Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wellness Blooming at Plantation Bay Resort and Spa

Since opening in 1996, the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa is one of the more recognizable resorts in the island of Mactan of Cebu, where hotels and resorts cluster, each vying for uniqueness and quality, and contributing to the thriving convention-facility offerings of this southern commercial hub.
Sprawled over 11.4 hectares in Marigondon, the wholly Filipino-owned Plantation Bay boasts of cottages of colonial-plantation architecture scattered over an artificial lagoons, a theme-park-like setting that amuses and enthralls many visitors.
Recently, the resort has been undergoing several upgrading and refurbishment, including its spa facilities. As the wellness and spa trend has been sweeping over Cebu, resorts and hotels are now appending spas to their facilities. Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa, on the same island, operates the thrivnig spa “village” Chi. The neighboring Hilton offers spa services and a spa atmosphere that extends to its suites.
Trying to keep up with the times, the Plantation Bay will open its expanded spa called Mogambo Springs in mid-September, saying that more and more guests are looking for spa facilities than water activities menu. Instead of building a gym or sports center, the resort is investing in a spa, seeing the demand for it.
So named to coincide with the names of cottages inspired by exotic places, Mogambo Springs sits on a 6,500-square-meter lot beside the artificial waterfall, approximating the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese village, particularly during the Tokugawa period. The design is created by architect Maria Lourdes Joy Martinez Onozawa, who traveled to Japan to study spa designs.
Mogambo Springs has a hot pool with Jacuzzi jets, a thalassic pool, cascading massage waterfalls, a needle shower nook and a dry sauna, and offer an ample array of services consisting of the usual massages, spa packages and face and body treatments. It also provides salon treatments.
The massages on offer are the Skinful Pleasures; the Dorn method; the pool massage, which is 15 minutes of a water relaxation therapy (P600); the stress-relieving chair massage (P800 for 30 minutes); foot therapy (P1,300 for one hour); full body massage (P1,600 for one hour), with choices of shiatsu, Swedish and combination; and aromatherapy oil massage (P1,800 for one hour), with choices of harmony, revitalizing, relaxing and sensuality. The Skinful Pleasures and the Dorn method are the recommendable services.
The one-hour Skinful Pleasures (P1,800) is an original creation that involves stretching, squeezing, straightening and other motions applied to the skin and muscles. On the other hand, the one-hour Dorn method (P2,500) is a German healing method that is only offered here, the first in Asia. It is said to be a holistic manual therapy that is gentle on the joints and vertebrae and helps many forms of physical discomforts like stiffness, back and neck pains, pelvic and lower body pains and general stress.
The body treatment menus lists the usual body wraps (P2,000 for 45 minutes), including a Dead Sea mud wrap, which uses mineral-rich Dead Sea extracts to revitalize, refresh and invigorate the skin, and a cucumber wrap to refresh and rehydrate the skin and face, said to be ideal for sun-burnt skin.
The facial treatments include the Sensitive Skin treatment (P3,200 for one hour), which is said to have a soothing and desensitizing effect on the face, ideal for sensitive skin, and to improve “micro-circulation” and diminish blotches, offered with a neck, shoulder, arm, and hand massage; the Deep Down Clean (P3,300 for one hour and 20 minutes), also accompanied with a neck, shoulder, arm and hand massage, guaranteed to deeply cleanse, regulate sebaceous glands, reduce shine and refine pores, recommended for oily skin; the Smooth as Silk (P3,800 for one hour and 30 minutes), which is said to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles; and Gentleman’s Facial (P2,500 for one hour), said to deeply cleanse, moisturize and soothe the skin.
The salon services offer a variety of hair treatments from hair cut to dyeing and nail care. It also offers permanent eyebrows and lip liner as well as body treatments that include body peeling and microdermabrasion.
Mogambo Springs also offer packages that include a number of services bundled up with affordable prices.
The Body Ion Cleanser (45 minutes for P1,300) is said to detoxify the body through the feet. The three-hour Foot Heaven (P3,000) includes a body scrub, a Sensational Foot Therapy and nail care, while the two-hour Relaxation Indulgence (P3,300) includes a pool massage, a body scrub and a full body massage. The Aromatic Tranquility (P3,500 for two hours) offers an aromatherapy oil massage in addition to a pool massage and a body scrub, while the Sweet Enchantment (P3,600 for two hours) throws in a full body massage with a pool massage and a body wrap. The more luxurious Double-Treat Happiness (P5,000 for three hours) offers a two-hour body massage with aromatherapy oil with a pool massage and a body scrub. The higher-end Total Pampering (P6,000 for four hours and 30 minutes) includes a body scrub, a Sensational Foot Therapy, a facial treatment of your choice and nail care, while the Soothing Delight (P6,000 for four hours and 30 minutes) has a foot therapy, a full body massage, a facial treatment of your choice and nail care. But the highlight of the packages is the six-hour-and-30-minute Ultimate Mogambo Springs Experience (P8,800), which promises maximum pampering with a pool massage, a body scrub, a foot therapy, a facial treatment of choice, an aromatherapy oil massage, a hot oil treatment and nail care in a private treatment room.
As one is having a massage one hears the artificial cataract, the water being pumped into the resort’s lagoon from the rock-lined sea of Mactan. One also remembers a haiku of Kijo Murakami (1856-1938) quoted in the resort’s brochure: “The moment two bubbles are united/they both vanish./A lotus blooms.” It can be a description of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa itself, a facility rising from an unprepossessing piece of land by the sea on the island of Mactan.

Mogambo Springs is open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Massage treatments inside guests rooms can also be arranged. The Plantation Bay Resort and Spa is in Marigondon, Mactan Island, Cebu, with telephone number (63-32) 340-5900 and fax number (63-32) 340-5988. The Manila office is at Suite 906, National Life Insurance Building, Ayala Ave., Makati City, with telephone number (63-2) 844-5024 to 25 and fax number (63-2) 844-5030. For inquiries and reservations email or Web site is

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