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Balinese Massage: Timeless Therapy in Sumptuous Luxury

in Wellness by
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. The treatment finishes with a gentle massage of your scalp and forehead.

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Mermaiding and Mermaid Tails

in Shops by

Mermaiding is the act of “becoming a mermaid” by wearing a mermaid tail for swimming, modelling or performance art.

#Bali and #Lombok in Indonesia, famous islands for diving and snorkelling among other tourist lures, are now also exceedingly popular for mermaiding.

Island Mermaids Swimming with a Pink Mermaid Tail in Gili T

Never heard of it? Not likely, unless you went to the same D-A-I-Y-E spa as Zoolander, you’ll recall his mermaid modelling photos (er, merman). Then a lot of models did it for Vogue in 2012. The Gigi Hadid of Bali Inka Williams did it in Komodo with the Island Mermaids team. And Cara Delevigne did it in Pan.

Bottom line, models love mermaiding. And now the rest of us can also have our very own sequinned or scaled mermaid tails and underwater mermaid pictures.

MERMAID TAILS AND FINS

Mermaid tails for children and adults are sold in stores and online. A huge range of products has become available, with prices from $30 up to $300 for bejeweled silver and gold mermaid tails.

BILLIE’S CANGGU
Jl. Pantai Berawa 150
Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara, Bali

ISLAND MERMAIDS
Bali’s first mermaiding company
www.island-mermaids.com

SUN TAILS
Mermaid tails and shark fins for kids
www.suntailmermaid.com

For safety, it is important to know which are mermaid tails specially designed for swimming, versus tails which may be intended as costumes for dress up only, so be sure to check.

MERMAID-INSPIRED SWIMWEAR

Tasteful women’s seashell bikinis, one-piece mermaid swimsuits and mermaid accessories are here. Nothing like the mermaid costumes of your childhood, sequinned nylon has been swapped for real seashells and high-quality Lycra.

Mermaid Bikini Set by Island Mermaids

MERMAID BIKINI SET BY ISLAND MERMAIDS; TOP: ONE SIZE FITS A-D; BOTTOM: S, M, L

Island Mermaids Pink Shores Bikini

HAND BEADED BIKINI BY ISLAND MERMAIDS; COLOURS: PINK, GOLD; SIZES: S, M, L

Island Mermaids Kerang Black One Piece Suit

KERANG ONE PIECE BY ISLAND MERMAIDS; COLOURS: BLACK, NUDE; SIZES: S, M

Thoughtfully designed, carefully produced and beautifully modelled, these swimsuits really caught my eye.

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Two Four Six Ate

in Dining by
Al Diwan Seminyak Restaurant

Here in Bali we like to layer up the recommendations to try Balinese food and Indonesian food, especially our chef’s special recipes, but Bali is a foodie’s paradise with international chefs plating dishes with flavours from all corners of the globe.

Did you know you can find sensational seafood, authentic Mediterranean cuisine and extraordinary Middle Eastern food in central beachside Seminyak? That’s exactly how Linda Lim handled three nights out with friends:

DINNER FOR TWO: Urchin

Urchin Bar and Restaurant is relatively new to Seminyak’s seafood scene. We let restaurant manager Ramon Meijer choose our dishes for the evening (and didn’t regret it one bit).

Tartare at Urchin Seminyak restaurant

IMAGE: COURTESTY OF URCHIN

STARTERS: Having worked up quite an appetite while browsing at the amazing Kim Soo homewares store next door, the bread basket hit the spot; thick slices of warm bread with butter and a dusting of seaweed powder. The real starter was tuna tartare, fresh raw cubed tuna coated with lime juice and wasabi and stuffed into a crispy cone made from wonton wrapper.

FIRST MAIN: Homemade sea urchin fettuccine with juicy prawns, clams, garnished with crispy fried seaweed ‘balls’ and a dollop of caviar. I twirled the fettuccine ribbons with my fork and popped the crunchy seaweed ‘ball’ into my mouth. Delicious. To finish, I mopped up the remaining sauce with a slice of bread (it seemed sinful to waste all that delicious sauce).

Sea bass at Urchin restaurant Seminyak

IMAGE: COURTESTY OF URCHIN

SECOND MAIN: Sea bass with grilled octopus, ink sauce, lemon coulis and (more) crunchy seaweed ‘balls’. This fish was cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside. Each bite-sized piece gets topped with a pat of lemon coulis and ink sauce. What a combo, you need to taste it to believe it.

DESSERT: A pleasant creamy nougat glacé, half-blanketed with an almond-crusted orange coulis. Light and refreshing, it was the perfect way to end the night.

GUESS I’LL BE BACK FOR LUNCH: According to Ramon, Felix Da Housecat is a fan of the Urchin lunch special – crispy pork belly with tzatziki, pickled cucumber and apple salad in a tortilla wrap.

Urchin
Jalan Laksmana 22,

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Bali Highs

in Recreation by
Bali Thrilling Things to Do

Bali delivers equally extraordinary experiences to seekers of chic elegance as it does to those pursuing adrenaline, education or picture perfect mountain scapes. Here are just a few of the enriching experiences to seek out on your next visit to Bali.

 

WICKED APERITIFS

Those who appreciate a well-curated cocktail will love Akademi, a hub for Bali’s growing mixology scene. Not only can you sample amazing cocktails here, but Akademi also offers regular master classes led by the internationally celebrated British mixologist Dre Masso.

Bali cocktails Akademi bar

AKADEMI COCKTAILS
JL. PETITENGET NO. 51B, SEMINYAK, BALI
IMAGE CREDIT: www.akademi-bar.com

Delve into the mysteries of Bali’s tropical produce with cocktail ingredients like mangosteen, jackfruit and salak, plus a range of unique spices and roots. Get up close and personal with luscious infused dark rums, inspired gins and araks saturated with rare botanicals from the Indonesian archipelago.

Dre brings the knowledge accumulated from trips to more than 40 countries and includes the history of flavours in his classes. Cocktail-making skills will be honed while learning about indigenous ingredients and how to balance flavours with every integral part of the recipe. A recent master class explored the two cocktails that were presented by Akademi at the Southeast Asian Finals of the Diageo World Class Mixology competition.

Other master classes have included the analysis of nutmeg and cascara (coffee fruit skin), where spices are dissected and the bar-made tincture, liqueurs and jams are tasted. Cascara was first used in Yemen, where it was infused into hot water with a powerful selection of spices to make a drink called ‘Qishr’, and has now become the star ingredient in one of Akademi’s cocktails.

The Akademi daily cocktail menu is seriously worth a visit. Check out the artisanal ceramic, copper and wooden cocktail vessels that make a clear statement about this exclusive destination.

 

WINE TIPS-Y

Head into the verdant hills of Ubud and the beautiful Bridges restaurant where the Divine Wine & Cocktail Bar is located below the Riverside dining room and is the exclusive haunt of Bridges’ sommelier Rahul Mehra. Participate in an outstanding master class, listen to the river flow and enjoy the privileged view.

Bridges Wine and Cocktail Bar

DIVINE WINE &

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Romantic Scenes in Seminyak

in Wellness by
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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