EAST MEETS WEST AT FONTANA HOTEL BALI
AN OASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY, FONTANA HOTEL BALI AND SUMA SPA OFFER A BREAK FROM THE BUSY KUTA STREETS WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO LEAVE TOWN. THE HOTEL IS MODERN AND ARTISTIC WITH SUBTLE TOUCHES UNIQUELY POISED TO ADD CHARACTER AT EVERY BEND.
As you walk down the halls curated with pop art and photography by local and international artists, you pass Portabella Bistro where a whiff of basil and rustic Italian cuisine nearly distracts you from reaching the intended destination; Suma Spa located on the hotel’s top floor. Elevated far above the reach of honking horns and buzzing motorbikes, Suma Spa promises to deliver the art of Zen energy, relaxing and recharging guests to get the most out of their Bali holiday.
Treatments like the “Hangover Remedy,” a 2 ½-hour detox package with chakra balancing face and body acupressure, aim to bring one back to life from the night before. Or “Jet-Lag Recovery,” which uses a hot herbal compress in combination with massage and pressure points to relax travelers’ weary muscles, offer guests the ultimate Zen healing experience.
Choosing from the spa menu is not an easy task, as every treatment looks irresistible. Asking how I’m feeling today, my favorite therapist, Yanthi, begins to customize an afternoon of bliss. I opt for the “Temple Cleanse” package, a three-hour Zen journey that cleanses the physical body and revitalize inner power from foot to crown chakra.
After a cup of ginger tea – served cool because of the warm weather, I am escorted to a beautifully appointed treatment room. Recently opened in December 2012, the facilities are brand new and decorated in natural, minimalist Zen colors of beige and green tones. Mats made of vetiver grass rest perpendicular across the massage tables “to cool the energy in the room,” says Ferryana, the spa’s manager. With a glance up at the bamboo ceiling, you nearly forget you’re still in the city. Every detail has been considered in creating an ambience to complement Zen spa therapy, and the hotel has trained its staff thoroughly to ensure the customer experience is entirely tranquil and stress free.
The road to a cleansed inner and outer “Temple Cleanse” begins with a foot ritual, clearing toxins with a lemongrass salt scrub, followed by Suma’s body-scanning therapy. “Our therapists are well trained to know where you feel strained and tired and we’ll do more on that area,” Ferryana says.
And Suma’s therapists do know. As soon as Yanthi’s hands hover over my body I feel a vibrating energy. “Now relax and clear your mind,” she whispers. By the time she reaches my left leg, the tension in my body is already melting away. She offers a particular awareness to stretching my right calf muscle, and I’m in awe: How did she know I needed that? It’s at that point that I begin to feel the Zen moment of inner peace that Suma Spa treatments aim to provide. I feel myself floating away, carried by the soothing tune of bamboo flutes playing softly in the background. Yanthi’s fingers firmly press facial acupoints, which pull me even deeper into a state of inner peace. Who needs meditation when you can reach Nirvana this way? Before I drift off too far, Yanthi checks in with me and we break for a cup of warm ginger tea, gently easing me back into the reality of my surroundings.
But the cleansing and healing therapy are not complete until the Sirodhara experience; an ancient practice derived from India’s Ayurvedic traditions. A warm oil is poured on the brow or “third eye” chakra to clear the mind, relieve pain and radiate beauty. I choose from an array of aromatherapy oils including a blend of ylang-ylang and tea tree or “Passionate,” as Suma dubs it, with a base of virgin coconut oil proven rich in antioxidants and hydration.
As the fragrant oil drizzles onto my third eye, a revitalizing crown chakra head massage with deep acupressure releases any remaining negative energy trapped inside before a shampoo of cucumber, fresh verbena flowers and green tea rinse the luscious oils from my hair. Finally, Yanthi applies a cooling coconut cream and massages the rich mixture through my tresses before wrapping my newly moisturized locks in a warm towel to further infuse hydration into every strand. As the warmth sets in, I am pampered with a final neck massage before the cream is rinsed through, leaving my locks as soft as baby hair. Mission accomplished as both inner peace and outer beauty are achieved.