Travel Betty

Encouraging Fearless Independent Travel For Women

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Spa Betty Series: Mini-Massage Provides Major Enjoyment

November 5th, 2007 · 3 Comments

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On vacation from my vacation, I find myself up in Ubud, Bali’s cultural center. I’m staying at Taman Rahasia (aka. Bali Secret Garden) located just outside enough from the center of town to make it annoying.

Unlike the Kuta area, there are no metered taxis in Ubud. That means you’ve got to haggle with every damn person you want a ride from. At first, this is quite unsettling since you have no idea what the going rate is and you know you’re getting screwed no matter what you agree to.

But then you figure out about how much it should cost and you just tell the person, “I know a guy who will take me there for X amount. I can give my money to you or I can give my money to him. It doesn’t matter to me.” At that point he will agree to take your money.

But, I digress. The real reason I’m here is not to get transported to and fro by the Ubudese. It’s to enjoy my two-night Secret Garden Cooking School package which includes a mini-massage as part of the overall deal.

I decide to hold off on the massage until after the cooking class, so I can make sure that my bones and muscles are suitably weary. Nothing like slaving over a hot wok to get you in the mood to be kneaded.

Taman Rahasia 1

The spa at Taman Rahasia is conveniently (and somewhat unfortunately) located just next to my room, so I don’t have to travel far. It’s a simply decorated outdoor facility. As tasteful and appealing as the rooms and property in general.

Unlike massages past, this one is thankfully done with clothes on (I’m assuming since it’s a mini), so I don’t have to worry about “breath massage” issues.

The masseuse asks me if I prefer my massages hard. I tell her not too hard because I’m afraid if I say I like them soft that she’ll just pat at me condescendingly for 30 minutes.

What happens next is the purely blissful, expertly performed massage I’ve been dreaming about since arrival in Bali. At no point during the entire event am I uncomfortable. There are no thoughtless jabs. No too-oft repeated strokes. It’s just the right amount of pressure over the right areas and it seems like it lasts for longer than it actually should.

In fact, at one point (not wanting a spa treatment to go by without there being some form of awkwardness), the masseuse tells me she’s finished and asks me to turn over. These being two conflicting messages, I ask for clarification that the massage is indeed finished. Getting what I think is affirmation, I roll over (as asked), sit up, do my “Mmm, that felt reallllllly good” verbal encouragement, and hop off the table to go put on my shoes. She giggles and tells me we aren’t done and I sheepishly return for more.

Taman Rahasia Spa

If it weren’t for my desire to stick to my overall $300 spa budget, I probably would have been gluttonous and asked for her to give me every treatment on the menu. But just knowing that excellent massages in Bali are possible gives me the faith to carry on with my quest.

But, the best massage I’ve ever had was in Spa Whistler.

Travel Betty Basics

Taman Rahasia
Penestanan, Ubud, Bali
Ambiance: 4.5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Treatment: 5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Cost: 70,000 rupiah (the ala carte price, although mine was actually included with the cooking school package)
What that means in U.S. Dollars: $7.66

Tags: Bali · Spas

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  • Spa Betty Series: The First Massage A Little Shakey
  • 30 Days. 30 Spa Treatments. For 300 Dollars?

  • 3 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Gerri // Nov 8, 2007 at 6:18 am

      Congrats on getting married!!! I hope there will be a place for photos to be shared….

      You know, I love reading your blogging so much…it literally is the high point in my day so far. (in fairness, it is only 8:17am right now, but things aren’t looking too promising so far! LOL!)

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    • 2 mickey // Nov 10, 2007 at 2:24 pm

      yes yes , congrats!

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    • 3 kris tann // Nov 11, 2007 at 9:09 pm

      great post, had me laughing… thanks travel betty!
      gorgeous photos.

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