Street-level massage joints are a dime-a-dozen in Bali, and so too are the high-end US-dollar priced ones. The market in between, where you pay just a little more and get something a little different is where there’s a bit of a gap, but that’s where Cozy, just near Simpang Siur (ten minutes from Kuta on a good day), steps in.
It’s luxury on the cheap, if you like, and indeed over the past two years as they’ve been building a new branch up the road (which remains unopened), the place has got a little long in the tooth and frankly, a bit shabby. Nevertheless, the quality of the treatments and strength of the massages make this worth overlooking.
My favourite treatment is their “scalp sensation”, a cream bath (head/neck/shoulder massage) plus foot massage. It goes for 90 blissful minutes and is 121,000 rupiah. Bookings are pretty much essential at the three-storey shophouse venue, as this place is so popular. Call ahead, they’ll give you a booking number, and make sure you show up on time. You’ll be asked to select what sort of product you want used on your hair as well as what sort of music you’d like — they’ll give you a programmed iPod to chill out to during your treatment.
You’ll then be ushered into their small waiting area, which doubles as a juice bar. I recommend ordering their hot ginger, lemon and honey tea, which will be delivered to you while you’re having your treatment. They’ll come around to unobstrusively take an order at some stage if you don’t have time before you’re whisked upstairs.
The lounges used for the cream baths and reflexology sessions are comfortable and placed on either side of fish tanks running up the centre of the large room — last night I went and the fish tank in front of me was empty, a sign of the direction maintenance here has been taking, unfortunately. Mobiles are to be turned off and there’s strictly no talking. If you’re going for the “Scalp Sensation” you’ll have to get your hair washed and rinsed at some stage, which does involve a bit of squeezing past other chairs, but this isn’t the end of the world.
I overheard the Cozy owner or at least manager one night telling a customer that she personally trains the staff, and the consistency of the treatments means I totally believe it. These masseuses know their stuff and will transport you away to a tranquil little la-la world — go early during your trip so you’ve got time for repeat visits.
I have had a body massage here (90 minutes, also 121,000 rupiah) and it was also great, but I just find the cream bath/reflexi a little more suited to a quick in and out on a weeknight. A few copycat spas have set up in the area, but Cozy is the one you want to head to. Let’s hope the new branch up the road towards Carrefour opens soon… Just so long as all the masseuses make the move and this place gets shuttered, it can only get better.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.