Two of Bali’s most luxe healing spas
Since the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, women worldwide have travelled to Bali to seek an authentic experience with their very own ‘Ketut Liyer’. Yet finding a Balinese healer who can explain the process in English is easier said than done! If you’re travelling for a weekend break, you won’t want to spend half of it off-road in search of Ketut.
Seeking a mind, body, and soul connection, we headed to award winning healing destination Fivelements in Mambal, which is just outside Ubud. There are many healing treatments on the menu, from holistic healing massages, water healing or ‘Watsu’, to Balinese healing energy sessions.
We opted for a ‘Panca Mahabuta’, which literally means five elements, with Balinese healer Pak Wayan. From neighbouring island Nusa Penida, Wayan was initiated into healing by his Balian father from a young age. He was so calm and serene, he almost levitated into the spa reception. The treatment room had the most atmospheric of settings; a bamboo room with an open deck on to a cascading sacred river below.
The treatment began with a foot bath with Balinese spices, lime and flowers. Then, came the most amazing vibration from his mantra or chant, in which he requests a successful healing experience. Pak Wayan works to balance the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether within the body. He explained it’s quite normal to fall into a deep relaxation, become emotional or twitch. This is all part of the healing process as Wayan clears away unhealthy energy. A light energy passes over the body, followed by an inner feeling of letting go of stress and tensions and then the deepest relaxation. Pak Wayan’s healing energy stays with you for at least another day.
Afterwards, be sure to try the restaurant, which serves Bali’s most authentic raw food living cuisine. How can vegan nori maki rolls taste so yummy and the melody of desserts far too scrumptious to contain no artificial sugars at all!
Fivelements, Mambal, Abiansemal, Badung, Bali .p. +62 (0)361 469206 Open Mon-Sun
Four Seasons Sayan, Ubud
Continuing our search for Bali’s best luxe spa wellness offerings, our next stop was the uber luxurious Four Seasons Sayan in Ubud. Perched on the edge of the densely tropical Sayan ridge, Four Seasons was the location of choice for Julia Roberts during filming of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. We experienced a ‘Muladhara’ (base chakra) two hour spa treatment at the divine spa villas, which were thatched roof treatment rooms, perched above a lotus pond.
Sitting on a wooden seat emitting frankincense smoke, whilst receiving a neck and shoulder massage, we honestly thought we were already in heaven! A slow aromatherapy massage followed, using vetiver, ginger, patchouli and jatamansi oils to ground and promote stillness. Tibetan singing bowls brushed against the spine sending light vibrations across the body and Himalayan salt poultices were administered to promote wellbeing.
The treatment ended with a gentle abdominal massage to release tensions and warm rose quartz crystals placed on the tummy. So much more than your average spa treatment, we really felt that we’d experienced a touch of the divine. Again, make a day of it and enjoy a meal afterwards in one of their two restaurants serving both Eastern and Western cuisine.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Sayan, Ubud, Bali 80571.p. +62(0) 361 977577 Open Mon-Sun
You can book your treatments directly with the resorts or, if you’d like to explore a personal healthy holiday, you can go through leading luxury wellness travel consultant Soul Sanctuaries. Needless to say, we didn’t require return transport after these treatments; we simply floated home on a pink cloud!
Soul Sanctuaries, 2310 Dominion Centre, 43-59 Queens’ Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong 9990077.p.+85 (0) 281912707 Open Mon-Sun 9am-7pm