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Bali: Transformational Travel

Tamarind Spa Bali: Transformational Travel





Bali: Transformational Travel, Rediscovering You by Denise Baron, Bella, The Fashion Issue, September 2018

Tamarind Spa Bali: Transformational Travel

It’s no secret that travel changes perspective. For many, a simple vacation is all it takes to catch up on fun and rest. But when your main goal is to search “within”, a worldly discovery can lead to massive self-unfolding.

“Transformational Travel” embodies “Don’t try to change the world, let the world change you”. 

This year, I took those words to heart. After experiencing a stroke at the young age of 49 and burying a dear friend, I desperately needed new introspections. Long before the literary arrival of “Eat Pray Love” I had traveled to Bali. And twenty-seven years later I found myself being called back.

Renewed hope

When I arrived I’m greeted with a welcoming hug by one of Bali’s best connectors, Wayan Elly, a connoisseur of food and gourmet coffee who is the absolute embodiment of a concierge. A charismatic storyteller wise in the secret back roads, we drive to my first destination, Sanur.

Once known as a fishing village, Sanur is internationally recognized for its historical charm, a laid-back coastal community with bespoke villas, eclectic cafes, artifact shops and local entertainment. I listen to limpid waves kiss the shores and my recent hardships understand they’ve lost the spotlight in my mind. 

Strategically located in the heart of Sanur, the Maya Sanur Resort & Spa is a synergistic atmosphere that merges nature with contemporary design. Intimate spaces mixed with Balinese aesthetics offer a lush representation of the beauty and richness of Indonesian traditions designed by internationally recognized architect, Budiman Hendropurnomo.

New friends find you quickly in Bali and I pal around with my Kiwi and Aussie mates for a beer and local Indonesian bites. Here, I’m introduced to Bali’s best-kept secret: Suana, the Healer from Sanur. 

Suana is a humble man with a global clientele. Over the course of seven lymphatic massage and reflexology sessions, his hands have the power of the Divine. My body feels renewed from tired sensibilities to eagerly hopeful and receptive. 

A few sun-soaked days of bike riding, eating bowls of fresh mangosteen and dragon fruit and devouring tasty tacos at Warung Sanur Segar and I’m feeling rested enough to hit the road toward the holy hills of Ubud.

Unwind at Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses – Ubud 

Secluded upon a hill along the Ayung River, Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses is an award-winning spa. This center for healing is in the heart of the deepest spiritual hub on earth. 

Owned by local legend and “Mother of Ubud” known simply as Murni, a gracious businesswoman who hosts celebrities like Mick Jagger, Amy Tan, and Alice Walker in her bungalows and renowned restaurant Murni’s Warung. With Murni’s strong reputation for cultivating healing methods, I book 3 days and 2 nights in an old-world meets luxury spacious suite.

Pampered with curated oils, the massage therapist hands work their magic with a two-and-a-half hour massage to synch my still troubled body and mind. Followed with a fresh yogurt body scrub and, then, the finale in an exquisite flower bath.

Later, I walk to the center of town in search of Siam Sally to experience their delicious summer rolls and papaya salad. After a day of local culture, I squeeze in a Full Moon Agnihotra Vedic Fire Ceremony at the Five Elements Retreat Center.

Committed to a social media detox, I enjoy my time joining walking tours and sipping fresh mixed juice. My mind and body absorb the natural elements and release the constant battle of stress. I notice my heart is in rhythm with Bali, and for the first time in a long time, there isn’t tightness behind my eyes. The pain of the past year begins to slowly fade away.

Sample of ancient healings.  

My driver takes me on a 30-minute ride up the misty-cloaked mountains and ancient emerald-green rice paddies to a hidden sanctuary called OneWorld Ayurveda. This authentic Panchakarma Ayurveda wellness retreat center is where splendor meets serenity. Senses come alive with the lush bougainvillea, delicately scented hibiscus and intoxicating aroma of frangipani as you enter the resort.  

Upon my arrival, I’m greeted with fresh juice and a beautiful flower arrangement then escorted to a one-hour foot massage for my “Taste Of Ayurveda” package. Afterward, I dine under the stars in the warm evening breeze. 

The next morning a full initial consultation with an Ayurvedic physician is planned, along with a full-body treatment and Shirodhara.  Shiro helps relieve anxiety, stress, fatigue and hypertension. 

For the next three days, motherly professionals begin each treatment with a blessing and singing mantra. Anointed with copious amounts of herbal oils helps me appreciate the connective power of human touch. I was placed gently into a copper tub filled with medicinal herbs. Two holistic therapists pour warm water over my body. During this experience, tears rolled down my face as I felt my spirit come home to my body. 

The environment is hypnotic to the senses. Singing birds, intoxicating smells from the frangipani flower, gamelan drums and parades that pop out of out nowhere unify the five senses in their finest moments. I attend the holy Tirta Empul Temple traditional purification ceremony. Legend has it a magical king named Mayadenawa possessed the spiritual power to transform himself into any form he desired within the clean cool springs. There are some legends you really can feel the truth behind.

In addition to yoga, three delicious vegan meals per day, meditation, and guided rice field walks, I also I signed up for healthy cooking and beauty between services for skills to take back home.

The end is only the beginning of something new Bali was a spiritually orgasmic journey where one can embrace their authentic vulnerability. I highly recommend anyone in search of higher awareness to discover your own brilliance with Bali as your guide. 

Bali: Transformational Travel

Murni’s Houses – Contented Traveller

Murni’s Houses –  Contented Traveller

Murni and Murni’s Ubud, Bali

Murni's Houses, Contented Traveller26 February, 2015
Contented Traveller
Paula McInerney

It was by great fortune that we found Murni’s Houses, Ubud, Bali through FlipKey by tripadvisor who had given us carte blanche to pick wherever we wanted to stay in Bali and we chose 6 nights at Murni’s Houses. This is all part of our Travel Series, Bali for Baby Boomers. We found Murni’s Houses but also found out that Murni is a living legend in not just Ubud, her hometown, but in all of Bali.

Straight away our interest was piqued about both the lady and the many businesses that she owns throughout Ubud and the reverence that she is held in. We quickly booked with Flipkey knowing that we were on to something unique and we were right. We also had read that Richard Gere, Richard Branson and David Copperfield the magician have visited Murni’s, so we thought that Gordon and I might just join this illustrious cast.

About Ubud

Ubud is Eat. Pray. Love territory and a book that I have yet to read, though I did see the movie and discussed whether Ubud had changed since that book and that movie. We have been here before and we have noticed the increase in visitors. That actually takes nothing away from this amazing place. Ubud is an artistic and culturally rich regency with its own king and royal family. Many tourists come here as do many expats seeking the alternative lifestyle. Food abounds and you would be hard pressed to find better foods than dining at streetside warungs. It is the home of art and you cannot avoid the skill of the Balinese artisans. It is also home to yoga, massages and all things alternative. You should head to the Sacred Monkey Forest at the end of Monkey Forest Rd. This is a magnificent jungle sanctuary, that is full of mysticism and lots of monkeys. The best way to see Ubud is to walk. Walk a lot, have a meal at a local warung and then treat yourself to a massage. It works.

Our first impressions on arriving at Murni’s Houses

This is a traditional Balinese compound where the houses are set in amazing gardens. Often referred to as the Villas of the 33 statues, there are waterfalls, and lush gardens and you hear the sounds in the distance of village life. There is Balinese art everywhere and there is serenity about this compound. There is also seclusion despite being a couple of minutes from the main road of Ubud.

Our traditional Balinese rooms, and we did have a number of rooms, and our outdoor areas overlooked the gardens yet protected us from the occasional Ubud rain storms. We loved it. We had Wi-Fi and were well taken care of, being given ginger tea to help a cough I had developed in the snow in Japan. This is a Balinese cure all and these herbal medicines known are known as ‘jamu’. (Turmeric and lemon grass also work).

This gave us a very real local experience meeting with the people who work here and getting to know a little more about the real way of life for the Balinese.

More About Murni’s Houses

In the early 1980s Murni started to build these open-air pavilions amongst the lush gardens and next to open fields. It is here that you can attest to her eye for tradition and art with the fountains and the statues everywhere you look.

About Murni the Lady

Ni Wayan Murni was born in Penestanan, Bali about 9 kms from Ubud to a farming family so it is no wonder that hard work comes naturally to her. During the early 1970s she owned 4 shops on Sanur beach. It was here, selling sarongs, that she actually sold some to president Sukarno and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones. This was not to be her first brush with fame, and Mick has some serious street cred.

She returned to Ubud and opened a shop and here she used to make her husband soup and a sandwich for lunch. Tourists stopped and wanted to have some too and that is how Ubud’s first real restaurant, Murni’s Warung, came into being. This institution has seen its fair share of celebs and tourists coming to savor her signature dishes. Try the famous Balinese smoked duck. Murni’s Warung is like her style in all of her ventures – traditional Balinese. There are four levels that cascade down a steep hillside overlooking the Wos River. The thatched roofs, traditional open wooden architecture, and a vast collection of stone carvings gives you a very Balinese experience. Talk to Ketut and he will share with you what it is like living in Bali.

She was also the first person in Ubud to open two antiques shops in the 80s and 90s. These galleries showcased many antiques, textiles and costumes and other pieces that she knew were special. Nowadays, many of the prized pieces are in Murni’s Warung,

Murni is active in the arts and culture scene of Ubud, and has lectured in the US on Balinese textiles.

She also plays in a women’s gamelan group at important religious ceremonies.

Tamarind Spa

Murni has also created Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses and this spa was listed as the top spa in Ubud on Trip Advisor within 3 months of its opening. It is here that she continues with her ethos of everything Balinese, with traditional Balinese massages located within the stunning and serene gardens and waterfall. It is not the cheapest massage that you can get, but the staff are trained and located as it is in the art garden, it is a total experience.

Thank You to FlipKey by trip advisor for making this property available to us for 6 great nights. Great find, highly recommended and a perfect inclusion for our Travel Series.

Murni’s Houses – Contented Traveller

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

The Best Spas in Bali for Your Money

The Best Spas in Bali for Your Money

Tamarind Spa ,Just LuxeJust Luxe

By: Jon | Posted on May 24, 2012

The Best Spas in Bali for Your Money

For many travelers, a trip to the spa for some pampering is one of the highlights of any trip. A few hours spent in a tranquil environment, getting massaged, cleansed and relaxed can do wonders for any stressed out globetrotter.

In the tropical paradise of Bali, the spa experience goes to a new level. Nestled in lush gardens or along sandy shores, the spas in Bali are legendary and thousands of travelers book flights to this tiny nation every year for rest and rejuvenation. From full service spa resorts to simple day spas, these are some of the best bets for your money in this paradise. All prices are in Australian dollars.

Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses

Located under the shade of a Tamarind tree in the tourist hotspot of Ubud, Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses is one of Bali’s most consistently top rated spas. With trademark Balinese hospitality, the spa is surrounded by tranquil gardens and fountains, and offers a full range of spa services from massages and rubs to manicures and pedicures. Tamarind Spa is also unique in that it is an artistic as well as relaxing experience. Murni, the owner of the spa and adjacent guest houses and villas, has a background in fine art and has filled the spa with Balinese and Indonesian art, offering a glimpse into the local heritage. Prices for such luxury are surprisingly reasonable, with full day packages average about $100.

The Best Spas in Bali for Your Money

The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Island

Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses

tamarind spa-bali-ultimate-guideTamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses, Jalan Raya (up the ramp opposite Pura Dalem on the main street, left at the top, 2nd gate on the right). Murni’s extremely popular new spa shot to the top of Trip Advisor within weeks of its opening. Rave reviews. Many repeat guests, including masseurs, say it’s the best they’ve ever experienced. Well-kept gardens, fountains, sounds of running water, soothing music, healthy lunches, reasonably priced.”

Bali, The Ultimate Guide to the World’s Most Spectacular Tropical Island, Linda Hoffman, Tuttle Publishing, 2012

Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses

Tamarind Spa – Destination Bali

cover india-currentsTamarind Spa – Destination Bali

India Currents, The Complete Indian American Magazine, 12 July 2015

Vivienne Kruger

“A relaxing, rejuvenating day spa indulgence is another integral element in Ubud’s arsenal of healing, happiness, and wellness choices. I recommend the Tamarind Spa at Murni’s Houses in Ubud for the ultimate in luxurious, body-pampering bliss. It lives up to its beautiful name—a place for magical caretaking, delicious scents, and the ultimate in body and soul rejuvenation. Most spa products in Bali are natural and contain local Balinese herbs, plants, flowers, and spices grown in Ubud’s equatorial, tropical highland Garden of Eden. The native plants used in the Tamarind Spa all grow in rich, local volcanic soil. The village of Ubud (obad means “medicine” in Balinese) is the source of many of the Tamarind Spa’s superior concoctions—a naturally fertile area lush with emerald green leaves, roots, barks, and herbs.

In Bali, spiritual income is as important as physical income: the use of raw, organic spa ingredients benefits the local farmers. Honeycomb may come from area bee keepers, and seaweed is brought over from Bali’s pristine sister island, Nusa Lembongan. The high quality of the fragrant ingredients enhances the Spa’s body and bath treatments, scrubs, facials, massages, and exfoliants. You will stare—with love and longing, and anticipation—at your beautiful, fragrant bar of soap sitting on the treatment room ledge. It awaits your every pleasure. This is the type of soap that you bond with—that you build an intimate relationship with—an indulgent delight! You may find yourself lingering in the gorgeous hot shower in a fragrant haze. Your skin feels soft, silky, smooth, and relaxed—like everyone and everything else in Bali.

Tamarind Spa, Murni's Houses, Ubud, Bali

For the ultimate Balinese spa experience, you must take the famous, flower-filled, mandi lulur bathtub extravaganza—which originated in the sumptuous royal palaces of Java to preserve the beauty of the pampered royal princesses. You will luxuriate for an hour in a warm, gleaming tub filled with fresh flower petals, red hibiscus blossoms, and vivid marigold flowers and sip hot ginger tea from small, elegant, celadon-green stoneware cups. It does not get any better than this.”

Tamarind Spa – Destination Bali

Tamarind Spa Promotions

Tamarind Spa Promotions

We have Tamarind Spa Promotions every month.



Bring in the New Year at Tamarind Spa!


Balinese Massage (90 minutes)
Green Tea Scrub and Yoghurt Rubdown (45 minutes)
Relaxing in a Flower Bath with Tulsi or Lemongrass tea and cookies (15 minutes)

2.5 hours       Rp 650,000


We celebrate Valentine’s Day every day of the month!


Aromatherapy Massage (90 minutes)
Balinese Boreh Scrub (45 minutes)
Relaxing in a Herbal Bath with Tulsi or Lemongrass tea and cookies (15 minutes)

2.5 hours       Rp 650,000


Get Ready for Nyepi, the Balinese New Year.


Balinese Massage and Reflexology – Foot Massage (90 minutes)
Honey Seed Scrub (45 minutes)
Relaxing in a Flower Bath with Tulsi or Lemongrass tea (15 minutes)

2.5 hours    Rp.650,000


Get into the spirit for Galungan, one of the big Balinese Festivals.

Tamarind Spa Promotion Galungan

Hot Stone Massage (90 minutes)
Traditional or Modern Facial (60 minutes)

2.5 hours     Rp. 700,000


Make it Mother’s Month, not just Mother’s Day!


Balinese Massage (60 minutes)
Traditional or Modern Facial (60 minutes)
Tamarind Spa Manicure or Pedicure (60 minutes)

3 hours   Rp 650,000


Celebrate fathers all month, and not just on Father’s Day!


Balinese Massage (60 minutes)
Honey Seed Scrub (45 minutes)
Relaxing in Flower Bath and Tulsi or Lemongrass tea and cookies (15 minutes)
Traditional or Modern Facial (60 minutes)

3 hours    Rp 750,000


It’s Tamarind Spa’s Birthday!


Balinese Massage (60 minutes)
Salt Scrub (45 minutes)
Relaxing in Flower Bath and Tulsi or Lemongrass tea and cookies (15 minutes)
Tamarind Spa Manicure or Pedicure (60 minutes)

3 hours    Rp 650,000



Before a night of Jazz at the Ubud Village Jazz Festival, get in the mood with our August Pakage.

Relaxing Massage and Reflexology – Foot Massage (90 minutes)
Traditional or Modern Facial (60 minutes)

2.5 hours   Rp 650,000


Enjoy September, enjoy Tamarind Spa!


Aromatherapy Massage (90 minutes)
Traditional or Modern Facial (60 minutes)

2.5 hours   Rp 650,000


Take time off from all that writing and reading at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and luxuriate in the Spa.

ubud writers logo

Hot Stone Massage (90 minutes)
Green Tea Scrub and Yoghurt Rubdown (45 minutes)
Relaxing in a Flower Bath with Tulsi or Lemongrass tea and cookies (15 minutes)

2.5 hours   Rp 700,000


It’s the month to celebrate Thanksgiving!


Aromatherapy Massage (60 minutes)
Traditional or Modern Facial (60 minutes)
Tamarind Spa Manicure or Pedicure (60 minutes)

3 hours    Rp 650,000


Every day is Christmas Day at Tamarind Spa!


Balinese Massage (60 minutes)
Balinese Boreh Scrub (45 minutes)
Relaxing in a Herbal Bath with Tulsi or Lemongrass tea and cookies (15 minutes)
Tamarind Spa Manicure or Pedicure (60 minutes)

3 hours     Rp 650,000


For Tamarind Spa Promotions: Email: murni (at) murnis.com

Spa Gift Vouchers

Tamarind Spa Gift Vouchers at our award winning spa are the perfect present for every occasion.

Whether it’s for a birthday, wedding or to reward someone – everyone is pleased to receive a Gift Voucher, especially of course for Christmas.

You can pay using PayPal by going to their web site (https://www.paypal.com).

We will be happy to write a special message in the Gift Voucher and email it for you.

For Spa Gift Vouchers: Email: murni (at) murnis.com