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Click for larger view.YOGA RETREATS

For our latest Featured Hotel, we're putting the spotlight on two very different Balinese retreats.

Both offer excellent yoga facilities, in addition to other wellness-related amenities and activities. However, the similarity ends there. These two properties are each quite wonderful - in their own unique ways.

Desa Seni sits in a rice field within walking distance of Berawa Beach, in the Canggu district. The hotel is made up of a cluster of antique wooden homes brought over from Java. The homes have been lovingly restored; modern comforts have been added, but the whimsical character of the houses has been retained. The individual buildings have been cleverly arranged so as to resemble a Balinese village.

Desa Seni's focus is on wellness. They have a beautiful yoga center and an impressive daily schedule of yoga classes.

The property is small and the grounds are minimally landscaped compared to most hotels in Bali. Yet, with the surrounding ricefields, pretty gardens (complete with footbridge) and quaint charm of its antique homes, Desa Seni has a magical quality to it. As you step through the entryway, you feel as if you've entered some sort of fairyland.

Puri Bagus Jati (also known as Bukit Jati) is situated on a mountainside in the highlands of Bali. Jati is a health spa retreat complete with organic gardens, nature trekking, healthy cooking and nutrition classes and a large variety of spa treatments and wellness offerings. Wellness programs include yoga, Pilates, stress relief, antiaging and detox.

The lush grounds and dramatic views at Jati are a feast for the eyes. It doesn't matter where you are on the property and whether you're indoors or outdoors. There are spectacular views everywhere you turn.

Accommodations are in private villas scattered along the pathways that take guests from the clifftop lobby to the pool, spa and yoga center below. (It's not necessary to trek back up again; a driver will pick you up in a golf cart.)

Our favorite accommodations at Jati are the deluxe villas with their private spa facilities and decor of warm, rich woods. The round shape of these villas reflects the personality of Bali and gives them a more open and spacious feel. It goes without saying that the villa porches are a grandstand for more of those fantastic views.

Both Desa Seni and Puri Bagus Jati offer very special, very Balinese experiences. If you're ready to unwind, take care of yourself and live (even for a few days) in a restful world, a stay at either (or both) of these retreats will surely recharge your body and spirit.

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