Walking across the long wooden bridge in the middle of the jungle, I feel it sway beneath my feet — is it supposed to do that? The river is rushing 30 feet below me and the trees are loud with the almost electronic sound of buzzing, it must be crickets. At the end of the bridge I see the spa lobby on the right-hand side, it’s open and airy, with a view to yet another river, towering bamboo, and the sounds and scents of nature.
We arrive, and they bring a beautiful welcome drink, it tastes of pomegranate and hibiscus, slightly sweet and floral. The cold washcloths are scented with cinnamon, and as I wipe my face, I inhale deeply, already feeling stress peeling away. Good riddance.
After filling out our forms and choosing our oils (I always choose lemongrass and Maddy Sandalwood) we’re taken to the open-air treatment room. Today we’re having a hot stone massage, their specialty. I don’t think I told Maddy about the hot stones part, he’s not a fan of excess heat, but I’m positive he will like it…
We undress in our changing room, donning the kimonos and admiring the outdoor shower…. Bali is onto something with these rock formed garden-like showers. It just feels right, all very waterfall-y. Now for the massage…. it begins with a footbath as every treatment in Bali does. Fresh flowers and peppermint oil mingle in perfectly warm water, and somehow my therapist, Yani, knows the exact amount of pressure to use so that it doesn’t tickle my feet, just relaxes them. Before closing my eyes, I take one look in front of me, nothing but nature. Ahh.
After a few minutes, she guides me to the massage table, I’m side by side with Maddy. We begin face down, and from the start, I know this is going to be good: she’s on top of the table and warming me up, before beginning to dig in deep. The pressure is just how I like it: almost too intense in moments unless you take deep cleansing and fortifying breaths. It’s the perfect touch and I tell her so.
After a while, it’s time to turn over. Now come the hot stones. She places several beneath my back and I feel them sear into me. “How is the temperature?” she checks with me. “It’s perfect, thank you.”
I hear Maddy’s therapist ask the same, and he tells her it’s too hot — oops, maybe I should have warned him. She must cool them off or something because in a moment she asks again and he says they’re fine. I drift back off to my delirium.
Now she begins to massage me with warmed oil and the hot stones. I feel them glide over my body and release tension with each pass. The lemongrass odor is stronger now, and it puts me into an ever deeper trance. Before I know it it’s time to flip over again, and she places hot stones under my chest and belly and begins to massage my back with hot stones again. I resist moaning aloud, but just barely — it’s absolute ecstasy.
All sense of time is gone, I only hear the sounds of nature, the hum and whine of bugs, and an occasional croak of a frog. Enough to remind me that I am in the middle of the jungle while receiving a hot stone massage — how is this my life?
Deliriously happy and deliciously relaxed I hear the sound of a gong signaling the end of our treatment. It takes me a moment to blink back to reality, peel myself from the stones and massage table, and woozily make my way to the dressing room. Maddy’s jello. He can’t even stand and has to rest a moment before talking. I’m on cloud nine.
Once we regain our senses we shower and change, we have a dinner date in the Kayumanis dining corner! I know, it’s all too much wonderful to take in… fear not, we will try. I’d seen photographs online, but nothing prepared me for the romantic and dramatic scene that is their dining area.
Beforehand we’d coordinated to ensure that they’d be able to make a vegan meal for us, and were delighted by the first appetizer, an adorable mini spring roll. It was followed by a Vietnamese spring roll full of fresh herbs and served with a sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce.
The main dish was my favorite, a spicy Thai green curry with firm tofu, cauliflower and broccoli, carrots and just the right amount of spice for me. The dessert was a cake of glutinous rice and pandan grass topped with a ball of ice cream. Skeptical that vegan ice-cream was at the resort I asked the server to please double check that this was non-dairy, but they couldn’t be sure, so they graciously swapped it out with coconut sorbet.
To top it all off, we ended our meal with mint tea for Maddy and a soy cappuciccino for me. We were basking in a blissed out state when the first drops of rain appeared, our lovely servers came with umbrellas ready, and moved our drinks to the covered dining area where we were able to end the meal in peace and quiet, watching and hearing the rain come down in the jungle of Ubud.
It was such a beautiful afternoon spent at the Kayumanis Spa and Dining corner, and we thank them for the beautiful experience and memories they offered to us! Be sure, next time we are in Ubud we will be back to relive the magic.