Best Spa Gardens: COMO Shambhala Estate


Best Spa Gardens: COMO Shambhala Estate

April 15, 2010
Photo by: Blancaneaux Lodge

This holistic health retreat and its junglelike gardens are nothing if not a feast for the senses: Behold yellow heliconias, red anthuriums, black bamboo and white bougainvillea. Hear tree ferns rustling in the wind. Breathe in frangipani's heady perfume. Taste fresh-picked mango and avocado. Feel the therapeutic heat of the sun and the bracing chill of the nearby Ayung River. To focus so intently on the landscape not only stimulates a deeper appreciation for the outdoors but also heightens one's sense of well-being. The resort's 23 acres reward exploration. Wanderers will discover Ojas, the main spa area centrally located in a forest clearing. Here, the yoga pavilion with its panoramic views of the main swimming pool and the grounds below sits atop the main spa center with its air-conditioned treatment rooms. A short hike away, at the end of a path punctuated with sculptures crafted by local artisans, lies Kedara, a spring-fed water garden. Rustic amenities in this treatment area include plein-air relaxation spaces such as traditional Balinese bales and freshwater pools. Perhaps the most-tempting spot is an enormous tub carved out of volcanic rock — an invitation to enjoy a flower-strewn bath and be serenaded by flowing water and the call of wild birds in the trees above.

Try this: Surrender to the languid rhythm of the long, wavelike strokes of the COMO Shambhala Massage, and you'll find yourself lulled into a blissful slumber.

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