Forget all you ever knew of Bali. Here at Spa Village Resort Tembok, it’s Bali like you’ve never experienced before. Void of the usual crowds and commercialisation, this resort in Tembok, a tranquil corner in North Bali, remains culturally authentic, promising vacationers a glimpse of the “real” island life.
Though quiet, that’s not to say you will lack things to see and do. Keeping things “genuine” means the resort encourages their own staff to share their artisanal skills and know-how with guests. In these mini show-and tell sessions, complimentary and rotated daily, you can get your hands dirty making your own boreh (scrub) and jamu (tonic), or pick up tips on making your own coconut oil.
You can also visit a traditional sea salt farm, watch how palm sugar is made, or take up weaving with a local village elder (a grandma in her 80s, no less!) though these remain seasonal in keeping with the authentic ethos. Which makes these insights even more rewarding.
Where the resort truly excels is pairing its low-key luxury with authentic Balinese healing tradition. Its Spa Village honours the local healing culture, where treatments revive generation-old practices. One of my favourites is the pre-wedding ritual, PengantenMelukat. This sublime experience just shy of two hours celebrates the rituals that mothers would lovingly prepare for their daughters in the homes. Beginning with mewangsul (traditional Balinese massage) to help relax and soothe the body, the ritual continues with meodak (body scrub) that amazingly turns skin soft and supple. This follows an empahan (fresh milk) application that does wondrous things to the body, both moisturising and nourishing it, before a warm soak in the tub, mersiram sekar (floral bath), encourages the body to really relax and unwind. The effects after are both physically and psychologically uplifting.
With just 31 rooms, the resort is both secluded and intimate. It’s a quiet resort that invites you to make full use of the bale (wooden pavilion) whether for a snooze, a read, or a head, foot and shoulder massage with their experienced therapists. Most days, the black sand beach makes a stunning entry into your morning routine; the waters begging to be explored. Some evenings, with the elements aligned and weather permitting, a float on their pool lounger, looking up at the clear blue skies in their signature Starlight Gazing experience, is worth a try. It may sound too New Age-y, but once you’ve done it, it really is one of the most peaceful and grounded experiences you’ll ever have.
The H Factor
When it comes to halal meals for Muslim guests, Mr Fauzi Abriansyah, Room Division Manager, says that guests are welcome to get in touch with him directly when making reservations to ensure a seamless halal dining experience. With the help of Chef Rizal, the resort can procure halal meats and meals for Muslim guests with preparation done in a separate area. Halal goods are also stored and refrigerated separately to ensure there is no cross-contamination. Guests are also advised to let the resort know ahead of time of their halal request.
5 Priceless Touches
*Attentive staff will have Muslim prayer mats ready in the room upon arrival.
*Spa therapists are attentive to female guests’ modesty. You will be helped into your own clothing or covered modestly in spa attire as you make your way from the Segara Giri pre-ritual treatment area to the spa treatment room.
*Similarly, your spa therapist will discreetly draw down the curtains for absolute privacy when you book a rubdown in the bale by the pool.
*There’s a halal warung (stall) just outside the resort that serves delicious, homemade nasi padang for a true taste of local cuisine. And the resort won’t mind you skipping The Wantilan for just this once! ☺
*Tembok is a Muslim-majority village. You will occasionally hear the soothing call of the prayer and the resort is just next door to a mosque.
For the full article, read here: http://muhibah.com.bn/reality-bites/