My family was vacationing in the world-famous Philippine resort island of Boracay, known for its talcum fine white sand, gentle slope and clear waters, when one of my sisters suggested we visit TIRTA SPA. She had read about it before while in Singapore. I quickly searched for it in the internet and I thought of it as just another overpriced, overhyped spa destination but I was wrong.
[This photo only, courtesy of www.tirtaspa.com]
With a DAY SPA OF THE YEAR 2010 award from AsiaSpa (besting spas in Bali, Thailand, China & the Philippines) and recently the BEST DAY SPA ASIA-PACIFIC 2011 award from The Crystal Awards (besting spas from Singapore and Hong Kong) in its over 3 years of operation, we were curious to visit it, seeing the pictures of its magnificent grounds and landscaping over the internet.
I agreed to go with my family to the spa just to sight on the place and I did not have plans to avail any of the treatments as I have tried many exclusive and expensive spas before but I usually ended up not satisfied. We took a 15-min ride up from our hotel to Tirta Spa’s location.
Tirta is Hindu word for holy water so with the spa’s Hindu name, its imposing design is mostly Hindu-inspired.
We visited it at night and not during daytime but if there is a NIGHT SPA OF THE YEAR award, I bet it would also have won in this category.
It was drizzling when we arrived and the guard at the main entrance provided umbrellas for us.
We passed through the hallway from the main entrance to the spa lobby and once passing through the hallway, the sound of a gong will automatically announce your arrival.
Everyone was excited to check the spa surroundings despite the drizzle.
We arrived at the grand, cozy lobby. It was already almost 2 hours before closing time and we were among the last customers to arrive.
It was only my siblings and my mom who planned to have a treatment as I was planning to try another spa in the island the next day. However, after chatting with the spa director/owner herself, Ms. En Calvert, who happened to share the same Singapore connection with me as her British husband is based in the tiny island state where I was working, I thought of accepting her challenge that I would not be disappointed.
Even though I was not planning to have a treatment, I brought with me my own all-time favorite harmonising massage oil from Bodyshop but the spa’s exotic oil, one of the four massage oils we were asked to choose from, was almost identical with the one I brought. And that was the first sign that the night’s massage session would not be a disappointment for me. I tried the ‘tirta hilot’ as I always wanted hard massage being a massage addict. Back in Singapore, I had a permanent Filipino masseur, working in a Singapore spa, providing me regular home service.
After we have decided on the treatment packages we will take , we waited for 10-mins in the spa lobby…..
…taking a look at some of the awards won by the establishment.
And then we were led out of the lobby……
…to our villas. My mom and brother shared the same villa as they were having the same facial treatment. My two sisters shared the same villa for the same massage session.
I was assigned alone in a magnificent royal villa suite.
I was led into a huge area complete with shower, toilet, security box and a sunken bath where I changed into a massage attire.
As the lady masseuse was preparing, I was served a cup of hot ginger tea and had a quick foot spa.
All the villas have an open air, mini-paradise concept with the sound of rushing water, soothing music and green surroundings giving a blissful and heavenly experience. I actually felt asleep during the massage session, one of the signs of a good therapist, only to be awakened when I had to change position.
Taking pictures is prohibited beyond the spa lobby. One would only be allowed to take pictures inside the suite where treatment is done. And so with my treatment I had captured some pictures of the villa where I had the treatment. I apologize that there was no camera stand tow so some photos are a bit blurred.
Indeed it was an amazing and rejuvenating experience for me, from the royal villa suite pampering to the properly skilled therapist to the ambiance. Sans the minor issue of some mosquito bites I had after the treatment that are common during the season we visited the spa, my Tirta Spa experience was beyond my expectations. The spa director, En Calvert, with whom I had direct communication on this minor issue explained that they do fumigate the area on scheduled basis and they are doing a holistic approach on the issue especially during mossy season. To a certain extent, the installed ceiling fans in each villa resolve this issue during the particular season.
Lastly I don’t think I would negatively comment on the price as it was every cent commensurate with the overall awesome experience in the award winning spa destination.