Having lived in Bali for nearly five years, I have had my share of massages from cheap “street” massages to luxurious spa experience and everything in between. I am absolutely in love with Balinese massages – well, any massages to be honest. After moving to Ubud at the beginning of 2019, one of my missions has been to explore some of the best spas in Ubud, and I am so excited to share my top list with you in this post!
If you have never been to Bali, let me just start by telling you that there is an infinite number of spas throughout the island – you can pay as low as USD 5 for an hour massage, up to hundreds of dollars for an all-inclusive spa packages that include a tea ceremony, massage, body scrub, flower bath, and beyond. The choices are endless.
But what I’ve discovered over many years of visiting various types of spa facilities is that you get what you pay for. Sure, some $5/hour massages can be great – but they generally lack the ambiance, customer service, serene setting, and the overall “package” that helps create the ultimate spa experience.
If you are traveling all this way to this magnificent paradise island, I imagine that you want to be walking on cloud nine by the time you step out of your day spa.
Am I right?
I thought so!
Read on to learn about my hand-selected spa resorts and spa treatments in Ubud, and why they should be on your top list of things to do when visiting this healing center of Bali!
Best Spa in Ubud with a View: Maya Ubud Spa
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10 years ago, I experienced my very first Balinese massage at @mayaubud and my life was never the same 😍 I returned to this spectacular resort for my anniversary spa treatment and everything was as stunning, serene and impeccable as I had remembered 🌳🛁🌼⠀ ⠀ If you are ever in Ubud area, treat yourself to a #flowerbath at @spaatmayaubud ❤️⠀ I mean, just look at this view! Need I say more? ☺️⠀
Spa at Maya Ubud holds a very special place in my heart. When I traveled to Bali for the first time in 2009 and stopped by Ubud, I was treated to my first Balinese massage at Maya Ubud. Let me just say that my life was never the same after that!
If the marvelous finger strokes and the sweet scent of frangipani oil didn’t send me directly to heaven, the breathtaking setting of the spa nestled in a jungle, with a sound of a river flowing below the “spa bungalows” certainly did.
I couldn’t stop dreaming about the beautiful spa experience at Maya for many years after I returned home to the US until I finally returned in 2013 for a second trip. Although this is entirely a different topic and a post, I fell so in love with Bali that I ended up making it my “home away from home.”
I recently returned to Maya Ubud for my 10th-anniversary visit, and the resort and the spa were just as stunning, immaculate, and spectacular as I had remembered.
The entire spa facility and the spa rooms are constructed beautifully with natural resources, sophistication, and class. When you walk into your private spa room, you are whisked away to a natural haven where all you hear are the birds chirping, leaves ruffling in the wind, and the river flowing underneath.
Deti, my therapist, spoiled me with the Signature Massage and Oh. My. God. When you have been receiving Bali massages for many years, you can spot quality by the skill of their fingers. Deti’s distinguished techniques and strokes were out of this world.
What I loved about the spa treatment at Maya Ubud (aside from amazing Deti) is the exposure to pure nature – you won’t hear any music playing over a speaker at this facility – only the sounds of the nature surrounding you. And don’t forget to ask for a #flowerbath! Soaking in Frangipani and Alamanda flowers while overlooking the jungle is an experience you won’t forget.
If the spa experience at Maya Ubud isn’t enticing enough, you can also access their stunning infinity pool at the spa inclusive of your spa treatment. So do yourself a favor, book a spa day and treat yourself to a relaxing day retreating from the busy Ubud center. Maya Ubud also offers a free shuttle service if you need transportation from the town center area.
Believe me, you will thank me for this one.
Phone: +62 361 977 888
Address: Jalan Gunung Sari Peliatan, Ubud Bali 80571 – Indonesia
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 20:00
Best Spa in Ubud for Chic Elegance: DaLa Spa
DaLa Spa is located in Alaya Resort on the main street of Jalan Hanoman in the center of Ubud, just a few minutes from the Sacred Monkey Forest. But when you walk into this perfectly manicured resort property, you will never notice that you are in downtown – you suddenly step into an oasis! Situated in the back of the resort, the open-air spa pavilion is a world away from the busy chaos just outside, and it is a separate world entirely on its own.
The spa lobby, with comfortable cushioned chairs, lounges and sofas are beautifully designed and decorated, creating a warm and welcoming space. As I showed up for my 120-minute Manis Klepon Spa package appointment, I was asked to fill out a form indicating my preferences.
If I were in any other spa, I would be asked to indicate my preference for the level of pressure and massage oil for the treatment. But DaLa Spa did not stop there.
I was given a choice between classic, chill-out and easy-listening music options, and even asked if 25°C room temperature was satisfactory for my comfort! That’s a whole another level of customer service.
Then I met my therapist Niti, who grated a fresh coconut that would become my body scrub following my 60-minute Balinese massage. I loved that DaLa Spa used only natural ingredients for all the treatments – the foot bath involved fresh slices of lime, ginger, and lemongrass; and the body mask was made of pandan leaves.
When I finally entered the spa room, I was blown away by the décor. DaLa Spa calls it “vintage-inspired” – it looked more like a hotel room than a spa room. From the beautiful chandeliers, safe box in the closet, opulent wallpaper, iPod dock station to a dressing table with hairdryer, hairbrush and body lotion – it was nothing like I’d ever seen in a spa room before. I’d like to call DaLa Spa the ultimate “chic elegance.”
For my Balinese massage, I had asked for a strong pressure. Now, when I normally request a strong massage, I rarely encounter a therapist who can maintain a consistently strong pressure throughout the 90 minutes. Not only did Niti provide the perfect pressure through the entire session, but her technique was outstanding! The firm finger strokes and skilled techniques that Niti used on my back were absolutely marvelous. These are the moments that make me realize that some experiences are worth paying for!
Phone: +62 361 972 200
Address: Alaya Resort Ubud Jl. Hanoman, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 22:00
Best Spa in Ubud for Quality Treatments on a Budget: Bali Botanica
If you are looking for a great overall experience – quality massage, clean facilities, friendly and welcoming staff – without breaking the bank, head to Bali Botanica.
I usually go for a Balinese massage or Deep Tissue massage, but I tried something different in my last visit to Bali Botanica – the Chakra Dhara Massage.
The infused massage oil they used with lotus, patchouli, lavender, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, rose, and clove was divine! I wished I could smell like this oil every day.
The unique feature of this treatment is the stimulation of the chakra points with the special oil that is meant to allow energy to enter the body and purify the body of toxins. My therapist Asti used slow, long, and intentional stroke movements on my body and even though I prefer strong massages, I surprisingly enjoyed this relaxation techniques.
After 2 wonderful hours of a full-body massage (although it only felt like 10 minutes!), we moved to Shirodhara, where Asti slowly dripped a warm, herbal oil to my third-eye chakra for 15 minutes. The ancient practice of Shirodhara is known to treat conditions such as migraines, insomnia, jetlag, hypertension, and depression.
The Shirodhara was certainly a new and interesting experience for me, and I felt tingling sensation enter my head, and flow through to my fingers. The oil saturated my head and hair, and although I was given a choice to rinse it out at the end, I decided to keep the oil until I got home for additional conditioning effect! Plus the oil smelled so good, I wanted to keep it for as long as possible.
Set off of the main street on Jalan Raya Campuan, Bali Botanica is removed from the hustling and bustling town center, about a 7-minute ride. In addition to the Chakra massage, Bali Botanica offers an extensive menu including manicure/pedicure, body treatments, massages, hair treatments, and facials for budget-friendly prices. I can’t wait to try the rest of their menu!
You can book the 2.5-hour Chakra Dhara massage for only IDR 595,000 (about USD 40) or book a whole day package including the Chakra Dhara treatment, body scrub, facial, flower bath, hair cream bath, and lunch (over 6 hours of indulgence) for just IDR 1,350,000 (USD 95)! I don’t know about you, but this is unheard of where I come from in the States!
Phone: +62 811 399 8895/ +62 361 976 739
Address: Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571 – Indonesia
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00
Best Spa in Ubud for a Therapeutic Massage: Karsa Spa
Since landing in Ubud, I had heard of Karsa Spa through the grapevines, and I had been dying to try this place. I finally fulfilled my wish yesterday, and all I can say was WOW. I couldn’t wait to get back to share my experience at Karsa!
Set in the rice fields at the end of a quiet trail of Campuhan Ridge Walk, as soon as I drove up to the spa, I was already impressed by the beautiful setting. Once you enter the spa property, I was welcomed by a stunning view of the rice terrace to my right, and a tranquil lotus pond to my left.
After checking in at the reception and filling out the paperwork indicating my preferences of treatment oil and pressure, I was introduced to Yono who would be my therapist for the 90-minute Intuitive Heart Massage. Then I was led to my massage room through the gardens, which was simple yet beautifully decorated with plants and flowers, and a small waterfall.
But that wasn’t even the highlight of Karsa.
I have had countless massages in Bali over the years and had my share of favorites, but Yono’s massage was the best I ever had. And I don’t say this lightly!
Yono’s skilled use of his fingers, knuckles, elbows, and palms of his hand released every tension I had in my body, and I felt like I had drifted off to another planet. The massage hit all the right spots, and I heard myself whimper several times in pure delight.
The technique Yono used was a bit different from the traditional Balinese massage that typically uses long, slow strokes. Yono’s strokes were more short and quick as if he was intentionally trying to remove the knots and kinks. And I tell you, it was bliss!
By the way, Yono was a male therapist, and I was initially reluctant, as I previously had an uncomfortable experience with a male masseuse. But Yono was professional, and I can’t recommend him enough!
If you are looking for a no-frill kind of service with a quality therapeutic massage that will have you floating in the air, head straight to Karsa!
Just a heads up, Karsa Spa Ubud is VERY popular – they are booked anywhere from 5-10 days in advance (maybe more during the high season) so be sure to plan your visit ahead!
Address: Behind Karsa Kafe on the Campuhan Ridge, Ubud, Bali
Opening Hours: 09:00 – 19:00
Best Spa in Ubud for Ayurveda Holistic Wellness: Tejas Spa
Tejas Spa is perhaps one of the most unique spas I have been to yet. Tejas Spa is not just about providing massages – their concept of Ayurveda wellness involves a mission of bringing health, awakening, restoration, and balance to people’s lives using a holistic approach.
Before visiting Tejas Spa, I was not very well versed in the Ayurveda’s philosophy, so I was fascinated when the Spa Manager Kadek offered to provide me with a free consultation to determine a wellness package that would best suit me.
During the consultation, Kadek explained the ideology of Ayurveda, identified me as Pitta dominant (there are also Kapha and Vata types), offered some dietary and lifestyle habits that would help balance my fire element, and suggested that I would most benefit from a “de-stress” treatment package.
It was amazing how Kadek could accurately “read” my body type and traits so quickly!
I entrusted Kadek with creating my “de-stress” treatment, which involved a foot bath ritual, Abhyangam body massage, Shirodhara (warm oil poured onto your forehead), and a flower bath in Tejas’ Chandra room, which is a “moon” themed room to help soothe my fire element.
As part of their Ayurveda concept, Tejas Spa has six carefully designed and decorated rooms to match elements of fire, earth, space, air, and water to suit each guest’s energy. I got to peek inside some of the rooms, and they each have unique color themes such as orange, red, cream, yellow, green, burgundy and blue to create a healing space for the treatments.
When I peeked into the “Radiance” room in red, Kadek indicated that the room would not be a good match for my “fire” type. Interestingly, as soon as I walked into the Chandra Room, the “moon” room in crème/beige palette where I was assigned, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm and peace.
Kadek turned to me and said, “this is a good space for you.”
Wow. I had never experienced anything like this before.
As if that wasn’t impressive enough, I didn’t realize that my body massage involved two therapists who would use perfect synchronization and rhythmic movements to release the stress stored in my body. If you have never had 4 hands giving you a body massage – you have got to try this! It is beyond amazing!
The de-stress massage, combined with Shirodhara and a flower bath left me so relaxed that I had a hard time moving when my treatment came to an end! I hadn’t felt THAT relaxed in such a long time.
Even though you can scan through the spa menu and select your own treatment, I highly recommend that you meet with Kadek first and allow her to guide you through this unique Ayurveda experience. Kadek offers free consultation from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00 and on Saturday from 09:00 to 15:00– call ahead to make your appointment!
I hope you get a chance to try some of my personal favorites in Ubud – and when you do, I would love to hear what you thought of the spa! Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know your experience.
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I was kindly invited by some of the spas in this post, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own. This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase using the link in this post, I get paid a small commission at absolutely no cost to you (yay for you and me!).