Growing up as an Indonesian, getting a massage is a staple in our household. Whenever I travel back to my hometown, I’d book an appointment with our usual “bibi”, who charges a ridiculously low price of $5/hour. So I’m usually very wary of these spa & massage establishments with ‘qualified masseuses’ who will charge an arm and a leg (pun intended) for a service which is usually subpar.
There are hundreds and thousands of places offering spas and massages in Bali, especially in Ubud. But these are the ones that made my list; either for authentically good massages, for it’s ‘holy cow!’ view, or for just being well-rounded and affordable:
1. Karsa Spa
Kara Spa prides itself in its Reiki, Shiatsu and Deep Tissue healing treatments. I was interested in Reiki and it’s benefits, and if you’re too, it’s worth to give this spa a go. Karsa also has one of the most stunning outdoor spa rooms that I’ve ever seen within this price range. Nestled within a breezy paddy field, the environment will surely put you to a peaceful slumber. Getting to Karsa Spa is a treat in itself as they recommend guests to trek the Campuhan Ridge for 30 minutes before finally arriving at a little compound where Karsa Spa and Karsa Cafe are located. However, you can also save time by taking a motorbike or car there directly.
Location: Jl. Bangkiang Sidem, Keliki, Tegallalang, Bali, Indonesia
I recommend: Intuitive Heart Massage (combination of Balinese, Swedish, Deep Tissue, Lomi-Lomi, Shiatsu, and Reiki) and Traditional Balinese Massage
Price: $250,000/hour (around USD$20)
Book here: http://www.karsaspa.com/
2. Jaen’s Spa
Jaen’s doesn’t have an amazing view, nor a beautiful compound. But what they lack in visual treat they make up in sheer massage skills. Their massages are hands-down, one of the best in Ubud. They also provide complimentary pick-ups from your accommodation. It’s location is also the most central out of my top 3 picks. Take my advice, book their Traditional Balinese Massage now. You’re welcome.
Location: Jl. Raya Pengosekan Ubud, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia
I recommend: Traditional Balinese Massage
Price: Rp. 150,000/hour (around USD$12)
Book here: http://ubud.jaensspaubud.com/
3. Sang Spa
This establishment grew so quickly that they now have 3 branches in Ubud, called Sang Spa 1, Sang Spa 2 and Sang Spa 3. I’ve only tried Sang Spa 2, but in terms of location and service, this branch seems to be the best. This place is run very well, very efficiently and professionally. The place is spotlessly clean and orderly, but still charmingly and characteristically Balinese. All the staff go out of their way to make sure you have the best experience possible. And judging from the multi-language massage menu, they cater to many international guests. You have to book in advance though, I tried a walk-in once and they were completely booked out until 2 hours later. They also provide free pick-ups from central Ubud.
Location: Jl. Jembawan No. 13B, Desa Padang Tegal, Ubud
I recommend: Traditional Balinese Massage (1 hour) or a more indulgent Body Massage & Scrub (2 hours) – which includes 1 hour of deep tissue massage, and 1 hour of body scrub for clean, smooth skin. The treatment ends with a beautiful and relaxed floral bath.
Price: $150,000/hour (around USD $12)
Book here: http://www.sangspaubud.com/
So there you go. Enjoy yourselves, and as usual, let me know if there’s another place that should make this list!