WHERE LUXURY MEETS NATURE
AS YOU STEP OUT OF THE LOBBY AT KAYUMANIS UBUD PRIVATE VILLA & SPA, YOU ARE SWEPT AWAY BY THE PROPERTY’S EXPANSIVE SETTING AND SCENIC VISTAS. THE WALK FROM THE LOBBY TO THE SPA’S RECEPTION IS A BREATHTAKING STROLL THROUGH BALINESE JUNGLE AND PEACEFUL RICE FIELDS.
A clearing with a picturesque bridge leads to Kayumanis Spa, a collection of five thatched cottages nestled on a ridge high above the flowing Ayung River. Ms. Putu, the spa’s supervisor, greets me with a serene bow, offers a slight prayer and a cup of cooling rosella tea, sweetened with a trace of lime. I sit and take a moment to breathe in my surroundings – the subtle fragrance of cinnamon and incense. Kayumanis means “cinnamon” in Bahasa Indonesia, fitting as towering cinnamon trees dot the landscape. Along with the sounds of the river flowing below and the lush green around me, I’m enveloped in a kind of peaceful, self-caring spirit. This is the essence of what draws people to seek spa treatments in Ubud – this is the sweet spot where indulgence and balance harmonize.
Putu leads me down a stone pathway through more jungle into my own private spa pavilion overlooking a small spice garden growing turmeric, lemongrass, ginger, galangal root and other fresh herbs and spices. I’m overwhelmed by the sounds of silence and nature when Putu seems to read the look on my face. “We don’t play any music because we want to focus on the sound of nature,” she explains. Indeed, the experience of a treatment at Kayumanis Spa is one where luxury meets nature. As I’m enjoying a refreshing rose petal footbath with peppermint salt scrub, a butterfly floats by on a gentle breeze. All of the pavilions are open-air, as “the point is to connect with nature,” says Putu, but in the most luxurious sense, that is.
A heavenly spray of lavender and lemongrass coats my legs, both aroma-therapeutic and functional in warding off mosquitos. Although open-air, the foliage surrounding each pavilion provides complete privacy, and Kayumanis Spa caters many of its treatments to honeymooning couples.
A Balinese bell chimes and the treatment begins with my therapist massaging an exfoliating scrub of mineral clay, rice water, sea salt and bengkoang (an Indonesian fruit used for whitening), across my body, followed by a mud mask handcrafted from the same ingredients to draw out impurities. As she spreads the cooling volcanic mixture across my skin I decide to remove the perfumed eye mask, revealing the beauty of the spa’s ambience. This setting is too mesmerizing to keep my eyes closed, so I turn my head to look out and watch the palms sway in a mild breeze that makes its way through my pavilion carrying hints of cinnamon bark. It begins to rain and the temperature drops slightly, but to ensure I’m as comfortable as possible in our open-air setting, the therapist turns on a two-level heated duvet that covers the massage table I’m resting on.
After a quick shower to rinse off the volcanic mask, I relax with a cup of hot ginger tea and honey served with delectable ginger cookies made in the hotel’s own pastry kitchen. My head-to-toe indulgence continues with an anti-aging facial using Indonesian sourced Biokos products. Aloe vera based, they leave my skin feeling refreshingly hydrated – awake. The pitter-patter of rain finally stops and the air outside is cool and scrubbed clean. A second and final chime bell resonates, sealing in the calming and healing energy of the past two-and-a-half hours. I redress and fill my lungs with another breath of cinnamon and close my eyes, hoping to imprint the experience into my mind long enough to last the trip back home.
A healthy complement to the treatment, a light spa meal is served at the hotel’s infinity-edge pool: an exotic citrus salad tossed with organic greens and sherry mustard dressing, followed by a main course of steamed baby Snapper stuffed with spinach, carrot, tomato compote sauce and just a few raisons for a touch of sweetness. A dessert of strawberry Madeline – topped with a dollop of cream and drizzled with passion fruit sauce – completes a meal equally indulgent as the spa treatment itself.