Friday, January 18, 2013

Detox weekend at the Mandarin Oriental Manila: the perfect start to 2013

On the very first weekend of 2013, I decided to do something for myself and go on a detox after weeks of holiday indulgence.

I had little time to actually do a Travelife but I did have a free weekend; so instead I headed to the Mandarin Oriental Manila for a weekend of "me time."

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There are a lot of nice spas in Manila, especially at a couple of luxury hotels.

But I looked at the Mandarin Oriental's spa menu online and their offerings seemed so unique and interesting that I picked up the phone then and there and booked myself for a series of treatments over two days.

I booked myself a two hour and 50-minute "Time Ritual" (PhP 5,888) and then got a Dead Sea Mud Wrap for one hour and 15 minutes (PhP 5,300) as well.

The "Time Ritual" is a great idea, as you just book the hours and then you can choose how to fill this up with treatments.

You can have a mini-facial and a long massage, for instance, or you can try and fit in a body scrub, a massage, and a conditioning hair treatment all in one.

It's all up to you and what you want.

Ginger tea to start off my spa indulgence


For my Time Ritual, I chose a therapeutic massage for one hour and 20 minutes, and an Age Repair facial using Aromatherapy Associates products for one hour and 30 minutes.

That filled up my time exactly.

The Mandarin Oriental Spa feels like a Thai haven in Manila

All Time Rituals at a Mandarin Oriental spa begins with a foot scrub.

In the beginning, I never used to like this as I was always impatient for my actual spa treatment to begin. But these days, I like the idea of transitioning into your treatment mentally and physically via a relaxing foot scrub.

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Meanwhile, the therapeutic massage was exactly what I needed after three months of a pretty intensive schedule, traveling around the world and partying in Manila. It's not a bad life, of course, so there are no complaints here.

But at the start of January, I was certainly starting to feel the effects of a very busy and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

This therapeutic massage really dissolved all my aches and pains via a deep massage. I was glad I took the long session, as well, as the shorter version just wouldn't have done enough for me.

The waiting area of the Mandarin Oriental Spa


Then I had a proper Aromatherapy Associates facial.

I'm a big fan of this product line from the United Kingdom, and I first discovered it in London and while going around England, as many of the top spas in the UK use Aromatherapy Associates products.

Lovely artwork in each of the therapy rooms

In the Philippines, I think it's only the Mandarin Oriental that has these products for treatment and on retail.

There were three facials to choose from, and I chose the anti-aging one as this seemed to be the one to benefit me most.

The therapist massaged a special Aromatherapy Associates oil onto my face that contained organic products such as the natural oils of the inca inchi and a larch extract; these are supposed to stimulate collagen.

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The best part of the facial was probably the anti-aging mask of Aromatherapy Associates.

I get facials all the time, and this was one of those times that I really felt the difference between "before" and "after." My skin was positively glowing.

Of course, that prompted me to buy this product to take home as well, since the spa retails Aromatherapy Associates products as well.

The entrance to the spa


The next day, Sunday evening, I went back for my Dead Sea wrap.

It was actually nice to visit the Mandarin late Sunday night to get a spa treatment on a quiet evening after dinner. I really just wanted to do these things for myself, as a treat to start 2013 on the right track.

Orchids certainly added to the tranquil mood

I loved this treatment and it reminded me of my visit to the Dead Sea, on the Israel side, just a few months ago. The therapist gave me a scrub using Dead Sea salts and minerals, and then I was wrapped in Dead Sea Mud.

So this was my own version of a detox as the spa doesn't really have a full detox package.

But I thought that by doing these three treatments together, I would get some form of detox done. Mission accomplished.

Somehow I felt I'd lost inches and dropped years off, on that weekend, and that's certainly a great way to start off another never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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