Holiday wellness treat | Inquirer Business

Holiday wellness treat

/ 04:08 AM December 26, 2020

Every single one of us is now looking for a breather. After an exceptionally distressing year, we are all eager to turn the page with a well-justified hiatus. Thankfully, the hospitality industry has restarted.

But away from the busy ecotourism and heritage sites, the most suitable vacations this time around might be wellness retreats—places that calm the mind, pamper the body and reset your well-being. This could prove beneficial as we emerge from a bad year and gear for the challenges ahead. Here are just some destinations across the archipelago where you can get the respite you so deserve.



The Farm at San Benito

Where do celebrities go to rest? Many go to The Farm at San Benito in Lipa City, Batangas, about two hours outside of Manila.

The Farm is among the pioneering wellness retreats in the Philippines. Since opening in 2002, it has melded Western and Eastern values in healing—promoting healthier living through its nature-based services and strategies, administered by experts in health, nutrition and fitness, among others. Deluxe villas here offer comfort and privacy. Guests may likewise enjoy healthful amenities or explore the jungle gardens. At The Farm, nature is the ultimate healer.



Sonya’s Garden

“The Earth laughs in flowers,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. Indeed, blooms light up the world and uplift the human spirit. Experience that spell from Mother Nature at Sonya’s Garden, a paradise that blooms all year—just drive to Alfonso, right outside Tagaytay City.

More than the flowers, it’s the wellness philosophy that reels in people. One recharges amid nature, in a highland Cavite climate at that. Fruit-bearing trees and vegetables abound, nourished the organic way. It is best to stay the night in the Filipino-themed villas. Watch the fireflies light up the evening sky. During the day, wake up to the chirping of birds. Get a boost from the unique food offerings at the resto then spend a few hours just “doing nothing,” it’s paradise, after all.


Bahay Kalipay

Choose a spartan vacation with Bahay Kalipay, literally the “Happy House,” in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It’s a wellness oasis that helps you go back to the basics. Established in 2009, the place is “Asia’s first yoga, raw food detox and inner dance retreat center.”

You may opt for various programs—Inner Dance Energy School, Deep Nature Cleanses and Wellness Yoga—lasting up to 12 days (some have chosen the longer, more immersive stays).

Enjoy a low-pressure setting in the company of teachers, healers and spiritual seekers. Do not expect five-star services. In fact, you will look after yourself here. That no-frills life, though, can take you on a meaningful journey, free from your personal baggage.


Atmosphere Resorts & Spa

While many areas in central Philippines offer beautiful beaches, some parts can still offer guests a quiet, laidback, meditative vacation. In Dauin town in Negros Oriental, Atmosphere Resorts & Spa is a great place to stay for wellness purposes.

The place has picturesque, therapeutic and sustainable features. Beyond that, it has services that perfectly cover the pampering and cleansing needs of all members of the family. Yoga sessions, spa services, even dining experiences await people of all ages. The more adventurous guests can also explore nature by diving or biking—there’s so much that awaits on that front.



Lotus Shores

Why not travel to Siargao—the place would bring you where the elements reside. Earth, water, fire, air and space surround you. Especially now that the island has meditative spaces especially carved out for soul-searchers, Siargao can provide avenues for balance.

One such place on that scenic corner of Mindanao is Lotus Shores. It is a commune where yogi, surfers and adventurers come together; a retreat founded to celebrate the spirit of adventure and meditation so alive on the island. The retreat helps its guests reach their highest potential by way of yoga. In fact, it is home to the Yoga Dojo, the island’s only dedicated yoga and meditation space. It hosts several classes in various disciplines daily. Lotus Shores balances comfort and community for its transient residents.

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