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Bali's spa performers

For some time now Australian travellers have been enticed to rejuvenate mind, body and spirit through spa treatments, alternative therapies, and wellness programs on offer across Bali. Every high-end Bali resort worth its stars these days offers lavish spa facilities with affordable, invigorating health and beauty treatments in airy outdoor pavilions, decadent day-spa bungalows, and in-house for private spa indulgences. 
Professional therapists are blending modern rituals with elements from traditional Balinese recipes to perform treatments such as Mandi Rempah (spice baths), Mandi Susu (milk baths) and body scrubs using pastes made from spices. Often performed in open-air bales, with a four-stage process over 90 minutes using rolling, stretching and deep-pressure techniques, the experience is enhanced by lush tranquil settings. With many spas booked up days in advance during high season, Bali’s spa culture is booming.
Managing director of New Horizons Holidays, Chris Evans, says Bali’s affordable spa prices drives demand and makes it feasible for travellers to have a massage every day – something lots of Australians strive to achieve. “Travellers want to feel special, and to experience extravagance when they book a spa retreat; something removed from the everyday. And that’s where Bali delivers in truckloads, making it a hot-spot for affordable spa travel,” said Evans.
“Whether it’s a long-weekend away with friends, a chance for mum and dad to have some adult time or a romantic retreat, Bali offers a myriad of options and the quality is world-class. There’s reflexology, aromatherapy treatments, or of course, beachfront mobile masseur stations while you’re out and about,” said Evans.
The stylish Ambiente Spa on the roof of Amadea Resort and Villas in the heart of Seminyak caters to those in need of an self-indulgent escape that won’t break the bank, with 90-minute Balinese full-body massages costing $AU46 to detox and reawaken the lymph nodes, with a 20 per cent discount if booked 24 hours in advance. There are exfoliation rituals to radiate the skin for $AU35, and 60-minute body detox masks to invigorate the soul for a cool $AU35 – roughly half the cost in our own backyard.  
Maya Ubud Resort and Spa, in the heart of Ubud, offers a riverside haven of calm with five open-air thatched villas, private treatment pavilions with daybeds overlooking the valley, and luxe outdoor showers. With bargain body scrubs aimed at banishing travel weariness, early-morning meditation at the enchanting Riverside Bales, and in-room herbal baths, many guests book in for a daily dose of pampering.
The luxurious Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay combines herbal remedies, bodywork and energy-based therapies to cure imbalances and illness at its deluxe spa. “Working with midwives and local healers, and even lecturers at Bali’s university, we’ve developed effective treatments using Usada, a powerful healing tradition,” says spa director, Helen Norman. 

Top-value spa retreats

Bali Mandira Resort and Spa, Kuta
Prices start at $113 per person, per night, featuring daily ansana yoga lessons, free kids club, and seafood barbecues at the beachfront Parasol restaurant. There’s a selection of spa treatments, including warm stone massages, facials, and hand and foot therapy, in couple and single gazebos with private showers, starting at $AU20.

Semara Resort and Spa, Seminyak
Gold Coast entrepreneurs Tony Smith and his wife Simone, the duo behind Australia’s Stella Group (formerly Breakfree Resorts), have hit on a point of difference at their Seminyak resort with a world class kid’s club where you pay as you go. And expats, visitors and, most importantly, kids are embracing the concept wholeheartedly. The Cubby House Kids Club was created, built and design by the Smiths, drawing on their years of experience in the travel industry. The accompanying Semara Resort and Spa, is proving popular with the Aussie market with its boutique feel, wonderful spa, excellent cuisine and prime location on Jalan Petitenget. From there it’s a mere 150 metres to the beach, to the right is the hip Potato Head Beach Club and a short walk away is the popular Ku De Ta. With kids happy in the kid’s club or with trained babysitters, parents are free to make the most of the seven-night ‘Soothing Semara Escape’ starting from $AU218, including daily buffet breakfast, gym access, WiFi, and a wellness program including yoga, meditation, or pilates. It also includes a daily spa treatment, including the Semara signature massage, a sports or Zen massage, or an Indonesian skin renewal facial.   

Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel, Seminyak
Experience romantic dinners at the open-air Rush Bamboo restaurant, cocktails in cabanas by the pool, or a range of rejuvenating spa treatments from $AU36, in-room or at the decadent Elysian Spa. Prices start from $161 per room, per night, and include daily breakfast.

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Published: 23 August 2012

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