Desa Visesa was the first hotel on our three-week tour of Bali and where we launched ourselves into all of the wonderful and memorable things to do in rustic Ubud. The 5-star resort is woven into the heart of the rural area that is Ubud where, other than its central street, time appears to have been forgotten.
This luxury resort is an ideal place to begin any trip to Ubud as the resort’s design and services seamlessly integrate you into Balinese culture. It took us about an hour and a half to get to Desa Visesa from the airport and we were given the warm Balinese hospitality that the country is renowned for with a welcoming ceremony upon arrival.
Located around 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Ubud, Desa Visesa offers a brilliant free shuttle that takes approximately 10-15 minutes. It leaves every hour from 10am – 10pm from the resort and makes the return journey on the half hour from 10:30am – 10:30pm. We didn’t find such regularity in any other hotel shuttle service anywhere else in Bali and it’s available to guests every day of the week. It takes the pressure of wondering how to get around Bali away (a question I Googled countless times before my trip), and is such a convenience, especially when you’ve just arrived in off your flight and you just want to get out, explore and eat.
We stayed at one of their private pool villas, and such accommodation makes any stay in Bali such a joy. The pool villa that we stayed in was located next to a real ancient temple that the resort has encompassed and overlooked a distinctive Balinese lush paddy rice field. There are different room categories available at Desa Visesa and I highly recommend anyone going to Bali on their honeymoon to treat yourself to a pool villa.
A mosquito net draped around our bed, which is quite common to have in Indonesia but was novel to us, and it felt like we were sleeping in the midst of nature. The seating area is open-aired and located outside, separate from the indoor bedroom, and is extremely private and a lovely area to relax and whittle the time together as you listen to running water from your private pool and the nearby gushing river. Nature is very much engrained within the resort and you will find legions of ants along with various forms of life everywhere. I did find the sheer number of ants a little much but I loved watching the geckos dart around for their midnight snacks.
Breakfast is included in your stay at Desa Visesa, but if you have your own private pool, then why not use it? A floating breakfast was delivered to our pool villa for one of the mornings and everything that is available at the restaurant was presented to us in our floating woven basket, including waffles and pancakes, eggs, pastries, fruit, and even wine.
Delving deeper into the resort and you will find an open aired gym with an inspiring view of manicured rice paddy fields or perhaps catch their daily traditional Balinese dance. You can make a coconut woven hat at the resort, which is where I got mine from that you will have seen on me for numerous Instagram shots. There’s also a jungle trail that you can navigate to Ubud, and real caves where your spa treatments take place. The Balinese massage was unbelievable at Desa Visesa.
Your spa treatment begins with a consultation with an elderly man who has a bright spark in his wise eyes. He took my hand and concentrated as he sought out the aches and pains throughout my body. His translator explained the ails he had found and my massage was then tailored specifically to target my troubles. I had been blissfully ignorant of the deep-rooted troubles he’d highlighted, yet the massage certainly made me aware as the massage was relieving, relaxing and also invigorating.
The massage treatment on the morning of departure was a wonderful way to say goodbye to this modern resort built upon Balinese traditions.