Let the Ocean Waves Calm You at This Luxurious New Spa
Surrender your weary soul to the waves at Okada Manila's The Retreat Spa.
The Retreat Spa
3/F Pearl Wing, Okada Manila, New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, Parañaque City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. (checked guests, gamers, and non-hotel guests)
(SPOT.ph) Spas try to channel and help you harness energy from the five elements, but no spa worth their salt can forgo the water component. As Spa Director Vikki Aquino explains, the word "spa" is derived from the phrase "sanitas per aqua" meaning “health through water,” and at The Retreat Spa in Okada Manila, they do not take that lightly.
The reception is lit with a huge domed ceiling painted with a map of the world, which harks back to an old-world charm and the romance of traveling. The plush interiors are filled with organic circular spaces, muted greens, earth tones, and recurring leather elements designed by internationally-renowned firm Hirsch Bedner Associates. The ambience strikes a balance between Eastern and Western influences with trunks and suitcases lined around the area alongside beautiful Asian-inspired furniture like their custom-designed queen chair.
However, it is in their unique facilities and treatments that the water element really shines. First, all 10 of the treatment rooms (four couple suites and six single suites) are named after different bays in the Philippines, like Sarangani Bay, Carmen Bay, and Pilar Bay. It’s also a nod to Okada Manila, which sits by the bay.
“In the olden times, kung saan ‘yong body of water, usually that's the seat of human settlement, of discovery, of exploration, and ‘yong mga bay, meron silang magagandang romantic stories,” says Aquino. “So we looked at the Philippines and we reviewed the different bays that have a beautiful-sounding name, that's easy to remember, and that have rich history. So that when you are introduced to your treatment room, it's not just a room and it's not just a massage, it's an experience.”
One of their signature massages, the Dance of Waves, combines the Hawaiian lomilomi and Swedish massages, which mimics the ocean waves rolling along your body. The therapist alternates using their hands and forearms to apply pressure throughout your body in long, sweeping strokes with deliberate pauses to really imitate the rhythm of the sea.
Another unique offering of The Retreat Spa is the Wave Dream Room—the first in Southeast Asia. Here, you can relax and meditate to the sounds and images of rippling water as light projected to the ceiling. For this facility, they use a specially patented machine to calm your brain and help you forget all your worldly woes.
Their other signature massages include the Oriental Harmony and Duyan. The first is a dry massage (they provide you with massage pajamas for this treatment) that combines Thai massage and shiatsu where you have a lot of palm pressure, rocking, and stretching; while the second is their take on the traditional deep-pressure hilot massage with the aim of addressing muscle aches, pains, and tension, while lulling you to sweet sleep.
Before you go in for your treatment, you'll get a personalized consultation to hone in on which therapy will best suit your mental and physical needs.
“Above all, we want to highlight the professionalism of our therapists,” notes Aquino. “We have so many therapists that work abroad [and I've gotten to work with a lot of them in] the facilities I work with—they would garner awards, but we don't win awards for the Philippines. We win it for someone else even if it's a Filipino who executed it. So when this project came about, [I really felt passionate about making it happen.]”
Any of The Retreat Spa’s three signature massages (Dance of Waves, Oriental Harmony, and Duyan) costs P4,000 for a 60-minute service; P5,000 for a 90-minute service; and P6,000 for a 120-minute service; and includes a foot-scrub ritual beforehand at a spacious private room with your own shower and water closet, and a heated massage bed that automatically adjusts to your body temperature.
All massage therapies and treatments at The Retreat Spa give you free access to their other facilities like the fitness center with a wide variety of gym equipment, the free-form pool, hot-jet tub, sauna, and steam room. They actually encourage you to come in at least an hour before your appointment so you have time to enjoy these amenities.
And did we mention the low-calorie snacks at their tonic bar? In a move to encourage holistic wellness, each item on their menu is only 300 calories or less, so you can enjoy your Turkey Wrap with Green Goddess Dressing (P330), Parma Ham and Melon (P320), and a few other light snack options, guilt-free.
“We don't have the buffet items—and there's nothing wrong with that, it's nice to have once in a while,” explains Aquino. “But we want to be responsible with what we offer to our guests since we promote wellness.”
They also have an Art Nouveau-inspired salon with nail bar and speakeasy-style barber shop with whiskey bar for your other beauty pampering and grooming needs.
“[Here in the Philippines], people will only go to luxury spas if they're celebrating a special occasion. It doesn't have to be that way,” says Aquino. How could you not want to come to a place like this every day?
The Retreat Spa is at the 3/F Pearl Wing of Okada Manila, New Seaside Drive, Entertainment City, Parañaque City. For more information, call 555-7555 or visit Okada Manila's website.