A slice of paradise in the cultural centre of Bali
Holidays are for unwinding and taking a breather from the stress of our daily grind. They’re for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. This luxury resort in Ubud, Indonesia lets you do exactly that but also gifts you with a peek into everyday life in bucolic Ubud, Bali’s very own cultural heart.
Desa Visesa is a unique hideaway nestled in a quaint Balinese village not far from the town centre. Its location allows five-star tourist accommodations to seamlessly meld with the area’s cultural landscape. Central to Desa Visesa’s overall theme is a deep respect for Indonesian heritage and the Balinese way of life. We felt that the moment we set foot in the lobby, where a traditional Balinese blessing and an authentic display of Bali’s vernacular architecture welcomed us. A quick tour also showed us how Desa Visesa takes to heart its promise to help protect the environment through sustainable farming.
Views of verdant rice fields and the surrounding rainforest cocooned us in an overwhelming sense of peace. You can imagine our surprise when we first stepped inside our villa and discovered that it was quite modern and roomy. It was truly a plush hideaway amid lush greenery perfect for big groups or couples celebrating a milestone. Our villa was equipped with state-of-the-art devices and a private pool, but much to our delight, we could still hear the sounds of nature all around.
In between staying in and heading to nearby attractions, we had plenty to do at the resort. Our go-tos were the healing spa and outdoor gym. Besides that, we often indulged in good food thanks to in-house restaurants that serve authentic Indonesian fare.
If you’re deciding where to stay in Ubud, look no further. Desa Visesa is an enlightening rural retreat that clearly doesn’t scrimp on luxury. Above all, it gives you a holistic taste of the town. Read our entire Desa Visesa resort review to know more about it. The resort is not only a place for physical and mental rejuvenation, but is food for the soul as well.
No doubt accommodations at Desa Visesa are among the most spacious we’ve seen. At a still roomy 53 sqm, the Premier Suite is the resort’s cosiest offering. Enjoy the comforts of your own bathtub and a canopy king size bed fitted with fine linens. Premier Suites are located at the resort’s three-level building. Therefore, you also gain an ideal perch from which to view the surrounding rainforest. Rice fields also greet visitors from down below.
Other than that, big groups will find the Premier Suite convenient because you can reserve interconnecting suites. This affords you access to your friends or family members during the day and privacy come bedtime.
If an outdoor hot tub becomes a top priority during your stay, then choose the Family Suite. Its balcony houses a whirlpool that overlooks the jungle and a nearby river. How’s that for a scenic soak session?
All rooms at Desa Visesa come equipped with gadgets for comfort and leisure. You get smartphone docking stations, state-of-the-art appliances connected to complimentary WiFi for ease of use, and a 40” LED smart TV with an interactive entertainment platform. Top this off with the Family Suite’s plush triple beds, dining area, and living room, and you’ve got yourself the staycation of your dreams.
We honestly believe that the One Bedroom Pool Villa was designed for honeymooners and couples looking to bask in their love. The space features an open bathroom and a bedroom with clear sliding doors. This gives guests easy access to a private pool and a terrace with sun beds outside. Of course, the view from the space is as spectacular as it is refreshing to the eyes. Lush greenery greets you from every angle.
The thing about having your own private pool and sunbathing area, though, is it makes the stay completely unforgettable. Staycations will never be the same without them. But trust us, it’s worth the splurge every time. And nothing quite compares to sharing these delights with a loved one.
As its name implies, the Two Bedroom Pool Villa is essentially the One Bedroom Pool Villa. The only difference is it features two separate sleeping quarters. This is perfect for parents travelling with their children. Moms and dads, stay in the master’s bedroom, which has a canopy king size bed. The kids can hunker down in the second bedroom with twin beds.
Similarly, the Two Bedroom Pool Villa lets you enjoy all pool villa amenities, plus a pleasant view of the village garden and lagoon.
An impressive 252 sqm, the Two Bedroom Family Pool Villa is the largest accommodation Desa Visesa offers. It’s similar to the Two Bedroom Pool Villa, but its private pool area has more room for bigger parties. Friends who prefer lazing by the poolside while getting that golden tan can sunbathe in peace. You can also choose the scenery you’ll wake up to every morning. Look deep into the jungle or gaze into an endless stretch of rice paddies. If you’d rather be near calming waters, select the lagoon view.
Inside, Desa Visesa’s signature interior look welcomes guests. The space is warm, open, and homey, with varying tones of cream and white made even more immaculate by tan and wooden accents.
Without a drop of bias, all accommodations at Desa Visesa are impressive. From sleek in-room amenities and gadgets to the varying vistas they show off, it seems like that these villas were made to wow guests. Each living space was tastefully designed without sacrificing comfort and homeyness. Although, you can always kick things up a notch if you want. Treat your posse to a few nights at the Two Bedroom Pool Sky Villa. It is perhaps Desa Visesa’s crowning glory. Its roof-deck location gives it that top-of-the-world appeal, plus the stay comes with daily afternoon tea at the sky lounge. Book this villa and you’ll also receive a complimentary bottle of wine. So sit back and clink your glasses to living the sweet life.
Desa Visesa’s identity is deeply rooted in the people’s relationship with the land they till and call home. A leisurely stroll through its grounds shows you this. At Desa Visesa, farming takes on a distinct duality. There’s farming that’s based on Balinese culture and farming that’s hinged on the principles of permaculture. Why not learn about both methods by joining the Weekend Village Adventure? Be farmer for a day and trek through the rice fields. It’s held every Sunday and costs IDR 100,000 net per head.
Locals who work on the farm every day get plenty of exercise, thanks to the physical nature of their day to day activities. When it comes to breaking a sweat, Desa Visesa doesn’t fall short of options. Join an invigorating yoga class early in the morning or bike around the area at your own pace. You can even trek through the village and go for a swim afterwards. Another thing that makes the resort unique is the Desa Visesa Fitness Centre. The complete outdoor gym allows guests to work out in the middle of vast paddy fields. This is a must-try especially for guests used to fitness facilities in concrete jungles. There’s just something about the fresh air that’ll keep you going longer, whether you’re catching up on some cardio or hitting some reps. The outdoor gym is open from 8am to 9pm daily.
Hungry for Indonesian cuisine? Desa Visesa proudly houses four restaurants which serve local delicacies. There’s Lesung Restaurant that’s conveniently located at the lobby and Lumbung Restaurant, a five-star establishment that’s under a charming bridge. Padi Fine Dining, on the other hand, boasts of a dinner menu that highlights vegetarian and pesco-vegetarian dishes. Take note, though, that guests can only dine here from 6pm to 11pm. Those with more adventurous appetites can dig deeper and immerse themselves in an authentic Balinese kitchen at Warung Tani. Get a taste of the foundations of traditional culinary practices in Bali, such as Bumbu or the “traditional blend of spices referred to as Base Gede”.
In Bali, a traditional healer called a Pangusadha or Balian expertly administers natural treatments. They say that the Balian can cure any type of disease and can even diagnose imbalances and promote inner peace. Lucky for you, staying at Desa Visesa gives you the chance to consult with an actual Balian for IDR 1,700,000 net per person. Visesa Balinese Healing & Spa is home to a number of services and amenities both modern and traditional. Experience the age-old Ghanta Beauty Therapy for yourself. See why the practice has been kept alive all these years. Rates start at IDR 200,000 net per head for 30 minutes.
The dynamic cultural landscape of Desa Visesa and its village amazes most first-time visitors. Where nature, culture, and development harmoniously co-exist, this resort in Ubud offers tourists a lavish home away from home. You get to immerse in an idyllic setting to boot. Each guest experiences this firsthand, but not a lot know that this synergy reflects the philosophical concept of Tri Hita Karana. Tri Hita Karana is the meeting and melding of “the realm living of the spirit, human relations, and nature.” This belief dates back to the 9th century.
Maybe it’s the calm and cheerfulness that the place holds. Or the natural wonders that pepper the town. Whatever it is, romance is always in the air in Ubud. This is probably why the place is a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons. The same could be said for Desa Visesa. With seven breathtaking venues to choose from and villas they could hole up in once the newly-wedded bliss kicks in, it’s no wonder why a lot of couples fall in love with this evergreen haven. Indeed, Desa Visesa makes couples want to tie the knot!
From Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta, Ubud would be approximately an hour and a half away by car. Travelling to Ubud from Seminyak takes about the same time, too. Allot at least two hours for road travel just in case traffic gets heavy. Desa Visesa, on the other hand, is only about 15 minutes away from the town centre. There, you can eat, shop, and explore to your heart’s content. Travelling from Desa Visesa to the centre of Ubud is made easy thanks to the resort’s shuttle service. Take regular trips to and from the centre through this transportation option, which starts at 10am daily.
Many know Ubud as the cultural heart of Bali. It’s the province’s tourist centre that’s popular for regional arts and crafts, performances, and vernacular architecture. This is best reflected by the town centre, just a quick drive from Desa Visesa. Hence, Desa Visesa is an ideal base if you’re wondering where to stay in Ubud that isn’t too far away from the centre. At the same time, the location still affords you some respite from the tourist area’s endless rush.
Planning a day out? Culture junkies, drop by the Ubud Royal Palace, where traditional Balinese houses and structures still stand. Ida Tjokorda Putu Kandel, king of Ubud from 1800 to 1823, had the complex built during his reign. Upon completion, the palace became the home of the royal family. Now, the historical complex is a venue for cultural performances, which tourists can catch daily. If you want to shop for souvenirs and keepsakes, head to the Ubud Art Market. It’s just across the Ubud Royal Palace. You’ll find the best deals there — just make sure you know how to sniff out a bargain from a mile away. Score handcrafted goods, beautiful silk scarves, and woven accessories at this bazaar centre.
Nature and animal lovers, on the other hand, have two options. Visit the adorable critters at Ubud Monkey Forest, a sanctuary to Balinese long-tailed monkeys or macaques. Or take on a hiking trail at Campuhan Ridge Walk. Ubud Monkey Forest is also home to 186 species of trees.
Tip: If the nature trail at Campuhan Ridge Walk sounds appealing to you, go in the morning or in the late afternoon. Unless you prefer walking under the blazing sun, that is.