A fairytale massage, chakra healing and the best nap of our lives - here’s what you can expect at the world-renowned luxury spa from Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
Here in Bali, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to treating our bods to a bit of bliss. We have budget spas, luxury health retreats, modern wellness centres and age-old beauty rituals – heck, we even have spas that promote late-night cocktails. But recently, we found a spa that’s in a class all of its own – one that’s so flawless in its delivery, so thoughtful in its offerings and so picture-perfect – it honestly felt like a real-life spa fairytale. We’re talking about the Sacred River Spa at Four Seasons at Sayan, and here’s why it was so magical.
You might already know that Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan was crowned the #1 Resort in the World by Travel + Leisure in 2018 (we recently road-tested its award-winning restaurant, Ayung Terrace) but that’s not what makes this Ubud sanctuary so special. Not exclusively, anyway.
This spa par excellence breaks the mould of your typical Bali bliss-sesh by going beyond material pampering. It transcends the physical and maintains a deep, inner focus on the flow of energy, balance and harmony from within – providing the kind of inner glow that no single beauty treatment could ever offer.
This inner focus is actually inspired by the ancient Balinese philosophy of Niskala and Sekala – the flow of the unseen to the seen. For example, Sacred River Spa focusses on cleansing, restoring and balancing the body’s seven key chakras (the “unseen”) so that physical and emotional energy can function at optimal levels (the “seen”). Finally we understand the phrase, “true beauty comes from within”.
All of this divine healing takes place in a serene and nurturing environment, within Sacred River Spa’s spacious spa pavilions nestled among rice terraces and herb gardens on the banks of Bali’s sacred Ayung River. It is here that the magic unfolds…
The Chakra Ceremonies
To truly heal and nurture the body’s seven chakras, Sacred River Spa has curated seven different treatments to target each chakra individually. For example, Anahata is the signature rose-based heart chakra ritual, ideal for couples or those seeking emotional balance (you’ll be treated to a nurturing scrub, a flower bath and rose quartz chest massage) whereas the ‘inner strength’ naval chakra treatment offers a mud wrap, foot scrub and vital energy massage for those in need of a self-esteem boost.
We tried the Muladhara treatment, targeting the ‘grounding’ root chakra located at the base of the spine. It began with a cleansing Balinese “kemenyan” smoke ceremony, serenaded by soothing crystal singing bowls that have been tuned to 432hz to align with Mother Earth’s own heartbeat, encouraging vibrational flow before a deep and slow – almost-hypnotic – full body massage. It was, without doubt, the best spa treatment we’ve ever received.
In fact, the setting itself was so majestic, so serene and so idyllic that at one point, we felt like it could have been a film set. Looking out to the spa gardens, a frog hopped across a lilypad like you see in a Disney movie; the sounds of the jungle chirped and cooed to textbook precision; and just when we thought it couldn’t get any more Alice in Wonderland, a majestic monitor lizard gracefully emerged from the bushes, reclining on a sun-drenched verge to tan its leathery back. Come on Four Seasons, the gig’s up…
The Experts & Their Wellness Programs
Beyond the butterflies, the spiritual aura and the storybook-like setting, there are the experts. So much more than “just” elite therapists, at Sacred River Spa you’re graced with the presence of true experts: we’re talking world-class wellness specialists, an entire team of resident Balinese yoga masters, and even a former Buddhist nun who’ll guide you through the best nap of your life (more on that later…)
In fact, the team of experts here have brought with them a repertoire of firsts for the island, including Bali’s first and only certified AntiGravity® Yoga sessions, Bali’s first Full Moon Yoga experience under the stars, as well as a collection of innovative classes from monthly visiting masters, teaching Laughter Yoga, ancient Kundalini, Yin, and even Restorative Hot Stone Yoga.
These wellness programs take place at the resort’s Dharma Shanti Bale – a 100% bamboo structure nestled in a quiet corner of lush forest at the bottom of the Sayan Valley, with views over ricefields to the Ayung River. In Sanskrit, the structure’s name means ‘path to peace’, and that’s exactly what we found when we experienced the best nap of our lives with Resident Wellness Mentor, Ibu Fera.
A former Buddhist nun, Ibu Fera’s Sacred Nap program takes you back to your innocence and purity as a newborn. You’re suspended from the bamboo ceiling in a 100% pure silk hammock, with the soft sounds of nature all around, and the sleep-inducing melody of Ibu Fera reciting the life story of Buddha as you slowly drift off into a light and ethereal slumber. It was the perfect end to a real-life fairytale spa experience, and it’s redefined our perception of a true spa sesh…
Check out the video below to get a full tour of this blissful Ubud sanctuary.