There are not enough superlatives we could use to describe our experience at Mandala Desa. We arrived there after the chaos of New Year's Eve (2013) in Seminyak. We were after some blissful, relaxing down-time, and we knew as soon as we arrived that we'd picked the perfect place. Mandala Desa is located in a small village surrounded by a number of other villages famous for their different arts. It is nestled in amongst rice fields, only a short 15 minute shuttle bus ride to Ubud.
Our host Jacinta was ready and waiting to greet us on arrival. We had emailed her a few times prior to arriving just to let her know of our vegan requirements and all of her correspondence with us had been great. Jacinta escorted us to our villa and before we knew it our freshly made juices and afternoon welcome snack had arrived. What a lovely surprise! The snack had been specially prepared for us and consisted of lightly battered organic spinach leaves from the garden. It was delicious, light, and perfectly crispy.
We felt totally spoilt during our entire stay at Mandala Desa. Seriously. Everyone was so welcoming, friendly, and helpful. And oh my goodness the meals were amazing!!! Everything is made fresh to order, so Jacinta would normally check in with us the night before if we wanted breakfast and in the afternoon if we wanted dinner, so that they had enough preparation time.
It is no secret that Ubud is a vegan nirvana. Any other time, put me anywhere near, or in the midst of a vegan hub, and you won't see me for dust. But there was something so spellbinding about Mandala Desa that even the vegan magnetism of Ubud couldn't draw us away some days. There's no denying that the food you'll find in Ubud is amazing (that's a whole other blog in itself), but our vegan meals at Mandala Desa were absolutely delightful. I got to enjoy all the traditional Indonesia favourites like Nasi Campur and Nasi Goreng. And of course the afternoon treats including crispy spinach leaves and fried bananas were delish.
But here I am once again getting carried away with the food, I should also mention the actual villa itself. It was spacious, peaceful, and perfectly integrated indoor/outdoor living. We enjoyed starting our day with fresh fruit on the veranda; lounging on our private outdoor pavilion surrounded by water; and taking afternoon tea by the pool overlooking rice fields.
We would go back to Mandala Desa in a heartbeat (and stay for longer!). Mandala Desa is premium vegan friendly accommodation at it's best.
Mandala Desa: Br. Lantangidung, Batuan, Sukawati, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia