Travel Betty

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Spa Betty Series: Boreh Boreh

September 7th, 2008 · 7 Comments

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You may have noticed that during my Bali Spa Series endeavor, I became a little obsessed with the reflexology (as demonstrated here, here, here, here, here and here). Not wanting to chase away all of my loyal readers who prefer other types of spa treatments, I sign up for my first Boreh Scrub.

What the heck is that, you ask? Well, it’s a mixture of things like ginger, cloves, pepper, nutmeg, rice powder and cinnamon. Like the Balinese Lulur Scrub, this paste is rubbed all over your naked body before you’re wrapped like a spiced cadaver to stew in your own juices. It is said that Boreh improves blood circulation, relieves muscular pains and headaches, and is good for healing the flu. I can’t vouch for all that, but I did enjoy the treatment.

Having been to Putri Bali II for a Lulur Scrub my first week here, I choose to go to Putri Bali I to try the Boreh. I also decide to get a facial since I haven’t yet had one here. Typically I don’t like facials because they hurt, my nose runs and I enjoy popping my own zits, but for $5, I can afford to take a walk on the wild side.

The technician leads me through Putri Bali I’s lush garden to a private hut and starts me off with the facial. My hair is pulled back out of my face with a terry cloth band of questionable cleanliness. Then various lotions and tinctures are applied to my countenance. It’s relaxing, but is also totally something I could do at home and in less time. This isn’t like the pseudo-medical facials I’ve gotten at home from certified estheticians. There is no magnifying glass, no bright lights, no “expressing of facial congestion.” It’s just a down-home face cleanse and that’s alright by me.

After the facial, the real fun begins. I’m given a pair of tourist panties and then the woman rubs the dark brown Boreh paste all over my body. It’s messy as hell and when all is said and done, the term “scat play” comes to mind (sorry, Puritans). It smells nice though and I am wrapped up and left to my thoughts to let the paste really work its magic.

After maybe 10 minutes, I am led to the outdoor bathroom attached to my private hut. The woman tells me to shower before getting into the flower petal bath she has prepared. I heed her instructions, hoping my shower runoff will be turned into some sort of Balinese mulled wine. Then I dip myself into the bath and soak my cares away while sipping hot ginger tea and watching ants scurry around the tub.

Travel Betty Basics

Putri Bali I, Legian, Bali Indonesia
Ambiance: 3.0 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Treatment: 3.5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Cost: Boreh Scrub 100,000 rupiah (including tax) / Facial 50,000 rupiah (including tax)
What that means in U.S. Dollars: $16.21

Other Betties Blogging About Boreh

Karla, over at Write Sense
Yoyo, of Yoyo The Sheep fame 

Tags: Bali · Spas

Related posts you may enjoy:
  • Spa Betty Series: Pay More Get Less At Pertiwi Resort & Spa
  • Spa Betty Series: 3 (Almost 4) Massages In One Day. Oh My!
  • 30 Days. 30 Spa Treatments. For 300 Dollars?


  • 7 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Farsighted Fly Girl // Sep 9, 2008 at 9:26 am

      Ants!! EEK! Did you get bitten? The sight of ants scurrying around my naked body would kill the experience for me. Then again, I’m not much for outdoor spa treatments. This reminds me of a spa treatment I had in St. Lucia with an outdoor showere under a coconut palm. It was a lovely visual but I was freezing in the ocean breeze and convinced that stalkers were peeking over the top. Anyway, love your site!

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    • 2 jean // Sep 14, 2008 at 7:57 am

      Nice post, very detailed information. Think a good spa is something more about mental relaxation in an enjoyable environment. : )

      I sometimes check with local guides where they go for spa or massage. Partly because I’m working on the concept that to travel with a local personal guide for more insights (http://www.ourexplorer.com). Partly because if the locals go there, the place would be good of value, better than tourist-only spas.

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    • 3 Travel Betty // Sep 15, 2008 at 10:12 pm

      Don’t worry, FFG, they were scurrying far enough away to remain calm!

      Thanks, Jean. Asking locals is always good advice. In Bali I found most locals would go to pretty bare bones places though. A good value for sure, but probably not exactly what most tourists are looking for. And since the price of even “tourist” spas were quite reasonable, it’s worth a few more rupiah to get a little ambience.

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    • 4 amanda // Oct 16, 2008 at 8:02 pm

      It sounds great ! I’m following your Bali spa series ! I can’t wait to go. I know I’ll find a way to get there soon ….

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    • 5 Paige // Aug 15, 2009 at 3:03 am

      I’ve been seaching the contact for Putri Bali spa as it is recommended by few travel books, but it seems this spa does not have a website.
      Is it crowded, like i’ve to make an appointment? i’m planned to a trip there end of aug.

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    • 6 Travel Betty // Aug 15, 2009 at 8:32 am

      Paige, it’s a fairly basic spa. Not all shee-shee or anything, so I’m not surprised they don’t have a site. Each time I went I just walked right in, so hopefully you won’t have a problem. There are two locations as well, so if one is busy hopefully you can hit the other which isn’t far away. Have fun!

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    • 7 Jocelyn Fong // Dec 16, 2009 at 9:35 pm

      Dear Tavel Betty,

      Just came back from Bali last week and I must agree with you that the balinese massage is wonderful! Well, this is the first time I am in Bali and i did try out the spa in the hotel which turned out so good and after the treatment i felt that my body rejuvenated! I like the idea of them using the oil on your body which made the massage less painful compared to the one they do in Phuket. Really enjoyed the trip to Bali!

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