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Midday urban retreat at Keraton Spa

 

I don’t know about you, but I make time for at least 1 massage session every month. I run, lift, and stretch frequently, along with tennis on Sundays. So a good massage becomes a necessity.

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While I can already name you a few places I frequent to for a good rub, recently, Keraton Spa has offered a complimentary massage sesh for all Jakarta-based bloggers, so I went out to try it.

I’ve only been to Keraton once for an assignment at my previous job, but it’s never crossed my mind that they’d offer such an expansive spa menu.

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These pretty hydrangeas won’t probably be there by the time you visit Keraton. They change their flowers every 2-3 days, depending on how long they stay in full blossom.

But first, let’s get to know Keraton a bit. If you’re coming to Jakarta for the first time, I recommend you staying at Keraton for 2 specific reasons:

  1. It’s connected to one of the city’s oldest-standing mall, Plaza Indonesia (you’ll save time on traffic and looking for parking space), and
  2. You get to choose your own check-out time (a major PLUS when you’re jet-lagged).

Other than that, it’s a 5-star Luxury Collection hotel that literally means “palace” in Javanese, so you can expect to be treated like a prince/princess throughout your stay, and have a butler at your disposal 24/7.

 
 

The spa

Now, the escapade. It was 2 in the afternoon and it was drizzling. Such a perfect moment for my complimentary treatment, the express Gurda massage (30 minutes).

Gurda simply means Garuda (it’s the golden eagle’s word of origin). Since it’s a symbol of life, power, and glory, the Gurda massage is targeted to those who’s looking to strike a balance of their mind, body, and spirit. It’s also the most popular massage treatment at Keraton Spa, just because a lot of business people only have so much window during their day to squeeze in a good all-around treatment.

So a staff brought me up to the 6th floor. The whole 1600 square meter floor was dedicated to spa. Stepping out you see the receptionist desk in front of you, and if you go to your left you’ll be heading to the men’s spa. 4 Japanese men in their late 40s were just walking out of the corridor as I headed to the right for the women’s spa.

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I was quite impressed by the spaciousness and all the amenities they have here. There’s the usual hot and cold plunge pools, the vanity tables, the steam room, an infrared sauna, as well as the treatment rooms themselves. There’s also a couple’s treatment room that faces central Jakarta’s skyline.

 
 

The treatment

I was treated in the Sumatera treatment room.

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After getting in touch with my therapist, I got myself comfortable with the cover-up and the super cushiony slippers before she bathes my feet in a warm salt water soak. My therapist was Dewi.

There’s a health evaluation form for you to fill in as she’s massaging your feet, and I highly suggest you’re 150% honest with the form because your therapist needs to know how she would tailor your massage.

My general concern was my whole back – from the neck all the down to the bottom of my spine. And because I move regularly and pretty flexible to begin with, I tend to prefer gentler treatments than strong ones. So that’s what I filled.

Now is what I love most: You choose between the 3 traditional oils for all of Keraton Spa’s body treatments:

  • Clove (revitalizing)
  • Ylang-ylang (relaxing)
  • Basil (rejuvenating)

 

In my head I was like … can I have all 3? Haha, you know I’m crazy about oils. You always get the same green tea oils and lavender oils in most parlors in town, but you don’t come across this variety often, although ylang-ylang is getting pretty mainstream.

 

 
 

So anyways. I chose basil because on that gloomy day, I was looking for something lush. I was also still recovering from a fever, and basil was the least stimulating of the 3 for me.

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Hits

Dewi was very professional. She didn’t burp at all (like most masseuses at cheap parlors do -_-). In fact, I can hear in her voice that she’s also down with a fever, so throughout the treatment she was wearing a mask to cover nose and mouth, even though during the whole time she didn’t sneeze or cough or clear her throat at all. She did cough once right after she was outside to give me some privacy at the end of the session.

Another thing: In most parlors, I get a lot of masseuse who’s just working through the ticking clock and do random areas once they’re done with my hind glutes, calves, and feet. Dewi, on the other hand, was strategic. She first worked my overall spine from bottom to top, and then the left upper and lower back, then the right upper and lower back, and then focused on my neck and shoulder areas, and finally come back to working the whole spine from top to bottom. Her movements were rhythmic as you traditionally would to stimulate the natural flow of the lymph, and her pressure was consistently gentle throughout the 30 minutes, so she really delivered what I wanted to get out of the session.

The whole time soft piano music was playing in the background, but you get this many choices to choose from.

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Misses

Even though I wanted the focus to be my whole back, Dewi did not get to my limbs. She did start and end the session with a short work on my hind legs, but she got to neither of my arms and hands. She used the basil across my concern areas (hind neck, hind shoulders, whole spine and back) – but my hind legs received none of the oil. She worked on them on top of the towel briefly, and 90% of the whole sesh was all about my focus areas with the basil.

Maybe that’s what you’re supposed to get with just a 30-minute massage at Keraton Spa, but in my experience with 30-minute massages, you always get a full-body work (excluding your front) with your oil of preference, even after you’ve addressed your problem area(s) to the therapist.

What I’m also not a particular fan of is this harsh cotton towel.

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By the end of the sesh, it left etches of its pattern on my face for a few minutes. It may be fine for now, but they’re not good if you want to stay out of premature wrinkles. Just a simple replacement to silk or satin sheet will make a lot of difference.

The verdict

Remove the harsh towel and spread the love to my hands and legs, and it would’ve been a much better experience. Clearly, Dewi understood what she was doing and was responsive to my needs. The stiffest part of my problem areas was around my neck and shoulders, so she did that part the most in varying circular motions to release a lot of the tension there.

 
 

Other treatments

Now, on to that expansive spa treatments I was talking about.

It was at the receptionist desk that I found out there are 60-minute (IDR 600,000) and 75-minute Gurda (720,000) massages available as well. Apart from the Gurda, there are 4 other massage treatments at Keraton Spa:

  • The Keraton Royal Signature massage (135 minutes) (IDR 1,150,000)
    soulful; for maximum tension release.
  • Parangkusumo massage (105 minutes) (IDR 950,000)
    soothing; for mental and physical clarity.
  • Sido Asih couple massage (105 minutes) (IDR 1,900,000)
    based on the philosophy of “two souls become one.”
  • Sidur (105 minutes) (IDR 950,000)
    detoxifying; recommended for jet-lagged travelers.

 

I was also pleased to find that all of their body treatments use products from Decléor, which are 100% pure and 100% natural.  This certainly lures me to come back and try out their 90-minute body treatments …

  • Anti-fatigue (energizing) (IDR 600,000)
    features red palm, myrrh, and neroli extracts
  • Intense firming (toning) (IDR 700,000)
    features shiitake and cylindrica extracts, tamanu and macadamia oils
  • Perfect slim effect (reduces water retention) (IDR 800,000)
    features Peru liana and gotu kola extracts, as well as a complex of yellow poppy, micro-alga, and plant caffeine

 

Half of the spa menu’s facial treatments uses Decléor and the other half uses Clé de Peau:

Decléor

  • PEONY – Whitening brightening (90 minutes) (IDR 800,000)
  • MAGNOLIA – Anti-aging (90 minutes) (IDR 800,000)
  • CLOVES – Energizing (for men) (75 minutes) (IDR 550,000)

Clé de Peau

  • Total Eye Care (90 minutes) (IDR 750,000)
  • Regal Anti-Aging facial (60 minutes) (IDR 600,000)
  • Magnificent Brightening facial (60 minutes) (500,000)

 

Otherwise, if you have 2 and a half hours of free time and you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, get one of these packages instead:

  • Brilliance (IDR 1,500,000)
    features brightening facial and slimming body wrap
  • Excellence (IDR 1,350,000)
    features anti-aging facial and firming body wrap
  • Radiance (for men) (IDR 1,000,000)
    features intense energizing facial and anti-fatigue body treatments

 

But if you got a whole day (and a big budget) to spend for an ultimate wellness fix, I suggest you bring your boo and splurge on any of the day packages they have. You get to eat your lunch at Bengawan (on the 7th floor) and laze around some more in Keraton’s lounge area for some tea.

Half-day package: (IDR 1,450,500)

  • 135-minute Keraton Royal Signature massage
  • Bengawan lunch
  • 60-minute Regal Anti-Aging facial
  • high tea at Keraton Lounge

Full-day package: (IDR 1,880,000) #ultimatestaycation

  • body scrub
  • 135-minute Keraton Royal Signature massage
  • body wrap
  • Bengawan lunch
  • 60-minute Regal Anti-Aging facial
  • 30-minute foot massage
  • high tea at Keraton Lounge

 
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starwoodwines
These are the selection of wines featured at every Starwood hotel and resorts

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Like, I know right. It’s amazing how there’s so much options available on the spa menu for a hotel. You don’t get that much in most hotels in town, even the 5-starred ones. How can I not come back and try their other treatments, especially the ones using Decléor’s stuff?

 

 
 

I’m also quite curious about the infrared sauna. I’ve tried the Sudatonic infrared body wrap a few times while I was still living in Frisco, and they’re almost too good to be true, especially for those looking to lose those last 10 pounds. But not everyone has that much in the bank to spend on a regular basis hehe, so don’t count on it for weight loss; just eat well, exercise often, and sleep like a baby – then reward yourself with a spa treatment :)

You’re lucky if you’re a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), because you’ll save 25% off on any Keraton Spa treatment, including those lunch-and-lounge packages. It’s a full-on pampering session time~

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Keraton’s serene pool as viewed from Bengawan’s outdoor space

 

 Now stop feeling guilty already and go book that massage, because woman, you know you deserve it.

 
 
 

Keraton Spa


Thamrin
Jl. M. H. Thamrin Kav. 15
Jakarta Pusat 10350
+62 (0)21 5068 0000
keraton.spa@luxurycollection.com
Visit Facebook page at Keraton at The Plaza
Follow @keratonjakarta on Twitter
or @keratonjakarta on instagram

www.keratonattheplazajakarta.com
www.starwoodhotels.com

Operating hours:

M – S 10:00am – 11:00pm (last treatment begins at 09:30pm)
 
 
 
 
 


Stace

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