Villa Kalisat - Ubud, Bali
Villa Kalisat was by far one of my favorite experiences of Bali so far. In our previous trip, we were only able to see Ubud, but what I loved so much about Villa Kalisat was that it was placed high above the sacred Petanu River and within a rainforest. It had such a magical feel to it, but what was so incredible was that it was only 15 minutes away from the center of Ubud. With every luxury you could think of, a paradise and a reprise from the busy streets of Bali and some of the most delicious food we’ve had thus far on our trip, Villa Kalisat is an unforgettable experience.
I’ve never stayed at a hotel/villa that’s perched on the edge of a ridgeline before, but the result was that we got to eat our breakfast everyday with the beautiful view of the jungle and river underneath us. It was spectacular and really gave me the sense that I was deep in nature. I took the few days we stayed at Villa Kalisat to relax and take a breath of fresh air, after our exciting, but exhausting previous few weeks. The great thing about the location is that even though you feel like you’re secluded and in a quiet area, the center of Ubud is a mere 15 minute taxi ride away. While Villa Kalisat is located atop the Ridgeline of a jungle, it is also located within a small village just outside Ubud. I felt like I got such a unique and special view into the culture and daily lives of the Balinese just by walking around and seeing the temples just steps away. On top of this, on the last night we were invited to attend a traditional Balinese ceremony as guests of Villa Kalisat. It’s a memory that I’ll always cherish and was such a unique opportunity only provided to us because we were staying there.
We elected to dine at the Villa Kalisat restaurant on the first night and were so delighted by it that we ate there the rest of our stay! The ingredients were so fresh and the flavors so well-blended, that we couldn’t get enough. I absolutely loved the Mie Goreng and the Tom Yum soup, but they have a number of traditional Indonesian and Western fares that looked equally as delicious. Of course, you get to eat it with the magnificent view of the jungle beneath you.
I decided to write a separate section for the breakfast just because of how obsessed I am with it. I still have dreams about it. Every morning we got to choose between a number of dishes like banana pancakes with local honey or a veggie frittata. However, it’s not just a breakfast, but a breakfast spread. Along with your main dish, comes homemade jams and bread buns, French-pressed Balinese coffee, fresh-squeezed juice and a smoothie bowl (different one each day). You can take this either in your room or the dining area.
The owners of the villa (Kim and Bene), put every effort into the detail and design of the property decor. From buddha status to golden, exotic day-beds, it was absolutely breathtaking. I felt more like I was in some sort of palace than a villa. The property is also quite spread out with the main dining area high above and the villas sprawled across the area, connected by two pools and a few stairs. On top of this, you can take stairs all the way down to the river (and even swim in it!). Villa Kalisat set up a sort of jungle oasis beneath them with a meditation platform and temple overlooking a beautiful jungle-garden, swimming area and even a waterfall!
Each room at Villa Kalisat is named something different and even has its own theme and design. We stayed in both the River Room and the Waterfall Room and I honestly couldn’t decide which one was my favorite. While the River Room had an incredible view of the river down below, the waterfall room had a more secluded “deep-in-the-jungle” feel and of course was right next to a waterfall. Similar to the entire property, the rooms were decorated in an exotic, Balinese design with gold details and many hand-painted and hand-made decorations throughout.
We were lucky enough to experience a massage at the hands of two of Villa Kalisat’s amazing masseuses. The spa is on an open platform overlooking the jungle as well and so you can listen to the relaxing sound of the rushing river and feel a breeze on your skin as you enjoy a spa day. My massage was one of the best I’ve ever received—not too hard, but not too soft and left me feeling very relaxed and invigorated.
What makes Villa Kalisat so special, and my personal favorite part of it is that unlike a big hotel, Bene and Kim make sure to provide a personalized experience. While we were dining at the restaurant we had many lovely conversations with both of them and they made us feel right at home. In that sense, it almost seemed like a luxurious homestay and if not for anything else it’s worth a stay just to get to now these two lovely people.
I recommend spending a few days in the center of Ubud and then heading straight to Villa Kalisat. It truly is such a unique experience so outside of the normal touristy trip that many take. You’ll never forget eating breakfast soaring high above the jungle tree-line, indulging in magical Balinese luxury or immersing yourself into the traditional Balinese culture.