For a relaxing day trip out of Singapore (and an Indonesian passport stamp for my sister), Jocelyn, Prescott, and I spent last Sunday at Tempat Senang Spa on the island of Batam.
This small but lovely spa is a perfect one-day getaway. It’s a bit of a trek; to get there, you first have to make your way to Singapore’s Harbourfront ferry terminal at Singapore, and then you hop on a Batam Fast Ferry boat that takes you straight to Indonesia.
Because you’re traveling from one country to another, you also have to go through immigration and clear customs; then it’s a ten- or fifteen-minute van ride from the Sekupang ferry terminal to the spa itself. So even if you’re just opting for the spa’s three-hour “half-day” treatment package, this really is a most-of-the-day excursion. But for feeling like you’ve really left Singapore and stepped into a land that pretty closely approximates Bali, it’s worth every minute.
The spa is decorated with a mix of Indonesian and other Southeast Asian elements …
… and it boasts a dining area, a shop, several hotel rooms, the spa area, and two swimming pools — one saltwater and one fresh.
We arrived early to relax, read, and swim in the freshwater pool before our afternoon treatments.
We also had lunch at the dining room, which is served in a cozy outdoor balcony space overlooking the jungle.
Jocelyn and I ordered the nasi campur, a giant platter of rice (hidden by a banana leaf cone in this photo) surrounded by a mixture of vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, fritters, and gado-gado (a salad with peanut sauce).
We gave the food mixed reviews — some of the elements were excellent, while others seemed to miss the mark. But it sure looked great!
The spa treatments, on the other hand, were outstanding across the board. I could rave for days about the hot compress massage, and I loved having a hair treatment in their outdoor spa area. My sister really enjoyed her reflexology massage, and Prescott recommends the body scrub. The pages of treatment options (and the bottles of scents for scrubs and oils) go on and on — there really is something for everyone. And if you just want to lie back and look up at the sky, the view’s not half bad: