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(7/10/2006) When balidiscovery.com's Editor was recently sent to survey the Jiwa Spa at the Conrad Bali Resort at Tanjung Benoa, no one even bothered to consider the assignment in any way hazardous - one of those journalistic forays during which a valued contributor goes "missing in action."
Sadly, however, it appears we failed to estimate the inherent dangers of sending an over-stressed, deadline-driven Editor into the luxurious and seductive atmosphere of the "Palace of Pampering" that is the Jiwa Spa.
The Search Begins
Shortly after his his failure to return to the office, members of the staff dispatched to the scene found little trace of our missing Editor, save his reporter's notebook and intermittent reports, dating from the time of his disappearance, mentioning contented sighs of relief emanating from one of the Jiwa Spa's treatment rooms.
Our staff have searched for him everywhere, really we have. We've explored every nook and cranny of the multi-level 439 square meter facility; we've looked in the 10 private treatment rooms and 2 exclusive treatment villas; we've braved the stiffling heat of steam rooms and sauna cabins; we've donned scuba gear and taken underwater cameras to searched for him on the bottom of the Spa's 25-meter outdoor pool, the outdoor Jacuzzi, and the cold and hot plunge pools in the locker/changing areas; and working on a very long-shot, we've even looked in the adjacent fully-equipped fitness club.
Our Editor is No Where to be Found.
Undettered, members of our staff have returned over several days to conduct interviews with the 39 highly-trained spa therapists who work at the Jiwa Spa. Between busy rounds of spa appointments, the therapists have tried to comfort our fears, assuring that guests who suddenly extend theirs stays and course of spa treatments are not uncommon.
Despite the Spa's therapists reputation for lavish pamerping, following days of marathon interviews our staffers found them by and large to be an uncooperative lot; hiding behind old spa trade chestnuts of "guest's privacy and undisturbed enjoyment" in refusing to divulge any additional information that might help us track down our missing Editor.
The Paper Chase
Based on scribbled notes left in his reporter's notebook, we were, however, able to at least partially reconstruct the final moments before our Editor's mysterious disappearance.
Our working theory is that his hastily written notes of "spoiled for choice" and "decisions, decisions, decision!" refer to the his last documented moments in the recpetion area of the Jiwa Spa. According to the receptionist on duty at the time, there he pondered laboriously over the almost endless range of "head-to-toe" therapies and treatments on offer.
Compelled to choose between manicures, pedicures, various massage treatments, a range of soothing aramotherapy oils, reflexology, scented scrubs and soaks accented by natural bath salts – our Editor reportedly became increasingly confused screaming "yes" to every spa and treatment option offered. Perhaps reflecting his recent heavy work schedules and accumulated stress, reports from the scene said his confusion escalated further when he was asked to choose between recorded excerpts of meditative, chill out and light classical musical selections – available as the sound therapies to accompany each treatment session.
Lost at Sea?
Our Editor was last seen to be smiling broadly as we was compliantly led down the stairs to the treatment area for the Jiwa Spa's signature treatment — Ocean Flow which combines elements of rhythmic strokes with acupressure, akin to the movement of ocean waves. Subsequent reports of sightings at the air-conditioned reflexology center, undergoing soothing facials and cream bach in the Spa's Hair Salon, or loudly singing "rubber ducky" in a scented pool of rose petals - all remain unconfirmed.
We also discount suggestions that we are now confronting a "hostage situation" – with our Editor refusing to leave the Jiwa Spa until the Resort Management agrees to grant him the right of permanent residence inside the facility.
Anyone seeing our Editor is asked to be gentle with the man who, by all reports, has been spoiled senseless.
While no reward is offered for his return, we'd still like him back.
More information: http://www.balidiscovery.com/hotels/hotel.asp?Id=376