While Southern Bali is known as a paradise for beach enthusiasts and partygoers, Ubud has always been the place to go for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of life, and to hopefully find inner peace.
There are many obvious reasons to visit Ubud – be it to get lost in its magnificent rain forest and waterfalls, to buy arts or to meditate and immerse in local culture like what Elizabeth Gilbert did in her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. For first-time travelers to Ubud, the list of must-visit destinations can be overwhelming and it will definitely take more than one day to fully appreciate the beauty of this corner of Bali. That said, staying near the cultural hub would be a good decision. Enter Villa Kalisat. Situated a mere 15 minutes north of Ubud, Villa Kalisat is a boutique hotel that promises a true Balinese living experience. If anything, the location of the villa within a traditional family compound grants direct access to the Balinese traditional way of living like no other place. “We enjoy a rare long term sustainable tourism partnership with the family compound. Our hotel structures were built by the village people themselves. We have wished to keep the authentic Balinese spirit, so all our 16 staff live here or are related to someone who lives in the village,” says Benedicte Hansen, the owner of Villa Kalisat. To reach the villa’s entrance, guests will have to pass through the family compound where they can witness firsthand an ordinary Balinese life. In the morning, you may see locals preparing offering baskets to be placed at the temples for their worship rituals, while later in the afternoon, you can see them practicing gamelan music for traditional ceremonies. Do not hesitate to say hello or strike a conversation with the locals – their cute dogs may even follow you around after one stroke! Built on the edge of a cliff overlooking the majestic rainforest and river valley below, Villa Kalisat possesses a remarkable view of nature. Comprised of two hotel structures, each with four rooms, a pool and a pavilion, the villa is a perfect choice for honeymooners or families who yearn for both natural and cultural experiences in Bali. Each room is uniquely designed with strong Balinese influence that is accentuated through gorgeous sculptures, colourful cushions and other artistic ornaments made by local artisans. During your stay, spare some time to visit the river, located only some 165 stone steps away from the villa. The stairs are a bit steep, which could be tricky especially during the rainy season, but the refreshing splash of the spring water there is definitely worth every effort. Villa Kalisat is certainly Ubud’s hidden gem waiting to be explored. Its secluded location encourages you to interact more with its surrounding nature and communities, giving you a truly native Ubud experience. www.villakalisatbali.com