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Bali – Green Utopia – Ubud

ubud, bali, murni, murni's warung, tamarind spa, massage, eat, restaurantBali – Green Utopia – Ubud

Stephanie Brookes

iFly – KLM in flight magazine

July 2016

The ultimate palms and paradise destination? There are many, and Bali is definitely on the shortlist. But there’s more to the Indonesian island besides white-sand beaches and clear blue water…

For me, the town of Ubud is the best place to base myself. I find myself among the tranquil, terraced rice fields and beautiful mountain scenery …  my adventurous week … aimed at exploring and experiencing Bali’s local way of life.

Rejuvenation treatment 

The next day, my body tells me it is time to take a rest. I book a three-hour relaxation and rejuvenation treatment at Murni’s Tamarind Spa in Ubud. Locally, Murni is affectionately known as ‘the Mother of Ubud’. She pioneered tourism in Ubud in the 1970s by setting up her legendary restaurant, Murni’s Warung, where artists, adventurers and academics hung out, drinking mango lassies. 42 years later, Murni still lovingly presides over her dream creation on the jungle-clad Campuan Gorge above the Wos River. The stellar-rated Tamarind Spa is the latest addition to Murni’s business. Under a beautiful tamarind tree, I find out that my massage therapist, Kartini, was the former personal therapist of the President of the Seychelles.

After a welcome drink, cold towel and foot ritual, Kartini starts to weave her therapeutic magic on me. She begins with an hour-long traditional massage, deeply relaxing, mind- soothing and muscle-relieving. A full-body exfoliation follows, with a fragrant green-tea scrub and a yoghurt rub down. After that heavenly treatment, my skin feels softer than that of a baby. I end up soaking in a warm bath with multi-coloured flower petals floating on the water’s surface. Finally, after a pot of organic herbal tea and fresh tropical fruit, I leave feeling relaxed as can be.

Places to eat 

Murni’s Warung

This four-level open-air restaurant overlooks a jungle- clad ravine and raging river. Not only does the restaurant serve excellent Indonesian and western dishes, it also houses a shop with textiles, jewellery, tribal artefacts and collectables. Try their famous apple pie.

Things to do 

Murni’s Tamarind Spa

Located in the heart of Ubud, this beautiful spa in quiet tropical gardens offers aromatherapy massages, traditional Balinese boreh herbal scrubs and more.

Bali – Green Utopia – Ubud