It’s finally December, and the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is only a few days away. But with the compounded stress brought by the Christmas rush, year-end pressures at work, and events and parties left and right, December is also the “Most Stressful Month of the Year,” even and especially to tourists.
Frequent travelers in particular are under pressure ticking the boxes off their Christmas lists, including and especially the places they need to visit even as they also need to accomplish the other demands of their professional and personal lives, so much so they also often tend ton forget to take care of themselves.
In this season of giving, the best gift anyone can give themselves is a time for relaxation, recovery, and restoration—a much-needed self-care.
At the CURA Luxury Spa and Wellness, derived from the Latin word meaning ‘help’ and ‘care,’ a sanctuary of rejuvenation and serenity awaits.
CURA is part of the 8-hectare European-inspired luxury mountain resort Rancho Bernardo Luxury Villas and Resort’s amenities and offerings for their guests, including walk-ins.
The resort is nestled within the lush mountains located at Bagac, Bataan, and boasts luxury villas, ranging from 79-200 square meters, on top of a Koi pond and has its own outdoor jacuzzi and private balconies and gazebos overlooking the mountains.
The villas are a mix of traditional and modern; from floor to ceiling, all villas are intricately designed with handcrafted woodwork and controlled using Google’s voice command, Alexa.
On top of the mountain, Bataan can be appreciated through a 360-degree view featuring the West Philippine Sea, Mount Mariveles and Mount Natib.
“Most of the guests who come to the resort want to relax. When they want to relax, they think of going to the spa and wanting to have a massage,” said spa owner Mel Christine del Rosario to the BusinessMirror.
The luxury spa provides an array of curated services and treatments such as massages, facials, manicures and pedicures, hand and foot spas, and waxing services with an ambiance of pure elegance.
It also has a detoxifying steam and dry sauna and boasts of its Roman bath, inspired by the bathhouses in Europe, to soak in afterward.
To complete the overall wellness experience, there’s a gym in the spa equipped with a treadmill, exercise bike, punching bag, and various cardio and strength conditioning machines.
“Pagpunta mo dito, wala kang kailangang isipin. You’re here to relax, you’re here to let go of your worries,” added del Rosario. [When you come here, you don’t need to think.]
Del Rosario is right. As my work now includes many out-of-town assignments, coming here was certainly just what I needed. During my overnight stay at the resort, I tried to let go of anything that worried me and just let myself relax and be in the moment to savor it all.
CURA’s Signature Massage
When our media group came to the spa at 8 p.m. for our massage, the therapists warmly accommodated us and gave us a form to fill out regarding our health concerns, such as allergies, skin type, medical history, health condition, massage pressure, and what areas in the body we have discomfort or pains for a personalized massage.
We then headed to the dry sauna and sat inside for a tolerable 15-minute session in the heat. It was my first time to try a dry sauna, and I didn’t know that it has a lot of health benefits, such as reduced risk of cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases, relief from certain skin conditions, fewer symptoms of asthma and improved exercise performance.
After that, I took a shower to rinse off the sweat in my body and proceeded inside the treatment room for the much-awaited massage.
I had the CURA Signature Massage, an aromatherapy massage, and in one hour, it melted all the physical and emotional stress and tension in my body.
My massage therapist used the Balance Signature Oil, a blend of virgin coconut oil with rosemary, lavender and peppermint essential oils, on my body for mood enhancement, emotional balance and hormonal support. After inhaling it, my mind was in a state of calm and bliss.
She then proceeded to the massage and focused on kneading the knots (or “lamig” as Filipinos call it) on my shoulders and upper back.
Since I carry a heavy backpack to work, I always feel pain in my back at the end of the day, so it was such a relief when the therapist was able to relieve it. She also placed a heat pack on my back, which was very comforting, as she massaged the rest of my body.
The cherry on top was the facial massage using the Cryo Sticks. As it glided on my face, it did not just contoured it but also promoted blood circulation. Since the sticks are chilled, it soothed the redness and inflammation, which my skin suffers from, and minimized my pores.
Apart from the physical relaxation, it also rejuvenated my skin concerns and emotional state—three things I struggle to take care of that they did for me through a massage.
Spending an overnight stay at Rancho Bernardo was a short but sweet time. It took away all the stress from my body and mind and prepared me for the long nights brought by December.
Image credits: Reine Juvierre S. Alberto