A Secret Courtyard
Spas help you relax, detox and rejuvenate, but sometimes the spa settings are therapeutic in themselves. This is certainly true for Padma Spa at Plataran Menjangan Resort in Bali’s north-west region...
Padma Spa in fact seems to boast more wellness and location advantages than its peers. For starters, Padma Spa is secluded deep in the wilds of one of Bali’s most naturally beautiful and unspoiled spots, the West Bali National Park, a vast conservation area stretching along the island’s remote north-west coastline and a part of Plataran Menjangan Resort, which lies within the Plataran L’Harmonie – both owned by Indonesian Plataran luxe hospitality brand.
A 382-hectare integrated eco-development zone inside the national park, Plataran L’Harmonie is home to several distinct eco systems and endangered species amongst tropical jungle, surrounded by a seven-kilometer-long mangrove beach and forested mountain ranges. This site is a tranquil, protected sanctuary that is so outstanding that it carries the tagline of “God’s Secret Courtyard” and numerous accolades such as the 2017 World’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations by Green Destinations.
The spa itself, officially inaugurated in February this year (two years after Plataran Menjangan Resort first opened) is probably the only spa in Indonesia constructed over natural mangroves – at high tide the ocean flows in under the elevated timbered building. Engulfed by jungle foliage and cocooned within the mangrove rainforest, this small spa pavilion directly faces the Bali Sea and Menjangan Island – a divers’ paradise – with some of Bali’s most stunning coral reefs and marine life submerged in crystal clear water – and the Javanese coastline opposite; Java’s Mt. Baluran and Mt. Arjuna plus two volcanoes, Mt.Ijen and Mt. Raung are silhouetted across the water. This spectacular topography is clearly visible from the spa’s four ensuite treatment rooms with floor-to- ceiling glass frontage. The upper relaxation lounge which leads out to a timbered deck also boasts jaw-dropping and unobstructed mountain-meets- ocean views.
As one of the most luxurious spas in this northern region, Padma Spa also has dazzling intimate interiors. Similar to the resort’s 17 private villas, the spa is adorned with exquisite antiques and decorations sourced from across the archipelago, personally selected by Plataran’s Indonesian owners. No wonder this Padma Spa instills a deep sense of calm and well-being, even before I sipped my fresh lemongrass, mint and lime welcome drink and got stuck into the treatments!
Going With the Flow
Each Plataran Resort property features a unique custom wellness programme specific to that destination – this is also the case of Padma Spa. Plataran Menjangan’s spa launch coincides with the recently revamped Padma Spa brand concept, with every resort spa individually showcasing their exclusive treatments called “Signature Selections”, featuring authentic techniques and ingredients inspired by each region’s distinct characteristics and traditions. Here at Plataran Menjangan, this Padma Spa offers Indonesian heritage rituals fused with Asian and Western techniques, with a special focus on Balinese wellness traditions and its one-of-a-kind natural settings.
The main signature is Baruna Dhanayati – which means ‘move’ and ‘ocean’ in ancient Sanskrit –, a unique massage treatment inspired by the emerald-hued ocean and promising “therapeutic treatments imbued with nature’s full power.” Baruna Dhanayati is listed under the Massage Body Work, which highlights Indonesian age-old healing techniques utilizing ingredients indigenous to the archipelago.
I experience this blissful treatment (incredibly good value at Rp.850,000++/person) in the larger couple’s treatment room, which boasts a standalone Jacuzzi bathtub positioned in front of glass doors revealing the mangroves and beyond. I request these doors be left open wide – not only drawing in cool breezes, but also for an alternative soundtrack of water gently ebbing and flowing over the mangrove roots below.
Lasting 90-minutes, Baruna Dhanayati commences with a standard foot scrub ritual, followed by a surprising twist that I’ve never encountered before: a long silky sheet wafted over my body for several minutes, literally dancing on the skin and mimicking ocean waves. The ensuing Balinese massage, incorporating long, gentle strokes using a signature massage oil of infused lavender, cypress, geranium and sweet almond, is also inspired by wave movements. Several minutes of facial acupressure also helps to relax and reenergize my facial muscles. All these combined elements make for a gently restorative treatment, soothing body tensions and almost sending me off to sleep. This treatment is also featured in the Spa’s Signature package rituals, namely the Menjangan Prana Vitality (120-minutes) which combines a sea salt foot ritual, Baruna Dhanayati massage, seaweed exfoliation, a full body mask and sea salt and floral soak.
Thus, if you’re fortunate enough to stay at Plataran Menjangan, or simply hiking through the magnificent West Bali National Park, be sure to sample Padma Spa – organizing the most appropriate timings, naturally. For the clearest mountain and volcano views, it is best to book a morning spa session (especially during the rainy season). But if you want to see Bali’s legendary sunsets, plan as I do, and try to finish-up around 5.30 p.m. I mean, I don’t think anything can beat chilling-out on the spa deck on a bean bag and watching the sunsets over Java’s mountainous coastline, while sipping a chrysanthemum, star anise and ginger post-treatment beverage!
Plataran Menjangan Resort & Spa
West Bali National Park,
Jalan Raya Seririt, Gilimanuk
Contributor : Katie Truman
Magazine issue > Invite&Indulge