A massage to die for

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We asked ITN subscribers, “Where have you, in the last few years, had a great massage outside of the United States?” In addition to where it was (including contact info, if possible), approximately when you were there and about how much it cost, we wanted to know what made it great and about any tips you have for others interested in experiencing a massage. The responses appear below.

If you have anything to share, write to A Massage To Die For, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818, or e-mail editor@intltravelnews.com (include the address at which you receive ITN).

 

In Bagan, MYANMAR, in December ’12, I had a massage at the spa at Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort (Old Bagan, Myanmar; phone 95 61 60048 or 60049, fax 60033).

We were on a private tour of Myanmar booked through Journeys Within (Truckee, CA; 877/454-3672, www.journeys-within.com). Upon checking in at the resort, I noticed a sign announcing a complimentary 10-minute massage, so, after our day’s touring, I went to the spa to see what they offered. The menu listed several services, but I elected to have just a 30-minute back massage.  

It was, hands down, the best deep-tissue back massage I have ever had anywhere, all at the hands of a very tiny, quiet young woman who always made sure she wasn’t hurting me in any way. After the massage, I just floated back to my bungalow.

The spa gave me a credit for the complimentary 10 minutes, so the total cost was only $12.50. (Without the discount, I think it would have cost $18-$20.) This was just charged to our room bill.

Tamara Compton, Bellingham, WA

 

During my travels over 50 years across six continents, I made it a practice to get a massage whenever I had a little free time in each country or, occasionally, while on a cruise ship. Sometimes I got a massage to relax and at other times it was just for the experience. 

I have found that massages overseas are usually much less expensive than those in the US, and, for the most part, they’re just as pleasurable. In third-world countries, the cost was usually $5 to $15, unless the masseuse was in a 5-star hotel.

• In Göreme, TURKEY, in May ’12, one evening my guide took me to a Turkish bath in the village center. It was fascinating. 

As I lay with several other women on a tile platform, I was scrubbed down with a brush. (Men could also be present but on a different platform.) Then they dumped buckets of water on us to remove the soap. You could also opt for a massage, which I did. Tea was part of the ritual. Including the massage, it all cost about $68 and was certainly worth it for the experience.

• On an independent tour of CHINA in October ’11 I had some bad luck. At a bus station in Guizhou province, I tried to pick up my suitcases and pulled something in my back. I tipped some locals a little and they got me a taxi, writing my destination on a card for the driver. 

Reaching my accommodation, the Novotel in Guiyang. I inquired about massages at the desk and they sent a young woman to my room. She used only lotion and soothing movements to relax the spine and muscles. The 45-minute massage she gave me cost about $30, and I gave her a small tip as well. 

It made me feel so much better that I scheduled another massage for the next day.

Joyce A. Bruck, Ocean Ridge, FL

 

I have had quite a few massages abroad that weren’t very good (I think I’m going to give up on ones involving oil) but also a few good ones.

• For an excellent Thai massage at a reasonable price, the place to go in Bangkok is the Wat Po Medical & Massage School (392/25-28 Sot Pen Phat, Bangkok, THAILAND; phone 02622 3551), behind the Wat Po Temple complex. 

In February ’11, I had an excellent one-hour massage plus a foot massage. I don’t remember exactly what I paid. Their website says that a 60-minute massage costs THB400 (near $13). Since it’s a Thai massage, you keep your clothes on; it’s not a spa experience.

• In the fall of 2012, I had a good shiatsu massage at a day spa in San Martín de Los Andes, ARGENTINA. Soma Estetica Integral (Perito Moreno 665 Centro, San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén province; phone 029 7241 3242) is located a block northwest of Plaza San Martín. An hour-long massage cost about $35. 

Kathy Wilhelm, Cary NC 

 

When I arrived on Lombok island, INDONESIA, in late May ’05, I was almost 68 years old and suffering from arthritis in my hands. My middle fingers were especially painful.

While staying at the Holiday Inn, now called the Holiday Resort (Senggigi Beach, Lombok 83355 NTB, Indonesia; phone +62 370 693444, fax 370 693092, http://holidayresort-lombok.com), I had a full-body massage. Though I don’t remember the price, I know it was inexpensive. 

As the young woman massaged my hands, my middle fingers made a funny noise, unlike any I’d heard and not at all like the sound made when people crack their knuckles.

She looked at me and asked if it had hurt. 

I said, “No, not at all. Just continue doing what you’re doing.” 

She did, and, to this day, I have had no pain whatsoever in my hands! 

It was a wonderful massage in a gorgeous place.

Flora Breidenbach, Elmwood Park, IL

 

He told me to close my eyes, then he poured warm oil all over my head and began to rub it in. As it dripped down my face, he scooped it up and worked it into my forehead, nose and cheeks. This went on for several minutes before he asked me to lie on the hard, bare and unpadded teak table. It was obvious that getting an Ayurvedic massage was going to be a totally new experience.

It was the tenth day of our month-long tour of INDIA, when my wife, Lorna, and I arrived at Spice Village (Kumily-Thekkady Rd., Thekkady, Idukki district 685536, Kerala state, India). Lorna suggested that I try an Indian massage.  

Our Spice Village cottage at Thekkady, Kerala, India. Photo: Towler

I was shown to a large, bright room with floor-length windows on two sides. It contained a teak table, a stool and a young man who told me to disrobe… completely. As I stood self consciously by the windows, he fastened a thin paper belt around my waist. Reaching between my legs, he grasped the long strip of paper hanging down in front and tucked it into the waistband at my back. 

Feeling only slightly more presentable, I was led over to the stool. He left the room and I sat and waited. With the door open and in front of the windows, I felt exposed and on view, but no one seemed to be around, not even my masseur. A few minutes later, he returned with three pots of aromatic oils and the slathering began.

When my head and shoulders had been saturated, he asked me to climb onto the table and stretch out. It was very hard, smooth and burnished to a rich, dark color by who knows how much oil. The small pad he placed under my chin did very little to alleviate the discomfort. 

He proceeded to oil every available inch of my body. This required copious amounts of oil. Instead of kneading my muscles and massaging areas of stiffness, he simply moved his hands gently all over me, adding even more oil as he slathered away.

After 20 minutes of this, he indicated that I should roll over onto my back. Let me tell you, this is no mean feat when you are covered with oil and lying on a slippery slab. The masseur was no help, as he was as oily as I was, and neither of us could find anything to hang onto, no matter how appropriate or inappropriate it may have been. I probably would have seen the humor in this if I hadn’t been so concerned about falling onto the floor. 

After a few tense moments, I managed the maneuver and watched as he renewed his efforts with even more oil. This continued for another 20 minutes, then I was told to sit up. 

If I had thought that turning over was difficult, it was nothing compared to what happened next. A great deal of gliding and sliding, accompanied by some skillful prodding and pushing, eventually got me sitting up with my legs over the edge. My man carefully wiped my feet and asked me to follow him to the shower room. 

Clutching each other like a pair of drunks, I oiled my way across the tiles into the room next door, where I was told to sit on a stool in the shower. Never suspecting what would happen next, I watched curiously as he mixed up several gallons of herbs and warm water. 

Picking up a pitcher, he filled it with this muddy mixture and poured it all over me, explaining that it would remove the oil. But not only did he pour it on, he massaged it all over me. 

After each body part was thoroughly muddied, he sluiced me off with pitchers of warm water. My paper belt had completely disintegrated by this time and I found myself completely nude sitting in a puddle of mud. When he was satisfied that no oil or herbs remained, he gently dried me off using a minuscule cotton cloth smaller than a hand towel. I have no idea how he managed this.

Next he said that, if I wished, I could have a real shower and he would bring me a fresh towel. I jumped at the opportunity, little realizing that the new towel would be the same size as the one before, but I managed. 

Finished at last, I padded, nude but clean, back to the massage room, thanked my masseur, got into my clothes and left in search of my wife and a cold drink.

I had experienced just the massage component of the ancient Ayurveda approach to wellness. The other aspects of this, perhaps, 6,000-year-old holistic process involve diet, meditation and exercise, with an emphasis on the link between mind and body. 

My body felt that it had been washed, polished and given a complete lube job and oil change. All of my fluids had been checked and topped up. I think I took four quarts. 

There is no doubt that this introduction to Ayurveda left me relaxed and rejuvenated, but I would have to say I prefer a Swedish massage and a lot less oil.

We stayed at this first-class resort in 2003, lodging in a lovely villa that had a plaque on the wall saying that Paul McCartney and his wife Heather had stayed there on their honeymoon. 2013 room rates range from $150 per night for a standard room to $185 for a deluxe villa. Massages start at about $17 for 40 minutes.

John Towler, Waterloo, ON, Canada

 

We were visiting Sigiriya in SRI LANKA in March ’13, and at Hotel Sigiriya (phone +9466 4930500 3) I received an Ayurvedic full-body massage with sandalwood oil. The treatment lasted well over an hour and the cost was $35.

In Sri Lanka, it is considered improper for people to receive massages from persons of the opposite sex. After I disrobed, my masseur, a young man, started my treatment with me sitting on a chair. He rubbed the warm oil onto my head and hair and spent about 15 minutes massaging it into my face, neck and shoulders. 

He then had me lie on a table face down and proceeded to rub every part of my body, from top to toes. He had me flip over and massaged all my remaining body parts.

While all this was going on, he told me the story of his life and related his experiences at the hotel. He told me of the hopes he had for his future. He wanted to obtain a visa to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he could meet a more well-heeled clientele. He also told me that he was not allowed to keep his tips. 

At the end of the treatment, he walked out to the pool with me. His shirt was soaked with perspiration, evidence of his vigorous efforts on my behalf. I was thoroughly relaxed, physically and mentally — proof of having had a massage to die for. I would go back to that hotel just to have another massage.

The next morning, my masseur appeared outside my hotel room with a gift of an airline liquor bottle of sandalwood oil. I insisted on paying for the bottle with a 20-dollar bill, thus, in consideration of his “gift” to me, he could receive a reward for his services.

Marvin Herman, Delavan, WI

 

My wife, Karen, had what ranks as her “all-time best massage” in MONGOLIA’s Gobi Desert. 

Karen paid $45 for a one-hour massage given by a surgical nurse at the Three Camel Lodge (The US contact is in Monroe Township, NJ; 800/998-6634. According to the website, the flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad, capital of the South Gobi province, takes 1½ hours, and from the airport to the lodge it takes 1½ hours by car)

This was during a tour of Mongolia in June ’10 with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA; 800/955-1925).

The massage, itself, was unlike any other and left her completely relaxed and wilted. But what made it tops among others we have had around the world was that Karen had the day’s final massage, beginning at 9 p.m., and when she finished, it was dark. She walked back to our ger under the immense sky filled with the dusty starlight of the Milky Way.

The vision was so spectacular that she woke me and we stood outside for a long time looking up at the grandeur amidst the silent expanse of the Gobi Desert.

Rod Smith, Oskaloosa, KS

 

To mark our wedding anniversary every five years, we try to schedule a trip for our whole family, currently numbering 13 and ranging in age from early 60s down to toddler.

• In 2008, several of us had (or some might say, endured!) memorable massages at a private villa in NICARAGUA, Finca las Nubes (Km 136, La Cuesta, San Juan del Sur 95472, Nicaragua; phone owner Chris Robertson at +505 879 9629 or, in the US (Calif.), 707/922-5829)

La Finca’s housekeeper put us in touch with a masseuse from the village, who came to our villa and gave us each the massage of a lifetime. On our open-air balcony, while howler monkeys roared in the trees above and with a view out to the sea, we really got worked over! Even our young son-in-law thought it was pretty intense. 

The cost was only about $20, so we each gave her a 10-dollar tip. We all agreed that the setting and the end result were well worth it. 

• When my husband, Bruce, and I were in COSTA RICA in 2011, we treated ourselves and the friend traveling with us to a massage where we were staying, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens (Tortuguero, Costa Rica; phone 011 [+506] 2521 6099 or 2257 0766, fax 2257 1665), located across from the airstrip a mile north of Tortuguero.

We had spent the day on kayaks exploring the amazing waterways and observing the flora and fauna that is so abundant in that area. Two masseuses, arranged for us by the lodge’s staff, gave us very gentle and relaxing massages on our balcony. I recall that it cost a very low $20, so we tipped them generously. 

There is nothing like a good massage outdoors in an exotic natural setting. It makes a trip abroad extra memorable. I’d recommend this small luxury, plus it gives a small boost to the individual economies of some very lovely people! 

Cynthia Joldersma, Grand Rapids, MI

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

We asked ITN subscribers, “Where have you, in the last few years, had a great massage outside of the United States?” In addition to where it was (including contact info, if possible), approximately when you were there and about how much it cost, we wanted to know what made it great and about any tips you have for others interested in experiencing a massage. The responses appear below.

If you have anything to share, write to A Massage To Die For, c/o ITN, 2116 28th St., Sacramento, CA 95818, or e-mail editor@intltravelnews.com (include the address at which you receive ITN).

 

In Bagan, MYANMAR, in December ’12, I had a massage at the spa at Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort (Old Bagan, Myanmar; phone 95 61 60048 or 60049, fax 60033).

We were on a private tour of Myanmar booked through Journeys Within (Truckee, CA; 877/454-3672, www.journeys-within.com). Upon checking in at the resort, I noticed a sign announcing a complimentary 10-minute massage, so, after our day’s touring, I went to the spa to see what they offered. The menu listed several services, but I elected to have just a 30-minute back massage.  

It was, hands down, the best deep-tissue back massage I have ever had anywhere, all at the hands of a very tiny, quiet young woman who always made sure she wasn’t hurting me in any way. After the massage, I just floated back to my bungalow.

The spa gave me a credit for the complimentary 10 minutes, so the total cost was only $12.50. (Without the discount, I think it would have cost $18-$20.) This was just charged to our room bill.

Tamara Compton, Bellingham, WA

 

During my travels over 50 years across six continents, I made it a practice to get a massage whenever I had a little free time in each country or, occasionally, while on a cruise ship. Sometimes I got a massage to relax and at other times it was just for the experience. 

I have found that massages overseas are usually much less expensive than those in the US, and, for the most part, they’re just as pleasurable. In third-world countries, the cost was usually $5 to $15, unless the masseuse was in a 5-star hotel.

• In Göreme, TURKEY, in May ’12, one evening my guide took me to a Turkish bath in the village center. It was fascinating. 

As I lay with several other women on a tile platform, I was scrubbed down with a brush. (Men could also be present but on a different platform.) Then they dumped buckets of water on us to remove the soap. You could also opt for a massage, which I did. Tea was part of the ritual. Including the massage, it all cost about $68 and was certainly worth it for the experience.

• On an independent tour of CHINA in October ’11 I had some bad luck. At a bus station in Guizhou province, I tried to pick up my suitcases and pulled something in my back. I tipped some locals a little and they got me a taxi, writing my destination on a card for the driver. 

Reaching my accommodation, the Novotel in Guiyang. I inquired about massages at the desk and they sent a young woman to my room. She used only lotion and soothing movements to relax the spine and muscles. The 45-minute massage she gave me cost about $30, and I gave her a small tip as well. 

It made me feel so much better that I scheduled another massage for the next day.

Joyce A. Bruck, Ocean Ridge, FL

 

I have had quite a few massages abroad that weren’t very good (I think I’m going to give up on ones involving oil) but also a few good ones.

• For an excellent Thai massage at a reasonable price, the place to go in Bangkok is the Wat Po Medical & Massage School (392/25-28 Sot Pen Phat, Bangkok, THAILAND; phone 02622 3551), behind the Wat Po Temple complex. 

In February ’11, I had an excellent one-hour massage plus a foot massage. I don’t remember exactly what I paid. Their website says that a 60-minute massage costs THB400 (near $13). Since it’s a Thai massage, you keep your clothes on; it’s not a spa experience.

• In the fall of 2012, I had a good shiatsu massage at a day spa in San Martín de Los Andes, ARGENTINA. Soma Estetica Integral (Perito Moreno 665 Centro, San Martín de los Andes, Neuquén province; phone 029 7241 3242) is located a block northwest of Plaza San Martín. An hour-long massage cost about $35. 

Kathy Wilhelm, Cary NC 

 

When I arrived on Lombok island, INDONESIA, in late May ’05, I was almost 68 years old and suffering from arthritis in my hands. My middle fingers were especially painful.

While staying at the Holiday Inn, now called the Holiday Resort (Senggigi Beach, Lombok 83355 NTB, Indonesia; phone +62 370 693444, fax 370 693092, http://holidayresort-lombok.com), I had a full-body massage. Though I don’t remember the price, I know it was inexpensive. 

As the young woman massaged my hands, my middle fingers made a funny noise, unlike any I’d heard and not at all like the sound made when people crack their knuckles.

She looked at me and asked if it had hurt. 

I said, “No, not at all. Just continue doing what you’re doing.” 

She did, and, to this day, I have had no pain whatsoever in my hands! 

It was a wonderful massage in a gorgeous place.

Flora Breidenbach, Elmwood Park, IL

 

He told me to close my eyes, then he poured warm oil all over my head and began to rub it in. As it dripped down my face, he scooped it up and worked it into my forehead, nose and cheeks. This went on for several minutes before he asked me to lie on the hard, bare and unpadded teak table. It was obvious that getting an Ayurvedic massage was going to be a totally new experience.

It was the tenth day of our month-long tour of INDIA, when my wife, Lorna, and I arrived at Spice Village (Kumily-Thekkady Rd., Thekkady, Idukki district 685536, Kerala state, India). Lorna suggested that I try an Indian massage.  

Our Spice Village cottage at Thekkady, Kerala, India. Photo: Towler

I was shown to a large, bright room with floor-length windows on two sides. It contained a teak table, a stool and a young man who told me to disrobe… completely. As I stood self consciously by the windows, he fastened a thin paper belt around my waist. Reaching between my legs, he grasped the long strip of paper hanging down in front and tucked it into the waistband at my back. 

Feeling only slightly more presentable, I was led over to the stool. He left the room and I sat and waited. With the door open and in front of the windows, I felt exposed and on view, but no one seemed to be around, not even my masseur. A few minutes later, he returned with three pots of aromatic oils and the slathering began.

When my head and shoulders had been saturated, he asked me to climb onto the table and stretch out. It was very hard, smooth and burnished to a rich, dark color by who knows how much oil. The small pad he placed under my chin did very little to alleviate the discomfort. 

He proceeded to oil every available inch of my body. This required copious amounts of oil. Instead of kneading my muscles and massaging areas of stiffness, he simply moved his hands gently all over me, adding even more oil as he slathered away.

After 20 minutes of this, he indicated that I should roll over onto my back. Let me tell you, this is no mean feat when you are covered with oil and lying on a slippery slab. The masseur was no help, as he was as oily as I was, and neither of us could find anything to hang onto, no matter how appropriate or inappropriate it may have been. I probably would have seen the humor in this if I hadn’t been so concerned about falling onto the floor. 

After a few tense moments, I managed the maneuver and watched as he renewed his efforts with even more oil. This continued for another 20 minutes, then I was told to sit up. 

If I had thought that turning over was difficult, it was nothing compared to what happened next. A great deal of gliding and sliding, accompanied by some skillful prodding and pushing, eventually got me sitting up with my legs over the edge. My man carefully wiped my feet and asked me to follow him to the shower room. 

Clutching each other like a pair of drunks, I oiled my way across the tiles into the room next door, where I was told to sit on a stool in the shower. Never suspecting what would happen next, I watched curiously as he mixed up several gallons of herbs and warm water. 

Picking up a pitcher, he filled it with this muddy mixture and poured it all over me, explaining that it would remove the oil. But not only did he pour it on, he massaged it all over me. 

After each body part was thoroughly muddied, he sluiced me off with pitchers of warm water. My paper belt had completely disintegrated by this time and I found myself completely nude sitting in a puddle of mud. When he was satisfied that no oil or herbs remained, he gently dried me off using a minuscule cotton cloth smaller than a hand towel. I have no idea how he managed this.

Next he said that, if I wished, I could have a real shower and he would bring me a fresh towel. I jumped at the opportunity, little realizing that the new towel would be the same size as the one before, but I managed. 

Finished at last, I padded, nude but clean, back to the massage room, thanked my masseur, got into my clothes and left in search of my wife and a cold drink.

I had experienced just the massage component of the ancient Ayurveda approach to wellness. The other aspects of this, perhaps, 6,000-year-old holistic process involve diet, meditation and exercise, with an emphasis on the link between mind and body. 

My body felt that it had been washed, polished and given a complete lube job and oil change. All of my fluids had been checked and topped up. I think I took four quarts. 

There is no doubt that this introduction to Ayurveda left me relaxed and rejuvenated, but I would have to say I prefer a Swedish massage and a lot less oil.

We stayed at this first-class resort in 2003, lodging in a lovely villa that had a plaque on the wall saying that Paul McCartney and his wife Heather had stayed there on their honeymoon. 2013 room rates range from $150 per night for a standard room to $185 for a deluxe villa. Massages start at about $17 for 40 minutes.

John Towler, Waterloo, ON, Canada

 

We were visiting Sigiriya in SRI LANKA in March ’13, and at Hotel Sigiriya (phone +9466 4930500 3) I received an Ayurvedic full-body massage with sandalwood oil. The treatment lasted well over an hour and the cost was $35.

In Sri Lanka, it is considered improper for people to receive massages from persons of the opposite sex. After I disrobed, my masseur, a young man, started my treatment with me sitting on a chair. He rubbed the warm oil onto my head and hair and spent about 15 minutes massaging it into my face, neck and shoulders. 

He then had me lie on a table face down and proceeded to rub every part of my body, from top to toes. He had me flip over and massaged all my remaining body parts.

While all this was going on, he told me the story of his life and related his experiences at the hotel. He told me of the hopes he had for his future. He wanted to obtain a visa to travel to the United Arab Emirates, where he could meet a more well-heeled clientele. He also told me that he was not allowed to keep his tips. 

At the end of the treatment, he walked out to the pool with me. His shirt was soaked with perspiration, evidence of his vigorous efforts on my behalf. I was thoroughly relaxed, physically and mentally — proof of having had a massage to die for. I would go back to that hotel just to have another massage.

The next morning, my masseur appeared outside my hotel room with a gift of an airline liquor bottle of sandalwood oil. I insisted on paying for the bottle with a 20-dollar bill, thus, in consideration of his “gift” to me, he could receive a reward for his services.

Marvin Herman, Delavan, WI

 

My wife, Karen, had what ranks as her “all-time best massage” in MONGOLIA’s Gobi Desert. 

Karen paid $45 for a one-hour massage given by a surgical nurse at the Three Camel Lodge (The US contact is in Monroe Township, NJ; 800/998-6634. According to the website, the flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad, capital of the South Gobi province, takes 1½ hours, and from the airport to the lodge it takes 1½ hours by car)

This was during a tour of Mongolia in June ’10 with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA; 800/955-1925).

The massage, itself, was unlike any other and left her completely relaxed and wilted. But what made it tops among others we have had around the world was that Karen had the day’s final massage, beginning at 9 p.m., and when she finished, it was dark. She walked back to our ger under the immense sky filled with the dusty starlight of the Milky Way.

The vision was so spectacular that she woke me and we stood outside for a long time looking up at the grandeur amidst the silent expanse of the Gobi Desert.

Rod Smith, Oskaloosa, KS

 

To mark our wedding anniversary every five years, we try to schedule a trip for our whole family, currently numbering 13 and ranging in age from early 60s down to toddler.

• In 2008, several of us had (or some might say, endured!) memorable massages at a private villa in NICARAGUA, Finca las Nubes (Km 136, La Cuesta, San Juan del Sur 95472, Nicaragua; phone owner Chris Robertson at +505 879 9629 or, in the US (Calif.), 707/922-5829)

La Finca’s housekeeper put us in touch with a masseuse from the village, who came to our villa and gave us each the massage of a lifetime. On our open-air balcony, while howler monkeys roared in the trees above and with a view out to the sea, we really got worked over! Even our young son-in-law thought it was pretty intense. 

The cost was only about $20, so we each gave her a 10-dollar tip. We all agreed that the setting and the end result were well worth it. 

• When my husband, Bruce, and I were in COSTA RICA in 2011, we treated ourselves and the friend traveling with us to a massage where we were staying, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens (Tortuguero, Costa Rica; phone 011 [+506] 2521 6099 or 2257 0766, fax 2257 1665), located across from the airstrip a mile north of Tortuguero.

We had spent the day on kayaks exploring the amazing waterways and observing the flora and fauna that is so abundant in that area. Two masseuses, arranged for us by the lodge’s staff, gave us very gentle and relaxing massages on our balcony. I recall that it cost a very low $20, so we tipped them generously. 

There is nothing like a good massage outdoors in an exotic natural setting. It makes a trip abroad extra memorable. I’d recommend this small luxury, plus it gives a small boost to the individual economies of some very lovely people! 

Cynthia Joldersma, Grand Rapids, MI