When one visits places like Phuket, Koh Samui, and the Maldives, it’s assumed that a spa treatment is a certainty in your itinerary. Another place that often tops this list is Bali. During my recent stay at the Bulgari Hotels & Resorts on the island, I decided against venturing out of the resort to get my pampering fix, staying on-site instead because I’d heard a lot of good reviews about Bulgari’s spas; and also because pictures of the facilities were too beautiful to pass up trying.
The oceanfront spa is a short walk from the hotel pool, both of which sit at the Uluwatu cliffs’ brim. Perhaps its most outstanding feature is the hand-carved teak wood Joglo House that houses the spa’s welcome pavilion. Transported from the Northeastern Central Javanese city of Kudus, the antique structure has intricate carvings on the outer surface that reflect the Javanese, Chinese and Arabic cultures and the vestiges the old Hindu Majapahit Empire converging to the city of Kudus over the years.
“My butler, Yadi told me that the Joglo House was dismantled and precisely relocated at the site — a feat so awe-inspiring that I couldn’t help but stop and stare when I arrived.”
Past the threshold, I was fussed over with questions about my day so far, a cup of iced hibiscus tea, and details about my treatment. As breezy as check-in was, I was swiftly ushered to a room, allowing me to glance at the grounds. Along with six treatment rooms and two Royal Pavilions with outdoor gardens, stimulating rain showers, and plunge pools, the spa has an open-air relaxation lounge, an upscale yoga pavilion, a swimming pool, a beauty salon, fitness center, and aromatic steam rooms.
“Each spa pavilion has a whirlpool and outdoor living space with an open-air shower. The Royal Pavilions go one up, with an additional steam shower and outdoor plunge pool.”
I opted for a simple body treatment and chose to go with the Bulgari Balinese Massage, a 90-minute freestyle massage using Balinese techniques. As with all the spa sessions, mine began with a foot ritual to cleanse and gently exfoliate. Next, I chose the scented body oil I wanted my therapist to use as she introduced the range of E’SPA products that the spa employs. Given that I’ve been on the ‘natural ingredients’ path recently in my daily skincare regime, I was happy to learn that the oil was just one of the brand’s numerous items that use essential oils and pure extracts in its formula.
I wanted my therapist to focus on a few areas of concern — along with the rest of my aching body — and fortunately, she massaged my limbs back to top working order with consistent strength and precision. My personal barometer for a good massage is whether or not I find myself tensing or flexing over the course of the treatment. Thankfully, even when rubbing out knots and stretching out my limbs per the Balinese way, my therapist was careful and conscious of pushing me just to my limits. More than that, the ambiance was a good mix of comfort and class as the room was just big enough for one, and I never once had to request a change in room temperature or music level.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t spare the time to relax even more — if that were possible at that point — as I had to get ready to leave for a sunset Uluwatu Temple visit. As I made my way back where I came from, I took one last longing look at the relaxation lounge with its sweeping ocean views, plunge pool, and as many organic tonics and ginger and coconut cookies you could eat, promising myself that one day, I’d be back again.
Where : Bulgari Resort Bali
Jalan Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin – Uluwatu,
Bali 80364 – Indonesia
Phone : + 62 361 8471000