Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Sembunyi Spa

hidden pleasures

I'll admit it, I'm not much of a spa goer. In fact, our little getaway last week is only the second time I've ever been to a spa. I guess I'm just not that much into pampering myself. Mae, on the other hand... :)

The nice gentleman at the front desk had asked us to book early cos "weekends are packed". Or so he said. Anyway, our massage appointment was at 2:00pm. We were encouraged to get there a half hour early to enjoy the rest of the spa facilities.

At 1:30pm, we hauled our lazy butts out of the room and got to Sembunyi (which is Malay for "hidden"). Although we had heard there was a section for couples, we were not offered that. But at that point we were practically bursting with anticipation, so we didn't really care. And so, beyond Sembunyi's reception desk, Mae and I went our separate ways.

A young lady leads me to the men's locker room and explains to me all I needed to know about the towels, the robe, the slippers and the shorts!

"You can change here."

"Right here?"
Okay, so I'm a prude. What can I say? :)

"Don't worry, this is a men's-only area," she smiled condescendingly. Then she left. After making really sure she had gone, I got down to business.

The whole place was empty. No one. I expected some company in the wet area, but nope. Not a soul. So there I was, with the entire spa to do as I pleased. I could try everything!! Muahahahah!!!

I got into the jacuzzi first. I think there's something about bubbling, warm water that's so enticing, I just couldn't resist. The wonderful terracotta-heavy decor helped me get into the mood. After awhile, I got out and went into the steam room. And then I got adventurous. "Heeyyyy, why don't I try out the cold dip," I thought as I made my way to this small pool of still water. Bad mistake. I got out as quickly as I got in. Any longer and I would have turned into a popsicle.

After a half hour of making an ass of myself, I changed into the dry clothes and made my way to the massage room.

I got to the room where this small Balinese woman awaited - with her oils and her fancy little cup of ginger tea. Feh! This petite little thing is gonna massage me? I wasn't expecting much. But boy, she made me eat my words.

At one point as she was rubbing my back, I was convinced I was never gonna make it out of the place alive. I gritted my teeth to hide my pain and stayed very still to retain what little composure of manliness I had left in me. She paused. "Sir, not strong enough? You want harder?" she asked innocently. "Oh God, no!" I whimpered.

After 45 minutes of a great Balinese massage, I came out of there very relaxed and very rejuvenated. I changed. Then I waited at the reception for Mae. I waited. And waited. They serve me another ginger drink.

I noted a signage above the reception counter. One of the rules spelt it out. "Not recommended for pregnant women". But they took Mae in anyways. Made her lie on her side and gave her a much needed massage.

Mae finally came out grinning from ear to ear. Something tells me we'll be back.


  1. hi james... a totally un-related issue from your post. hope that's ok! :p
    taking the easy way out to find more details from you re your trip to hanoi.
    we have a few places to chose from (flight promotion) but think am deciding on hanoi. so, how many days at least would you reckon is sufficient to explore hanoi and craft villages outside hanoi itself. and having shortlisted few places Mai Chau, HangDa, Halong Bay, trekking in sapa, mausoleum...
    and, how long is the flight from kl? and thought i'll get your input. accomodation? did you and mae follow a tour package?
    take care!

  2. james! you're sooooo insensitive! how could you both go on your separate ways? you really should have had your massages together in the couples room - so romantic. such an idiot! also, instead of sitting in the lounge/waiting area, should have just sat out by their lap-pool and looked out at the lovely scenery, taking in some sun...
    the spa is quite popular on weekends. i know a few people who make day trips there.

  3. Just watch out for pedicures! :) There's been cases of people who did the foot spas over here and got their skin infected by some sort of bacteria!

  4. if u dont mind me much is a package?

  5. Heh.
    I am ALL for Spa! The most heavenly one, The Spa Village at Pangkor Laut. (beats even Banyan Tree Phuket, some of my guests tells me)

  6. hey, ppl, don't make me green. I'm aching for a massage like for ages. Still no time to go for one. Grrr....

  7. Hahaha!
    "You want harder?"
    yeah, how much is the package?, if u don't mind.

  8. Wah, syioknya pergi spa! :P
    And baby's ETA is only 30 days?? Seems like only yesterday we were in the triple digits zone... how time flies eh? You and Mae must be excited! ;)

  9. i think i want massage also now.. :lol:

  10. Hey Annie, whyduncha drop me a line and I'll tell you all about it. :)
    :lol: Jikon, you're right, I'm an idiot. I have nothing to say for myself! Hmph. I could kick myself lah! *sigh* :o( Well, I guess I now have an excuse to go there again.
    Kev, :)
    In more ways that one, DB! :)
    Eew, Jasmine. Thanks god I didn't do any pedicure!
    xyz, just the room alone is RM 288 per night. The spa package is, I think RM440 or thereabouts. You get the room for the night, a spa treatment for 2 and complimentary buffet breakfast. With Eggs Benedict. Hehheh!
    Well, tell us more, Shine. I allow you to plug your company's products here! :)
    Go already, Fly. All work and no massage makes Fly a grumpy, crabby girl. :lol:
    It was as though she was mocking me, Papi. BTW, the prices that I quoted might be for off peak since I notice their website published rates are quite high!
    Very, very excited, Sara!
    Go, go, phoenix! :)

  11. ok..i haven't been where's this spa? since it's hidden, i'm sure i'll need directions..hehehe

  12. I'm sure you'll do fine, glinar. Just drive your car till you feel you've arrived. :lol: