The Art of Spa
One indulges in the finer things in life that escape from the list of daily desires. It is not just the unique location..
The Art of Spa
One indulges in the finer things in life that escape from the list of daily desires. It is not just the unique location, the extra ordinary history and the serene environment that makes a destination remarkable. A spa offers the guest an opportunity to experience bliss that would otherwise be absent from the daily persuit of life.
The beauty of Bali is reflected in its old and new, natural and man made. Be it the Balinese arts and craft that trace their roots back to the late 13th century Majapathi Kingdom or the craftsmen practicing their painting, wood & stone carving and weaving skills handed down through the generations. Be it the Balinese dancers in rich costumes with intricately choreographed hand-face-eye movement as part of their religious expression or the ancient Balinese Hindu temples preserved and worshipped in this predominently muslim country. Be it the infusion of Dutch-Indian-Chinese cultures ever present in the architecture, food and lifestyle or the splendid sunsets viewed from gorgeous beaches, they all captivate the heart, and collectively make us forget home.
Bali has evolved as an international holiday destination over the years largely because of its rich culture, gracious locals and beautiful beaches that pull people from all over the world towards itself. The tourist numbers have grown through the decades despite the deadly bombings in Bali, the global flu epidemics, earthquakes and the various financial crisis that threatened the country’s stability. Not surprisingly, the natural and human wonders of Bali prevailed as compared to other similar destinations such as Sharm el-Sheikh that took a much longer time to regain their credibility with the globe trotter.
The appeal of any location multiples when accommodations and the accessories (read spa, jacuzzi, private beach, Michelin star restaurant … the list is endless) that go with it are world class, offer a level of comfort and luxury that pampers and indulges. The itinerary of the globe trotter should cater to and take care of the mind, body and soul. While arts and crafts sooth the eyes and mind, the indulgence in spa treatments sooth the body and soul. Admiring and appreciating the centuries old art is one thing, being covered in herbal clay while trained therapists kneed and stretch the muscles of the aching body is something quite rewarding at a much different level.
The spas in Bali, more often than not, become standards for other locations to follow. The bar is set, and raised, ever so often that other destinations simply play catch up to the beautifully crafted world class spas that call Bali home.
Bali spas proffer an incredible number of spa treatments tha4 suits just about everyone. World Travel Magazine reviews two exotic spas of Bali that are a perfect blend of being chic, sumptuous and sophisticated.
First on the list of ‘must visit’ spas in Bali is the elegant Alila Villas Soori. Alila have three luxury properties in Indonesia, of which Alila Villas Soori and Alila Villas Uluwatu are located in Bali. Alila Villas Soori offers its guests various boutique villa formats with private pools, award winning architecture, sea & padi field views and world class facilities. The resort is a relaxing, stylish and blissful paradise setting for beachfront living.
The concept of the spa at Alila Villas Soori is envisioned as a sanctuary, a soothing cocoon tucked under a water body. The most unique element of the spa is the transitional lighting within all spaces, from outside with total sunlight, to the foyer and relaxation areas with diminishing natural light and finally to the total controlled darkness of the treatment rooms. The first time visitors to Spa Alila are always taken on a private tour to the treatment area, yoga classroom, fitness center and spa boutique for a closer look at the natural products that are specially designed for Spa Alila.
A typical treatment starts off with a private consultation where the guest are served signature ice lemongrass, honey and ginger tea accompanied with the warm smiles of the spa therapists. Once the massage therapy commences, the guests are escorted into the wet treatment room exiting the dry treatment suite and passing under a sky light which acts like a transition point between rooms incorporating some of Earth’s stimulating elements.
Spa Alila use exclusive ingredients in their spa treatments, some sourced from local villagers. For instance virgin coconut oil and sweet almond oil are sourced locally in East Bali where fresh coconut is shredded and cold pressed to make coconut milk. The milk is fermented, separated and filtered free of chemicals without using high-heat treatment.
The massage therapies in Spa Alila, as in any other good spa resort, are based on individual need that range from pampering, pleasure, health, wellness, spiritual journey and fitness. The massage therapies are a combination of Asian and Western therapy techniques including deep tissue, relaxing, nurturing and a special pregnancy massage for expectant mothers.
Therapeutic Massage is a ninety minute treatment of Spa Alila which performs a complete body awakening experience with a combination of therapeutic massage techniques using fluent strokes of different depths and intensity. Long Balinese strokes improve lymphatic drainage and circulation. Swedish deep tissue techniques work into muscles to relieve tension and stiffness. Acupressure points are used for specific stimulation while Thai movements add elements of stretching to increase mobility. A note to the reader, I dose$ off around twenty minutes into the massage (so much for the awakening experience!), relaxed and in deep sleep.
Feel tension dissolve with the seventy five minute Balinese Massage. This ancient Balinese healing therapy combines gentle stretching, long therapeutic strokes and skin rolling to relieve muscle pain. Palm and thumb pressure techniques are also applied to unravel the deepest stress and improve blood flow.
An oasis of serenity surrounded by nature, the Estate defines the pinnacle of residential health retreat combining holistic wellness with exceptional villa accommodation. From rooms, suites, residences to villas, the Estate caters to a variety of moods, views and spirit. Located near a spiritual enclave of jungle, river and sun-rich clearings just north of Ubud, the Estate makes one forget that Bali’s beauty is not restricted just 4o the beaches.
The Estate’s wellness retreat has an extensive range of therapies and a list of specialists to choose from. It does take a while to appreciate the depth and extent of their wellness and fitness menu. Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Swedish, Dead Sea… these were just the varieties of massage therapies on offer and we hadn’t even touched their fitness, spiritual and psychological section yet. For instance, they have a fitness package that drops you into the enormous caldera and ascend the 700m high volcanic cone of Mount Batur, by torchlight, to witness sunrise over the crater and its lake, with Mount Agung looming in the background. Be back in time for breakfast and a yoga session.e3C/p>
When in Bali, do what the ancient Balinese royalty have done, enjoy a luxurious Javanese Royal Lulur Bath. A two hour production, this luxury bath is bound to pamper you enough to want it as a day starter, every day. Perfect for tired skin, lulur is the ultimate luxurious beauty ritual from the Royal Palaces of central Java. The soothing process begins with an Indonesian Massage and then an aromatic spice body scrub precedes the application of cooling yogurt and a relaxing flower-filled bath. The treatment concludes with a relaxing application of body lotion to hydrate the skin.
Another great treatment on offer is the Warm Muscle Wrap. Using the traditional medicine of Bali, Warm Muscle Wrap is believed to relieve tense muscles and minor rheumatic conditions. Hand crushed rice is blended with warming spices to create a stimulating rub. This Balinese Boreh, a traditional herbal scrub, offers an all-over deep heat experience and concludes with a Taksu Massage. The massage therapy is ideal for helping aching bodies after exercise, or an early morning walk on a volcano, and wonderful for breaking-down cellulite.
When on a vacation to a destination resort, one winds down and distances oneself from the stress inducing tasks. One indulges in the finer things in life that escape from the list of daily desires. It is not just the unique location, the extra ordinary history and the serene environment that makes a destination remarkable. A spa offers the guest an opportunity to experience bliss that would otherwise be absent from the daily persuit of life. The spas in Alila Villas Suri and Como Shambala Estate fill this void perfectly.