Wellness can be, well, expensive. Occasionally we don’t mind shelling out for a session involving masks, scrubs and pummeling devices (birthday, anniversary, because it’s the weekend), but the effects are so fleeting that it’s hard to justify. So, to own a sense of well-being that still allows us to go out and own a new pair of shoes too, we crossed the Straits of Singapore and headed to Batam to check out a place we keep hearing about but have never tried: Tempat Senang, a small Balinese style spa and resort set in tranquil surroundings. And we’ll be going back. Here’s why…
The staff here know what they’re doing and the whole process of making enquiries via email and booking in online was simple. They were on hand to advise the best program to suit our time and budget – we opted for the half-day package. With Batam just 45 minutes away from Singapore, we left the little red dot at 8:30am and were back by 3:30pm. Tempat Senang staff guided us on which ferry to book and how – we went with Sindo Ferry as the times suited us best, but you can also go with Batam Fast. Upon arrival at Sekupang ferry terminal we were met by a driver and escorted to Tempat Senang which is only a 10 minute ride away. There were no surprises with immigration (although you do need to turn up for departures in good time to allow for this), as staff had prepared us for the requirements in advance. Headache gone already.
It’s great value
Rather than focusing on the cost of individual treatments, Tempat Senang offer great half-day or full-day packages. Our half-day package was $119 ++ and included 3 x 1 hour treatments – one of these is a massage in your preferred style and then you can select another 2 treatments from the menu. If you opt for a full-day (so doing this next time), you receive 6 treatments and a Indonesian lunch for $249++. And the rate on both is even cheaper if you go midweek. The spa menu offers the usual suspects – facials, body scrubs, pedicures etc – but we did a bit of double take at an item called Ratus-V Spa that involves blowing smoke up someone’s…well, you know. We’re not sure if this was the precursor to uterus steam cleaning but we’ll leave Gwyneth to give us the user experience – it sounds right up her, ahem, alley.
Our small group all ended up opting for the same thing and went with an Office Massage, designed to combat the modern phenomenon of iPosture (hunching over small screen syndrome), a hydrating facial (because we’d look 10 years younger without aircon in our lives), and a hair spa treatment which we wouldn’t normally go for but were tipped off about (stroke of genius!). The treatment rooms at Tempat Senang are not ultra modern (Balinese = darker wood tones) but they’re ambient, extremely clean and spacious. They’re also designed for friends or couples to share so let them know in advance if you’re uncomfortable with this. We didn’t need to as our husbands were not with us. While spa time equals couples time for some, there is something to be said for that whole ancient Turkish bath scenario where separating male from female was just better for everyone when ablutions were involved. That aside, the treatments had us drifting in and out of sleep several times, which is surely the benchmark for relaxed.
The massage was thorough and it was nice to have hands, feet and scalp included in the treatment but it felt a tiny bit rushed– which is the downside to sharing a room, because if you’re finished before the person you’re sharing a room with you kind of feel a bit robbed (yes, we know how ridiculous this sounds and we’re dealing with our lost minutes). Overall it tackled some knots without being too heavy handed and sports-like. The facial was one of the most enjoyable ones we’ve ever had. The products used smelled gorgeous (more on that later) and at the risk of sounding gross, we particularly liked that no extractions were done and that a little sucking attachment was used to hoover dead skin instead. Our skin felt very soft afterwards. Not to mention dewy and glowy and all those nice beautician words ending in ‘y’. Or perhaps it was just the light, in which case ignorance is bliss. Now for the finale: the hair treatment was divine. For this part of the program we were brought outside to recline in comfy bed seats within a pretty sala while a gentle breeze swayed and all we could hear was the trickling of water. Holiday! And it got better, the hair treatment was the ultimate head massage while being slathered with avocado cream. While the hair treatment was left to soak in our arms and feet were massaged yet again. There might have been snoring. Not ours.
OK, so by the time we’d finished an extremely tasty lunch (an Indonesian sharing plate that is highly recommended), we didn’t want to leave. Tempat Senang feels so personal and so far removed from normal life that it makes the perfect short escape from Singapore if you’re needing to maximize relaxation. Next time we plan to bring our other half and stay the night (separate treatment rooms of course). An overnight stay and spa package starts from about $273++. Until then we’ve stocked up on some of the beautiful natural products made in the lab on site. Bliss continues back in Singapore…