Words: Kirsten Durward Photos: Monica Tindall
The name Ubud derives from the Balinese word ‘obat’ meaning herb or medicine, a precursor to the region’s reputation for healing and health treatments. Lembah Spa combines traditional Balinese wellness techniques with impressive Swiss trained local therapists to provide one of the best massage experiences in the area. Perched amongst abundant greenery above the river, a water theme echoes throughout, from the Buddha cascade on the front terrace, to the Jacuzzi pool below. We explore all angles of the delightful airy facility, including the outside yoga green and external massage tables for those who like the al fresco approach.
Presented with a sweet traditional drink, our masseuses quiz us on our needs before leading us into our joint treatment room. It is splendid. We are booked Romantic Couple treatment, although we are not being romantic. The spa staff are terribly apologetic, but we keep assuring them, this is what we expected. The treatment room, natural, spacious and light, delights and it certainly would be a wonderful experience for a romantic liaison. But romantic or not, everyone should start their vacation unwinding at the Lembah Spa.
A fresh lemon foot soak, and a gentle foot massage gets our senses tingling, before collapsing onto massage tables for a full hour of body massage. Fragrant Frangipani oil for Monica and stimulating Clove for me, the aromas entwine in the sultry air to stimulate the senses. You can choose your massage pressure and we both love it to be strong. Clever hands untwist knots in shoulders and lighten leg muscles, at the point of floating off into never never land I am asked to turn and it all begins again on the other side. This has to be one of the best massages I have had. Now the holiday can really begin, cares left behind.
The next part of our two-hour treatment is a vigourous rub down with a natural scrub. Ground rice, turmeric and herbs are mixed into a soft concoction and spread over the skin. After a few minutes of marination it is gently rubbed off. Dead skin removed, we are then slathered in fresh natural yoghurt which moistens and stimulates the skin. After showering, my skin feels baby soft and smooth. I’m so relaxed I nearly fall asleep in the steam room, moving just in time. I eschew the plunge pool and end in the Jacuzzi with a cool glass of papaya juice. Sheer Bliss.
Lembah offers a range of spa treatments, for both feminine and masculine tastes. For the more active amongst us, there are packages including trekking, yoga or cycling before you relax into your sensual treats. Hotel guests can use the steam room and Jacuzzi facilities without treatments, but booking in advance is required.
Flower Bowl – a nice view when you face down for a massage
Jln. Lanyahan, Br Nagi,
+62 361 971 777