I have been to Bali countless time and massage is one thing that should not be missed when in Bali. I have been to quite a number massage/ spa center in Bali and today I will be sharing the Ultimate Guide to Spa as well as the Best Spa in Bali.
There are a few types of massages available and when comes to term Spa, it meant a whole package consist of body treatment (like body scrub, polish, flower bath) & massages. Often people ask where is the best Spa or Best Massage in Bali, the thing is you gotta to know the following factor to filter down your options.
1. Luxury Rating of your Spa
Above all factor, the most critical deciding factor is how luxury you want your spa experience to be or in another words what’s your budget? It can go as low as $10 and as high as $200 or more. It can be a SPA with a private bed & tub and a nice lounge pool at a 5star Spa Centre or a common area where the spa bed is only separated by curtains. Also the more you pay the better qualities of the bed and towels you will get. I love those 5star hotel spas, they always provide thick and soft towels.
If this your first time, I recommend going for something between $25-35 for a two-hour full body massage.
If you want to pamper yourself and a full body spa experience, opt for full packages. These packages include body scrub, massage, body mask and flower soak which can easily cost $80 and up.
2. Location/ Ambiance
Now Location here don’t mean the area on the map but which space you want your massage to be conducted. Different space/location will give an entirely different feeling.
On a shop on the roadside? – Includes horn and buzzing city noise
By the Beach? – Calming beach waves and breezy wind
5-star Hotel/ Spa Centre? – Beautifully decorated zen space with good soundproofing room with full facilities
at the Comfort of your room? – Falling asleep on your bed right after the massage.
Then the ambiance, like is it a bright lighting type? or the dimmed warm lighting with essential oil burning? This can be determined by looking at the gallery on their website. Or sometimes you can ask for a quick tour before you decide if you want to have your massage at the particular store.
Also when you pick spa with outdoor setup, you better make sure they have a good review if not you might end up with a mosquito bite and sweating all over. Worst is those with dirty beds and towel….. So make a wise choice!
3. Type of Massages
Truth is there is also Thai Massage available in Bali and many others, not just Balinese Massage. So ask yourself which type you prefer. Generally, Thai & Balinese Massage is widely available. Others like Reflexology, Shiatsu, Swedish and Turkish also available. Thai massage comes in two types one which is aroma oil type (more gentle) and another are stretching type (can be painful for first timer, almost like stretching workout). Balinese are very similar to Thai Massage Aroma Oil type but the massage technique can be a little different where Balinese Massage focuses more on relaxation. Also, some massages are for healing purposes.
So Pick within:
Flexibility (Bending Body Parts)
Then there’s also a few types of massage medium you get to choose from the spa menu. My favorite is Hot Stone or Herbal Ball, the warmness from the stone and herbal ball really relaxes the body. There’s the type where no oil involves suitable for those who don’t like sticky feeling. For those who opt for oil, you can choose your preferred oil type. There is also a type of massage using candle oil, but I don’t see that in Bali but I tried it in Malaysia before.
4. Masseur Skill
Now that you have selected the type of massage, you got to decide if you want a good masseur. Basically, this is the hardest part because most of the time its based on luck or if you do your research well you might be able to get a recommendation from a forum, blogs or even from friends. The things is, massage is very personal and subjective. What others like may not be what you prefer too. Generally, read all review available and if most reviews are good then you will most likely to end up with a good masseur.
For me, I love masseur that massage with medium strength, the type where I can feel on my bone and nerve but not so prominent until I cannot fall asleep type. I also dislike those that have fast movement, I prefer slower motion type. I also like a little bone stretching at the end of my massage with that “cluck cluck” sound. Not sure which type you love specifically but do tell the reception/ masseur the type of massage you like. I remember there once I visited a spa they let me fill up a form where I put down my preference in. That is really really helpful.
5. Hospitality & Overall Service
Now you don’t want your massage to begin with a pushy receptionist or a rude staff telling you to be fast or telling you that you are late (sometimes it’s unavoidable to be late especially when you are in a foreign country)
Also most importantly please don’t end up in a dodgy massage parlour where there’s a happy ending. Not sure you get what I mean. If you don’t, drop me a comment. I’ll explain to you. I also read that some traveler got their wallet stolen in a massage center so make sure you check out their review in TripAdvisor. That’s my go-to review place for massage parlour/ spa center in Bali.
All right now I love to share three massage place that I absolutely love and will consider returning for sure. One is Luxury type of Spa Center and another one is a moderate price but really good massage and finally, one that is super affordable.
PRANA SPA, SEMINYAK
This spa is for those who like to splurge and pamper themselves a little. It’s like I enter into a Middle Eastern Palace. It’s so beautiful and mystical too. I can spend the whole day taking photos here honestly. There’s also a restaurant outside of the spa so you can dine right after your massage.
I really love the bright and colourful interior design instead of the usual Balinese carving furnishing. I opt for 2hour Mystique of Bali spa treatment. I love the bed setup in the room, really comfortable and that there’s a bowl of water and jasmine flower so you are facing the flower instead of the floor. Massage is great and I specifically love the warm yogurt polish used on my body after the massage! After which I get to soak in a flower bath with tea on the side! One thing though, the room is not really sound proof I can hear the sound of people talking in the changing room. So if you decide to visit Prana spa do ask for a room that is far from changing room.
BALIMAN HEALING SPA, SEMINYAK
This healing spa is a little gem I found. However, you got to give and take for the ambiance because the bed is pretty standard nothing fancy and located on the roadside. This spa is all done by man so if you want woman one they have another branch with woman masseur. Now their massage is for healing where they combine Balinese, Thai, Shiatshu and many other massages in one! My masseur Leo did a really great job on the massage!! He hit all my point that cause aching! The stretching is really good, its high pressure stretching but doesn’t really hurt. It’s like pain but very satisfying!! Totally the best massage ever. One set back is the vehicle noise is really strong from outside of the thin wall. It didn’t really bother me much as the Balinese song they played kind of mask the vehicle noise. His finger like dancing and sliding slowly on my body.
SYNERGY SPA, UBUD
This hands down, the cheapest massage I went that is also very good in Bali. It’s only USD15 for 2 hours of Herbal Ball Massage. It’s dirt cheap! I went twice during my stay in Ubud. One, on the night I arrive and one more just before I check out to the airport. Seriously, I would love to travel to Ubud again just for this massage plus the food in Ubud is so yum!
So there you go all three Spa that I highly recommend when you are in Bali.. I hope you enjoy this informational post! Let me know if you guys love to read more on this type of post. 🙂 XOXO