A relaxing massage after a long day is just what we need. With the tons of activities Bali has to offer, you would appreciate a massage after just one day of exploring this island. If you’ve been to this part of the world, you might know that spa and massage parlors are as common as convenience stores in Bali.
In this article, being a regular customer myself, I will share some tips for how to choose a good spa and massage parlor and what services to choose. The average cost for each massage is included below!
First things first: which place to go
As mentioned before, there are tons of spa and massage parlors you can choose from here in Bali, whether it is on the crowded street of Legian, Kuta, or a remote area of Ubud. First, you should see if the place is legit, which you can tell from the therapists. Specifically, a good spa and massage parlor should hire only professionally trained, certified therapists. One of the things they should have as trained employees is a uniform. As you can see in the pictures throughout this article, the therapists are wearing a standardized uniform.
The next thing to consider is the convenience of the location. You should look for a quiet, but not so secluded, parlor with proper massage rooms, not just chambers with thin partitions. As you walk into a legit spa and massage parlor, you should feel welcomed by the friendly therapists, the therapeutic aroma of the burning incense and massage oil, and the peaceful surroundings.
Now that you’re set with the place, let see what you can order from the menu.
Let’s start with the obvious and most common option you will find here in Bali. Balinese massage dates back hundreds of years. So, if you’re aiming for this one, it’s best to go to a place owned and run by Balinese.
Balinese massage combines acupressure with long strokes which will stimulate circulation and reduce muscular and joint tension. It’s a full-body massage, from head to toe. In most spas, you get to choose which part of your body you want the therapist to focus on. If you’re new to this, I recommend back and shoulders. The combination of long strokes and acupressure just feels really good!
A regular Balinese massage usually costs around 95,000 IDR (approximately 6.4 USD) for a one-hour treatment. This duration can be shortened to 30 minutes or extended to one and a half or two hours for an extra fee. For an extra 25,000 IDR (approximately 1.7 USD), you can have aromatherapy added to your massage. This massage uses essential oils, which are applied on your body during a massage to help your blood circulation and reduce stress. Plus, you’ll smell so nice afterwards. The most common aromatherapy oils are jasmine, rose, and frangipani.
This massage has arguably claimed its title as an amazing gift from the Earth. This comes from the use of Earth’s special stones. A hot stone massage applies the energy from heated natural stones to remove toxins and impurities from your body. The therapist will put warmed stones across your body to stimulate lymphatic circulation and relax the muscles.
Not all spa and massage parlors offer this type of massage. So, I recommend you ask them first via phone to make sure they have it. This treatment is longer than Balinese massage. For one and a half hour of hot stone massage, you will be charged around 180,000 IDR (approximately 12 USD).
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While most massage treatments are handled by just one therapist per customer, this massage is handled by two. Shirodhara is also called the four-hand massage. It is a choreographed massage carried out by two therapists who will simultaneously massage your body with acupressure and long strokes. At the end of the treatment, a homemade herb-infused liquid is poured onto your temples from a shirodhara, which is an ethnic metal bowl. This liquid usually has pandan leaves, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.
Like hot stone massage, you cannot shorten or extend the duration of a Shirodhara massage. For a one-and-a-half-hour treatment, you will be charged 290,000 IDR (approximately 20 USD).
This is a typical reflexology massage where the therapist applies varying degrees of pressure to specific reflex points on your feet. These reflex points correspond with various parts in your body and the reflexology will unblock the blood flow and promote natural healing from within. A one-hour foot reflexology treatment costs around 115,000 IDR (approximately 7.7 USD).
For massage enthusiasts, Shiatsu is not new. This is basically a dry massage with no oil. It applies the pressure from thumbs and fingers onto various pressure points on your body. Shiatsu massage focuses on relieving tension and fatigue. And as most massages, it stimulates your blood circulation. But this one focuses more on giving you general healing from within your body. For a one-hour Shiatsu massage, you will be charged around 110,000 IDR (approximately 7.4 USD).
With the right location, service, and type of treatment, a spa day is so rewarding
I was never a fan of spa and massage. But having experienced the relaxing touch of Balinese massage, I keep coming back when I’m in Bali. It’s not just the massage, but the whole process of making you feel better, relaxed, and rejuvenated.
One of my favorite spa and massage parlors is Bening House & Spa. It is located in Batubelig, North Kuta area. It is locally owned and has been around for years. You can read about this place more in the following article: Bening House and Spa: Relax Your Body and Soul by the Batubelig Beach. If Batubelig is too far from where you’re staying, no need to worry! Bali is filled with tons of spa and massage parlors. In Sanur, there’s The Nest Beachside Spa. In Kuta, there’s Jari Menari, which literally means “dancing fingers.” Besides, most resorts in Bali have their own spa and wellness center where you, as a guest, can get a better deal.
Now, here are some useful words for you to know before you get a massage in Bali. Most of the therapists speak some English, but there’s no harm in learning some words, don’t you think? “Harder” is “lebih keras,” “softer” is “pelan-pelan,” and “more” is “lagi.” Don’t forget to tip your therapist (I suggest around 10% of your bill) and say “suksma” or “thank you!”
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