Now that Eat, Pray, Love is the benchmark for a transformational travel experience, a handful of spas have tried to capture the enlightenment buzz of the best-selling book as a way to get more guests. My prediction: Their efforts will quadruple come August when the movie debuts starring Julia Roberts as author Elizabeth Gilbert.
One that might actually deliver is Uma Ubud, on the lush Indonesian island of Bali. It's the less pricey sibling of flagship COMO Shambhala Estate (also on Bali). Both offer a five-star ashram experience, with amazing spa cuisine, innovative spa programming, and exceptional treatments lead by healers and experts.
In Gilbert's book, Bali is the LOVE chapter. And I love the rates for three nights at Uma Ubud start at $740 for single occupancy and $840 for double. This includes mundane necessities like airport transfers and breakfast, plus a few Eat, Pray, Loveinfluenced perks: a day trip to see a Balinese healer (Bali's healers are spiritually chosen bodyworkers of a stripe we just don't have in the States); a cleansing ritual at Tirta Empul, a local water temple; a 60-minute COMO Shambhala Massageplus a map to the sets featured in the movie, should you want to play spa paparazzi. The package is available from August 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011.
For more trip-planning information, check out our Bali Travel Guide.