May 04 2011
I know that you can easily get a 40,000 rupiah foot massage pretty much at any run-of-the-mill massage place in pretty much any town in Bali. But when you’re after something special — say a one-off treat during a one-week stay in Seminyak — then you might want to consider going a touch upmarket.
What’s that? You are staying in Seminyak and you do want a good foot massage? Well, phew — I’ve checked out three spots that go the extra mile with your tootsies.
First up is Fabulously Feet on Sunset Road. The dedicated building isn’t in the greatest of locations, and it’s probably not a spot you’d walk to in the tropical heat, but it’s just a short taxi ride away from most hotels in Seminyak.*
The setting is lovely. The initial foot washing area is cute, with a silver watering can used to fill the tub that will soak your feet, facing an enticing array of look-after-your-feet products for sale.
After the dusty footpath-less streets of Seminyak have been washed off your feet, you’ll tread along a path that includes smooth pebbles and rough rope that reminds you of the sensations your feet are capable of feeling.
And at the end of the path: lollies! For 5,000 rupiah, you’ll get a small mug of mints, ginger chews and lollypops — you choose what you’re in the mood for. I have to say, it’s a great idea in theory but I kind of felt like a pig eating on top of getting a rubdown.
Next it’s off to your chair and you’ll get an iPod with a range of different genres of music to choose from. I highly recommend the ’80s compilation: how can you go wrong with some Spandau Ballet? Unlike with the lollies, your therapist has no idea what your weakness is. About a dozen comfy chairs are spread facing opposite each other under a roof packed with vibrantly coloured Chinese lanterns. It’s a touch on the cosy side, but this would make it perfect for a night out with the gang you have staying with you at your villa. And even if other people you don’t know there, you’ll have your iPod buds in, plus a lovely eye mask (available for sale — astute marketing, guys) to drown out everything going on.
And the massage itself? Feet only, top marks. As I warned you, you pay for it: 200,000 rupiah. (A still-running special throws in a foot mask as well, which adds another half hour on to the treatment — I didn’t have time for it.)
Next up: I trialled out Espace, an enticing look spot from Raya Basangkasa.
Unlike Fabulously Feet, this is a general massage, salon-y spot, but with spa touches: a lovely iced tea on arrival, for instance. It’s done out tastefully, though not quite as luxuriously as the other two spots (one more to come).
Here’s the catch at Espace: You have to lie down all the way on a reclining chair, so you are forced to not juggle your laptop, your phone, your diary and your whatever while you’re getting your rub. Then you get flipped over half way through while they focus on the back of your feet.
Frankly, I like the option of either sticking on an eye pad or being able to keep working. Otherwise I’d just get a body massage. But it might be the right push to relax for others.
And the massage was truly top notch. Price: 175,000 rupiah.
Chill is the younger (well, cheaper) sister to Prana Spa — I am not a fan of the Indian/Middle Eastern-inspired Prana simply because it’s truly over the top in design, with prices to match. Chill, however, hits the spot perfectly — it’s very well priced for the simple but beautiful surrounds and super massage, plus its great location near Bali Deli.
As at Espace, you’re not really going to want to pull out anything to work here. The lights are muted, you’re cocooned with towels and blankets and you’ll just want to put your head back and drift off to their iPod music (which is chosen for you: it’s chill-out, did you have to ask?)
But before you close your eyes have a peek at how the rectangular room is designed: chairs are each at an angle facing outside walls, with organza curtains adding just a pleasant suggestion of privacy. Each station is set on bleached wooden shelves set at angles that cleverly break up the otherwise straight lines of the room. (It was too dark for a picture without a flash so no pic I’m afraid.)
And the massage? From the marble foot-wash station through to the massage — which focuses on the feet but then includes arms, back and briefly head — it’s exemplary. Price: 181,500 rupiah.
They do have an offer for groups that includes a glass of wine, but for groups I’d head to Fabulously Feet. For a solo indulgence, I’d go Chill. If I was shopping on Basangkasa and wanted a break that didn’t involve coffee, I’d definitely consider Espace, but the other two are probably better value for money.
Sunset Rd 888, Seminyak
T: (0361) 847 5764Bypass Ngurah Rai 280B, Sanur, Bali (about 500m south and opposite McDonalds)
T: (0361) 283 937
Open daily, 10:00-22:00
Jalan Raya Basangkasa No. 3B, Seminyak
T: (0361) 730 828
Open daily, 09:00-21:00
Jalan Kunti 118X, Seminyak
T: (0361) 734 701
Open daily, 10:00-22:00
* Fabulously Feet has shuttered its Seminyak premises but sprung up in Sanur last month. It’s the same package, with the same prices, though there’s currently a 20% off opening special — meaning an hour’s foot massage with all the trimmings is 160,000 rupiah — a lot compared to the competition.
The new location is slightly smaller and is in an older building, with the move forced when the their Seminyak contract ran out and the rent went up. It’s a shame as the original was so beautifully put together, but the Sanur effort is lovely too with the same friendly staff, though perhaps the trimmings are not quite as polished (no quotes in the loos, for instance, though the lollies and lanterns are still there). I do wonder whether the market in Sanur will want to pay the prices they’re charging, but if you’re after something a bit different with some extra effort put into a foot massage experience on this bit of the coast, and you’re not on too tight a budget, then this will fit the bill.
If you’re new to Travelfish.org, you may assume the above is advertorial twaddle. It isn’t. We pay our own way, every single time and have done so since Travelfish.org kicked off back in 2004. Travelfish.org writers do not take freebies. Ever.
Travelfish.org always pays its way. No exceptions.