Ok, I know I have said this before, but I have been blessed with this life of travel and it brought me to YTL Hotels The Spa Village at Tembok, which for me, is the best place I have ever visited, and not just because it is in the paradise that is Bali. Spa Village at Tembok is a luxury resort, but while it has all of the luxuries, it is much more than that to its guests, me included. It was a spiritual experience, a vacation inside a vacation, while Bali at first seemed like the destination, Spa Village Resort in Tembok is a destination all in itself. I want to go back, I want my family to go back, and I want everyone who is ever fortunate enough to visit Bali, to go there, as it is a unique and serenely relaxing experience, offering itself as its own little town in resort form for you to live at and explore. Visiting the the Spa Village Tembok, was like living and creating my own real life fairy tale.
Ok, I know I have said this before, but I have been blessed with this life of travel and it brought me to YTL Hotels The Spa Village at Tembok, which for me, is the best place I have ever visited, and not just because it is in the paradise that is Bali. Spa Village at Tembok is a luxury resort, but while it has all of the luxuries, it is much more than that to its guests, me included. It was a spiritual experience, a vacation inside a vacation, while Bali at first seemed like the destination, Spa Village Resort in Tembok is a destination all in itself. I want to go back, I want my family to go back, and I want everyone who is ever fortunate enough to visit Bali, to go there, as it is a unique and serenely relaxing experience, offering itself as its own little town in resort form for you to live at and explore. Visiting the the Spa Village Tembok, was like living and creating my own real life fairy tale.
After a 30 hour travel day and a 3 hour car ride from the airport to the Spa Village, I was pretty much a walking zombie, not to mention that I was feeling none to pleasant on my arrival, as I suffer from getting car sick often. ALL of that was swept aside moments after arriving. When you arrive you are greeted by the wonderful staff, and given a foot bath with black sand which is taken from their beach there, as well as rose petals, and a neck and head massage which is meant to help jetlag. This traditional welcome ritual was otherworldly and insanely relaxing. I don’t know what it did, but it definitely felt amazing and had me feeling better instantly. We were then shown to our rooms where delicious ginger tea was hot and waiting for us. We had arrived at our home for the next four days!
As I mentioned above, Spa Village is like a town in that you really don’t need to leave if you don’t want to. This Tembok oasis is equipped with a fantastic on-site restaurant, the beach, spa, gorgeous infinity pool, and daily yoga in addition to a calendar of daily activities inspired by traditional Balinese culture, not to mention nightly stargazing on mattresses that actually float in the pool and more. I had the pleasure/frustration of doing the Lontar drawing class, where you are taught the traditional art of inscribing on Lontar, a bark-like paper made from the leaves of the Rontal tree that the people of Bali have used to record history and create works of art for centuries (let’s just say that as effortless as my teacher made it appear to be, my Lontar drawing did not look anything like his). I also took the weaving class, which I had a bit more success with and I actually completed my project – my mom will be receiving a hand crafted woven bird, made in Bali from and by me, thanks to the patience and teaching of the Spa Village staff. Oh, and did I mention the Wifi is only located in the lobby? Don’t freak out, this is possibly the best thing ever. It allows you to really connect by disconnecting, and enables you to enjoy and take in all your surroundings.
If you do have in itch to explore, you can bet that The Spa Village, Tembok will organize some amazing tours for you! We had a wonderfully crafted itinerary made for us, which was just the right balance of activities, and free time. I don’t like to sit still, but I do enjoy a few moments by the pool. The resort organized a driver for us, who was with us through the duration of our four days in Tembok. Shout out to Arnwah, we miss you! He was raised and lives Tembok, and was always willing to stop when I saw that perfect spot for an instagram photo, or to add some info and context to the history and daily culture. It was great to be have someone who truly wanted to show us his village and country. The first day we visited four temples, from Hindu to Buddhist (pictured below) Then came back to dine at the Wantilan restaurant on property. The food is amazing but I’ll fork up more detail on that later (#badpun).
On our Second day, we made a little adjustment to our itinerary, which they were also more than happy to accommodate, and we want to visit what Westerners call the “Gates of Heaven” at the Pura Lempuyang temple. While I went for that iconic Instagram picture, which I got, I also experienced so much more there. We were fortunate to visit during a ceremony, where hundreds of worshipers come to give offerings and celebrate. Even though we were tourists in their temple on the days of a religious ceremony, the people were so welcoming and inviting, and wanted to include us in their culture and celebration. We had the pleasure of speaking with one particular family, who invited us to join them in their festivities, but unfortunately, we had work to do. Luckily I was able to snag a picture with them, as they were a tremendously meaningful part of our journey. We rode up and down from the temple on scooters, which cost you 20,000 IDR (less than $2.00 US). On the way down, I started to notice that all of the women sit on the scooters sideways, and there I am straddling my driver, oops! I think I now understand the looks I was getting. We returned to our hotel for a couple’s massage, which was just what we needed after an intensive 24 hours of sightseeing.
The third day we were taken to a local waterfall, and were escorted by a staff member from the hotel to ensure our safety. Words can not do justice to this natural beauty, so I have put pictures below. As they say a picture is worth a 1000 words.
Now onto the food, I know you are thinking its about forking time! I am by no means a foodie, nor do I claim to be, but what I can guarantee is that I am a picky eater, with a discerning palate and a lust for flavor and spice. If they have Michelin stars in Bali, or if I had the ability to give one, I would award the Wantilan restaurant. It was so good, it had my culinary interest piqued, as I wanted to learn more about the chef, and how he was able to masterfully cook a wide array of foods from different cultures while being innovative with his ingredients. The presentation was also beautiful! The meals were not solely comprised of Indonesian cuisine, I had a pasta with garlic and chili that was a force to be reckoned with, as well as daily poke bowls and raw salads. Also if you had any substitutions or requests they were all accommodated with a willingness and kindness that I wish every restaurant exhibited. Every meal, from breakfast to dinner, begins with a cool refreshing towel infused with aromatic loveliness, and a shot of fresh juice/yogurt mixture in the mornings and soup in the evenings. Americans have something to learn about this! The restaurant itself is set with a view of the open ocean as well as overlooking the infinity pool.
On our last day, after receiving our hardboiled eggs in hand woven containers, which symbolize rebirth (again this place is a spiritual haven), and ringing the large gong in the open-air lobby, indicating a guest’s departure from the hotel (best checkout process ever), our driver Arnwah took us to our next hotel. He didn’t just drive us directly there though. On the way, he took us to a stunning viewpoint of Mount Batur, one of Bali’s majestic active volcanos. He also brought us to the Cantik coffee plantation, where we received a tour, and did a coffee tasting and we couldn’t help but come away with some souvenirs and gifts to bring home. We also got to try the world famous “cat poop” Luwak coffee. Did I mention, Arnwah, we Miss you!?
The entire experience was relaxing and instantly comfortable, truly feeling like a home away from home. The hospitality of the staff and array of meaningful activities was astounding, but not overwhelming. The Spa Village at Tembok unassumingly stands out as a unique and special place on an Island that is full of some of the world’s most enticing destinations. At dinner one night, I found myself staring out at the moon, which appeared larger than life, and I noticed its beautiful reflection on the water, creating a magnificent almost surreal vista, again adding pages to my living fairytale.
#bali #tembok #spa #resort #luxury #retreat #destination #honeymoon

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