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Bali’s Spa Industry  

by on Sunday, 18 March 2007No Comment | 3,063 views

Bali can trace its ancient heritage of natural healing and beauty practices back to the 15th century when rulers of Java’s mighty Majapahit Kingdom migrated to the island and claimed it as their own. With them came a legacy of timeless treatments and therapies that were later combined with the healing wisdoms imparted by wandering holy men from India.

Spa at Tepi Sawah Villas & Spa

The Balinese have always taken a holistic approach towards living by utilizing indigenous herbs, spices and plant materials to heal and rejuvenate. Such a wholly natural approach is closely bound to the fundamental Hindu belief that a state of balance between the mind and body is the essence of overall wellness.

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Spa at Kamandalu Resort & Spa

Over the past decade or so there has been a rapid growth in the establishment of spas around the island, thus creating a lucrative new industry under the founding umbrella of tourism. Once known only as a holiday destination, Bali is now luring international travellers with the promise of complete head-to-toe indulgence of a physical and spiritual nature.

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Spa at Blue Point Bay Villas & Spa

The term spa is derived from the Latin phrase solus per aqua, which means health by water. In ancient times, water therapy was extensively used by Greek and Roman physicians as a means of health care. The Europeans constructed baths with water sources from natural springs and aromatherapy was first practiced with the use of scented oils. Today’s spas embody the philosophy of creating a tranquil environment and accompanying facilities to unwind and soothe mental and physical stress. Modern spas incorporate beauty care and other pampering treatments, as well as fitness options and nutritious spa cuisine.

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Spa at Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa

While the very implication of the word spa suggests an unobtainable privilege for wealthy travellers, surprisingly enough spa treatments in Bali are accessible to everyone. Even the student backpacker on the most stringent budget can enjoy an hour long massage treatment with fragrant oils for around US$ 5.00 in one of Kuta’s less salubrious spa outlets.

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Spa at Bali Hai Resort & Spa

Spas in Bali take on all form; whether it is a luxuriously appointed facility in a star-rated resort or a small treatment room within a beauty salon tucked away down a lane in the backstreets of Kuta. Varying in décor and theme, there are spas that recreate the ambience of a Balinese village; complete with open-air treatment rooms, traditional lounging pavilions, sunken bath tubs encased in a tropical garden and subtle strains of music piped through a hidden sound system. There are also chic ultra-modern spas with sleek fittings and high-tech equipment such as insulated body wraps, heated treatment tables and hydro-jet bath tubs.

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Spa at Anahata Villas & Spa Resort, Aston Nandini Ubud Resort & Spa, Maya Ubud Resort & Spa

In many spas around the island one pays not only for the treatment, but also the experience. There are spas that sensitively hug the contours of river gorges with treatment tables just slightly elevated over the water flow. Alternatively, there are spas enveloped by lush rice terraces or positioned to catch the caress of the sea breeze at the ocean’s edge.

There are literally hundreds of spas operating in Bali, each striving to offer guests a treatment with a signature twist. Spa menus are designed to offer a comprehensive assortment of treatments that covers anything from massage, hot stone treatments, reflexology, exfoliating body scrubs, flower baths, hair conditioning, facials, manicures, pedicures and so on.

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Spa at Alam Anda Dive & Spa Resort

A great deal of effort goes into ensuring that every treatment is a sensory journey. There are thoughtful extras like complimentary foot baths, crisp cotton kimono’s, scented oil burners, a choices of body lotions and herbal refreshments. No detail is overlooked as Bali strives to become the spa capital of South East Asia.

Editor’s Note:
Find out more about spa packages at

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