Gabrielle Borromeo, Manila, Philippines

Published in the Daily Tribune Life
January 9, 2012

Breaking free from the city and stepping into a natural enclave is quite impossible without having to take a long trip. Incredibly, The Spa at Fort Bonifacio makes such an escape possible. At the Global City, entering The Spa feels like teleporting. The entrance is relaxing with its nature-themed furniture, greenery and cascading water falls beside the stairs leading to the main sanctum.

Every branch of The Spa has its own design theme, and at the Fort, the different villas have their own names: Villa 1: Rome, Villa 2: Barcelona, Villa 3: Paris, Villa 4: Florence, Villa 5: London, Villa 6: Tokyo, Villa 7: Milan, Villa 8: Frankfurt and Villa 9: Beijing (Sauna only). The Loft is where a small group can enjoy Spa Parties and such.

I was brought to Villa 1: Rome, just the right size for a single excursion. It has its own tub where one could enjoy a soak and a Steam/Shower room. Half an hour for a Jacuzzi splash was a delight in the privacy of a villa. I soaked in my moment of serenity, absorbing it all like a sponge, feeling that this time spent for rejuvenation was more of a need than a want. Definitely one needs to refresh one’s body and soul, cleanse it from all grime and dirt and feel the stresses float away.

To boot, a mega volume of The Spa’s signature bubbles can make the time more playful and relaxing. I had never seen such a load of bubbles than in the Spa – not in any of the five-star`hotels I have stayed in with their luxury toiletries.

Getting out of the tub was really hard especially when staying there just felt so right, but it was all for the best as Rechelle Deontoy, the kind lady who told me to liendown on my stomach for the next round of satisfaction, gave me a full body scrub.

I was told to relax and lie down. I felt her hands like ocean waves filled with sand massaging my body, waves that just kept rolling over my skin as if I were the ocean shore. There was a certain roughness from the grains that cleansed every pore of my body. It was like a bath in bed, and how many people get baths in bed? The sand as it seemed to be was actually jojoba wax beads.

The Spa’s new body treatment Crystalline is a comforting and pampering treatment that starts with an uplifting body scrub treatment by Pevonica Botanica, a natural skincare brand offered by spas worldwide including The Spa Wellness. The Spa is committed to providing effective skincare solutions to teens, women and men of every age. The Pevonia Botanica brand maintains a harmonious balance with nature and it offers natural formulations packaged in fully recyclable and biodegradable materials.

With Pevonia Botanica, skin is renewed and polished with a natural, gentle scrub rich with components that nature has to offer, leaving it livelier, softer and fairer. The delicate jojoba wax beads smoothen and reveal baby-soft skin. The scrub is made with lemon, chamomile, rosemary, aloe vera gel and jojoba wax beads. The components used are definitely pro-nature and feels like the reawakening of the new life of my skin.

Lemon, one of the components, was used because it brightens up the skin, tones it well and has a natural fresh citrus fragrance. Chamomile calms and heals the skin. Rosemary rejuvenates and improves blood circulation. Aloe vera gel tightens and soothes and, of course, jojoba wax beads, a non-irritating natural grain, polishes the skin.

After the scrub, I was given a few minutes alone to wash away any sand-like particles and to feel the smoothness of my new skin. Yes, indeed, it felt like new skin had covered me. The smoothness was like lotion on my body but without the heaviness.

I then stood up go to my very own private shower room right in the privacy of my very own villa. Then Lilibeth Vidal, my masseuse of the day, came inside my villa and told me to lie down again. I relaxed my muscles and sank into a world of calmness as she massaged my skin with crystalline lotion. If I wanted a heavy massage or a lighter one, I was asked to simply speak up.

The Spa’s deeply relaxing classic massages are shiatsu, Swedish, combination or deep tissue. While shiatsu is a relaxing and rejuvenating Japanese-style acupressure massage that works on vital energy points to unlock and balance the body’s chi, deep tissue is for those who seek the profound relief of a penetrating massage. Swedish, on the other hand, soothes sore muscles, increases circulation and relieves body tension because of the special oil that is massaged on the body like flowing strokes.

Combination is a muscle-soothing flow of Swedish massage and a special oil, coupled with the chi-balancing power of shiatsu’s finger pressure. These massages are rendered with Pevonia Botanica’s breakthrough massage oil, a rich blend of safflower, geranium and vitamin E for ultimate skin nourishment, repair, hydration and powerful antioxidant boost.

With the Crystalline Skin body treatment, it’s one’s choice to pick one of the four preferences for the massage. Like all good things, my relaxing and spirit lifting session came to an end. I thought that after a massage, I had to get up and leave, but what a surprise, there was still 30 minutes of stretching plus complimentary cups of soothing ginger tea!

Aside from The Fort, The Spa branches are located at Acropolis-Libis (634-2709, 634-2848), Alabang (850-3490, 850-6836), Eastwood Mall/ Richmonde Hotel (709-6868, 709-7878), Greenbelt(840-1325, 840-1326), Rockwell (470-6868, 470- 7878) and Trinoma (900-8809, 900-8818).

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