Bagus Jati - Spa Review
A Piece of Eternity
the ever-popular cultural town of Ubud, Tegallalang
seems like an unlikely travel destination. Local
craft shops hawking mostly Balinese-made wood
carved sculptures deck both sides of the dual
lane roads, which are no more than three to four
meters wide. The air is polluted with car fumes,
and vehicles parked sporadically along the roads
caused the resort van to veer suddenly many times.
It did not help that the van’s ventilation
system was not working at its peak. The journey
up north of Ubud just did not prepare us for what
we were about to see and experience at Bagus Jati.
even in the name—Bagus Jati is bahasa Indonesian
for "doubly good" or "very good"—the
resort was built with health and well-being in
mind. Located at 700 meters above sea level, the
resort is about thirty minutes north of Ubud.
Resting on five hectares of well-manicured terraced
gardens and organic farmland, eight circular villas
rest here while another ten are being constructed
in an environment that is totally unspoiled.
room is equipped with a sunken Jacuzzi tub and
a private double-bedded treatment room. We suspect
the latter is under-utilized as the property has
a gorgeous spa. A generous balcony with deck chairs
and a dining table provides a romantic setting
in the evening for in-room dining. By night, see-through
drapes surround the bed, hung from a rectangular
bamboo pole suspended from the ylang-ylang thatched
roof. Strategically positioned lights cleverly
illuminate the room, revealing a soft appeal that
is dramatically different from its daytime facade.
The hot and cold water taps in the shower and
bath areas were not working optimally during our
visit but that did not dampen our spirit; in an
atmosphere of serenity, all we wanted to do was
soak in the beauty and be at peace.
three minute buggy ride further down the valley
brings you to the Sejati Spa. Located on an escarpment,
the spa lobby is quiet with the exception of sounds
from the lush rainforest surroundings. A flight
of steep stairs descends to a landing overlooking
the resort pool with a dark hallway leading to
four treatment rooms on the right. To the left
are two consultation rooms as well as locker and
shower facilities. We asked to try a signature
treatment and were recommended the "Jati
Sejati" means "true" or "eternity"
in Balinese. The two-and-a-half-hour traditional
Balinese treatment is used to warm the body during
the monsoon season. It is also often used as therapy
for those coming down with cold, flu, rheumatism
or fever. Our treatment room was cleverly designed
to make use of its limited space with the hydrotherapy
tub doubling as a massage table. Bagus Jati’s
trademark see-through drapes hang from a rectangular
bamboo pole above the bed while wood framed picture
windows open out to a plunging valley filled with
matured greens below. The breathtaking view and
the crisp, fresh air more than compensated for
the room’s small size.
treatment begins with a warm footbath in water
infused with essential oils of tangerine, ginger
and peppermint. Your feet are cleansed and brushed
before the Balinese massage begins to the relaxing
backdrop of rustling trees, birds and a cool mountain
breeze. The massage is followed by a tub bath
with Madura island rock bath salt and a warm brew
of ginger, turmeric, ylang-ylang root and sandalwood
to the bathtub; the soak is said to help open
up the pores in preparation for the next treatment.
While in the tub, we peered out into the open
forest and enjoyed an exquisite cup of hot ginger
tea with kaffir lime, perhaps the most aromatic
ginger tea we’ve ever had. After twenty
minutes, Tiny came in to drain the tub and prepared
the bed with fresh banana leaves for the herbal
body wrap. Next, a cooling paste comprising a
blend of ginger, clove, lemongrass, grated coconut
and brown rice was painted on the body. The banana
leaves were then enveloped around the body to
form a cocoon. Within the next five minutes, the
cool paste started warming up. We could feel a
gradual increase in blood circulation as the paste
started heating up. The feeling was sensational,
though it became quite hot towards the end.
a divine spa, Bagus Jati is home to Surya restaurant.
It exudes an informal country charm with a fireplace
as the centerpiece, providing warmth to diners
during the cooler seasons. Surya’s menu
is a mix of healthy organic foods as well as popular
Indonesian fare, and its spa cuisine selection
is pleasantly surprising. The chef cleverly uses
local herbs to spice up the light dishes here.
The Tofu and Tempe Garden Salad, drizzled with
Surya’s secret homemade dressing, is a winner;
the blend of healthy Indonesian ingredients with
fresh organic vegetables served Western-style
struck the right cord. If you are not watching
your waistline, try the Indonesian nasi goreng.
It is one of the best we’ve tasted in Bali.
leisure, you may wish to take a walk around the
organic farmland or hike down to the spring water
pool or even deeper down, to the Jati sacred waterfall.
For relaxation, try the Jati Bare Foot massage,
a unique treatment that you won’t find in
most other spas in Bali. To spoil yourself a little
more, opt for the Jati Sejati ritual; this is
an indigenous body wrap treatment that puts highly
commercialized mud wraps to shame. Bagus Jati
is a hideaway in every sense, perfect for relaxing
and getting away from it all, de-stressing or
spending time with your loved one, but definitely
leave the kids at home.
Banjar Jati, Desa Sebatu, Kecamatan Tegallalang
P.O. Box 4 Ubud, Gianyar 80572
Tel: 62 361 978 885
Fax: 62 361 974 666
Chen is a Singapore-based
freelance travel writer whose work has
also appeared in About.com’s go
asia channel and spa site. She travels
regularly to spa destinations in South
East Asia and has reviewed numerous
award-winning properties in the region.
Images courtesy of Alex Ang