The quick answer is a resounding YES. The prices are not exactly cheap, but for the quality of service and the overall experience, the Ayana spa it was most definitely worth it! We didn’t know it before we went, but apparently the Ayana spa is world famous, frequently listed on top spa lists globally. Indeed, we actually met a couple during our treatment who lived in another hotel an hour away, who came especially for the spa. We were so lucky that the spa is part of the Rimba/Ayana complex!
The Ayana Spa is a standalone complex, located between the Rimba and the Ayana only a couple of minutes away by hotel tram. Despite being decorated in the more traditional Balianese style and being around for a long time (similar to the Ayana), it did not have as much wear and tear as we expected. We were actually pleasantly surprised to note that it was actually very clean and well maintained!
The Ayana Spa has an extensive spa menu (be sure to check out the Special Offers section too). After much contemplation, we decided to go with the Exotic Balinese Experience, because we thought it was most comprehensive for the price (and also we were feeling especially generous after finding cheaper last minute air tickets!). It is a 6-hour package and includes 5 sessions, so we started right after breakfast at 10:30am.
- Traditional Lular: The first part of the spa takes place in a large private room, complete with a balcony, a shower a tub and of course a heated massage table. Mine even had a glimpse of the ocean! The traditional lular includes “a Javanese body masque and scrub, yogurt splash, flower bath, and a Balinese massage”. Basically they scrub you, lather you with yoghurt, let you wash off in the shower, and soak in the rose petal tub before giving you an amazing massage. The whole process takes about 2 hours, and it was absolutely divine. My only complain is that the massage part is too short. I could have used more of that massage.
- Jamu tea break: After the massage, they lead you to a tea house sort of area within the spa complex where you are reunited with your friends to enjoy a cup of Jamu tea. What is Jamu tea? Well according to google, it is a traditioanal Indonesian tea with healing properties. I personally didn’t try it, but it looked orangey with a lot of spices. A little like curry. A choice of tea would have been nice. At this point, we were also confused as to where we are supposed to go next. Even though they handed us a schedule, a little more guidance would have been appreciated. It’s a good thing we are so proactive!
- Indonesian cooking class: After tea, we changed and were driven to the Padi (Ayana’s Thai restaurant) for our cooking class. We were greeted with fresh guava juice and our very our own packages, which includes a chef’s hat, an apron and a booklet of the recipe we were going to follow. To be honest, participation is optional and is entirely up to how much you want to actually cook( i.e. from none like me to super hands on). The chef and his assistants were super nice and friendly, and went out of their ways to make us feel comfortable. We really appreciated the fans they brought out for instance, cause even though it is an open kitchen it was still super hot! It was a fun side activity from spa-ing. Though to be honest, this is probably something I would skip next time. I’d much rather be lounging somewhere.
- Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool: Located within the spa complex, the Aquatonic Therapy Pool is a semi outdoor pool (under a thatched roof) with a distant view of the ocean. When I first read about it, I thought it was just some Balinese type of hot spring, but it is actually a 2 hour water pressure massage session (the water is actually comfortably warm). To warm up, you walk through a pebbled path and swim across countercurrents. You then start a series of water pressure massage aimed at different parts of the body, starting with the leg and moving towards the rest of the body (it is incredibly thorough). Every 2 minutes, guests are then asked by staff to rotate to the next spot (like musical chairs). All the while, you can chat with your partner/friends and enjoy the ocean view. It is not all dandy though. The pressure of the water varies, and some of it can be downright painful – my friend ended up with bruises on her back (though she really enjoyed it!)! I personally skipped a few of them, but overall it was definitely an awesome experience.
- 25-minute Aqua Relaxation Massage: Once our skin was properly pruned, we were led to the other heated pool on the side for our aqua massage. I had no idea what to expect. Turns out they use 2 pool noodles – one under the head and one under the knees- to float you face up (obviously) in the water. The masseuse then takes your hands and legs and gently moves you around the water, letting the water pressure do the work. The feeling is quite surreal. I felt like I was a water nymph dancing in the water world and I loved it!!!! I highly recommend it. But remember to relax and not move around on your own, otherwise you’ll disturb the equilibrium and drown yourself!
Our session ended in the late afternoon, and we all felt completely refreshed and at peace afterwards. The only thing that could have made the session even better was to skip the tea, and shorten the cooking class, and extend the massage instead. I highly recommend the Ayana spa and cannot wait to be back!
Pictures from our cooking class:
Rimba Jimbaran/ Ayana Resort series
Part 1: Find out what the Rimba Jimbaran is really like here.
Part 2: Find out whether the Ayana spa resort is worth it here.
Part 3: Find out which are the best pools at the Rimba/Ayana here.
Rimba Jimbaran Bali by Ayana
Address: Karang Mas Estate, Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera Jimbaran, Bali 80364, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 (361) 8468468