Travel Betty

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Spa Betty Series: Wedding Day Bliss-O-Palooza At Tugu Hotel

December 4th, 2007 · 10 Comments

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Man, I hate when someone suffixes something with Palooza.


So, today is the big day. (Well, it was when I first wrote this…10/31/07) Travel Boyfriend and I are taking the Nestea Plunge® into wedded matrimony. But first, I’m going to offer myself over to Tugu Hotel’s spa staff to tenderize me into a state of euphoria.

Tugu Buddha

Bless their souls, Tugu Hotel offers a mind-boggling array of spa options in a variety of settings amidst their lush and architecturally detailed property. I knew I had met my match when I requested their spa menu and received an 18-page PDF file in return. No joke!

For the next 150 minutes (while Travel Boyfriend lounges by the pool wondering what the heck I could possibly be doing for 2 ½ hours), I am scheduled to receive the four-pronged Keraton treatment, which Tugu describes thusly:

A combination of several techniques and treatments, to make you feel like a Javanese Prince or Princess in Keraton (Javanese Palace). This Keraton treatment applies the Royal Javanese full body treatment. This cultural experience will take you to the journey through time of Javanese total body treatment. It begins with a 45-minues scalp massage and traditional hair treatment called Ratus Wangi (a hair perfuming treatment where the hair is perfumed with the steam of boiling essence – also good if suffering the hair loss, can help here), followed by a 45-minutes full-body traditional Balinese massage, Royal Javanese Luluran (traditional, all-natural body scrub) and ends with a relaxing, indulging Mandi Susu Bunga (tropical floral and milk bath).

Dear god, doesn’t that make you feel relaxed just reading it? And steam of boiling essence? How do they think these things up?

Tugu Door

My treatment is taking place in an al fresco hut with gentle breezes blowing across my bare skin. That actually sounds better than it is when we get to the part where I’m slathered in turmeric paste and yogurt. Then it’s just darn right chilly. And to be honest, 2 ½ hours is actually an insanely long period of time to be lying on a massage table. But, the two attendants couldn’t be sweeter. They are my wedding day Aunties and they keep me from dwelling too much on not having my bridesmaids around on this special day.

My only worry during the process is making sure I am able to completely scrub off the turmeric paste. During my first lulur the week prior, I came home at the end of the night with a bra and tank top stained yellow. This was super classy since I’d been hanging out at Captain Cook’s that night trying to make friends and was unaware that it looked like I was sporting golden NBA-player-sized pit stains.

But as I bob around after the massage and scrub in the flowered milk bath, one of my Tugu Aunties assures me I will be fine and that the natural paste will not stain my dress. Then she scoops warm water up from the tub and drizzles it over my arms and back as she chats to me about her daughter. The moment feels very Ya Ya Sisterhood (and I like it). Then she instructs me to get out of the tub so she can pat me dry.

“You can take off underwear.”

I glance down and see that my tourist panties looks like I’m wearing the adult diaper of a nursing home patient on an all-carrot diet. Ew! Feeling surprisingly unmodest, I slip them off and allow her to envelop me in a towel.

Afterwards she says, “You can put underwear on now.”

Not too sure I want to get back into the slogging mass, my hand moves furtively to the tourist panties bunched up on the edge of the tub.

“No, the underwear of Miss Betty.”


Tugu Chair

I am then led over to the hair creaming station. Mmmm, my scalp is massaged and my hair is creamed and then I smell the boiling essence and the breeze is blowing and I’m warm from the bath and I think they could be preparing me for an execution instead of a wedding right now and I wouldn’t care a lick.

Soon enough I’m led back to the pool area where Travel Boyfriend has just started to get antsy. He laughs and points at a flower the Tugu Auntie hung from a single strand of my hair. Guys just don’t get it.

Travel Betty Basics

Tugu Hotel
Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Telephone +62 361 731 701
Ambiance: 5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Treatment: 5 out of 5 Passion Fruits
Cost: US $74 (this was my splurge, but imagine what it would have cost in the States!)

Tags: Bali · Spas · Weddings

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  • 10 responses so far ↓

    • 1 Robert @ // Dec 4, 2007 at 7:41 pm

      Hi Betty, are you in Bali right now? Thanks for promoting the tourism places in my country!
      Hope you enjoy your stay there!


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    • 2 Never the Same River Twice // Dec 5, 2007 at 10:49 am

      Very funny story, Betty! I don’t blame you at all for worrying about the tumeric paste.

      Many congratulations on your wedded bliss!

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    • 3 Karen (Karooch from Scraps of Mind) // Dec 7, 2007 at 9:11 pm

      That was almost as good as having a massage myself Betty. Ummm….well now I come to think of it, nothing is as good as having a massage yourself.

      But thanks for sharing this great experience with us. I won’t say it’s almost as good as being there, because that’s so not true.

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    • 4 Sol Lederman // Dec 11, 2007 at 10:36 am

      Nice post. I’ve never been to Indonesia. It sounds like a great travel and spa experience. “Travel Boyfriend?” What does he think of the “nickname”!?!?

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    • 5 Travel Betty // Dec 11, 2007 at 10:00 pm

      He actually doesn’t mind, Sol! In fact, we discussed changing his nickname after the wedding, but I convinced him that it sounds sexier to go on a vacation with a hot boyfriend.

      Thanks for the comments and the congrats, everyone!

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    • 6 Sarah // Dec 15, 2007 at 11:19 am

      Hi there,
      I was just searching weddings in Bali, and found your blog site? I was just wondering if you could offer some advice, do’s and don’ts from your special day. It will just be the 2 of us…I would love to hear from you!


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    • 7 Travel Betty // Dec 16, 2007 at 9:31 am

      Congratulations, Sarah! I would highly recommend a Bali wedding for anyone looking for something different for their big day.

      I need to write a post about the planning process, so thanks for the reminder. In the meantime, the wedding planning company I used was They’ll hook you up!

      A couple dos and don’ts off the top of my head:
      do include family/friends if you can
      do select a location that’s convenient so you’re not traveling most of the day to get to the site
      don’t stress. let everyone else deal with unexpected issues while you stay blissfully unaware!

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    • 8 judi Heckendorf. Australia // Aug 1, 2008 at 4:17 pm

      Hi Betty,
      I perform massage and have been searching the web trying to find how to give a ratus wangi or perfumed hair treatment. I believe in Indonesia
      they can do a smoked one also. Can you give me some leads or perhaps tell me how they performed yours please! ps I enjoyed your site

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    • 9 Travel Betty // Aug 3, 2008 at 8:23 pm

      Hi Judi,

      I’m not exactly sure what all they use, but my hair was held over a basin with incense burning beneath it so the smoke rose up and perfumed my hair. I would contact the Tugu Hotel directly if you’d like to find out the exact procedure. Sorry I can’t be more helpful, but good luck with your practice! And thanks for stopping by :)

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    • 10 judi Heckendorf. Australia // Aug 4, 2008 at 2:38 am

      Thank you Betty, your helpfullness is appreciated. Cheers Judi

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