Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ultimate Hideaway: Contender #4

I have a special place in my heart for Sumatra's Riau province, where I spent some time doing development work back in the '90s. I was about 200 km from a telephone, far even from the local capital of Pekanbaru, in a village where you had to take a river raft even to get there.

So when reader Jasmine Borschberg sent in news of her spa on Batam island, off Riau's coast and just south of Singapore, I had to give her props. Called Tempat Senang, it's dropped in the middle of gorgeous gardens and has cultivated a Balinese feel with its lush, woodsy architecture (with individual guest suites decorated in Indian, Indonesian, Chinese and Thai styles). The spa itself features specials like cinnamon body scrubs and, most innovatively, a 'Turkish Fish Spa' where tiny fish nibble away at your feet, giving you a natural exfoliation.

Golf lovers can also hit the links with the Indah Puri club right next door. Check out the packages like the weekend special, of two nights plus three hours of couple treatments for $599, or the six-hour day-spa blowout of $396 for a couple. For Singeaporeans especially, Batam is barely a hop away, and Tempat Senang looks like the ideal place to escape the global economic craziness.

Today's Top Stories

Indonesia's anti-corruption drive getting headlines around the world
Prince Charles stops by to hang out
Rising price of soy no joke

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