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Monday, October 19, 2009

Aroma River Spa

This was supposed to be the sole purpose of our visit to Bintan Island - a spa cum massage session at the Aroma River Spa. What we didn't bargain for was the almost 1 hour trip from our hotel to the spa located in another corner of Bintan Island at Trikora Beach. The road there was long and winding and left M with a giddy spell. Fortunately we did not had lunch yet otherwise she probably would have thrown up part of it.

Our first impression when our driver announced that we had arrived was shock and disbelief. OMG, the place looks like a run down kampung. Lots of coconut tree and a small outhouse. From the web, we had vision of a beautiful Balinese cottage but this was like.But all doubts was dispelled when we stepped behind the hedges and saw this small cluster of attap houses It looks so quaint - a sort of mini kelong and kampung huts on stilts sitting on a mangrove river. There was a small broadwalk and our treatment room although basic looks clean and neat.
The changing room was a small curtain off area much like the curtain changing rooms in some of our department stores.
Likewise, the 'bathroom' was also inside the treatment room with just a curtain and a jug of water to bath. There are no electricity and running water there and best of all, no irritating elevator music that keeps repeating. All we had was the light sea breeze and as we laid there being kneaded and rubbed upon by the young therapists, all the stress and tension in our body seemingly just seeped away into the water below. It was so soothing, calm and peaceful.

Included in the package was lunch which was a stone away away at the Mutiara Beach Resort
where we were served with a huge coconut and a plate of delicious nasi lemak. Incidentally, the spa receptionist and our driver were also the waiter and I think maybe cook?

Unfortunately, after our meal, the sky opened up and we had to forgo our mangrove tour on the sampan.However, a Ma-Chik there taught us how to make a ketupat casing while we waited for the rain to stop.

This has gonna be one of the best most relaxing spa/massage treatment that I received. Despite the lack of amenities and facilities, it was really like what the ad promised - traditional Javanese massage. Although not cheap by their standard $88.00 per pax for the Aroma Half Day package, I think it was definitely worth the money and I would highly recommend this to those who want to relax.

PS: This is not a sponsored post although I wish it was:)


  1. Greetings from Aroma River Spa!

    Thank you so much for this great review... I am pleased to confirm that it is not sponsored ;-)

    Your positive blog comments help us a lot. We are running this spa as a community project, providing much needed jobs to the nearby kampung.

    For those who would like to know more, kindly visit

    We look forward to your next visit!
    Marc (a Swiss who fell off the boat some 20 years ago...)

  2. Hi,

    A group of our friends went to this Aroma River Spa after having spent all day doing water sports. The spa is amazing, by professionals. They have a variety of treatments to chose from. We get to do selection of oil also.. :). The spa huts are built over river, close to nature and give a completely different experience than regular spas. 75 min of complete relaxation. Excellent Service, very punctual pick up/drop off from/to ferry terminal. Totally recommended. MUST go.