Where to get a cream bath in Jakarta
Dry and brittle hair? Go for a cream bath. Need to take a chill pill? Have a cream bath instead. Need to catch up with your girlfriend? Go for a cream bath. Need to vacate the house due to fogging? Go for a cream bath. Got visitors in town? Cream bath! You catching our drift, honey?
The women of Jakarta have it all worked out. In any other country, a 2hr+ session in the spa would be a one-off treat. Here in Jakarta, a cream bath session is simply a sensible thing you should do about once a week. You actually don’t need an excuse.
Whether you go for the high-end version or the cheap-and-cheerful; it is luxurious, it recharges your batteries and leaves your hair feeling so gloriously swishy, you might skip out of the salon.
But what IS a cream bath?
A cream bath is essentially a treatment for your hair with some bonus sides. You’ll prepare by changing into a sarong and having your hair washed. A moisturising concoction, whether a fresh preparation of coconut or avocado, or a commercially produced moisturising cream, is then applied to your hair and scalp. Next, sit back and be transported to your happy place with a lengthy massage of scalp, neck, upper-back and arms.
In the interest of making the most of your time, we’d suggest you combine this experience with a manicure and pedicure. Yes people, this is multi-tasking at it’s best! With up to three therapists massaging and pampering you at the same time it might be wise to anchor yourself down with a book to prevent floating (or snoring) away.
Complete the experience with a hair rinse and blow-dry. Voila! Transformation complete.
Convinced it’s a good thing? Here’s where to go:
Feliz Boutique Salon and Day Spa
Rooms overlook a serene little garden and allow you more privacy than some other locations. Nails are done to a high standard and this is the best salon to choose if you want to up-size your session with a haircut. The salon now doubles as a furniture showroom and Wi-Fi is free.
Feliz, Cilandak Tengah 3, No. 3, p: +62 21 7656525.
Mil and Mat
A large, busy communal space in a multi-story building. This old-school salon is hugely popular. You are bound to run into friends here and may pick up snippets of goss. Chairs are comfy and the massage is excellent.
Mil and Mat, Jl. Kemang Raya No.33 Kemang, Jakarta, p. +62 21 719 8030.
Jamu offers a wonderfully hydrating, traditional cream bath in a Balinese-style setting with trickling Indonesian music and delicious aromas. With a comprehensive menu, many of their spa products are freshly made from natural ingredients.
Jamu, Jl. Cipete VIII/94B Cipete, Jakarta, p. +62 21 765 9691.
Martha Tillar Puri Ayu Spa
Using their own beauty products Martha Tillar offers a few variations of the classic treatment including the hot stone cream bath. This is a well-established business with 10 locations in Jakarta.
A relaxing garden setting with communal as well as private rooms. Don’t stop at the cream bath. Their facials are also a firm favorite.
Puri Santi, Jalan Bunga Mawar 19, Cipete, Jakarta, p: +62 21 7662423.
A great value neighbourhood salon. The set-up is not 5-star glamorous but the experience is the real deal. There are 5 South Jakarta locations.
Entra mi Casa
Another great value neighborhood salon with friendly staff. Great for a last minute cream bath when flying solo.
Entra mi Casa, Jl. Benda Raya no. 17, Kemang, Jakarta, p: + 62 21 7806 222.
In the slick 5 star surrounds of The Dharmawangsa Hotel, the Bimasena Spa offers a super-nourishing collagen cream bath. You will need to book a little in advance.
Bimasena, Jalan Dharmawangsa Raya No. 23 Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, p. +62 21 725 8668.
Images: Martha Tilaar