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Reviewed 7 February 2012

In my opinion at least. My wife would not necessarily agree and I'll come onto that in a minute. For me, it's probably in the top 3 hotels I've ever stayed in.

The concept is very much geared towards a health retreat where you go to relax, recuperate, and if you want to you can go for endless treatments and diet plans for de-toxing and all the rest of it (yoga, pilates, massages to your hearts content). All of this in a remote jungle setting with terraced gardens and enticing paths and lead off down the valley, temping you to stroll down and have a bit of an explore.

The property is divided into 5 residences, each with about 5 rooms in them although this isn't really particularly descriptive as all feel quite separate. We stayed in Wanakasa, in a room which looked out over the jungle valley below. The room was 3 sides of windows opening out into the Jungle. Stunning. There was an outside day bed, outside shower and bath. Bathroom had two sinks as you'd expect. It really felt like you were in the middle of the jungle but in a "I want to relax and enjoy it way without having to hike miles". Shared pool, which when we were there in July was ours and ours alone. Wasn't the warmest if truth be told.

Service was exceptional from the moment they picked us up from Alila Villas Soori. People you'd never met knew your name but it didn't feel creepy as it can in some other places. They just smiled and went on their way.

Food was probably the best I've had in any hotel anywhere. Interesting Balinese menu, and all geared up to healthy eating, e.g. you had to ask for the drinks menu! We were on our honeymoon and paid no attention to the amount of health points we were scoring. Our deal included all food so you can really kick back and relax. Booze wasn't included and wine is no doubt expensive. Tip here: order by the glass, because provided you order about 2 you practically get a whole bottle - like I said, everyone is lovely.

Activity wise we took it pretty easy: couple of massages, pilates in a studio overlooking the jungle valley and a stroll down the valley to the river below which is well worth doing (people do white water rafting here, but in all honesty it's not what you'd really call white water on the stretch we saw at least) but it's all about the location with a river cut deep into the jungle valley.

On reflection we went there for relaxation and food (that was one of the reasons I booked it) and it excelled. Can't recommend it enough.

What You Might Like..
- Service
- Food
- Room had an old colonial feel to it - dark wood, tasteful furniture
- Pool in our residence

But.. it's not necessarily for everyone. What you might not like...
- Jungle noises! You're in the middle of it and if you're not the biggest fan of knowing that there's load of creepy crawlies moving around outside your room (even if you can't see them!) then being in a five star room on stilts over a jungle valley may not be your cup of tea
- Outside shower as it was not walled off. Very much exposed. For some this will be a bonus, for others, not so much

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank fatmansan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

My partner and I were in desperate need of rest and wellness after a hectic and stressful year. We stayed 4 nights at the Como and wished we booked 7 nights. The gardens were incredible. Tended to by hand which was amazing. When we arrived my partner had terrible sunburn from our stay in Seminyak. The very kind staff took him to meet one of the gardeners who cut him some fresh aloe vera from the garden. The kitchen staff then prepared it for us to keep in our room and use daily....it doesn't get any better than this. Felt like we were in heaven. The service was beautiful and always on hand whenever we needed. The food was so healthy and delicious - want to learn how to cook like this at home.
Our treatments and health consults were so rejuvenating and insightful. Could keep going on and on.....
The only areas we would do next time is book the style accom above the basic. The basic level rooms were lovely, old and more traditional. A little dark, so we felt more inclined to want to get outside. If we wanted more relax time in our villa I think next time we'll splurge and try the next level. The other area we felt could improve was that the fresh vegetable and fruit juices to be included in the accom packages that include all meals. We were unable to eat 3 courses of meals each day and were happier to have 2 courses and some fresh juices. The juices were charged as extra.
Apart from that - this wellness hotel is stunning. Peaceful, glam wellness. Thanks Como - we'll be back.

Room Tip: Would splash out and book higher than the basic villa - it will be worth it.
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank vconnect2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2012

Excellent food, spa treatments, accommodation, activities and staff!

Room Tip: If you prefer ultra-modern choose the retreat villa accommodation, otherwise experience the more traditional styles in the residences.
  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank never2tired2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2012

The room are OK for its price tag. Food is really good. Estate itself is the best part of it – large, beautiful, daily hand-manicured by dozens of people.

However I do NOT recommend Como for real spa junkies, ie people who go for spa programs and experiences. The spa menu is short. The group classes are limited.
Most strange absurd thing: they have a small aqua-massage pool, but allow guest to use it only with group class (every other day, oversubscribed) or with personal instructor (for $170/hour). I had 2 day discussion with 5 people before they “granted” me access for 1 hour without personal instructor.

Bottom line: go to Como if you just want to relax in jungle. Do not go if you are looking for spa-rich experience similar to Kamalaya and the likes.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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6  Thank OKmsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BaliManager, General Manager at COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2012

Dear OKmsk,

Thank you for your comments posted on TripAdvisor recounting your recent visit to COMO Shambahla Estate.

I am pleased to see that you found the accommodations a good value, you enjoyed our thoughtful cuisine, and our environmental and landscape care. It truly is a labour of love the entire team share maintaining this lovely estate.

I very much appreciate that you have taken the time to share your experience with fellow TripAdvisor readers. I regret that you found our holistic approach, and small group scheduled classes were not to your personal preference. Let me assure you that our smaller sized classes are purposely so, in order to ensure that our guests are accorded attention and guidance throughout their stay. We also offer Estate Walks, Pilates, Yoga, Wellness talks, Gym Circuit Training, Meditation, and Guided Rice Field Biking, in addition to the Aqua Therapy class you mention. All sessions are intimate and guided.

COMO Shambhala Estate is a holistic wellbeing retreat and therefore we do not offer long lists of treatments, which may appeal to the 'spa junkies' you refer to in your post, rather we have a menu comprising deliberately-chosen therapeutic treatments, individually selected for their specific benefits by our consultant specialists for each guest.

If your travel plans allow for you to re-visit COMO Shambhala Estate, please do let me know. We would be delighted to plan for your personal goals and offer you a truly 360 degree holistic wellbeing experience.

Sincere regards,

John W. Halpin
General Manager

COMO Shambhala Estate
Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod
Payangan, Gianyar 80571
Bali, Indonesia

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2012

I got in late after midnight & didn't get to see the estate til the morning.   Wow what a beautiful place to wake up to, I am a Bali regular but waking up in Como with the chorus from the  forest, the morning sun that gives the entire property & the lush vegetation an ethereal glow, ending the days with the purple sunsets accompanied by swirling mist, this is one pretty place & definitely a place I would return to.  The hotel is older so the rooms are not as " nice" as ie the new Alilia Uluwatu/ Soori or the Banyan Tree Ungasan, but the hotel grounds (the atmosphere with the forest, waterfalls, Ayung river, rice paddy fields, & the slight scent of the flowers on the estate) more than make up for this.  On the other hand, this is not the place for anyone afraid of geckos and etc. 

Pros
* was here to detox for a few days, the estate has a variety of home grown, fresh & delicious organic food, ranging from raw cuisine to traditional dishes.  Glow restaurant has a whole page worth of raw cuisine as good the best raw cuisines I tried in Northern California.  Kudos restaurant served traditional Indonesian food out of a 150 year old Javanese house.   We had a Kecak fire dance on new year's eve, & even the mocktail appetizers were good.  It's hard to be on a diet here coz of all the yummy food.  
* good service overall in the restaurants and also from the PAs, unlike places that give you a PA and they disappear, my two PAs Yanti & Saputra were both good & service was truly personalized.  
* quality activities both onsite  ie pilates (small attentive classes), outdoor yoga with the most amazing views, & offsite (ie biking trips). The not exactly easy estate walk is a must to see how wildly beautiful this place is, you'll get to walk down to  different parts of the Arung river & see her many water falls (as well as the river rafters).   The bike ride (kintamani free wheel) was also a fantastic way to get to see the real Bali life on quiet and sometimes muddy lanes.  
* I was here to relax & veg out for 3 days, and there were lots of places to do this, ie the springpools by the Ayung River, my own daybed next to the Koi ponds overlooking rice paddy fields etc.    This estate is a good 15 min away from Ubud but given how busy Ubud is, really appreciated the peace & quiet here.  (or you can stay in Uma Ubud & walk everywhere ).
* great massages, of the three massages I tried, was most impressed with Wati's deep tissue, for 90 min she was all thumbs, no elbows.  
* environmentally conscious place ie water in the room not in plastic bottles, only recycled glass bottles, there are also refillable water containers.  

Room for improvement.  
* Arrived past midnight.  Had arranged for hotel staff to meet me prior to immigration for fast track (extra usd20 to avoid standing in line) but no one was there.  Once past immigration on my own, again no one was outside to pick me up until I called the hotel.   
* not the estate's fault but there was loud rave music from the local neighbors that went on til at least 4 am on my first night there (on Dec 30)...was only told I can ask for a fan or music in the room to counter this.   
* my room smelled like wood polisher, with all the yummy smelling shampoo etc Como should also add aromatherapy oil burners in the room.  

I was at Ananda in the Himalayas last week which was a good experience, but I adore the ComoShambhala in Bali, both are good places to unwind and recharge, but Como's setting is just that much more spectacular and I was also just better looked after here.  Guess at the end of the day, service matters.   

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Anilegna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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