Bali abounds with spas, many inspired by the ancient healing traditions of Indonesia.
At MVH we can arrange a luxurious treatment in the privacy of your own villa, or you can splurge on a ritual at one of the island’s high end spas for a decadent pampering experience that you could only dream of back home? These are our tried and tested picks for spoiling yourself rotten.
The [email protected] The Edge – Pecatu
A trip to The Edge takes you into the futuristic world of spas. With its modern, utterly minimalist white décor this surreal spa blends seamlessly with the limestone cliffs that it clings to and offers uninterrupted views of the sparkling azure sea. Marble massage tables rise from the water and treatments are delivered by a therapist in rubber boots. Signature rituals are based on flowers, holy water, rice and devotion – all essential elements of Balinese traditional temple offerings.
We tried: Divine Fire Ritual. This treatment is designed to restore harmony and equilibrium and started with my body being gentle tapped with a wooden hammer to release residual tension and remove energy blockages. I was then scrubbed with coconut and aloe vera, coated in a thick mask of coconut and white clay, and gently steamed before wading through the water to a massage bed for a luscious body massage with blueberry oil. My treatment finished in a deck chair overlooking the ocean, sipping rich hot chocolate, wondering if it had all been a beautiful dream.
Maya Spa – Ubud
Few resorts can match the stunning setting of Maya Ubud Resort & Spa, which clings to a lush forested ridge in Bali’s scenic hinterland. It’s renowned Maya Spa is equally unrivalled in both scenery and treatments. Thatched spa pavilions perch along the banks of the Petanu River, where gurgling water mingles with bird song to create a soothing sound track. Outside guests are welcomed to the tropical piece of paradise, and spa treatments include complimentary use of the picturesque infinity pool. ‘Day at Maya,’ is the ultimate ritual and includes a yoga session, guided walk in the rice fields, relaxing Balinese massage, a facial, herbal bath and a cooking class featuring simple Balinese and Indonesian dishes.
We tried: Soothing Maya Massage and Flower Bath. Making our way through the tropical gardens of the resort we descended to the spa where we were welcomed with iced lemongrass tea and chilled face towels. Our therapists invited us to select a fragrant massage oil from the customised range before leading us to a luxurious open-sided treatment pavilion overlooking the rainforest. The 75 minute Maya signature massage turned out to be a wonderfully unique rhythmic massage of long soothing strokes that simultaneously relaxed the mind and rejuvenated the body. After, we soaked up the scenery and the deep sense of peace while immersed in a flower-filled tub overlooking the river. Lunch in the nearby River Café was a healthy affair of salad, salmon and a divine vegan chocolate mousse made with avocado, honey, raw cacao and vanilla bean. Floating in the infinity pool proved the perfect way to conclude out spa experience which, if you pardon the cliché could be described as heaven on earth.
Prana Spa – Seminyak
Prana provides an exotic spa experience straight out of a princess fantasy – it’s even set in a faux castle resplendent with arched walkways filled with silk paintings and plush carpets. Décor is inspired by the Moghuls of 16th century India, with more than a hint of ‘Arabian nights.’ For a real splurge opt for one of the signature rituals that takes place in the Private Suite – a dreamy, harem-style turreted room lit with velvet drapes, golden candelabras and frosted lamps.
We tried: Jewel of the Nile
Our ritual – indulgently set in the Private Suite, started with a soothing massage complete with a rich, 24 Karat gold-infused oil, and a deluxe facial with pearl powder, vanilla and coconut. Hot stones balanced our chakras, and the warm rosemary oil that was gently drizzled through our scalps sent us into a transcendental state. Sinking into a massive mosaic-tiled free standing bath tub filled Cleopatra-style with creamy white milk, we were served canapés and a bottle of Champagne on ice. Hours after arriving we stumbled into the Seminyak sunlight glowing from the inside out. This royally-inspired treatment is definitely one to share with a lover or a close friend.
Bamboo Spa by L’OCCITANE – Jimbaran
A divine sensory experience, Bamboo Spa blends Balinese healing traditions and Ayurvedic principles with the products and fragrances of Provence – home to the renowned L’OCCITANE grand herbarium. The extensive use of bamboo and mirrors creates a surreal bamboo forest ambience.
We tried: Secret of Verbena Bamboo Deluxe
This three-hour luxurious spa journey combines bamboo with the refreshing scents and healing properties of Verbena, known as the ‘holy herb’ in the early Christian era. A fragrant citrus bamboo polish gently exfoliated my skin and all cares in the world melted away as I floated in the soft and silky foam of a Verbena bath where I was served tea and home baked macaroons. A fusion massage followed, combining acupressure, deep strokes and the delightful rolling of warmed bamboo stems across my back and limbs. My therapist then diagnosed my skin condition and customised a facial accordingly – using rich shea butter which left me silky soft and luminous. A deeply nurturing treatment, I emerged from a cocoon-like state feeling radiant and renewed.
Acqua Perla – Seminyak
Presenting a very modern face for Bali spas, Acqua Perla at Double Six Luxury Resort has an eclectic range of treatments inspired by the therapeutic benefits of water and set to a background of soothing marine-themed décor. It’s a little like entering a futuristic underwater world and you can opt for deluxe facials, wraps and scrubs, a California silk signature massage or a six-hour Queen of the Nile pampering ritual.
We tried: Detox and Soul Body Balance
I loved the adventure element of this treatment as I embarked down the Sensorial Hydro Trail – a softly lit tunnel where I waded through foot deep water from one hydrotherapy treatment to the next. My legs and lower back were pummelled with water jets, my body was dowsed in crushed ice in the misty steam cave, then a powerful waterfall shower massaged my neck and shoulders. Arriving in the haman (Turkish steam room) I was scrubbed with sandalwood then left to relax amidst the steamy vapours. Feeling cleansed and purified I was treated to a wonderfully relaxing Balinese massage and a chakra balancing session that sent me into a state of dream waking.
To book an in-house treatment at your holiday villa or to book one of the above spas make an enquiry through the form on this page, email [email protected] or call +62 (0) 361 283908 seven days a week.
Article written by Alison Bone
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