After a day sweating it out on Manila’s congested streets a couple of hours in a spa can be extremely tempting, especially now there are plenty of reputable ones serving stressed-out locals rather than sex-starved tourists.
Neo Day Spa
G/F, Net One Center Building, 26th St at 3rd Ave, Bonifacio Global City t02/815-8233, wwww.neo.ph. Serene modern spa inspired by Zen minimalism, with elaborate Japanese-style massages from P1550 (90min), shiatsu (P950/1hr) and P420 head and neck massages (20min).
1826 J. Bocobo St, Malate t02/450-1127, wwww.sanctuariospa.com. Fabulous spa that, unusually, has a Filipino theme; housed in a colonial-style mansion built in the 1940s, it’s studded with Filipino artwork, antiques and tribal artefacts, and treatments feature indigenous as well as oriental styles and therapies. Try the traditional hilot (P855/1hr) a form of deep-tissue massage using coconut oil and performed by a genuine “medicine man”. All treatments come with unlimited access to the dry sauna, steam room and the tranquil back garden, which has an outdoor pool and two jacuzzis.
4th Forum Building, Tomas Morato Ave, Quezon City t 02/926-6249, wwww.sonevaspa.com. Right on the main strip in Quezon City, this offers great value for your peso – come on a weekday afternoon and it’s a dreamy, tranquil place with a huge roster of Xiamen (Chinese)-style massages from P699 (1hr) to P380 (feet) and P599 (back and feet combos).
G/F, Paseo de Roxas Drop-off Entrance, Greenbelt I, Makati t 02/840-1325, wwww.thespa.com.ph. One of a popular chain of deluxe spas, with the full range of massages and treatments, from Swedish massage (P820/1hr) to volcanic rock massages (P1500 for 1hr 15min).