Great hospitality awaits you at SLH Bali
By Kyoko El Mahgiub - JMEC 17 3rd place winnerAs someone who has done the backpacking thing for most of my traveling life, I have to say that I was ready for something more comfortable, and the stay we had at the SLH resort in Bali certainly delivered. In the lingering heat of September, we stayed at Spa Village Resort Tembok, which is on Bali’s secluded north coast, about 3 hours from the airport. The great thing about the hotel was that it had the relaxing atmosphere, comfort and top level hospitality you’d expect from a big hotel chain, but with a hint of local culture and customs. The pampering began at the moment we arrived at the hotel as we were given a free welcome foot massage using local black sand and vivid colored flower petals. We sat back and enjoyed the massage while the staff did the paperwork and checked us in. The friendly staff member (who spoke Japanese and English) then showed us to our room, which had a view over the peaceful tropical garden and private beach. The room was comfortable and spacious. The staff member then explained to us the activity timetable that was sitting on the desk. The resort puts on a number of activities from morning until evening – from Yoga to oil painting, crafting, Balinese martial arts and star gazing. The point of the resort is to give you a place to have a calm, restorative time and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of Bali. After arriving, I decided to take a yoga lesson, which was held in the middle of the tranquil garden with the sound of waves in the background. I then checked out the art studio, where an invited Western artist provided art lessons to guests. For lunch, I went to the hotel’s restaurant, which is located right by the beach and also overlooks the pool and garden. In the evening we tried the hotel’s recommended “star gazing” activity, in which you float in the middle of the pool on an airbed and gaze at the starlit sky while listening to healing music. After a full first day, I certainly felt that this was a place where you can come and restore your energy through relaxing and creative activities. On the following day, I tried the “top- to-toe” spa treatment. I was first lead to the natural sauna where I placed my legs under a grass blanket and had my legs steamed. This was said to improve circulation in order to allow the oil massage treatments to work better. While I sat there, I was given some shaved ice covered in sugar cane juice wrapped in a banana leaf, followed by pieces of watermelon and a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice of my choice. I was totally spoiled even before the actual oil treatment! The massage was excellent, and I was able to choose my favorite aroma oil. This was the last stay of a one-week trip to Bali, and it was then I realized how tired the previous few days had made me and how the massage helped me to feel healed. If you are looking for somewhere to fully relax, refresh and replenish yourself, this resort (and the SLH resorts in general) are great for getting away from stress and life’s hassles.