Seventh heaven at a special spa
Find out the secrets to pamper paradise...
It was a trip my two good friends and I had been looking forward to for a long time. The chance to unwind and relax without having to wipe snotty noses and answer countless questions starting “where’s…?” And that was just the husbands.
We’d decided that, although mostly content with our privileged expat lifestyle, we needed to be pampered. “We” needed to be “me” for the weekend.
I know I’m going to regret telling you this secret for I whole-heartedly intend to return as soon as I can justify another weekend away.
We were heading to Batam. The island itself sometimes gets a bad rap. “Why go there?” is probably the most frequently asked question. But if you’re looking for an excellent spa, a short journey from Singapore, with friendly staff and a budget that leaves you in no doubt that a return visit is a necessity, than that’s why you head to Batam.
The Tempat Senang Spa and Resort is only a 40 minute ferry and 10 minute car journey, but given the contrast to the hustle and bustle of Singapore you may as well be on another planet.
What we liked
The spa: The treatments are amazing. The three day, two night package, includes three treatments, which lasts three hours. The staff are excellent and well trained in the art of relaxation. We sampled the house speciality massages: the Balinese and the Office, which are both designed to beat out the knots and cricks in your body. The Office included an element of Thai massage stretching too.
The ambience: This isn’t a place for children. We’d left ours behind and there was no fear that we would bump into someone else’s – children under 15 are banned. The artifacts and décor are tastefully selected; the swimming pools are pretty and inviting; the outside verandah dining area is the perfect place to catch up after a pampering.
The food: Whether you’re looking for local or Western cuisine you’ll find it here. We sampled the seven course dining-around-the-world dinner, which offered a flavour of regional and global dishes. If you’re looking for a full-service hotel, this isn’t it, and it doesn’t make any apologies for not being so. The Tempat Senang has developed its own niche, and it works like clockwise, helped by preordering meals and treatments during the booking-in process. There’s even an honesty bar if you need a beer or quick nibble.
The service: As soon as you step off the ferry you’re looked after. A complimentary pick up from the ferry terminal meant the stress of working out where to go and what to do was lifted. The check in process was relaxed and organised, which meant our dinner and spa times were all booked, allowing us to focus on the important task of relaxing.
What we’re not so sure about
The rooms: While a good deal of effort has been made to create interesting and uniquely decorated bedrooms (each room is themed based on a country), I’m not sure the layout of the rooms worked for a girls’ weekend. Each room has a double bed, and some have an extra bed or two depending on the size and price bracket. This is fine for couples, but three ladies at the start of their fifth decade (shhh – don’t tell anyone. My daughter still thinks I’m 21), don’t want to share a bed. (Be aware that you’ll also be sharing a massage room so make sure you go with good friends.) The rooms would offer greater flexibility if all the beds were single or detachable doubles. We felt a little like we were making do rather than having a restful night’s sleep that matched the quality of the spa. Most of the rooms are well positioned, but we stayed in the Japanese room, which had a window looking out on a dark passageway, and a generator or water pump that disturbed our beauty sleep.
Would we go again?
How do you get there?
Ferry from Habourfront, next to Vivocity, takes you to Sekupang Ferry Terminal, where you are met by a driver who will take you to Tempat Senang Spa and Resort.
Rachel: “The service was fabulous, and the food was delicious! What I liked best was the opportunity to recharge the batteries, only a short distance from home.”
Rebecca: “The salt water pool enabled blissful floating and time to gaze at the blue sky while not thinking about small children eating too much ice cream with their father.”