This urban onsen spa is definitely worth a visit
Experience true Zen in the concrete jungle.
I'M Onsen Spa
Upper Ground Floor, I'M Hotel, 7862 Makati Avenue corner Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
(SPOT.ph) City life can get really hectic, with constant traffic, never-ending deadlines, and the perpetual struggle to just get through each week. No wonder Metro Manila folks are always on the lookout for places to rejuvenate their tired minds and bodies.
But not all of these spas are created equal. If you're in for a serious pamper session, we found a new place in town-and it's one of the most serene escapes from the madness of the city.
I'M Hotel, a five-star property, has launched the first onsen spa experience in the Philippines, I'M Onsen Spa. It's located in the middle of Makati but once you set foot inside, it will instantly make you feel like you're on a spa getaway.
The interiors use dark and muted materials that evoke peace and calm. It currently houses 69 beds, which probably sounds a bit less than what you'd expect considering it occupies six floors (yes, six!), but guests will definitely appreciate the spaciousness.
"People want space; most of the people in the city feel like they're in this tiny box all the time. So here we want to provide them a place where they can breathe. Even our spa pods, which are communal beds, are spacious," says Yanni Frivaldo, I'M Hotel's spa director.
Single spa pod
The spa offers different treatments and packages but one of the must-tries is their I'M Onsen Spa Signature Massage (introductory rate at P1,500) which is a unique combination of techniques for total relaxation and rejuvenation. This one also comes with lunch or dinner buffet at Bloom Restaurant and access to the Wellness Suite (onsen bath, steam, and sauna facilities).
Onsen is basically the Japanese word for "hot spring" and while we have a lot of those in the Philippines, this one is different as it uses proprietary technology from Japan which allows them to mimic the mineral compositions of the famous natural geothermal hot springs there. Also, you get to enjoy it without leaving the city. The onsen area is gender-specific and it has two baths: the carbon dioxide bath (promotes detoxification), and the mineralized bath (which dissolves excess oil and makes the skin smooth).
"We follow the basic onsen etiquette so it's really going to be an experience especially for those who haven't tried it. We give our guests a kit which tells them how to behave and enjoy the onsen before, during, and after. There's also a yukata (casual Japanese kimono) that they can wear while in the spa area," says Yanni.
The Bloom Restaurant
Other services include Healing Stone Therapy (P1,950), which uses stones from different regions of the Philippines; Aromassage (P1,500), a more localized treatment that focuses on the deeper layers of muscle tissue; Shiatsu (P1,500), a form of therapeutic bodywork from Japan; and Yinyang Couple's Massage (P1,500), which is designed to harmonize the flow of energy from within. There are also body scrub, foot reflexology, and facial services available.
For the Barako Coffee Body Glow
Guests can choose to have their treatments in a wide variety of rooms-spa pods, couple spa pods, couple suites (with private steam shower or hot tub), executive suites (ideal for groups or families), and the VIP party lounge equipped with a videoke system (good for 12 to 15 people).
"Some people's idea of relaxation is having a massage, eating good food, and sharing good laughs and memorable moments with friends or family with karaoke. We want to give that experience in just one place," says Marketing Director Melissa Lim.
VIP party lounge
Hot tub in the Couple Suite
Couple Spa Pod
Body scrub area
If you're not into karaoke but still want to chill after the massage, I'M Onsen Spa has a Tea Lounge where you can enjoy a complimentary pot of wellness tea. The hotel's in-house chef offers a daily rotating tea menu using recipes dating back 5,000 years. You're even allowed to slip into a gentle slumber if you feel like enjoying the whole spa journey a little longer.
Tea lounge area
For those who want to unwind after a massage and a sumptuous meal, you can grab a drink at Mermaid. It has a completely different vibe but it's the perfect hangout if you want to linger. Dee Jae Pa'este's vibrant artwork is just the right background to cap off your spa experience and the acrylic-bottomed pool located next to it is undeniably Instagram-worthy.
I'M Onsen Spa could very well become one of your favorite go-to relaxation spots-and it's right in the middle of the Metro, too.