Bali might seem obvious.  We’ve seen the movie, we’ve read the books, we’re pretty sure our closet contains no less than six souvenir sarongs brought back from sun burned friends.  For such a tiny island in the midst of exotic Indonesia, the largeness of its fame might lead you to think that it single-handedly put the hype in hyperbola.  But that’s where the challenge begins.

Go ahead, give in. Let the gorgeous beaches, rich colors and exceedingly happy locals lure you all the way across the world.  When you get here, the challenge will be to look a little deeper, beyond the obvious—the rewards of which are so experientially special that they defy verbal description.  For the sake of your next vacation, and the sheer otherworldly delight that awaits you, let us try.

It all begins in the rice patties.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that all paths of Balinese bliss lead to the beach.  Desa Seni, a Village Resort, is perhaps one of the most exceptional places you will never stumble upon.  The small group of traditional-style huts, nestled down a dirt road that winds through rice farms and sweeping green fields, is something one must seek out with purpose and determination, and the knowledge that you will be vastly rewarded for straying from the beaten path of Bali’s tourists.  Let us save you the legwork of sifting through the endless stream of Bali hospitality PR and get you straight to the holistic core.  We’re giving you the secret map: with a straight line leading to the treasure that is Desa Seni.

While the term “traditional” aptly describes the architecture at Desa Seni, the world that encompasses it goes beyond mere adherence to tradition. Resembling a fantastic blend of Balinese traditional legend, Alice in Wonderland and Salvador Dali, the atmosphere is whimsical and centered, peaceful and playful all at once.  The owners, Tom & Howard (both hailing from New York originally), fell in love with the island’s unique spirit and style and infused it with their own creative panache and whimsy.  Using very traditional architecture (some antique buildings were actually acquired whole and rebuilt on location) and furnishing them with both modern, ecologically friendly amenities and authentic Indonesian relics, Desa Seni reverberates with profound ancient resonance and a cutting-edge, forward-thinking modernity.

Approaching the village, you see the brightly colored waving flags beckoning like welcoming spirits, guiding you to the sanctuary they prevail over.  More than merely a resort, Desa Seni is a kind of magnetic center for locals and expats who are drawn to living a creative, enriched, holistic life.  The restaurant is a destination in and of itself, serving some of the most unique and palate-pleasing Balinese fusion cuisine you’ll find across the globe. Open as a day retreat to the public, the resort offers daily yoga and meditation classes, reinforcing its commitment to community and to giving back to the world that has been so welcoming to them.

Going even further, Desa Seni opens their studios to traditional dance classes for Balinese children, and actively hires locals, welcoming them into their staff as chefs, gardeners, and massage therapists. They’ve even implemented a “work study” program that gives Balinese orphans the opportunity to gain employment and learn meaningful skills, while contributing to the wonderful, exuberant spirit that infuses all aspects of Desa Seni . Talking to Howard and Tom, it’s clear that they feel honored to have been so accepted into the local community. Rather than following the path of other, more exploitative resorts and hotels, they sincerely aim to invest and enrich even the unseen depths of what could otherwise be a very shallow world.

Truly, in a world where the catch phrases holistic and eco-friendly have become haphazardly ubiquitous, Desa Seni incorporates both ideals with such intense commitment and seamless practice that it nearly gives them new definition. Prolific gardens envelope the grounds, yielding not only atmospheric beauty, but also providing food for the marvelous restaurant, ingredients for the signature bath and spa products, and even pest control services by the Olathe pest control company.  Inviting its guests to really integrate into the surroundings, the gardens feature footpaths and placards identifying the botanicals by name and function.  All products that aren’t made in house (you’d be simultaneously shocked and charmed to find out how much is actually produced right on the grounds) are staunchly “green”—made from recycled materials or wholesomely obtained ingredients. The powerpestcontrol.ca website provide you best pest control service. Onе оf thе biggest problems thаt mоѕt homeowners mау encounter іѕ pest infestation аnd thіѕ саn happen wіthоut warning аnd tаkе thеm completely bу surprise. Mоѕt оf thеm try tо handle іt оn thеіr оwn, оftеn wіth disastrous results. Hiring pest control service hаѕ mаnу benefits compared tо controlling pests оn уоur оwn. Whеn уоu hire a professional company fоr controlling thе pest іn уоur home, thеу mау bе able tо provide уоu wіth a customized plan thаt іѕ suitable fоr thе unique pests іn уоur home. Onе оf thе important things thаt уоu need tо understand іѕ thаt thеrе іѕ nо оnе size thаt fits аll scenario whеn іt соmеѕ tо pests аnd уоu need tо hаvе different plans tо gеt rid оf different pests іn thе house.

While a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle still tends to connote sacrifice, Desa Seni proves that the pursuit of pleasure, indulgence in luxury, and blissful relaxation can also be earth friendly.  In fact, they accomplish this so seamlessly, so naturally, that it suddenly reminds you that Eden was, in fact, an organic garden after all.

– Ava Fedorov

Photographs by Jeffery Owens and Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative