In need of a quick getaway from our hectic schedule, we went on a full boarding package at the Spa Village Resort in Tembok, Bali – a 3-night stay in room at a 5-star resort, with daily 3-course breakfast, lunch and dinner, 2 days of 2-hour spa, more than 5 different activities to try in a day. I bought this package from Hospitality World, thinking it was a good deal. After confirming dates for this trip, I engaged with the hotel directly to arrange the airport transfer (provided in the package) and my requirements for the stay.
After our 3-hour flight, we arrived at the Ngurah Rai Airport and greeted by our driver. We got on a super comfortable air conditioned vehicle and were offered drinks and snacks. The resort is located on the north of Bali and getting there involves a 3-hour drive uphill – I know, what the **** but if you’ve seen the traffic and terrains of Bali, you’ll understand. The 3-hour journey didn’t feel that long, the ride was smooth and the driver, courteous. Most importantly, they provided WiFi.
The resort is located at an isolated area, a distance away from the main road. The driveway leading to the resort had its sides lined with bamboo trees and the open lobby was grand. As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed at the lobby and served ice lime juice. We were given hot towels and instructed to soak our feet inside a bowl of warm water, which were then scrubbed and cleaned by the our attendants. We put on our slippers and were led to the resort.
What made this trip awesome, were the things that followed:
1. Tranquil surroundings and gorgeous pool
Before going into our room, our attendants brought us on a brief tour of the resort – explaining what we can do and where we can do it. The tour began from the lobby and just at the back of it, we had a full view of the resort. The first things we saw were it’s well manicured gardens and lawns (the trees had labels on them, explaining where they’re from) and a gorgeous pool overlooking the ocean.
The resort itself is of a moderate size, that you can see just about everything here but I suppose the point of staying here is to explore everything and to be able to access everything easily, so the layout is practical. Despite everything being so open, the resort is small, so it’s still very serene. When we were there, there were probably 5 other couples there and we only see them during breakfast/lunch/dinner or when there are open activities in the lawn.
The pool is gorgeous. Most of the time we went in, we had it to ourselves. By the poolside were pavilion structures with day beds and cushions for guests to chill. We spent our time there during sunsets, just lying down, talking and playing with our phones.
2. Distraction-free room
Our room was the Kamar Room, which located on the ground floor and can be entered from glass doors facing the lawn. There was an open area with a couch in front of our room for us to hang and chill while enjoying the sea breeze.
The room had a traditional Balinese design with amenities to cater to our basic needs – comfy bed, lots of pillows, wardrobe, plenty of light. Most of the time we just slide the glass doors open for the view and the breeze. When we required privacy, we shut the blinds.
What we didn’t find in the room was a TV nor any WiFi connection. I think this is done on purpose, since this resort is designed as a retreat that can seclude it guests from the outside world. Not a big problem for us though, we still lie on bed and do things on our phones while roaming. Seriously, how often to we even use a TV when overseas?
We were greeted with a personal note from the staff and a suggested itinerary for our stay. They also served hot herbal tea on a tray upon our arrival and every time after our room was made up in the morning and turned down in the evening. The staff who were attending to our room also left a note and signs their name each time.
3. Mouthwatering Fusion Food
Since this is a full boarding package, we’re entitled to 3-course breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, which can be served at the open air restaurant or in our rooms. The meals are served at certain times e.g. lunch is served from 12.30 PM to 12.30PM, but on the times we were not available to have the meals at the given times (because we were at the spa for 2 hours, for example), we could request them to save the meals for us. We also made sure to request halal meats for every meal and the staff were always smiling and so accommodating.
Each meal came with either coffee or tea and fresh exotic juice of our choice (they served the combinations we’ve never tried elsewhere). Apart from the breakfast, the menu changes daily, so we got the chance to try new things everyday. They served from nasi goreng to baked fish to pisang goreng served with bread and strawberries.
3. Relaxing Spa
Our package entitled us to daily 50 minute spa at the resort’s Spa Village (the Spa Village chain of spas can be found at, for example, The Majestic Hotel and Ritz Carlton). Spa everyday okay, so awesome. Instead of having a 50-minute spa everyday, the staff that assisted us in booking the time slots suggested that we split the 3x 50-minute sessions into 2x 75-minute sessions, to give us more time for each session. While making the appointment, too, we were given to choice of massages e.g. Balinese or Malay.
Before each session, we were served iced watermelon and strawberries (such a brilliant idea) and lime juice to help us relax. This one time we were brought to a sauna that didn’t look like a sauna. We sat down and put our feet on resting on hot black sand. Although it’s our legs that were exposed to the heat, our whole body was sweating. In this room, they served us ice and caramel (also brilliant idea).
After that we were brought to the spa treatment room for our massage. It was okay, not any different from the better spas in KL but the ambiance was on point. We had Balinese music playing at all times and after the spa, each of us were served jamu – mine was jamu meant for women, Reza’s jamu meant for men.
Apparently we can also opt for an outdoor massage, beneath the stars but I was not aware of the option when I was there.
4. New experiences
The resort had plenty of activities to offer. When we first arrived, they gave us a suggested itinerary with a list of all activities that were held in the month. Among the activities were physical activities like walks, silat and hands-on workshops e.g. cooking, jamu making, lontar drawing. Most were free, some you had to add on.
We signed up for some of the free activities, but the most memorable activity for us was the stargazing. At night, after dinner, we lay on a large flat float on the swimming pool that was prepared by the hotel. This resort gets very dark at night and we could see stars, yes, but seeing the stars while lying flat on the ground, while floating on the pool is a different experience altogether. We saw thousands of stars that night and within the 30-minute, see their movements (actually the earth is moving). It was also a first for me to see shooting stars – I saw at least 3 that night! My Lumix could certainly not capture the beauty of the skies that night 😥
Then there was the activity that was included part of our package, the sunrise and sunset cruise.
The resort is located on a rocky beach and there were a couple of Balinese jukong (traditional boat) scattered near the beach. Little did I know that the cruise we signed up on involved getting on the jukong. It’s super narrow, kalah a sampan and when you’re sitting on it, the water is just reachable by hand. When you think of a cruise you imagine decent sized motorboats but this jukong was actually scary to be on. Especially when we took the boat at 5.30PM when everything was dark and foggy that I felt like I could be attacked by something at any time.
The whole experience turned out to be amazing, though. The view for the ocean and mountains were just spectacular. I suppose the whole experience was even better since we were on such a small boat with close proximity to the water. We went on the sunset cruise first and thought that was good, well, the sunrise cruise was even better. We started out dark and saw the sunrise slowly coloring the sky and ocean in different hues. Then we saw a school of dolphins, in the wild! Our jukong captain was so generous to have gone back and forth so that we would get better views of the dolphins.
The first time we came to Bali, we stayed at a 5-star resort with impeccable service, so we slightly worried that our expectations will not be met here, but the hospitality of the staff at Spa Village Bali won me over:
- Before we got to Bali the staff were already inquiring about my requirements to make appropriate arrangements e.g. Reza’s birthday cake;
- On the way to the resort, the chauffeur made sure that we were comfortable. At one point where the ride was rough, my phone fell on the side of the seats. I didn’t even make a fuss out of it but the chauffeur was aware, that he slowed down the car and stopped by the side of the road and got down to open my door so we could locate my phone;
- Knowing that we’d miss the lunch window upon reaching the resort, the staff made sure that they saved the lunch for us and delivered it to our room so that we could have it when we arrive;
- When having meals at the restaurant, the staff took note of our preferences and served with a smile;
- On Reza’s birthday, the whole staff celebrated at the restaurant by singing him a happy birthday and serving him cake (I was also surprised by this, I arranged for a cake and got a celebration lol);
- During the cruise, our attendant cruised back and forth so that we’d get a good view of the dolphins;
- On the way back to the airport, we learned that the staff had already made arrangements with the chauffeur to bring us around Ubud, a free tour before we reach the airport for out late afternoon flight
By the last day of our stay, we were recharged and ready to go home. It was a good break and the kind I would recommend for those who wants to be away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and those who are okay with only staying at the resort. You’ll be well-taken care of i.e. well-fed and well-pampered and if you sign up for the activities, you’ll see and learn new things 🙂
Read TripAdvisor reviews on Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali.