we were sad to leave so we tell ourselves that we’ll be back again. We reunited with Dewa and were on our way to the airport. We left Bali rejuvenated from our experience and, perhaps the best part of all, Dewa’s friendly face smiling and waving us on.

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