Certified Spa Detective 2018 Part I

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Yes, I admit that I am beginning to be a spa addict.  With my stressful work, I really need to destress and pamper myself.  I just had this realization recently and it’s true that if you love and give time to yourself, you will feel better and will be more productive.

Ever since, I had dry skin and ever since I had the body scrub in Z Spa and my dead skin cells were removed, there is an improvement with my skin.  And because I already have established my beauty routine, I really need to give my skin a treat every two weeks.   What I need is body scrub for  and facial to achieve that youthful glow.  I need a radiant skin for my Boracay trip on April 29-May 4, 2018.

As a journalist and spa detective, I know that I have to give my honest opinion (based from my own experience) and it is my obligation to provide you also with facts and helpful information.  I will start this year of comprehensive reviews of different spas.  My aim here is to suggest and recommend treatments suited for the readers and also to warn them if ever the service is terrible.

Here is the tentative list of the spas that I will review this 2018.

1. Golden Leaf Health Spa (Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal)

This weekend, I will have my review of Golden Leaf Health Spa located in Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal.  I have learned that they have a wet area and that’s quite interesting.  Other spas don’t have jacuzzi and they have a plus point for that.  I still have to check whether their service is excellent and the place is well maintained and of course— a relaxing ambiance.  I have to see and experience for myself.  If you see posts of Golden Leaf Health Spa in Instagram, TBIP Facebook Page and here in WordPress until April 2018, it seems I found the perfect spa for me.

2.  Chi, The Spa at Edsa Shangri-la (Ortigas Center, Pasig)

We have booked a suite for my daughter’s birthday celebration in Edsa Shangrila on April 19, so this is the opportunity for me to hit their fitness center and experience their spa.  I will update you guys if it’s worth the money or just a waste of time.

3.  Terra Wellness Spa (Boracay)

I already booked myself for their Beauty and Bliss (massage and facial package) on May 3.  I am quite curious if Terra Wellness is comparable to Tirta Spa so I might as well try to find out.

4.  Tirta Spa (Boracay)

 

I’ve been here last summer and so far, it was the best that I have visited.  During that time though, I had their massage and Biodroga facial.  This time, I would like to try the body scrub and their wet area.

This post will be updated for additional spas that I will be visiting for the entire year.  Since this a review, please expect that i will have my HONEST opinions featuring positive and negative feedback about their service.

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My Boracay 2017 Getaway (Day 2)

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Of all our Boracay trips, we felt that our last Boracay trip was the best.  Our first day in Boracay went well- we were able to explore DSB, rest, swim, walk, have dinner and have our night swimming 🙂  For day 2, of course, we knew that we had to be productive also.  As early as 4am, I was up and we prepared, sorted, and packed the clothes back in the luggages for our early check out at 11am.

 

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at the veranda

 

The pool was inviting me to have my morning swim but we decided to have our breakfast first before having our planned activities.  It’s a good thing that Discovery Shores offer their breakfast buffet for their guests at 6am.  

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breakfast @ The Sand’s Bar

After breakfast, we headed to the beachbeds in the beachfront to relax for a while and to have a quick morning swim. 

shane and jas lounge chairs

 

ready for the morning swim

After the morning swim, we headed back to the room to get ready for our Mermaid Photo Op.

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Our scheduled meet-up was 9 am and we were advised to go there 30 minutes before.  I thought it was just a short walk , but I was wrong.   Shane was feeling lazy at that time to walk and was irritated at the same time because of the heat.  While we were walking along White Beach, we passed by Estacio Uno.  I really missed the seaside suite that we have stayed in last summer and I promised myself that we will definitely go back.

 

estacio uno seaside

Estacio Uno

Finally, we reached Fisheye Divers beside Starbucks Coffee to meet the mermaid swimming instructor.  After signing the agreement, choosing and fitting our tails, we had our photoshoot.  

 

with the mermaid instructor

with the mermaid instructor 

mermaid by the seashore

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tails up 3

 

After the photoshoot, we fixed our things and checked out of DSB.  The concierge service arranged for our private tricycle going to Tirta Spa for my Anti-time treatment.

 

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The Tirta Spa entrance

foot ritual ginger tea

the traditional foot wash

treatment preparation

my Anti-time facial and body treatment

After the treatment, I felt rejuvenated and because I just wanted to have that unique glow in my skin for the rest of the day, I decided not to take a shower or have an afternoon and midnight swim.   We went back to DSB and they dropped us to True Home Hotel for free.  (The only trouble we had was waiting for almost an hour because the DSB staff brought our luggages in the airport by mistake).

 

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the smooth check-in process with True Home Hotel

After checking in, we just decided to put our luggages in the room,  let our daughter have her afternoon swim and catch the beautiful sunset in the beachfront.

 

true home hat

 

beautiful sunset

 

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shane's afternoon swim

 

Because it was getting dark, we walked from Station 1 to the D’Mall to find an inexpensive restaurant. Luckily, there was a vacant table and chairs for us in SMOKE Restaurant!   (This is one of my favorite restaurants in Boracay because the foods are reasonably priced and best of all– delicious!)

yman smoke menu

 

burger steak

Shane’s Burger Steak

spicy chicken

Hubby’s Spicy Chicken

chicken barbeque

My chicken Barbecue 🙂

 

After dinner, we bought some “pasalubongs”  like ref magnets, pair of earrings and bracelets.  We also went to the grocery store to buy coffee and chips.

 

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Hubby shopping for ref magnets

After the long walk back to True Home Hotel, we decided to sleep early for another set of activities the following day.   We joined Shane in the living room because the aircon in our bedroom wasn’t working 😦

 

shane sleeping1

 

We had a lot of activities, but we were not exhausted– it was indeed a PRODUCTIVE DAY!

 

 

Tirta Spa Homestay: A Hidden Haven In Boracay

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If you are in Boracay to unwind and you need a serene place to stay— away from the loud noise and distractions, Tirta Spa Homestay is exactly the one that you are looking for!   Tirta Spa is known as the best spa in Boracay but only few people know that inside the property lies a hidden haven for tourists.  15-20 minutes from the main road, you can easily access the place by hiring a private tricycle.   In my recent visit to Tirta Spa, I was given a chance to have a tour here.  

The house is located atop Prashant Spa.  When the glass door was opened, we were openmouthed-  this is even more luxurious than what we saw in other hotels and the best part is it is even more affordable.   During the tour, we really couldn’t help but to admire everything–

        Here in Tirta Homestay, guests may use the living room, kitchen and dining area;  however, they are expected to maintain the cleanliness of the place.

 

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the living room

dining

the dining area

windows

 

view from the terrace 2

view from the veranda (in the second floor)

There are two rooms to choose from: the Deluxe room-Queen and the Premium loft-King.

THE DELUXE ROOM- Queen

bed

This is perfect for couples and probably one kid

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the daybed

de luxe toilet

the toilet

Room rates (room only for 2 people)

P2,980 + Non Peak Season  (June 15- Sept. 30)

Extra person- P1,200

P3,500 + – Peak Season (Oct 1- June 15)

Extra person, P1,500

P4,000 + HIgh Peak Season (Dec 20- Jan 20 & Chinese New Year

P6500 +Super High Peak (Dec 30- Jan. 5)

Extra person:  P2,500

to the loft room

to the loft room

 

THE PREMIUM LOFT ROOM- King

bed loft 1

bed loft1

loft 1

loft toilet

the toilet

loft toilet 1

the bathtub

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Room rates (room only for 2 people)

P3,500+ Non Peak Season  (June 15- Sept. 30)

Extra person- P1,500

P4,200+ – Peak Season (Oct 1- June 15)

Extra person, P1,800

P5,500 + HIgh Peak Season (Dec 20- Jan 20 & Chinese New Year

P8,500 +Super High Peak (Dec 30- Jan. 5)

Extra person:  P3,500

All the furnishings and decorations are classy and elegant.  Actually, the rooms are better than we had in other luxury hotels (I know the rates are reasonable enough) .  When I asked one of the staff if the building was newly constructed, he said that it was there for years and it is Ms. Cecille (the one who manages Tirta Spa) who is responsible why the building is well-maintained.  

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The amazing view from the veranda

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view from terrace 1

 

 

 

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With Michael, who accompanied us to have a quick tour

 

To book the room/s, you may contact Tirta Spa directly:

BORACAY LOGO tirta

Telephone Numbers:  +63 (0) 36 288 6841/ 288 6481

Website:  http://www.tirtaspa.com

 

 

 

A Blissful Experience at Tirta Spa

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The primary reason of having my Boracay trip is to enjoy and forget all work-related stress.  It was an excellent decision that I have included Tirta Spa in my itinerary.  The renowned spa is stationed in Sitio Malabunot, Manoc-Manoc in Boracay Island- a 15-20 minute drive from the main road.  A visit here is perfect if you intend to simmer down for a while and forget about all the negative things that bother you.

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Upon reaching the place, you will be astounded with the elegant entrance of the structure and picturesque surroundings showcasing a taste of different Asian cultures.  Our arrival was announced by the sound of the temple gong which releases all the negative energy.   Upon entering the lobby, I couldn’t help but to admire the choice of furnitures and decorations inside the lobby and seeing all the accolades speak why they are the best and number one spa in Boracay.

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All of the awards they have earned since they opened in 2007 proved that Ms. En Calvert, the owner and managing director (now based in Dubai)  has indeed succeeded in making Tirta Spa a world-class spa.  Since 2012, they have been bagging prestigious international spa industry awards – (“Best Day Spa in Asia and Asia Pacific” and “Best Luxury Day Spa”) in different organizations.  In 2015, they have received the Certificate of Excellence Award from TripAdvisor, thus enlisted them into Hall of Fame.

We were greeted by Rose, the front desk officer.   She gave us each a glass of  fresh calamansi juice and asked me to register.  Because I was still enthralled with every single detail in the lobby , I didn’t even notice that Rose was asking me to choose a spa package.  I selected the Anti-time Facial and body massage (one of the Biodroga Facial packages) because my skin needs pampering.  I would really want to achieve a youthful look.   I was asked to select an oil which will be used for the massage– I have selected Ylang-ylang because it helps to release stress and anxiety.

Before the treatment, I was fortunate to meet the gorgeous and charming manager, Ms. Cecille Acuna.   As we have a quick tour in the 1 hectare property, she shared to me how her sister, Ms. En had made Tirta the best spa in the island.  Because they already have made a name in the international spa industry, that was the perfect time to open a branch in Dubai.  For that reason, Ms. Cecille had to take over, and with the help of Ms. En, she was able to manage Tirta Spa.

with ms cecille

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Buddha with koi pond in each side.  In Japan, koi fish means good fortune or luck.

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The fantastic view itself will make you feel relaxed, what more if you have availed one of their spa packages?   Tirta is currently the leading spa in Boracay not only because of the impressive architectural design and exhilirating ambience, but of their superb service.  The rates might be considered exorbitant –because they are offering service beyond compare and all of the ingredients/products used are of premium quality.

On our way to the villas, we passed by Prashant Spa, a Tirta brand with affordable rates.   This is perfect to Filipinos who would like to have the Tirta Spa experience — same quality of service, same therapists, the only thing that differs is the ambience and set-up.  (A separate article will be posted in this blog about Prashant Spa).  On the second floor,  I have spotted a hidden haven- a luxury Home Stay accommodation at Tirta Spa.  (It will be featured in a separate post).

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Prashant Spa- an affordable brand of Tirta Spa

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At the Indonesian Royal Suite Villa

There are three Royal Suite Villas that you can choose at Tirta Spa (Indonesian, Thai and Indian-Moroccan Villa).  Each villa has amenities which include a private bathroom, bathtub and vichy rain shower.

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This is inside the Thai Royal Suite Villa (where I had my anti-time treatment)

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Each villa has a coy pond

 

As I entered the Thai villa, a relaxing music was played- setting the mood for me to unwind.  Before the treatment, I was introduced to Lady (my therapist) and April (her assistant.  At first I felt uncomfortable, but they were very professional in dealing with their customers.  I was given complete instructions – from undressing, taking a shower, and putting my stuff in the safety deposit box. .

 

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The treatment started with the foot ritual..  “Tirta” comes from the Hindu word means “Holy Water”  which cleanses our body and soul and drives away  all the negative energy.  Lady placed a white flower on my right ear.and I was given fresh ginger tea.

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Fresh ginger tea prepared by Ms. Cecille’s mother.

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During the foot wash

After the foot wash, Lady presented the Biodroga products that she will use for my Anti-Time Facial and body massage which is priced at P7,320.   The authentic Biodroga products that they using are from Germany.

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Biodroga products from Germany

Time has finally come and I had one of the most unforgettable activity in Boracay 2017– the Tirta Spa Experience!  Hubby and I had the complimentary massage by the beach last year (part of Estacio Uno’s package when you book with them), but it was a different experience.  Honestly, instead of feeling relaxed, I felt like I was beaten.

In the registration, I have chosen to have medium pressure in the massage and even requested to have a 10-minute focus on the upper back.   I was about to request Lady to shift into light  pressure in the leg part,   but she knew whether her client is comfortable or not.  As if she can read my mind, she asked me if I would like have the massage in lighter pressure.  She made sure I was comfortable in the entire treatment.   I didn’t hear any conversation from her and her assistant.   When she was talking to me, her voice was like that of one of the sirens ( a creature in Greek mythology who lured sailors with their enchanting music and voices).  I resisted the temptation to fall asleep because I would like to enjoy every second of the treatment.

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treatment preparation.jpg

After the treatment, I felt younger and rejuvenated.  I received a compliment from hubby and my daugther Shane told me that I looked young and I had a different glow.  For spa lovers especially those who would like to look and feel younger, I recommend Anti-Time Facial and Body Massage.

For inquiries or reservation, you may contact Tirta Spa directly.  They have different packages to choose from.

BORACAY LOGO tirta.jpg

Sitio Malabunot, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay island, Malay, Aklan, 5608

Website:   www.tirtaspa.com 

Telephone Nos. +63 (0) 36 288 6841/ 288-6481

Mobile Nos.  0920 918 4857 / 0922- 892 8696

Disclosure:   The anti-time treatment I had was complimentary; however, all the opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.