Friday, August 11, 2006

chi spa-aaahhh

shangri-la's mactan island resort & spa is one of our favorite hotels in the world. when we first visited back in 1993, we immediately fell in love with its huge open-air lobby with the high ceilings and the great view. the gardens were lush, the pool had monobloc chairs halfway submerged in the pool so you could sip your long island iced tea while cooling off in the water, they had the most natural looking "fake" beach (they had to blast the big rocks to make way for a beach, and "imported" sand from jolo), and every room had a balcony that looked out into the ocean—and they still have all these. now how would you like to have your coffee every morning to this view? but what they didn't have back then was a spa. their world-class chi spa was launched last year to rave reviews from all the local media. but reading about it is not the same as experiencing it—not by a long shot! so after getting our fill of prosecco at the acqua launch, we were just about ready to lie down and have a siesta. BUT not in our room, but at the chi spa-aaahhh. ay sorry, after we took this picture, we completely forgot about taking pictures and just got into the whole chi spa experience. the relaxation begins when you walk through the gate and on the wooden bridge over a tranquil pond—it's like you're in another world. after you're greeted, you go to reception and fill in a questionnaire to determine your lifestyle, "trouble spots," and any recent "operations" or delicate medical conditions (it's important to be honest on this one—i'll tell you why later). we decided to have the biodroga "futuresse" anti-aging caviar treatment, a facial described as such: "using lotus pink caviar sheets, lotus regeneration pearls, luxurious eye creams and firming and toning complexes to achieve maximum results for the face, neck and decolette. neck and back massage is included, with aroma foot scrub and hand massage to complete this experience. replenishes minerals, moisture and reduces fine lines. 2 hours 15 minutes." ay, parang na-droga talaga kami! here's what happens for the next two hours and 15 minutes: you're led to your locker to undress and don disposable panties and a robe. have a sauna (which we can only have for like 10 seconds, then we can't breathe) then a shower, although some people like to have it the other way around. then you're led to a room like this: well, ours was a little smaller, but no less luxurious. our therapist lucy was a skinny mini, but man, her hands sure were strong! after our feet were cleaned with a coconut milk bath, we laid on the bed and it was downhill from there. we mean down to slumberland as we were totally calm, relaxed and oblivious to the outside world and all its problems. to the point of tulo-laway and snoring, we kid you not. the facial consisted of massage and fingers on pressure points on the face that if we had a nose job, cheek implants and botox, we would be worried that our face might go back to the shape we were born with. but thank god (and good genes), everything on our face is original. for now. take note, kasama rin ang boobs sa masahe ha, baka umurong ang silicone, careful, careful! (said in inday badiday theme-song manner.) then the leg, foot, arm and hand scrub and massage—mmm mmm mmm... it felt so good to be there, we didn't want to get up, but by then, it was 6pm, and we had to get ready for a 7pm dinner at cowrie cove. of course, there was not much getting-ready to do as you're advised not to shower or bathe or wash your face for two hours in order for the skin to absorb the ingredients and get the full benefits. price of the facial: P6,500. and if you think that's expensive, there are half-day (four hours 30 minutes) treatments that cost P12,000! (P19,500 for couples—uy, discount!) well, it was a truly luxurious experience and next time you want to treat yourself because you deserve it, book yourself at the chi spa... aaahhh...

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