A special Lunch correspondent
You know you’re staying in an awesome hotel when you can walk to the day spa dressed in your dressing gown and a gaily coloured silk smoking jacket and you get the same unflappable smiles as when you are wearing clothing a normal human might wear.
I am an old hand at getting massages and no sap when it comes to day spas in general: here’s the drill: 1: I shower in my room to save time and to avoid having to tackle unfamiliar faucets. 2: Slip on boxer briefs – they give me the comfort I want with the support I need – and a crisp white pristine hotel bathrobe 3: Drop room key card into bathrobe pocket. 4: Walk to day spa, or whistle up a golf cart if it’s more than a stroll (you don’t want to arrive in a lather). 5: Check in and submit to sybaritic delight.
Which raises the question: what do you do when your crisp white pristine hotel bathrobe does not have any pockets? You can’t walk around clutching your room key like a rube.
So I slip on my silk smoking jacket and drop on my room key in a pocket, then walk out of my private pool villa compound, (an oasis wrapped in a retreat if ever there was one), and step out into the bright Bali sunshine of Alila Villas Soori.
No one minds, the sky does not fall, the staff smile and wave, as friendly as ever.
I walk into the welcoming coolness of the spa and am greeted with aplomb by my hostess and offered a frosty ginger kickshaw garnished with a stick of lemongrass.
I try to use the lemongrass as a straw, it doesn’t work. I glance furtively around – I’m pretty sure no one noticed.
I look around. The Spa is another retreat within a hideaway, with plenty of dark timber and smells faintly of timber, incense and exotic unguents.
I’m led into my treatment room by Teeni, my masseuse.
My feet and where I would wear my greaves (were I a Roman soldier) are bathed in a gleaming brass basin.
A variety of unguents are offered to me. I select their signature unguent – a refreshing ginger blend.
She asks if the music is OK.
Wow, this is a first. I’ve had rub downs all over the world and no one has ever asked.
I say I’d prefer silence.
At last, a massage where I can relax and collect my thoughts without having my brain pummeled with the jarring truncheons of a cacophany of caterwauling whale farts.
She starts on my calves and works her way up to my shoulders, finishing with a thrilling scalpal massage.
All to soon … the one hour massage is over.
The silence was golden; the massage among the best. I leave invigorated. A new man.
If only more establishments allowed the silence option or – here’s a radical idea – let you put on your own playlist, how about Lana Del Rey’s latest album?
What could be more relaxing than your own music? Sure it’s heartrending angst written by an ex-teenage alcoholic – but it sure beats the caterwauling of some leviathan insect calling out to his fellow denizens thousands of miles away.
Alila Spa, Alila Villas Soori
Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating,
Kerambitan, Tabanan, Bali 82161