Leisure

Best of Asia’s high-end spa and beauty indulgences

Balinese Massage: Timeless Therapy in Sumptuous Luxury

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Puri Bawana Bali massage bale

From its thriving yoga scene to its serene spa retreats, Bali is synonymous with wellness. The island’s postcard-perfect scenery of lush green mountain sides and spectacular beaches make it the perfect setting to zone out while enjoying its blissful traditions of holistic healing.

To come to Bali and not have a massage would border on an insult to the island’s age-old therapies. There’s a reason why Balinese massage has made its way into top spas all over the world: it fuses together deep-tissue massage with aromatherapy, gentle stretching and light acupressure for a beautifully relaxing, holistic healing treatment.

 

Villa Lilibel Massage room

MASSAGE ROOM, VILLA LILIBEL – SEMINYAK, BALI

But while you might be able to have one anywhere in the world, nothing comes close to a massage at the skilled hands of expert Balinese masseurs. Therapists use a firm, kneading massage style to stimulate blood flow, along with pressure point techniques and reflexology to help soothe muscle tension, and the aromatherapy of essential oils to ease you into blissful relaxation.

Beyond the traditional massage techniques, spas in Bali offer a host of traditional beauty therapies that use the healing properties of natural ingredients to scruff, buff, and revive skin, and leave you perfectly preened.

 

Balinese massage at Villa Semarapura

BALINESE MASSAGE AT VILLA SEMARAPURA – CEMAGI, BALI

Balinese massage

Balinese massage starts at the bottom and works up, so as you lie face down, the first port of call for a Balinese massage is your feet. Your therapist will use elements of foot reflexology to stimulate pressure points on your soles, and gently stretch out the lower legs.

The deep tissue work begins on your lower legs and works up to the backs of your thighs – perfect for soothing aches and pains after a run or a hike up one of Bali’s spectacular peaks. Then your therapist moves to your back, targeting pressure points along the spine and combining kneading and stroking massage styles to boost blood circulation and gently remove knots in your shoulders.

After you turn over, your therapist works bottom to top again, beginning with the feet and moving up your legs. Balinese massage includes work on the stomach, believed to benefit digestive and reproductive health.

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Natural Nails by Maria Curau Salon

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Maria Curau Salon

This serene salon in Canggu, Bali is socially aware and aims to soothe the emotional and physical state of all who enter. Bali’s only vegan nail parlour, chemicals are shunned, and homemade kombucha (fermented tea) is offered on arrival along with a fragrant chilled towel.

Settle in for a gorgeous treat while overlooking the lush rice fields. Sit back and relax into one of five chairs while well-trained therapists deliver an expert manicure and pedicure using coconut cream to hydrate feet and legs. A blissful head and shoulder massage is thrown in as a delightful bonus.

In keeping with Maria Curau’s holistic approach, a refreshing ice water hand and foot plunge bath is used to expedite the drying process. Owner Tatiana greets and chats with clients about the holistic philosophy of the salon, which is enlightening and entertaining.

INSIDER TIP: the nail art is excellent. Think striking geometrics, vibrant colours and unique minimalist designs – particularly popular with girls and teens.

 

RESERVATIONS: (+62) 0813 3877 5526

IMAGES BY: www.facebook.com/mariacuraubali/
COVER IMAGE: www.cangguguide.com

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Romantic Scenes in Seminyak

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The Layar Romantic Seminyak Villas

The number one place for a romantic getaway, the dream honeymoon destination, the primo anniversary escape?

It’s got to be the Bali, Indonesia. Beach lovers can’t resist the lure of this spiritual island, where tropical luxury is at its best (and lovers can’t resist each other). 

More specifically, it’s got to be Seminyak, where wining and dining is effortless and hideaways like The Layar are beyond kitted out for high-end leisure.

The Layar Private Pool Villa in Seminyak

THE LAYAR DESIGNER VILLAS & SPA

Get comfortable with cool spacious interiors, zillion thread count sheets and an open living area next to a private swimming pool and manicured tropical garden. A dramatic slanted ceiling overhead makes your very private villa like a personal theatre where you can display your affection. O Romeo! 

The Layar Seminyak One Bedroom Villa

THE LAYAR – PRIVATE LUXURY VILLA

If only Shakespeare’s famed duo had dashed off to Bali, theirs would be a very different play with all the passion and none of the tragedy. It’s a romantic’s Heaven on Earth thanks to the natural beauty and wealth of things to do. For the couple’s getaway of a lifetime, forget R+J and take your cues for romance from this script instead.

The Layar Romantic Seminyak Villas

THE LAYAR – ROOM SERVICE

Act I. Scene I. Luxury one-bedroom villa. A warm welcome note and chilled champagne on the table.

Borrowing a page from The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene, surprise is an easy road to romance. Being in a new place for the first time serves up a bit of wonder, but a love of travel doesn’t necessarily bring people together. It’s the thoughtful surprises (and bold moves, says Greene) planned by one person for the other that bring back flutters of new love.

A simple request when booking is all it takes to set the scene for arrival however you’d like. Arrange special occasions and activities in advance – leave the legwork to your hosts while you go barefoot and enjoy your holiday worry free.

Act II. Scene II. The beach. Golden sand surrounds. Palm trees sway in the pleasant sea breeze.

Roses, chocolates and sweet surprises are strong symbols in the book of love, but the best romances have more to the plot.

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Serenity in the Land of Serendipity

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With its gentle coastline, swaying coconut palms and serene rural interior flavoured by paddy fields, rainforest, melodious temples and hills, Sri Lanka is a superb destination to relax and unwind. Indeed, the word ‘serendipity’, meaning “to discover that you’re where you need to be”, comes from an ancient name for Sri Lanka (Serendib). Need we say more?

The island’s south coast is particularly tranquil, and historic Galle Fort, famed for its magnificently preserved 17th century Dutch fortress and surrounding sandy beaches, is a prime location for a serene Sri Lankan holiday. Stay at Ambassador’s House or No. 39 Galle Fort, two luxury private villas that lie within the fort itself, or choose peaceful Villa Pooja Kanda, which is set in rural environs well away from the tourist crowds.

Staying in your own private villa in Sri Lanka has many advantages, not least that you have such luxurious surrounds all to yourself. Wake early and practise yoga on your terrace as the sun rises, or curl up on your veranda with a book and enjoy a dawn chorus of birdsong. Arrange for an in-villa massage from a spa therapist, or a private lesson with a yoga teacher. Fitness instructors can also come to the villa for personal training sessions. Your villa stay is enhanced by a staff team, including a chef, leaving you free to focus all of your energy on the important things in life: socialising, resting, rejuvenating and relaxing.

The ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda is practised widely in Sri Lanka. It is one of the world’s oldest forms of medical science, which works at balancing the energies of mind, body and spirit and strengthening the immune system. Many of the spas in and around Galle offer Ayurvedic treatments. Although single treatments, such as herbal steam baths,

Many of the spas in and around Galle offer Ayurvedic treatments. Although single treatments, such as herbal steam baths, abhyanga (massages) and shirodhana (flow of oil onto the forehead) are all possible, Ayurveda works best however if treatments are combined into a personalised plan. Both Amangalla, in the Fort, and Jetwing Lighthouse hotel, a two-kilometre drive north of Galle, have resident Ayurvedic doctors offering consultations, packages and complete facilities.

For more familiar international spa and beauty treatments you could head to the Galle Fort Spa (great value) or the Z Spa at The Fort Bazaar hotel. 

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Detox, Rejuvenate, Repeat

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For some, the start of a new year is synonymous with change. A healthier lifestyle (not surprisingly) is usually at the top of the New Year’s resolution list. Let’s be honest, there is no quick fix to cleanse your body of all those 2016 toxins.

What you need are few small steps which can be easily implemented in your life – immediately. If you plan to spend a luxurious summer holiday in one of our villas in Bali, what kind of lifestyle changes can you make while you continue to enjoy your vacation?

1. Eat more vegetables and fruits

Bali is blessed with plenty of tropical fruits all year round. Take a stroll to the traditional markets (pasar in Indonesian) or supermarkets and you will easily find piles of bananas, oranges or avocados. To incorporate more vegetables and fruits in your diet, try to drink a glass of mixed juice with breakfast or eat a variety of fruits as an afternoon snack. It is a lot easier than you thought.

2. Hire a private yoga and meditation instructor

Have you always wanted to try yoga or meditation but don’t know where to start? Why not hire a private instructor. Not only a one-to-one session is a brilliant way to familiarise yourself with the techniques, you also receive a personalised guidance and get to practice in the comfort of your surroundings.

3. Move more

We all know the importance of exercising regularly. If the thought of running on a treadmill or hitting balls on the private tennis court is not your thing, there is always another fabulous option – the swimming pool. Jump into the inviting pool, swim few laps or just walk (yes, walk) in the pool. You don’t even have to break a sweat. Promise.  

4. Get spa treatments

From relaxing Balinese massages to deep-tissue massages, our in-house specialists will help you drift to serenity, engage your senses and relax your body with a variety of spa treatments – gentle body scrubs, mani-pedis, facials – a session within the privacy of your villa is guaranteed to rejuvenate you.  

5. Repeat all the above steps.Where to stay to detox in Bali.

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