Ever since Chi opened at the Mactan Shangri-la, I've been dreaming to try one of their massages. Going to the spa to enjoy sauna, jacuzzi and massage is one of the luxuries that is easily available in the Philippines. My usual trip to the spa costs P1,000 (or about US$22)---that includes a 20-minute sauna, another 20-minute soak in a Jacuzzi and a 60-minute aromatherapy body massage. When I travel for work or pleasure, having a massage at the end of the day is my favorite thing. In Baguio, Cebu, Davao, Boracay, even in Sagada, therapists are available at a minimum of P300 an hour, at your hotel room or even by the beach.
I have tried a couple of spas in Cebu but my friends there have been raving about their luxurious experience at Chi, the spa at the Mactan Shangri-la Hotel. The rates are not in any way cheap, but we needed to be pampered after a long week, so we turned off our cel phones, closed our eyes and breathed in the experience.
The interior of Chi is welcoming and luxurious and I loved the scents around me. After a brief consultation with the receptionist, I opted for the Healing Stone Massage (P6,600 for 2 hours) while the traditional Philippine Hilot (P5,900 for 90 minutes) was recommended to my friend. The garden villa was very private and serene, our therapists were courteous and friendly. I was a bit apprehensive when warm basalt stones were placed at my back, along the spinal column and below the shoulder blades--a type of thermotherapy. But as the gliding massage strokes with therapeutic oils started, I thought I died and went to heaven! The combination of heat and massage eased my aching joints and muscles, and was very relaxing--I fell asleep (I hope I didn't snore.:p).
My friend has chronic back pain and the Philippine Hilot really worked for her. Hilot is a massage technique that has been passed down through generations. Traditional manghihilot or healers are part of the Filipino culture, and manghihilots of old have ritualized their healing activity using native animistic beliefs. At Chi, warmed coconut oil and banana leaves were placed over the body while the healing hands of the therapist identify areas of energy imbalance throughout the body. My friend swore her back pain has not resurfaced since the hilot.
Chi is a luxurious spa at the Mactan Shangri-la Hotel in Cebu. I definitely cannot afford frequent visits to this spa, once or twice a year is good enough for me. For those who want to pamper themselves once in a while, make an appointment when you're in Cebu. Mactan Shangri-la is at Punta Engano Road in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, telephone nos. (63-32) 2310288. This is not a paid ad.
Posted for My World-Tuesday