Translating to ‘art village’, Desa Seni has gone to great lengths to recreate an authentic Indonesian neighbourhood. One of Bali’s most unique retreats, the peaceful atmosphere is enhanced by the traditional decor and design, and with a variety of local Balinese spa treatments, we can’t wait to check it out.
Set in the midst of lush rice fields in Bali’s trendy Canggu district, Desa Seni is conveniently located less than an hour from the airport and close to the beach.
Redefining quaint with a capital Q, the refurbished antique Indonesian ‘joglos’ (wooden cottages) that comprise Desa Seni’s accommodation ooze rustic character. Decorated with locally sourced décor, each handcrafted dwelling has a unique history attached to it, and seamlessly blends into the surrounding rural landscape.
Keep in mind, these are studio-style spaces that are designed for a memorable, homely experience, rather than a five-star hotel room with all the creature comforts. Each house has a charming porch, perfect for getting lost in a good book. Further distinguished by winding stone paths, traditional wooden footbridges, verdant gardens and organic vegetable plots, the beautiful landscaping of Desa Seni is one of its greatest aesthetic assets. True to its name, tasteful art sculptures are scattered around the resort’s lawns and there is a personal touch everywhere you turn.
Desa Seni grows 80% of its own produce and embraces a farm-to-table philosophy by working with local farmers. Serving Asian-Western cuisine with a focus on organic, healthy and fresh food, the retreat’s restaurant serves up a wide range of international cuisine and tasty Indonesian specialties: make sure to sample the Udang Maluku—fresh grilled prawns served with a lentil & date salad & long bean nest—and the ‘Snapper Merah’—a fillet of snapper grilled, served with a mango sambal, grilled polenta, baby fern and acar.
Along with an impressive yoga programme which offers retreaters a wide range of yogic styles—including Vinyasa Flow, Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini and Yin—Desa Seni is also home to Merapu Svaasthya Spa. Healing and health are the focus of the retreat’s wellness menu which offers traditional, holistic treatments along with a mix of Western and Eastern therapies designed to restore and revitalise body, mind and soul. Signature treatments include unique Balinese specialities such as ‘aura chakra therapy’ and ‘Melukat’ rituals (a sacred Balinese cleansing ceremony).
Those keen to bend and stretch can embark on a private yoga retreat or attend Desa Seni’s annual yoga teacher training course, led by its resident teachers. The retreat also proffers a wide array of holistic workshops for spiritual seekers.
Expect to feel…aligned with Bali’s magical energy upon leaving. This retreat is all about the relaxation, so while you can spend time on yoga and detoxing, the main purpose is centring yourself.