From Palawan To Batangas, Here Are 5 Wellness Resorts Perfect For A Safe And Healthy Summer Holiday
See you there!
We missed summer last year, but we're lucky enough to have more ways to enjoy the sun and outdoors this time around!
Though it's true that consequences of the COVID crisis continue to affect our lives in more ways than one, Filipinos have risen up to the challenge of finding ways to combat the stresses brought on by prolonged quarantine and the confinement to living indoors in the city—one of which is adapting travel experiences to the new normal and making summer holidays possible once again.
Travelers, on the other hand, have also redefined their vision of a COVID-safe vacation. They don't only want to see beautiful places and shoot content for social media, but rather, they want the places they visit to promote one form of wellness or another, be it through relaxation, outdoor activities, healthy eating, or experiences that combine medically approved techniques with in-house treatments.
The idea has definitely piqued our interest now that March has brought rising temperatures and sunnier days with it, and if you feel the same, read on to check out five local destinations that make wellness a priority in your next vacay!
The Farm at San Benito, Batangas
Let's start with what's likely the most famous wellness retreats of them all. The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas, being less than two hours away from Metro Manila on a good day, is almost always what comes to mind when we imagine eco-friendly, restorative, and restful holidays.
Often frequented by celebrities, The Farm has quickly grown in popularity in the last year thanks to its approach to holistic wellness. It's not only that it's a beautiful place to be and that their plant-based menu is delicious; The Farm has formulated detox and cleanse programs, mental health rejuvenation activities and exercises, beauty treatments, IV drips, as well as packages for targeted concerns like heart health, diabetes, weight management, stress reduction, and immunity strengthening (among many, many other amazing experiences). It's only one of the very few destinations in the country that can call itself a medical wellness resort.
As for travelers who'd simply like to enjoy their stay, The Farm's verdant surroundings, pools, and hydrotherapy facilities are sure to unlock the deepest levels relaxation we'd all like to feel these days.
Badian Island Wellness Resort, Zaragosa Island, Cebu
Here's an ideal getaway for those aching for the beach yet want to hit two birds with one stone via a quick vacation that's both fun and rehabilitative.
Badian's signature wellness experiences are their massages and baths by the beach. In a private, open-air villa located on the shore (with the waves and horizon as your vista), trained massage therapists execute your treatment of choice. Their most requested have to be the seaweed package (a half-hour bath partnered with a massage, either an hour or 75 minutes long), and the coconut oil indulgence (an hour-long massage experience). The resort also has a little gem in the form of their Thalasso Waterfall and Pools which essentially give visitors the chance to soak in ionized seawater (one way to address mineral deficiencies in the body and promote relaxation).
The rest of your stay at Badian is all about leisure. Do as you please at your own pace, and most importantly, enjoy it all in a setting that, however temporary, releases you from the repetitiveness and confinement of having to work, study, and live indoors.
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Negros Oriental
If your idea of a break is one where you're kept active and on your feet while enjoying stunning scenery all around, this little known yet award-winning destination in Dauin, Negros Oriental is where you need to go this summer.
It's serene, yes, but don't mistake that for an absence of activity. Atmosphere is all about reconditioning the body and re-awakening physical and mental strength via activities you wouldn't normally have time for in the middle of your daily grind. Some of their best offerings include trail running, mountain biking, diving and snorkeling, and circuit training all under the supervision of a coach, as well as gentler exercises like tree top yoga (solo or group) and meditation.
Lastly, one of the more unique experiences at Atmosphere you'll want to try out is water shiatsu (a form of water massage meant to ease the discomfort from chronic conditions like fatigue, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, migraines—basically many of the most common stress-related aches and pains brought on by the pandemic!). To top off an active day, their award-winning body treatments like scrubs, wraps, and massages await as the ultimate rewards for you.
North Zen Villas, Bohol
Local and international travelers love Bohol because of its unique landscape. As it's home to some of the most recognizable natural structures in the country, the island Bohol is a sanctuary for outdoor lovers who feel their best when they commune with nature.
Enter, North Zen Villas in Panglao, Bohol, a resort that's pegged on the idea that relaxation equates to getting up close and personal with all that lives and breathes, be it a thriving mangrove forest, the ocean and all that live underneath the waves, or the famous Chocolate Hills that are home to some of the world's most exotic wildlife.
The resort's visitors are free to explore any of these attractions on their own, however, what the resort itself wishes for them to experience are the slew of outdoor whole body treatments they offer as all of these natural wonders surround them. The best part is getting to the outdoor spa villas themselves; a long bamboo walkway connects the hotel's main area to its satellite villas and the leisurely, scenic walk makes up half their best wellness experiences. The walkway sits right in the middle of lush greenery, views of which change whether you're there in the day or in the evening.
Bahay Kalipay, Palawan
A lot of the time, wellness is (and should be) uncomplicated. We often miss the fact that going back to basics is what our minds and bodies need to regain balance in a complicated world in an even more complicated time, and at Bahay Kalipay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, that's exactly what they aim to teach.
Bahay Kalipay literally translates to House of Happiness and here, visitors and aren't visitors, but become part of a community where overall long-term health is the purpose of their stay. Their approach to wellness is through physical and spiritual nourishment; this is a place where you (and your body!) will learn to appreciate meatless dining through different detox programs paired with yoga and meditation. Even better, visitors who wish to participate in the detox/cleanse programs can have Bahay Kalipay reps consult with their physicians to ensure that programs are individualized, safe and continue to meet nutritional needs.
The idea that they advocate aren't new, but is very much relevant today—that our bodies can get clogged up with all the junk that we eat, the stress we put it through, and can simply suffer from the wear and tear of the demands of every day life, and that this physical tiredness can manifest in a perpetually sluggish mind, a state of being down all the time, and never quite feeling fully rested. Who doesn't want a reboot to undo all that damage and learn how to better protect ourselves in the future?
Lead photos from @badianisland @atmosphereresorts @thefarmatsanbenito @northzenvillas