Ok darlings, here it is. The ultimate spa retreat go-to guide for my favourite place in Bali. I invested a lot of time and it was super hard work to put this guide together, but I promise it was worth it 🙂
These days Ubud is the centre of alternative healing. From massage to reiki; from traditional balians to reflexology – the ability to heal oneself and find your centre is ridiculously easy in Ubud. I visited a LOT of spas during my last visit, and I did it all for you darlings.
Location: Jl. Raya Sanggingan
Located down a laneway is a pocket of tranquility known as Bali Botanica. It seems to just keep going on and on, definitely a property that is much bigger than it seems from the reception room. The staff are welcoming and exceedingly polite, the grounds are serene and nurturing. Bali Botanica is rated 8 of 176 wellness retreats in Ubud, and so it should be. I opted for the full day package, which included lunch at renowned restaurant Bridges. This is an expensive package, but I thought it was still good value for what I got out of the day. I started with a consult with the manager, where we selected oils and scents to fit with my ayeverdic profile. I was ushered into a change room and given a sarong to wear. From there I was taken to one of the most beautiful and tranquil treatment rooms that I have ever seen. I enjoyed a full body massage, scrub, chakra dara, hair spa, facial and lunch.
Location: Jl. Dewisita, central Ubud
Fresh! is exactly that. It’s a new walk-in style spa, with small rooms and a hairdresser upstairs. The massage rooms are basic, with a simple table and curtain for privacy. Not the best massage I have ever had though, my therapist didn’t listen to my preferences of strength, or where I felt I needed focused treatment. I visited twice, and on my first visit my pedicure was amazing. I sat and used the free WiFi while the girls got to work on my feet. When I came back the next day, they squeezed me in regardless of the problems they were having with the power. My massage was ok at best, but the scrub was AMAZING. There is a focus on natural products, and the chocolates and ginger tea at the end were very welcomed.
Taksu Healing Haven & Spa
Location: Jl. Goutama Sel., central Ubud
Taksu have definitely got their name right. Located right in the middle of Ubud, off Jl Hanoman, it is a pocket of heaven. Taksu offer all the normal spa services, but also offer some alternative healing remedies such as somalogy, traditional Chinese medicine, past life regression, infra-red and ozone therapies. They have parking on site, so if you have hired a driver for a day he can stay close by. You can also wander down to my favourite vegan café, Down to Earth, for a pre or mid therapy snack that you can be sure won’t disrupt the balance you’ve manage to acquire during your time at Taksu. Taksu are also one of the few spas in Ubud to have Western healers on hand, some of whom specialise in the more alternative therapies on offer.
Location: Jl. Jembawan No. 13B
Definitely Bali’s top low cost spa and wellness centre, Sang Spa was founded by local Balinese man Ngurah Sudarma in 2008. I’ve been visiting Sang Spa 2 since it’s inception, and have never been disappointed. The staff are welcoming and polite, but have a wonderful sense of boundaries. What I love the most about Sang Spa is that it is a locally owned and operated brand, unlike most of the businesses across Bali that are Western owned but locally operated. An award-winning spa, they have grown quietly and unassumingly through referral business. Once you visit, you’ll understand why – because you’ll want to send all your friends there as well! Sang Spa offer a variety of therapies, drawing from the techniques found in Indonesian, Thai, Swedish and other schools of massage. Of their three locations, my favourite is the Sang Spa 2 – this is the location on Jl Jembawan. Sang Spa 3 is located on Jl Monkey Forest, which Sang Spa 1 was closed for renovations at time of writing.
Location: Alaya Resort | Jl. Raya Hanoman
Now, normally I would recommend getting out of your hotel and finding an external spa for pricing reasons BUT the spa at Alaya Resort (just down the road from Yoga Barn) is actually unreal. Beautifully appointed treatment rooms, and wonderful packages – at a price. Book a Western spa, get a Western price point. There are actually three other locations for DaLa Spa, across Bali. Two are down in Kuta, and a second location will be opening when the new Alaya Jembawan Ubud opens in 2016. DaLa is another spa with an emphasis on locally made, all natural products so you know you’ll be getting quality. The therapists are well trained, and excel at all types of massage. You won’t be disappointed.