Every now and then, we moms need to unwind and relax — away from the family. And with Mother’s Day in May fast coming up, we moms are thinking all the more about a well-deserved break from being supermoms. But more than just getting a massage or being pampered, what we as work-at-home, working or full-time mommies need is a new concept of wellness. It was late last year that I had this realization, when I met Ms. Cathy Turvill, the owner of Nurture Spa. During a media event last October at Le Bistro Vert, her talk on “Choices” introduced me to the concept of at-home wellness for busy women. We ended that morning exchanging business cards and talking about wellness for moms.
On March 23, 2012, it finally happened, for a group of us mom bloggers. Yay!
The Nurture Spa differentiates itself from other spas in the Philippines for its “Ecotherapy” or healing by and through nature approach to wellness. Owned by husband and wife, Mike and Cathy Turvill (Mike is a British national who has settled in the country and who holds a PhD in chemistry while Cathy is a Human Resource professional and an internationally licensed therapist), the Nurture Spa Village is internationally-certified by CITBAK, UK. It has received accolades from CNN Go (28 Most Relaxing Spas in Asia by CNN Go, June 2010) and the Hong Kong-based Asia Spa Magazine (Top Seven Spas of the Philippines, May-June 2010 issue). (Read more about the spa’s philosophy here.)
Here’s our group, ready for a day of wellness.
After meeting Ms. Turvill, I understood why the spa focused on a specific philosophy of total wellness, as opposed to just pampering. The effects of stress on moms leads to many bodily conditions — which I soon found out when we arrived at the spa. (More on that later.) Personally, the Nurture Spa experience gave me a whole new perspective on living a lifestyle of wellness, specifically as a mom. I have five reasons why you, as a mom, should consider an escape to wellness to Nurture Spa. It will change the way you approach rest, relaxation, and “me time.” If you’re looking for an escape from the summer heat and from the stress of your life as mom, consider escaping to Nurture for a day or to!
1. You’ll be motivated to really rest.
The spa is a haven of rest, but has a much more purposive philosophy of simply just pampering its clients. For example: On weekdays, you can participate in the Qi breathing and stretching exercises, headed by the Nurture staff therapists. You can listen to wellness talks by the spa’s accredited medical and spa staff. There are also several areas for personal meditation, where you can enjoy the company of nature. In fact, CD players and guided meditation CDs are available for you to borrow for free at the Reception.
For our group, the goal for the day was “mom wellness.” After morning snacks, we were given individual questionnaires to fill up, which would serve as guides to our therapists during our wellness treatments. We were then taken through a Digital Meridian System Scan, or DMS, a computerized check up based on Chinese medicine that measures energy levels in our bodies and makes intelligent projections about our health. Apparently, the scan is 90% accurate, according to the staff who took us through it.
My DMS results — which were viewable on a computer that the scan device was attached to — showed that I had high mental stress levels (yikes) which could affect other parts of my body (double yikes). Well, suffice it to say, the scan was surprisingly accurate on many aspects, and revealed that I needed to rest more often, and stop engaging in too many mind-stressful activities.
The DMS scan is part of the Nurture Spa Village’s various wellness packages. You can choose from Pampering, Romance and Wellness packages, which range from half -day to longer staying packages inclusive of food, spa and wellness treatments and hotel accommodations.
The Nurture Spa Village also has a medi-spa that can accommodate patients with serious illnesses like cancer, diabetes, high-blood pressure For these clients, alternative healing programs can be customized by Dr. Sam Dizon of the Institute of Natural Health, who trained in the United States and has over 19 years of experience in Natural Healing.
2. You’ll be healed by nature.
Walking tours of the spa are available upon request. Our group had a chance to tour the spa, beginning with vegetable-picking in the farm’s organic garden. The gardeners informed us that all the vegetables served in the Dulang Restaurant of the spa were all sourced from the garden; even some of the herbs used in the treatments were grown in the spa garden and seedling nurseries.
It’s definitely a great feeling to know that what you’re eating is freshly-picked, organically grown.
We were impressed by the accommodation options, which also encourage you to embrace the healing power of nature. The luxury is not in the rooms’ appointments and features (though they are very clean and well-maintained), but in their strategic location in the midst of well-tended gardens and the province’s natural tropical forest. I loved how everything was accessible by walking, since the grounds were very well tended, yet not to landscaped so that it looked like a natural Eden tucked away in the countryside.
3. You’ll feel like you’re in a home away from home (without the chores).
The Nurture Spa is designed like a village, so it feels like you’re in a home away from home. You walk through gardens at any time of the day; you can take a swim in the pool overlooking the vast grounds; you can lounge around in the Sa’Lo Pavillion, where you can enjoy the spa’s excellent food while playing futsal, or sungka, or simply just lounge on the chaises or floor mats and take in the spa’s refreshing vibe. If you have kids, the spa welcomes them, too, so long as they remain on the grounds, gardens and pavillion area. There’s even a playground and trampoline for their enjoyment.
Something to be appreciated is the spa’s brand of world-class service. Owners Mike and Cathy hired Australian spa consultants to develop the spa menu and train the staff. These consultants were responsible for setting up the first wellness centers and spas in Asia like the Chiva Som at Hua Hin Thailand. You’ll notice that the spa’s signature treatments are all in Tagalog. These are reflections of Mike and Cathy’s commitment to promote the Filipino culture, as well as make the spa experience an extension of Filipino hospitality.
4. You’ll eat well.
Nurture Spa’s restaurant has partnered with expert cuisinieres such as Josiah’s Catering and Tanglad Bistro for its delicious spa cuisine, and offers an extensive menu of Asian and European food at the Dulang Restaurant. Our group was able to partake of both the spa’s traditional and “living foods” (plant-based) menu items, which were all delicious. I liked the fact that the restaurant does not impose restrictions on its guests, but rather opens guests up to healthier alternatives.
Here are some of the yummy eats we enjoyed that day.
5. You’ll be purposefully pampered.
The treatments that await you when you visit Nurture Spa Village don’t just relax your body; they are meant to create a sense of balance of body and mind so that you understand why your body needs to reast. I opted for the Balneotherapy (1 hour, PHP 2,500.00) which is a body Scrub and soak, followed by a 90-minute Ginhawa Massage (1 1/2 hours, PHP1,800.00). The body wrap proved to be good for my skin, which has a tendency to be dry; the added moisture provided by the Algotherm seaweed salts and Laminaria seaweed is actually packed with minerals that help restore the skin’s vitality. (The spa uses brands such as Algotherm and Biodroga for its various treatments.)
The aromatic Ginhawa Massage that followed was — in short — total bliss. Broad strokes and light stretching were the main features of the massage, something which I really needed because the DMS said my body age was 35 — and I’m only 33! **laughs** The essential oils of blended pine, tea tree and lavender used during the massage are meant to balance the nervous and emotional systems. Perfect for me, since the DMS also said I was mentally stressed (yikes).
The treatment rooms were also attractively appointed. Before a treatment, there’s a foot wash “ritual” using a corn scrub and floral-scented water. I liked that each room was tastefully decorated with native Filipino accent pieces, and that there was an abundance of clean linens, towels, even my own pair of slippers. The massage oils used during treatments, I discovered, are blended fresh by Spa Essentials, a sister company which supplies massage oils, hotel amenities and spa supplies to five star spas and resorts in the Philippines and abroad.
My therapist was likewise very professional yet warm and caring, and was very knowledgable when explaining each step of the treatment to me. All the spa’s therapists are professionally trained by its sister company, Spa Professionals International Development Center, which is the only internationally accredited spa school in the Philippines. It’s located within the Nurture Spa Village, so you can be sure you are — literally! — in good hands.
Taking a trip to the Nurture Spa Village is also about giving back to the local community. Driven by a strong sense of Corporate Social Responsibility, Nurture Spa hires its therapists from the local communities and trains them for a minimum of 2 months to the highest standards by internationally licensed trainers. Similarly, the Nurture Spa staff are taught and encouraged to adapt a wellness lifestyle in order to lead healthier and happier lives. Whenever possible, the spa sources its essential oils from local suppliers, like lemongrass which comes from Bacolod. Also, a portion of the sales from Nurture’s Spa’s own line of essential oils, lotions and bath gels, “Amuin,” are used to improve the lives of essential oil producing communities.
I thoroughly enjoyed our mom bloggers day at Nurture Spa. From the moment we were fetched in Manila (provided by Hotels & Spa Essentials shuttle service) to our day of wellness, treatments, good food, and great company, the experience was sublime. If you’re looking for an ideal getaway this Mother’s Day, I highly recommend hitting the spa with your mom (like Eliza of The Painter’s Wife did!). Not only will you be ushered into a pampering experience, your body and mind will both be rested, so that you can return to your families relaxed, rejuvenated, and raring to go.
Other Moms’ Escapes to Nurture Spa Village
These lovely ladies have their own amazing stories to share about our moms’ escape — be sure to check them out!
Manila Mommy – A Day of Bliss at Nurture Spa
My Mom Friday – Moms’ Wellness Retreat at Nurture Spa
J and the Three Boys (Jen of Next9′s personal blog) – Nurtured by Nature
For more information, visit the Nurture Spa Village website at http://www.nurture.com.ph/
Nurture Spa Village
Pulong Sagingan, Barangay Maitim II West
Tagaytay City, Cavite, 4120
Philippines Show Map
Phone: (02) 584-4228, (02) 584-4221, (046) 483-0804 to 05
Thank you, My Mom-Friday, for providing some of the photos in this post.