Travel Betty

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Spa Betty Series: Ayuervedic Shiro Dara Treatment

May 9th, 2009 · 9 Comments

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Having always wanted to try that treatment where they dribble hot oil over your forehead, I do a search when I’m in Bali and see that Prana Spa is my best bet.

Welcome to Prana

It’s a bit of a splurge, but Prana also owns Chill, my ultimate favorite reflexology place in Bali, so I know it’s going to be quality. Unlike Chill with its clean, sparse design, Prana Spa is quite elaborate. The décor has lots of Indian influence with rich colors and regal flourishes. And the spa is part of a bigger complex including villas, a delicious veggie restaurant I went to twice (a veggie restaurant that also happens to serve meat!), and a pretty kick ass and reasonably priced store.

After checking in at the front desk and being a dork by taking pics (so my Betties can get a feel for the place), I am led back into the spa complex to an ornate changing room. Another woman, who I will affectionately refer to as the Spa Nazi, instructs me on the finer points of dressing roomery. It’s not so much in a “let me be helpful to you” kind of way more than it is a “I’m the boss, jackass” type of helpful. I don’t dare ask to take pictures of the dressing room. I don’t even dare to look around too much. But before I get a detention for snapping my gum, I am fetched for my Ayuervedic Shiro Dara treatment.

In the treatment room, I spy what I assume is the oil drooling device and I start to feel giddy. But before we can get to the good stuff, the whole thing starts off with a scalp, neck and shoulder massage. It’s nice and all, but I’m anxious for the oil. And soon enough it comes.

Regarded as an anti-aging treatment, Shiro Dara is also said to awaken the third eye. At first mine says, “Hey, who the F$#@ is pouring hot oil all over me?” but after a minute or so it says, “Mmmm, this feels good if I just keep my lid closed.” The oil is warm and silky and oh so soothing as it glides over my skin and starts to drench my hair. Every once in a while, the technician moves the spigot around so that the oil isn’t just spilling onto the same spot on my head. I think about how this whole process sounds similar to Chinese water torture and I can’t help but think what a difference viscosity makes.

Unsure of how long it will last, I spend most of the time trying not to worry about when it will stop. Maybe defeating the purpose. But either way, I feel relaxed and calm and pampered. After about 20 minutes, the well is dry and I am again given a neck and shoulder massage. But now it’s just feeling kind of irritating because the technician keeps rubbing the same few places over and over again. Soon enough, I am offered tea and led back up to the Spa Nazi. I spend my time in the shower thinking up ways of getting myself my own oil dribble machine. With spa prices what they are in the States, I doubt I’ll ever know the pleasures of Shiro Dara again.

Travel Betty Basics

Prana Spa at the Villas
Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Ambiance: 5.0 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Treatment: 3.5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Cost: $75 U.S. (the only place that charged me in dollars)

Note: I was able to make a reservation for my treatment online which was great because I didn’t have a phone. But I didn’t get a same-day appointment, so if you want to go, make sure that you reserve ahead of time. It’s the only place I’d needed to.

Things To Do on raveable

Tags: Bali · Spas

Related posts you may enjoy:
  • Spa Betty Series: Another Trip to Kenko Reflexology In Ubud
  • 30 Days. 30 Spa Treatments. For 300 Dollars?
  • Spa Betty Series: Boreh Boreh


  • 9 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Fun Lilliy // May 15, 2009 at 12:06 pm

      That is amazing.. glad to have stumbled across your blog its great.. I am a traveling women as well and most times I travel alone.. so great tips and reviews on this blog.. for sure will be coming for more.. I have just started my own travel blog and your is so inspiring.. look forward to more of your posts..

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    • 2 Amanda is a Traveling Photographer // May 28, 2009 at 9:54 am

      Another spa post that leaving me jealous. I was trying to explain to a friend the appeal of Bali ( she said she might be interested in traveling there with me ! ) , so I’m forwarding her your blog. I know there is a lot to SEE and DO, but I openly admitted that I wanted to indulge in lots of spa stuff too. ;)

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    • 3 Lilliy (aka Fun lilliy) // Jun 25, 2009 at 8:07 am

      I have choosen your blog for one of “The Lovely Blog Awards” on my blog..
      I hope to see more posts as I have enjoyed reading your spa reviews and your travels especially that I travel as a solo female sometimes..

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    • 4 Chris // Sep 8, 2009 at 3:50 pm

      You are taking me on a memory lane journey… Seminyak surfing, spas, and nasi goreng in ’95. I recall an avocado hair conditioner and neck massage that was awesome.

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    • 5 Stephanie Robin // Sep 15, 2009 at 2:06 pm

      This look absolutely amazing!!! I would love to go there! And I love your blog!

      I would like to take this opportunity to ask you and your readers for some help in my mission of saving lives. Thank you for posting such important information. My name is Stephanie Robin and I am fighting Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer and have been sharing my story through my organization, THINK PINK. Each day I am amazed at the number of people I meet who have never heard of the Breast Cancer Gene (BRCA). I am on a mission to spread the word and help as many men and women as possible. Had I known about the BRCA gene, the past five years of my life may not have consisted of many grueling chemotherapy treatments and painful surgeries, let alone the daily fear of my children losing their mommy long before I had a chance to raise them. My THINK PINK team and I have a lofty goal to collect ONE MILLION clicks by Dec. 31, 2009. I invite you and your readers to help me in my mission – a simple click is all it takes!!! Please visit http://www.thinkpinkrocks.com and click to be counted and acknowledge that you now have the information that could save your life. Please share this link with your friends and family. It’s too important not to. Thank you XOXO.

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    • 6 David Dutton // Sep 22, 2009 at 9:32 am

      Enjoyed the photos immensely. Do you think the oil really works as an anti-aging treatment? It sounds great.

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    • 7 Travel Betty // Sep 22, 2009 at 9:55 am

      Not sure I believe in any anti-aging treatment, David. Except maybe an optimistic attitude and sunscreen. But either way, the treatment felt great :)

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    • 8 Martin B. // Nov 4, 2009 at 3:34 am

      And you Betgty realy need anti-aging :)
      PS: Great Blog.
      Keep on.

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    • 9 Carly Harris // Jul 25, 2010 at 5:49 am

      Betty, I’m going there tomorrow for this treatment, I’ll let you know how it goes!

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