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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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Top Tubs at Canggu Villas

in Destinations by

Bali has a secret. Forget the spectacular scenery, vivid sunsets, and post-card perfect beaches the travel guides tell you about. Behind the doors of the island’s luxury retreats lie the most beautiful spots to have a soak. Bathrooms in Bali are an experience in their own right: open air showers, smooth pebbles under foot, tubs that stand in the shade of tropical trees. Lather up and lounge back in the best Canggu has to offer.

 

Have an American Beauty moment, Bali style, immersed in frangipani petals in the stone bath of VILLA BENDEGA RATO’S garden suite. The tub stands in the koi pond in the shade of a mango tree, so you can soak up the rays or lounge under the stars as you bathe.

Fancy a soak with a view? The ensuite in the master bedroom at next door VILLA BENDEGA NUI faces out on to Canggu’s surrounding fields, so you can cool down under the rainforest shower while gazing across verdant rice paddies.

 

Nothing says Bali luxe like an al fresco shower under the serene gaze of a stone buddha. The Master shower in elegant VILLA BELONG DUA is tucked in a green walled garden – think Secret Garden meets Eat, Pray, Love. The villa gets its name from the traditional belong – stone basins for sluicing yourself down.

 

Balinese jungle meets high design chic at VILLA HANSA, with its rustic floorboards and smooth stone surfaces. In the Gladak suite, you’ll bathe in a sleek, modernist tub surrounded by long grass and palms.

 

From the verdant manicured lawn surrounding the deep stone tub, you could be forgiven for thinking you’re at an English country pile. Thankfully, SIMONA OASIS is warm enough all year round to make an outdoor soak in the shelter of the bathroom’s stone porch the perfect antidote to a day of discovering temples or catching waves.

 

Possibly the most Instagram-able shower experience in Bali is the master ensuite in VILLA LEVI. It’s an aesthetically pleasing combo of modernist design – all clean lines and sunlight – clipped greenery and the muted hues of local stone and aged decking. You won’t find a more stylish bathroom this side of Copenhagen.

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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. Each one is made locally and responsibly in Bali (needless to say,

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Natural Nails by Maria Curau Salon

in Wellness by
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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Elite Havens Celebrity Hideaways

in Destinations by

Even the A-listers need a break, sometimes.

In case you didn’t know already, Bali welcomed Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan last month, and Elite Havens had the honour of looking after them during their stays.

Paris and her friend spent two nights at The Layar and another two nights at Villa Adasa, while Lindsay luxuriated at Seseh Beach Villas. They sure know where to enjoy an utmost privacy and sumptuous spaces to unwind in Bali.

THE LAYAR

The Layar’s cool design, hot location and five-star service are definitely for those with strong aesthetic principles seeking original experiences. The Layar features distinguished pitched roofs that slope dramatically to the ground, like the triangular rigging of traditional fishing boats – hence the naturally inspired name (Layar is Indonesian for sails). Each individual villa is set within a private landscaped garden with large swimming pool, and from 1 to 4 spacious bedroom suites. A short stroll is all it takes to be in the heart of Seminyak.

Insider tip: Ask for Paris’ Villa when you book.

VILLA ADASA

Villa Adasa is a glamorous 3-bedroom villa in the middle of action in Seminyak. The influence of traditional Balinese architecture is obvious; take a look at the alang-alang roof, Palimanan stone walls, polished teakwood and open-sided vaulted living pavilion. The villa is perfect for a group of friends who want to be in the heart of action, yet families with children will love the freedom to walk down to the beach in minutes.

Insider tip: Ask the chef to prepare a seafood BBQ for dinner and get the butler to mix classic drinks at the poolside bar counter.

SESEH BEACH VILLAS

The contemporary-styled Seseh Beach Villas are a perfect base for guests to absorb the rural surroundings, either by cycling along country lanes or exploring the beach – imagine a perfect seaside escape and a holiday abode to experience rural Bali setting. A total of 11 bedrooms (which can sleep up to 20 adults and four children), two sizeable swimming pools, multiple living and dining areas and garden pavilions.

Insider tip: Seseh Beach Villa I enjoys undisturbed ocean views. The kids’ bunkroom is in Seseh Beach Villa II (perfect for families with young children).

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