Photo: Blue and green in Ubud.

A Fivelements afternoon

There was a stuff up the other day when I headed to Fivelements outside Ubud for what was supposed to be a very special treat for myself and my four-year-old daughter: a spa treatment, an afternoon tea and a puppet show. The show was cancelled, but I didn’t see the email they sent me; I returned their missed call, but their assistant had no idea that I had no idea she was trying to tell me it was cancelled — I thought she was confirming. It was a tedious comedy of errors…

Breathe that wholesome air...

Where is everyone?!

… and so it was we turned up … to an empty venue. We thought it was awfully quiet as we waited in the serene raw food restaurant for our appointed time. But we were ushered into the gorgeous treatment room as if everything was normal, only to be told as we were preparing for our foot massage and face refresher that it was off. It was a bit late for us to turn around and drive the 45 minutes back to Sanur, so I was a bit grumpy but we went ahead with that portion of the afternoon anyway.

Mesmerising curves, and a floral bath for stinky feet.

I'm not sure this was enough to subdue my stinky feet.

My treatment was 45 minutes of foot reflexology. A foot rub isn’t the sort of thing I would usually go somewhere flash for, but the special afternoon event had only a couple of choices and this was the most appealing. It started with a floral foot wash that occurred with my daughter stuck to my side, refusing to climb onto her massage table. We then both ended up squeezing onto mine, which was no trouble for the obliging staff to deal with. Then my blissful session began.

And it was a really great treatment, in fabulous natural surrounds, perched right on a gurgling stream. Kinks were unkinked and apparently I have a stomach problem; I think that the problem might be I eat too much.

Meanwhile my daughter was busy not moving an inch next to me. I’m not one for getting little girls pedicures or manicures, or even going to spas, but as a package the afternoon did sound sublime. So I somewhat guiltily chose for her a “face refresher”, a completely natural affair: honey, cucumber, coconut cream and aloe vera.

Bali's indigenous frangipani-wielding cucumber monster.

Bali's indigenous frangipani-wielding cucumber monster.

Did she enjoy it? Yes, I think so. And I certainly enjoyed the 45 minutes of silence with her. The session was followed up with hot ginger tea infused with pandan and sweetened with honey; the staff thoughtfully brought my daughter some cool water as well in case she didn’t like the tea.

The cost for the full event should have been 350,000++ rupiah for me and 190,000++ for her. They knocked this price down a little.

You might want to check their website to see their full list of various healing treatments on offer — I’d say something that involves this bath might work for me next time.

Shame there's no champagne...

Shame there's no champagne...

Last updated on 18th April, 2015.

Top of page

See below for more sights and activities in Ubud that are listed on

Top of page