Conrad Algarve is a modern 5* hotel and one of the most luxurious hotels in the region. It has won countless awards, including most recently ‘Europe’s Leading Luxury Lifestyle Resort’ for 2019 at the World Travel Awards.
6 / 10
Past lush rice fields and rural villages, a small country lane arrives at COMO Shambhala Estate, which sits on a lush expanse of property lining the sacred Ayung Valley. Peace and tranquility abide, the only sound chirping of birds and the ever-present buzz of tropical insects. There’s nothing nearby, which is the point, but if you need a little action, Ubud town centre is only six miles (10 km) away. Allow two hours to reach Ngurah Rai International Airport.
6 / 10
The design is minimal and natural, with all materials inspired by the resort’s surroundings. Indigenous plants and trees, local wood and stone, and traditional décor immerses guests into Balinese culture. The wellness aspect shines through from the welcome drink onwards (if you must know, a cucumber, honey, lime and ginger concoction), with the entire resort conspiring to make you feel healthier.
There are two swimming pools cut into the rocks, decks to sunbathe and bales to have treatments and Pilates sessions in. The sound of the river, the waterfall and all of nature’s family croaking and singing at the same time, along with the shockingly wonderful humidity, all filled my every pore with tenderness and energy.
8 / 10
A highlight of the property is the possession of one of Bali’s eight sacred natural springs, from which water is drawn to use in all the spa treatments – a visiting tea master proclaimed this water to be the purest he’s seen in the world. Another highlight is the Zen-like wellness centre. Upon arrival, guests booked in the wellness programme (which has an extra nightly fee) are given a consultation, with questions ranging from diet, to sleep to caffeine consumption, then prescribed treatments and activities based on their personal lifestyle and goals.
• Nutritional therapy consultation per seven-night stay, including a diet plan
• Prescribed à la carte menu featuring COMO Shambhala Cuisine
• Personalised activity schedule
• One wellness activity per day including, private movement sessions, mindfulness sessions, body care, facial treatments and massages
• Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
• Services of a Personal Assistant
9 / 10
Elegant, dark-wood rooms are set in homelike residences, each with a private pool, a communal lounge area, and a fire pit lit each evening by the residence’s personal assistant. There are also one and two-bedroom villas. Daybeds encourage lounging, as do open-air soaking baths. Healthy, alcohol-free minibars and wide tea selections continue the wellness theme, though there’s also French press coffee (don’t panic, stiff drinks can be ordered).
9 / 10
Food and Drink
Conrad Algarve has a wide selection of excellent dining options. The stand out option is Gusto which serves contemporary Mediterranean cuisine under the aegis of three-star Michelin chef Heinz Beck.
Louro Restaurant offers all-day dining and hosts the hotel’s most incredible breakfast, which can be taken inside or out by the pool. When getting to your table, two traditional Portuguese pastries are already waiting for you and the buffet contains everything you could ever want.