Clients leave having enjoyed a deeply personalised journey, thanks to the private treatment villas, hand-selection of fragrances, and customised music menu.
SPA+CLINIC had the incredible opportunity to visit ‘the island of the gods’ during November 2019 so we could delve into the 5 star spa and wellness culture,bringing back with us the inside scoop on what we truly believe may be some of the best spa locations in the world. This week, Online Editor Mala McAlpin and Editor Nadine Dilong bring you the details of the enormous and spectacular Kriya Spa, located at Grand Hyatt Nusa Dua. This was our experience:
The Grand Hyatt’s facilities are indisputably breathtaking, and; simply put, enormous. In fact, the sheer size means the facilities have been divided into north, east, south and west wings to make things a little easier for guests to navigate. Winding paths lead visitors throughout towering Balinese architecture, temples, shopping areas, amphitheatres, and outdoor seating options, and every corner is dotted with something to do or see – including the highly Instagram-worthy giant swing on the beach. With countless restaurants and dining options, children’s areas, pools, even a petting zoo and waterslide, this incredible resort really has been designed to accommodate everyone, and every occasion – even Barack Obama has enjoyed a stay in one of the resort’s luxury villas. And then there is Kriya Spa.
Kriya is on a whole other level, and could be easily classified as a luxury retreat in itself. It is set away from the main hotel, which is understandable once you see the facilities. The spa’s expansive grounds include 24 spa villas, at 110 square metres each, inclusive of outdoor lounge and shower, spa bath and plunge pool that can be enjoyed after treatments. Modelled after a traditional Balinese water temple, the main area where the reception is based is abundant with fountains, statues, leafy trees, waterlilies, stone lanterns, and mysterious tall wooden doors that lead off to each villa.
I slip into a soft Balinese robe and disposable underwear so that my foot ritual can begin, where I dip my feet into a large hand carved timber basin. My therapist scatters a rock salt soak into the water, and I am invited to smell a small sample of it set aside on the table. I am given a choice of 3 essential oil scents to feature during the massage, which are applied to my skin in order to properly sample and choose a fragrance. From a sweet citrus blend, a christmassy spice blend and a floral jasmine I choose the latter. I’m also given a music menu with three different styles to choose from. While my foot ritual is being completed, I am also invited to engage with a contraption on a nearby table, which my therapist tells me is called a trataka meditation candle, a traditional yogic technique designed to improve eyesight, clarity, concentration, and focus on one’s ‘inner flame’. This, as we find out later from Spa Director Dr Sanjay Khanzode, is one of the many traditional Balinese customs, rituals and mementos that make Kriya Spa so unique, enhancing each treatment and creating more meaningful experiences for guests. I lie face down and the massage begins.
Movements are firm and flowing, utilising lymphatic drainage techniques and lots of elbows and forearms. My therapist kneels above me on the bed to apply evenly dispersed and firm pressure with the help of gravity. Almost every inch is covered, including stomach, fingertips and toes, and a nice firm scalp massage. For the end of the treatment, my therapists asks me to take three deep breaths, and upon each one, a small jingling chime passes over my head from one side to the next – yet another incredible authentic Balinese touch. The cherry on top is a clay bead bracelet tied to my wrist, to which several drops of my chosen oil are applied so I can continue to inhale blissful jasmine throughout the afternoon. I am then asked to change before being escorted across the spa to the lounge area, where outdoor reclined lounges, ginger and spice tea with honey and coconut cookies await me.
Crown Chakra Scalp Therapy
Walking into the large Kriya spa villas where the treatments are performed is an experience in itself as they could easily pass as luxury accommodation and almost seem too good to only enjoy for a couple of hours. The temperature is perfect, as is the volume of the music, and after my foot ritual, I lie face down and take 3 deep breaths, inhaling the scent of my chosen oil – a spicy blend of clove, vanilla, and star anise. My treatment starts with a firm but controlled back, neck, and shoulder massage which has my therapist climbing onto the treatment bed to apply pressure more evenly. She then continues to soak my hair and scalp in oil and starts a very thorough scalp massage, which seems to move every muscle on my head, my ears, and neck. The stroking, light pulling, and tugging puts me in a daze and I almost feel like I am in some sort of meditative state, that is until my therapist starts using a soft tool to tap it all over my head with quite a bit of pressure, delivering a weird vibrating sensation. My treatment ends with a face massage and chiming sounds around my head to signify the end of the Crown Chakra.
With my hair and upper body full of oil, I am guided to the outdoor shower where a fresh towel, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash await me. Showering the oil off in the shade of palm trees and feeling the warm breeze on my skin, I can’t think of a better way to end this treatment, but indeed there is: my therapist presents me with a clay bracelet scented with the spicy oil I chose earlier – a simple but meaningful memento I carry with me for the rest of the day.