In a perfect world, the traditional rice flour cake you enjoyed for an artisanal afternoon tea is the very thing that inspires a two-hour spa treatment at a luxurious boutique resort in Bali’s enchanting ode to tranquility.
Beckoning from a bustling street in downtown Ubud just a stone’s throw from Yoga Barn and Bebek Bengil, Alaya Resort presents the very thing. A delicious helping of bright green klepon stuffed with the liquid palm sugar and grated coconut that excites one of several body-tingling spa treatments in the resort’s opulent DaLa Spa.
Overlooking a small flowing river towards the back of the resort beyond Bamboo Bar and two sparkling pools, DaLa Spa combines vintage boudoir with airy Balinese interiors punctuated with big bowls of the purest natural ingredients used in age old Indonesian rituals and treatments.
Highly recommended is the Manis Klepon.
Two hours of pure pampering that begins with a refreshing drink as well as your own selection of music and essential oils as a masseuse grates the fresh coconut that will exfoliate your entire body after a foot wash, full body massage and palm sugar scrub topped with a fragrant flower bath amidst a bespoke sensory journey.
Equally exquisite are Alaya Resort’s rooms.
Boasting a private terrace, a decorative wall featuring a rural Balinese scene as well as a signature stone bath in a spacious suite, Alaya impresses in its sumptuous harmony between tradition and stylish modernity.
What appears ever and effortlessly understood is “there’s no place like home.”
An idea embodied not only in Alaya’s commitment to Indonesian culture but also in touches as comforting as a daily complimentary woven fruit basket and the seamless transition from day to night that sees curtains drawn as well as slippers and robes laid out no matter how brief the departure from the life-forsaking vastness of one’s lily white bed.
Incredibly, this without seeing a soul which only adds to Alaya’s particular mood of warmth and magic.
From the smiling enchantment of incredibly attentive staff to the wizardry of cuisine and there is a must-experience evening at Manisan restaurant.
Housed in a 350-year-old Javanese joglo overlooking a productive rice field, this traditional ‘home of flavours’ vaunts a menu curated by Indonesian food ambassador Mr. William Wongso, impromptu cooking suprises as well as a Chef’s Table tasting menu replete with intriguing episodes of culinary theatre showcasing koki masak, a traditional form of Indonesian food preparation.
Recommended one warm night is the Grilled Snapper.
Marinated in yellow spices and Balinese roots served with spiced water spinach and steamed red rice with a condiment of tomato, chili, lemongrass and ginger salsa rica-rica, the snapper seeps the assorted and authentic flavours of Indonesia so embraced by Manisan.
An atmospheric site from which to return to classic traditional food while celebrating the spirit and diversity of the Golden Age of Indonesia, Manisan is as singular and as sweet as its decadent Pandan Pannacotta while Petani, a second restaurant, celebrates diverse flavours of Asia overlooking the lively Jalan Hanoman.
Proud, peaceful but close enough to tourist attractions like Monkey Forest, Yoga Barn and Agung Rai Museum of Art while offering gym facilities as well as yoga, Balinese dance, ornament, beauty and healing heritage classes, Alaya is simply everything you want in an upmarket resort.
Friendly enough to feel like home, homey enough to be comfortable, comfortable enough to be lavish, lavish enough to be your best life.
Martha Mukaiwa was invited to experience Alaya in Bali. Find Alaya Resort in Ubud and Kuta visit www.alayahotels.com for more information.