Spa Journey

Writer Joyce Yip.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Writer Joyce Yip.

My Reading Room

The Mindfulness Legion

With views of lush gardens rolling into calm waves, it’s hard to feel stressed at The Legian Bali’s The Spa

THE DEAL: Though The Legian Bali is perhaps better known for The Restaurant from rightfully stellar TripAdvisor ratings, an experience at newly renovated The Spa may turn the focus to its pampering offering instead. Enclosed in the resort’s earthy tones, the wellness sanctuary is distinguished by predominantly wood and granite elements.

Inside, spacious changing areas boast vanities looming almost ceiling-high, and warm and cool plunge pools in addition to a bamboo-clad steam room, sauna and inviting lounge beds set with plump pillows for guests who want to catch a pre- or posttreatment snooze.

Celebrating Balinese tradition, The Spa uses only natural products like Pevonia, Elemis and in-house blends made with local staples like Balinese coffee, coconut and Javanese Lulur – a mixture of rice, turmeric and sandalwood powder.

All therapists have at least 10 years of experience; and the six treatment suites oversee greenery rolling out to a serene sea, while others come with in-room bathrooms with steam room, shower and tub.

THE LOWDOWN: The room, though minimalist, looks out to arresting views through bamboo shutters. To fully be one with Mother Nature, ask your therapist to turn off the meditation music and enjoy the natural melody of crashing waves, fluttering palm leaves – and an extra treat during my stay – pitter-patter from summer showers.

Before the brain fully shuts off, you’re to choose one of four natural massage oils. We recommend the signature Legian Oil composed of moisturising sunflower oil, vitamin E, ylang-ylang, petitgrain, sandalwood and bergamot, suitable for all skin types. Trust your instinct when it comes to massage oil preferences, and the therapists are always available for further consultation.

The Legian’s Indulgence Ritual begins with a sea salt foot scrub before you are settled on the bed, face comfortably snuggled into the headrest. The two therapists start the 60 minute four-hand massage, alternating between mirror movements while simultaneously kneading the upper and lower body.

When knots and tensions eased and blood circulation stimulated, the duo lather a yoghurt polish onto the skin to exfoliate. Unlike regular scrubs, the deliciously aromatic concoction is non-abrasive, its mixture of herbs gently stimulate the pores as the lightweight yet moisturising concoction restores hydration.

For best results, spending 10 minutes in the steam room post-treatment and pre-wash off is encouraged – a hassle-free process given that the steam is thoughtfully installed directly inside the roomy stand-up shower.

THE BENEFITS: The variation of massage strokes and techniques keep the mind from focusing on aches and tensions in a single point, making dozing off incredulously easy even for a light sleeper like myself. And though the movements are quick, they are impressively synchronised and thoughtfully executed to ensure every muscle in the body is attended to.

Though I fell into blissful slumber, the rich massage oil and weightless, warm polish invigorated my skin, leaving it feeling lighter and looking softer – especially evident during the final 10 minutes in the steam room.

THE VERDICT: Since the treatment uses only natural products, even those with sensitive skin can benefit from this extremely gentle polish and massage. Its focus on hydration also means Bali’s beach-goers are in luck.