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Ubud Aman, Mandapa, FS? (Bali)

Ubud Aman, Mandapa, FS? (Bali)

Old Sep 17, 17, 1:43 pm
  #1  
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Ubud Aman, Mandapa, FS? (Bali)

Looking for some input. I've read many of the threads in this forum, as well as in the Hotel section. Hoping for some updated opinions or ideas.

My husband and I are traveling through Asia next summer (not great timing for weather, I know). The grandparents are keeping the kids (yay!). We're doing a little less than a week in Bali before heading elsewhere in Asia. Bali is our first stop, and we're spending 2 nights at the St. Regis on points to get over jetlag before really starting the trip. I'm familiar with the St. Regis area being unauthentic, but for a short period of getting over jet lag and just chilling in a pretty setting, it will do just fine (especially as we're not paying cash).

We'll then be heading to Ubud for 4 nights. Considering: Amandari (finally our first trip to an Aman?), Mandapa, Four Seasons, Chedi Club. I realize that set covers 3 distinct tiers of properties and that picking a "favorite" is a personal decision and would vary person-to-person.

Also, we can book 4th night free w/ Citi Prestige, or book through agent to take advantage of Virtuoso, FSPP, Ritz Stars, so thoughts on which would provide better value would be helpful.

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old Sep 17, 17, 2:51 pm
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As for weather, Bali is great in summer. Rest of SE Asia can be more of an issue, but not Bali. I love Amandari, but have not been to the others so cannot comment. However, I would go to Amankila instead as Ubud is very touristy nowadays while east Bali is still much more authentic. A daytrip to Ubud would be fine.
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Old Sep 17, 17, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Musken View Post
As for weather, Bali is great in summer. Rest of SE Asia can be more of an issue, but not Bali. I love Amandari, but have not been to the others so cannot comment. However, I would go to Amankila instead as Ubud is very touristy nowadays while east Bali is still much more authentic. A daytrip to Ubud would be fine.
I would agree about staying at Amankila and make a day trip to Ubud , way too touristy & crowded .

Just met some who regretted not staying longer at Kila & cutting down stay at Dari .
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Old Sep 17, 17, 4:38 pm
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even if keeping ubud, and while not 4th free without getting complex, might consider 2 nights amandari 3 nights amankila with aman helping make move easier. $550 Undiscovered Indonesia before july 14th, $650 after. if considering higher level rooms, 4th free at kila would have good value/options.

if interest in temples, could also consider amanjiwo but requires flights

if amandari vs others, talk to ian white re culture/village excursion options

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Sep 19, 17 at 11:42 am
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Old Sep 17, 17, 4:51 pm
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I would put both Kila and Dari ahead of Mandapa and FS. In Ian, we trust!

Mandapa is quite new and all but the service is superficial. Service recovery non-existent.
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Old Sep 18, 17, 2:09 am
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I did 4 nights at Dari and 6 at Kila earlier this year.

First, I completely agree with other posters to skip Ubud altogether and just go to Kila. I found Ubud to be closer to a tacky tourist spot than to a cultural experience. Whilst I found Kila to be my best resort stay ever. Cannot say enough positive things about Ernst & Shane.

That said, if you do decide on Bali I'm going to part from the crowd a bit here and suggest you consider Mandapa. I enjoyed Dari, but compared to my previous Aman stays there just wasn't a wow factor. The villas are large enough and to me didn't see dated at all. And I think they aged well. Everything seemed polished, but it just didn't have the same feeling for me. Can't really pinpoint it. It could be because I found Ubud so unappealing that after 1 day out just stayed at the resort. And Dari is so small that it felt a bit claustrophobic after more than a day or two.

I hate to admit it but I remember looking down at Mandapa from the pool area at Dari and wishing I was there instead.

But again, why bother with Ubud when you can just do Kila the entire time?
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Old Sep 18, 17, 8:49 am
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts so far. I had dismissed Kila because we would have already gotten in some beach time at (StR) and my husband is decidedly not a beach/ocean/boat person. It just didn't seem that Kila was well suited for us, but maybe it's worth reconsidering. We wanted more of an inland/cultural experience, and I had thought Ubud would be the place to do that. I have emailed Aman for the activity lists for Dari and Kila to compare.

Assuming (for the sake of discussion) that we do stick with Ubud, there's been one positive remark for Mandapa. Any other contributions?
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Old Sep 18, 17, 8:58 am
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I've never stayed at Amandari, but my mother was there about a year ago and had a fantastic stay. Not much more I can add but she said it was very peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. Not sure if that is the vibe you are going for.

When we went to Ubud in 2014 we stayed at Chedi Club and I'm not sure if I just had love goggles on (it was my fiancee's and I first real int'l vacation as a couple), but I would rank it as one of, if not the, best hotel stays of my life. The service, F&B, room, inclusions (laundry!), the only time butler service has ever actually "worked" for us, and the grounds all made it quite special. Not to mention it is priced at a steal IMO.

We are planning our return to Indonesia next year and if we were doing Ubud we would most likely do Chedi Club, even though we are doing Amanjiwo and Amankila as well. Part of us wanted to do Amandari just to make it seamless between Aman's, but like others have said, we don't really want to go back to Ubud as it felt quite touristy. Instead we will likely do the Legian in Seminayk, as it has a bit of a lively atmosphere which will hopefully contrast nicely with the "quietness" of Jiwo/Kila.

From what I've read here, Amankila does have a bunch of cultural experiences on offer, and they may be more authentic than that of Ubud given the tourist surge. Though I do find it hard to believe that even with the touristy nature of Ubud there is more to do in East Bali.
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Old Sep 18, 17, 9:27 am
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I've done Amandari and Amankila. If I were to go back to Bali I would do Amanusa and Amankila. If I were to go back to Ubud I would try Chedi Club. Though I would be hard pressed to go back to Ubud. Over run with tourists and not really that interesting... Amandari was nice but didn't knock my socks off...

FDW
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Old Sep 18, 17, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
I've done Amandari and Amankila. If I were to go back to Bali I would do Amanusa and Amankila. If I were to go back to Ubud I would try Chedi Club. Though I would be hard pressed to go back to Ubud. Over run with tourists and not really that interesting... Amandari was nice but didn't knock my socks off...

FDW
+1

If you must do Ubud , there is also COMO Shambala Estate - Begawan Giri before .

But Kila & Nusa are best combination for many Amanjunkies , with day trips out for more culture .
Each province is different , perhaps similar to untrained eyes ..
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Old Sep 18, 17, 10:06 am
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Had a wonderful stay at Chedi Club earlier this year. It is without a doubt a wonderful property and an excellent value but Im not 100% sure we would go back simply because there are so many wonderful properties in Bali...

Only biggest con we had was food was a bit bland and oddly fancy for the setting. All our meals at Kila were miles ahead of the best at Chedi.
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Old Sep 18, 17, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by Ignutzz View Post
Thanks everyone for your thoughts so far. I had dismissed Kila because we would have already gotten in some beach time at (StR) and my husband is decidedly not a beach/ocean/boat person. It just didn't seem that Kila was well suited for us, but maybe it's worth reconsidering. We wanted more of an inland/cultural experience, and I had thought Ubud would be the place to do that. I have emailed Aman for the activity lists for Dari and Kila to compare.

Assuming (for the sake of discussion) that we do stick with Ubud, there's been one positive remark for Mandapa. Any other contributions?
StR junkie and Amanjunkie here. It sounds like you're too settled on Bali and ignoring that one of the all-time best properties and Aman favorite is on nearby Java--Amanjiwo. It's inland. It's spectacular, even more so than Amankila. It looks onto Borobudur Temple, one of the world's great ancient wonders. It allows a visit to Prambadan Temple, too, on the way in or out. It is very rural, more so than even Amankila. And it offers much the same amazing cultural exploration and local culture and sightseeing as Amankila...but with less slope. The bicycle tour we did around Amanjiwo is one of our most treasured experiences. The bicycle tour we did near Amankila was just not as amazing.

If you do the StR Bali and stay a little longer, you easily can explore a lot of Bali. If you'd rather not do another seaside resort, skip touristy Ubud and just head over to Amanjiwo--which is absolutely amazing. Still our favorite Aman of all time.

We did a day trip to Ubud from Amankila (and had a great lunch at Amandari), and we agree it's very touristy. We were glad we didn't bother to stay there. You can do that same day trip from the StR. But instead of simply adding Amankila on the same island of Bali, you can add Amanjiwo and explore an entirely new island of Java.

Also, the food at Amanjiwo is superior to that of Amankila--especially if you like noodles. Javanese cooking is noodle-based, while Balinese cooking is rice based. Amanjiwo had the best food & beverage of any Aman we've ever visited. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

We did Amanjiwo, Amanusa, Amankila, and Amanwana in 2009, and had lunch and checked out the StR Bali while at Amanusa and had lunch and checked out Amandari while at Amankila. Don't think twice. Include Amanjiwo.
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Last edited by bhrubin; Sep 18, 17 at 10:21 am
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Old Sep 18, 17, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post

From what I've read here, Amankila does have a bunch of cultural experiences on offer, and they may be more authentic than that of Ubud given the tourist surge. Though I do find it hard to believe that even with the touristy nature of Ubud there is more to do in East Bali.
There's more to do in East Bali than Ubud I reckon!
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Old Sep 18, 17, 3:20 pm
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I like Mandapa, but am biased as I am friends with the sales director and he treats my clients amazingly well. I had clients there recently and of all their stays (St Regis Bali, FS Koh Samui, and another) Mandapa was their favorite.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by Travel K View Post
I like Mandapa, but am biased as I am friends with the sales director and he treats my clients amazingly well. I had clients there recently and of all their stays (St Regis Bali, FS Koh Samui, and another) Mandapa was their favorite.
Obviously they have not been to any Amans .
Which ones have you stayed at / visited ?
Make more friends

Bali has many provinces to explore & visit

Last edited by FlyerEC; Sep 19, 17 at 11:48 am
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