Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tirta Spa Boracay: Bang-A-Gong!

EVERYTHING in Boracay is cheaper and discounted during its ongoing lean season. Tirta Spa, an increasingly popular health spa located in the island is no exception. Until November 15 of this year, they are offering a 15 percent discount on a la carte treatments as well as 25 percent discount on all Tirta Spa packages.

I wrote about Tirta Spa for the Well-Being section of the Manila Bulletin last year and let me tell you there is nothing quite like it, at least nothing I have yet to see here in the Philippines. It's not exactly the best kept secret that it once was but still a must-visit if you're already there. Read all about it:

Haven of Tranquility

As you walk through its doors, the majestic sound of a gong (yes, a gong!) greets you. Tirta Spa, described by its owner as "a haven of tranquillity far removed from the stresses of daily life" is a one-of-a-kind health facility that treats its clients to a unique experience in relaxation, rejuvenation and renewal. "A whole new sense of wellness" is how director and proprietor En Calvert describes her spa, which took its name from the Hindu word for "holy water."

Calvert is an aromatherapist who studied anatomy & physiology, massage techniques, aromatherapy, lymphatic drainage, basic Indian Ayurveda, and spa management. In the course of her studies, she was exposed to different Eastern cultures that all served as her inspiration for Tirta Spa.

In Kerala, India, she studied the art of Ayurvedic healing; in Hawaii, she learned about Hot Lava Stone therapy; and in Arizona, she studied aromatherapy with an emphasis on the benefits of psychotherapy in finding the root causes of ailments.

Such influences are visible in the impressive landscape of the Tirta Spa complex which opened only last year. Combining Balinese, Filipino, Indian and Thai culture and architecture, the well-designed buildings of the spa are nicely complemented by water features and Koi carp ponds that provide a therapeutic calm and serenity to the whole experience. Its hilltop location in one of the more laid-back parts of the island is also a welcome sanctuary from the usually madding beach crowd of Boracay.

And it all begins with a ritual that commences with the sound of that gong that announces your arrival. "Each spa treatment commences with a grounding ceremony, a gentle massaging of the feet with rich organic cream to reconnect the anxious and stressed spirit of the guest with nature," Calvert discloses. "As the guest lays in surrender on the massage table, another gong, a much smaller one, is sounded off anew to drive away negative energies. Soon after, the careful and studied ritual of massaging body muscles in soft gentle strokes by our well-trained therapists is designed to loosen tight muscles to lull one to a relaxing sleep."

The array of treatments at Tirta Spa for men and women are among the widest and most diverse, including full-body massage therapies, body polish and wrap treatments, facials, holistic therapies and body therapy packages.Many of these treatments are actually unique to the spa.

One of the must-tries is the Balinese-inspired Spicy Boreh which involves a body-warming scrub, using a blend of herbs and spices. Here, a paste is applied to the body which is then wrapped to allow the skin to absorb the natural ingredients. The sensation of deep heat produced by Boreh assists in total detoxification and is known to reduce fever.

There’s the Tirta Soul Retreat (Reiki and Crystal Healing), a calming form of therapy that combines the ancient Tibetan practice of palm healing with specific crystals to evoke relaxation and recovery. There’s Wild Green Honey, an invigorating and naturally fragrant treatment combines milk and wild honey with pure essential oils to gently hydrate and firm the skin.

And then there’s the Tirta Hilot experience, where the spa provides its own unique twist on the traditional Filipino "hilot" massage by applying your choice of therapeutic oil to supplement the treatment by regulating body temperature.

"As an aromatherapist myself, I blend all our oils myself and I have gone to great lengths to source only the very finest essential oils from different corners of the world," Calvert declares. "I am also available for consultation, so that a particular ailment can be discussed and the appropriate oils blended accordingly. These oils are designed to nurture the skin during treatment and, because their tiny molecular structure allows them to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream and interact with the body’s chemistry. When applied, they can relieve overall tension, improve blood circulation, detoxify and enhance one’s mood and senses."

Calvert says the treatments at Tirta Spa range in duration from one hour and 30 minutes to four straight hours. The invigorating sessions pretty much guarantee "a sense of uplift in one’s body, both physically and psychologically."

Treatments cost between P 1,000 plus to P 3,000 plus suggest that Tirta Spa caters mostly to a high-end clientele, as Calvert herself notes. "But anyone in search of deep relaxation and those looking to rid themselves of the effects of the stresses of our daily lives can benefit from our treatments," she invites.

Tirta Spa is located at Sitio Malabunot, Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island. Its menu of treatments is also readily accessible to guests of The Tides, who can make reservations from the comforts of their own rooms. For more information, visit

Tirta Spa's promo commercial:

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