Jari Menari, with two branches in Seminyak and Nusa Dua, is one of our top picks for massage in Bali. The all-male therapists are truly well trained, so you actually feel like you’re getting a massage for your particular knots and aches and pains and anatomy, not just a one-size-fits-all rubdown; the style of their rooms is very minimalist and Zen-like, with water features and fish ponds.
Better yet, if you’re travelling with kids: another reason to get chilled out at Jari Menari is that they’ll give your rugrat a massage while you chill out and get yours. It’s a novel idea for Bali, and no one else I’m aware of on the island does it (please correct me if I’m wrong in the comments!).
If you’re staying in the luxury enclave of Nusa Dua, don’t pay through the nose for a spa treatment and babysitting when you could just duck out to their very new premises there; if you’re in Seminyak and you’re travelling with a kid under three, trust me: this is one of the only things you can do aside from hanging out at the beach and getting sunburned, wrecking havoc in a cafe or going wild at Waterbom.
With some reservations — mainly that my Mr 2 would simply refuse to lie down and it wouldn’t work at all — I tried a session the other day in Seminyak. Once a week we have a morning together after dropping Ms 4 at school, so believe me I have hunted high and low for activities we might do. As it turns out, this one is a keeper.
Draped in a provided-for sarong, Mr 2 looked at me rather intently and with some concern as I put him on the massage table in the sun-dappled room. That’s when things most definitely could have gone either way; but I lay down on my table, and his practitioner distracted him with a few soft toys and balls waiting for him on his table. He wriggled down into position, copying me. And we were off! I intermittently lifted my head to see whether he was getting restless but he didn’t move an inch.
While my massage was for 75 minutes (300,000 rupiah, plus 10% tax) Mr 2’s was for just 45 minutes (250,000, plus 10%), so there was obviously going to be a slightly problematic gap. The practitioner however, would occupy him with the toys, or by feeding the fish, so I didn’t have to be interrupted, I was assured.
Alas, at about 40 minutes I looked over and … drum roll … he was sound asleep. And stayed that way for the rest of my blissful massage. Someone kept an eye on him while I got changed, then I returned to collect him, awake and happily playing, and we were on with our day.
A little pricier than your average street-level spa, it’s true; but for the quality massage, facilities and the fact that you can actually get a massage at the same time as your child, it’s worth it. And hey, if you’re American, it’s going to cost something like $222,000 to raise your child to 18 anyway, so it’s small change!
Only one question really, Jari Menari: Do you deliver? Nightly, say 19:00?
By Samantha Brown
Last updated on 21st April, 2015.