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The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa - Review

Seawater Soothes the Soul

by Evelyn Chen

*Note: The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Hotel & Spa has become AYANA Resort and Spa, so the spa and its features may change accordingly. For a list of treatments at the new spa, please visit www.ayanaresort.com (04/01/09)

 

An ocean view at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa
An ocean view at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa

Exploring the grounds of the magnificent The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa while perched atop a bluff overlooking the pristine Indian Ocean, it’s hard to imagine a more romantic and soothing location to indulge in your every whim—especially now, thanks to the recent renovation of Thalasso Spa, which we had the pleasure of exploring.

The award-winning, marine-themed spa complex burst onto the scene in 2002. At a whopping 236,000 square-feet, it boasts the world’s largest Aquatonic Pool, 24 treatment rooms, six thalasso therapy rooms, one hydro-jet treatment room, one spa suite, six spa villas for couples, and its two Spa on The Rocks Villas—two spectacular spa pavilions built atop rugged offshore rocks overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Adjacent to the main resort building, the Thalasso Spa is a cluster of thatched roof bales connected by palimanan stone walkways. After passing the spa boutique, ascend the pebble-strewn stairs to reach its open-air spa reception. Two unisex relaxation gazebos carved from dark coconut palm wood and dressed in bale bengong (traditional thatched roof open air pavilion) flank both sides of the pathway, which is surrounded by lily pad-filled ponds. Our only lament is the lack of separate waiting and changing areas for men and women.

The resort's Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool A couple receives the Diamond Miracle Treatment

The Balinese consider seawater holy, so it makes sense that the focal point at the Thalasso Spa is the new 700,000,000-liter (that's nearly154,000,000 gallons) Aquatonic Pool. Containing almost two million gallons of warmed seawater from the ocean, the pool is said to provide both psychological and physical healing. It also features twelve hydro-massage stations which can offer rehabilitation therapy for weary travelers suffering from strained muscles.

We recommend starting your day with the therapeutic Marine Beauty treatment. You begin with a dip in the Aquatonic Pool, and then adjourn to the violet-bathed treatment room for a 70-minute facial where you’ll find the Thermes Marins Facial Contouring Cream laced with aromatic lime extract to be simply sublime. During our facial treatment, the massage was so well-choreographed that the therapist’s hands did not leave our face the entire time; this is the mark of a well-trained masseuse. We completed the experience with a light lunch at the air-conditioned spa café. Besides providing a cool respite from the warm air outside, this two-table café also serves up a refreshing “Immune Booster” smoothie.

A rose petal bath with view A therapeutic pool at the resort

For the die-hard spa junkies, the Marine Beauty treatment is merely an hors d’oeuvre. On your second day at the resort, take a three-minute buggy ride from the Thalasso Spa, which brings you to a staircase that leads to a kalimantan wooden bridge. This is the only access to the Spa on The Rocks spa pavilions that are literally built “on the rocks” at Kubu Beach. A ukiran (Balinese traditional door) opens to reveal sweeping, unobstructed and literally breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.

Ocean View

As you enter the air-conditioned pavilion, you’ll see an oversized bathtub strewn with flower petals. Only three treatment packages are available for guests of Spa on The Rocks: “Aroma Sensation”, “Amazing Jade” and “Diamond’s Miracle.” We opted for the former, a two-hour treatment available from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. or 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. daily. Beforehand we sipped fresh lime juice on an elevated open-air daybed located adjacent to the pavilion while a therapist did a personal consultation with us.

Products from Aromatherapy Associates, a U.K.-based brand that is quickly gaining worldwide recognition, are used during the 50-minute body massage. Using carefully applied spinal pressure and foot reflexes, the rub down is a mix of Eastern and Western techniques using medium to firm pressure to sweep away aches and pains. After the Thermes Marins Softening & Toning facial, we enjoyed a glass of ice tea, which capped off the pleasurable and relaxing experience.

The sound of waves lapping against the rocks provided a soothing and rhythmic soundtrack that might lull you into slumber. Except for the occasional fleeting glance of fishing boats in the distance, you’ll see nothing but the deep blue sea on the horizon. While the entire resort is nothing short of spectacular, the new Spa on The Rocks facility is really the resort's pièce de résistance and an experience that no other spa in Bali can match.

Travel Information
Singapore Airlines (www.singaporeair.com) operates three direct flights daily from Singapore to Denpasar, Bali.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali Resort & Spa
Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera
Jimbaran, Bali 80364
Indonesia
Tel: 62 361-702 222
Fax: 62 361-702 455

Evelyn 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.

 

(Updated: 04/14/11 CT)


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