Dr Tiana Templeman shares her five favourite places to be affordably pampered.
There’s nothing like a little pampering to get a holiday off to a great start but some Bali hotel spas offer something more meaningful than a simple massage. With unique treatments that celebrate the local culture and create a sense of place, the following spas encourage visitors to truly engage with the ‘island of the gods’. Even better, you can do it lying down.
Water is the central theme at this spa which combines Balinese spirituality with some of the world’s most famous massage treatments. Some use a traditional Balinese gayung – a vessel used to splash water infused with seaweed and herbs – while others feature the likes of Indian ayurvedic techniques or reiki from Japan. One of the more unusual massages involves a 15-minute ‘sound bath’ created by the deep boom of Balinese gongs which massage you inside and out with rich vibrations. It’s a strange yet deeply relaxing sensation and a must for true spa aficionados.
If your love of pampering is larger than your budget, this affordable hotel spa delivers. Treatment rooms are plain rather than posh but this is reflected in the price. Expect to pay A$30 for a 75-minute massage during the early morning ‘happy hour’. Booking your treatment at one of the pretty beachside bales doesn’t cost any extra and you can listen to the sound of the waves. If your skin needs a boost after the flight from Australia, try the traditional facial which uses indigenous ingredients and a soft, gentle technique. You’ll smell as good as you look after one of these.
Feel the spirituality of Bali as you are pampered with a choice of Balinese-inspired treatments inside an individual thatched spa bure at Wyndham Tamansari Jivva Resort. These private relaxation havens mean you don’t hear other guests coming and going outside the room during your treatment. This spa has loads of specials for in-house guests so be sure to ask before you book. Pay for 60 minutes and get 30 minutes free massage offers are always available. Given that treatments are already well priced, this is the perfect excuse to indulge in multiple pampering sessions.
Locally inspired treatments abound at this spa which also has a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy treatment pool surrounded by lush gardens. Traditional massage techniques which combine palm, thumb and elbow pressure are used during the Balinese Ocean Dream treatment which features specially blended essential oils with an irresistible tropical scent. Extend the experience by relaxing under the Swan Neck and Waterfall Showers in the hydrotherapy pools before your massage and finish with a soothing session on the air bubble bench.
When to visit
Anytime is a good time to visit Bali but late September and March are your best bets for cheap accommodation deals. These months also avoid the wet season and school holiday crowds. It is possible to save up to 50 per cent at some high-end hotel spas by booking a treatment before 11am when things are quiet. Don’t rule out staying somewhere cheap and cheerful and treating yourself to a morning or afternoon of luxurious pampering at a high-end hotel spa during your stay.
Have you been to Bali? How was it? Would you recommend a spa holiday to the region?
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