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Bali spa tour - 1: the Oberoi

Bali spa tour - 1: the Oberoi

Marigolds and frangipani decorate the entrance to the spa at the Oberoi 

Marigolds and frangipani decorate the entrance to the spa at the Oberoi 

I have just spent two weeks in Bali which - yes, sorry -- was just brilliant. The trip started out as an empty-nester break for me and my husband as our youngest has just gone to uni and our eldest has left home, and it turned into a bit of a spa tour. Two of the resort-hotels we went to were for work (tough job, I know), and the other two had spas too (there are spas everywhere in Bali, from beach-shack-type arrangements to luxurious, five-star-plus numbers in the top resorts). 

So I thought I should write them up in case you are curious to know what they're like. 

 

Lawns, pool, beach... the outlook at the Oberoi Hotel, Bali 

Lawns, pool, beach... the outlook at the Oberoi Hotel, Bali 

 

It’s a long long way to Bali   – the best part of 24 hours traveling after we had flown via Singapore – so we started our holiday with three nights at the Oberoi hotel in Seminyak, the lively, touristy, beachy district less than half an hour from the airport, to decompress and acclimatise.

With my husband in the foyer at the Oberoi, Bali 

With my husband in the foyer at the Oberoi, Bali 

 

The Oberoi was magnificent – from the entrance, a stone path between low-lit lily ponds, particularly magical at night, which rises up steps to a huge open foyer looking out over the lawns to the Indian Ocean – to the gardens, the food, the pool…. We stayed here as normal guests, ie not as press, so didn’t receive any special treatment but tbh the service was immaculate in every detail we could only conclude this is just how it is.

Floral offerings - often including food and a small coin - are put out every morning 

Floral offerings - often including food and a small coin - are put out every morning 

 

So here are lots of pictures to give a flavour of the place.

View from a shady poolside lounger

View from a shady poolside lounger

 

All we wanted to do was to loll about and adjust to the glorious heat (about 29 degrees, thick with humidity and tangy with the salt breeze from the ocean) and sunshine. And try out  the spa, which offers a huge range of treatments from Thai massage to a full Ayurvedic treatment menu including shirodhara (a massage where you get slathered in oil and end up having a steady stream of warm oil poured onto your ‘third eye’ in the middle of your forehead).

Limes, ginger, lemongrass, salt... some of the ingredients used in the spa treatments 

Limes, ginger, lemongrass, salt... some of the ingredients used in the spa treatments 

I wasn’t feeling quite up for a full shirodhara so chose a Balinese massage which was terrific, all long flowing strokes with plenty of pressure to unknot muscles scrambled from so long on the plane, and done in a peaceful room looking out on to lily ponds (which are everywhere across the resort).

The lily ponds at the Oberoi Spa 

The lily ponds at the Oberoi Spa 

 

And in case you’re wondering what the #whatreallyworks takeout here is – I can only offer the time-honoured truth that a professional massage will get rid of accumulated stress and tension of a long journey and ease you into your new holiday state of mind in no time at all.

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