The Desa Visesa Ubud is unlike any hotel I’ve ever visited. The hotel is actually part of an authentic, functioning traditional village. The village is surrounded by lush green organic rice paddies, and staying in the village allows you to glimpse authentic Balinese life even as you enjoy all the comforts of a high end property.
I was immediately impressed when I entered the property. The expansive lobby is designed in a traditional Balinese style and features local art throughout.
The staff greeted me with a welcome drink and welcomed me to the property with a traditional Balinese blessing. Next, they explained the layout of the property and provided me with a short tour on a chauffeured golf cart!
The grounds are beautiful — lush greenery throughout. As we cruised along checking out the grounds, I felt peaceful and serene, almost tranquil. There is a sense of calm and quiet throughout.
Being situated in the rice paddy adds to this peacefulness but also provides an incredible backdrop for some gorgeous photos.
The Desa Visesa has several room types, and management was nice enough to upgrade my room to a suite with a private attached pool.
Having my own pool was an immense luxury, and I’m afraid it will be difficult to ever stay in a room without a private pool again.
Besides the pool, my other favorite part of my suite was the indoor/outdoor bathroom. I love this concept and wish that it was more common at home. While the air conditioned room was inside, much of the bathroom was outside, including a huge soaking tub you could relax in while listening to the rain.
Other room types available at the hotel are larger units, allowing families to share multiple villas with a communal pool.
The Desa Visesa is the type of property that’s difficult to leave once you arrive. I strolled around checking out the grounds and learned about the permaculture program. The initiative pursues complete sustainability and self-sufficiency on their organic farm. Workers tend to the farm, which also provides jobs for the community.
You’re even able to pick your own vegetables and have them prepared in a traditional Balinese cooking method that uses charcoal as the heat source.
Other projects offered by the Desa Visesa allow you to experience local life with the villagers. Throughout the day, you can participate in multiple programs that teach you how locals care for animals and work the land.
Dining Options at the Desa Visesa Ubud
The hotel offers a daily breakfast buffet for guests. Made to order choices such as omelets and waffles are served alongside ready to eat international options with a variety wide enough to please everyone.
The breakfast was good — standard fare, but very good. I most enjoyed the lunch I had during my stay. The menu had many choices, but that day we were in the mood for seafood. The seared tuna appetizer was the perfect light but flavorful start to the meal.
The roasted salmon and vegetables were perfectly cooked, and I loved that the chef seared the fish before finishing it in the oven.
We finished with the mixed seafood noodles. The large portion was delicious and full of seafood — a great shareable dish.
The one area I unfortunately didn’t have time to visit was the spa. There, a natural healer will consult with you to determine which treatment is best for you.
Many of the spa treatments take place inside a man-made cave and incorporate medicinal herbs, plants, and spices. The treatments center around the five elements, with different cave rooms focusing on each element. This is definitely one reason I might return.
I can’t finish the article without mentioning the staff. The staff are truly incredible — some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. The staff at high-end properties are nearly always phenomenal, but the employees of the Desa Visesa go above and beyond. So much of what made the experience amazing had to do with the staff.
What looked best to you? Let me know in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the hotel for having me as their guest during my stay. All opinions remain my own, as always. This post includes affiliate links. Using these links helps support the blog at no additional cost to you.
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.