For my son's second birthday, we opted to treat him out-of-town through an overnight getaway in the much raved about Nurture Spa (renamed Nuture Spa Village).
Here, I found the three Ps that make for the Perfect Vacation.
P for PLACE. While my husband and I cannot boast of a love at first sight romance, I can definitely proclaim that in Bridford Lake and now, the Nurture Spa Village. Unlike other Tagaytay hot spots, this place does not vaunt of a view of the city's most famous attraction, the Taal lake and Volcano. It cannot because it is set amidst a secluded hideaway west of the main roads of the city, far from the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist destination and appropriate for its intended guest offering of relaxation, wellness and healing. Surrounding what seems like a palatial estate are trees and about a million shrubbery and flowering greens and herbs that completes the "ecotheraphy" experience. An experience Nurture Spa Village describes as "healing by and through nature". Upon entering the gated community, one can easily imagine oneself in an exclusive tropical resort.
For entertainment, we were pleasantly surprised to find that there were a number of things to keep us occupied. The Salo Pavillion is replete with activity tools from the native sungka and kulintang to the huge chess board, Pictionary set and the modern foosball table.
If weather permits, the outdoor is a vast place for exciting exploration. One can opt to swim, though it is a relatively small pool and is only four-foot deep so do not expect to make some laps in it. For more physical activities, you can also sample the trampoline and other outdoor play sets a few steps off the main garden. For the green-thumb or simply one who likes plants, you can have a field day just exploring the wonders of the different flowers, plants and herbs around the village.
You know that careful thought was made on each design element through the small details such as the selection of capiz lamps to stain-glassed candle holders and recycled poso-negros (water pumps) converted into faucets for the sink. Everywhere you look, there is something new to discover and can be an interesting conversation piece especially in social events such as weddings. The beautifully landscaped lawns and quirky native design aesthetic creates a compelling reason for guests to take out their cameras to simply capture the beauty that is Nurture Spa.
On the way to our room, we passed by the open-air treatment facilities (for foot spas/pedicures/manicures) and the non-air-conditioned nipa huts, which I found out was patterned after the traditional Ifugao houses, and it looked so inviting. It even had a hammock right under the hut.
Our room called Pag-asa (hope) was located at the far end of the property. We opened the French doors to a welcoming queen-sized bed with bedside tables. There was also a CRT TV at the corner of the room and a dresser with a huge mirror. To the right is the bathroom with what is probably the biggest bath tub I have ever seen and a stand-alone closet that also houses a safe albeit the manual key-insert kind. Crabtree and Evelyn bath sets were part of the room's amenities. Alkaline water, which helps flush toxins from the body, prevents diseases and maintain the body's PH, among other things, is also provided to support the 'healing' aspect of the vacation.
At night, you sleep to the slow rhythmic sounds of the frogs and crickets and wake up in the morning to the melody of chirping birds wandering outside your door (and in our case, the pitter patter of the rain).
Which brings me to a minor challenge we encountered while we were there - the rains. Because the road to our room (and for all the other rooms, for that matter) was only paved with pebble-washed stepping blocks, puddles of water tend to destabilize them hence would require one to be extra careful while walking and stepping on the blocks. However, all things considered, this was only a minor setback.
P for PEOPLE. I can only count in my fingers the number of places that have actually wow-ed me in terms of customer service and I am happy to say, Nurture Spa is now in that list. From the moment we stepped out of our car to check-in up to the time we got back inside to leave, we felt the genuine warmth emanating from the staff we had the pleasure of encountering. Yes, from the guard to the gardener to the masseuse and even the Resident Manager (?) there was nary a face that did not give us their warm smile. Absolutely, everyone who we came in contact with was courteous, warm and helpful as they can possibly be. For example, because it kept raining while we were there, we needed an umbrella to go to and from our room. The gardener who saw us as we were about to leave our room immediately stopped cutting the grass and went to us to ask if we wanted an umbrella. Talk about anticipating your guests needs! On another occasion, when I asked the person who I thought then was the Manager of the place (I did not get his name the first time but apparently, he is the brother of the owner of the place), if they had a cake available for my toddler's birthday, he committed to checking it for us. The next thing I knew, a waiter was delivering a native delicacy (suman with mango and hot choco) and said it was a complimentary treat for my son as instructed by Martin. I would have willingly paid for the cake, if they had one, and even paid for the treat that he gave us because it really was not necessary for him to give us something for our son's birthday, but the sheer intent to acknowledge a guests' special day was more than a show of good service, it is what we call, taking the extra mile. AND suffice to say that very, very few establishments master this art. And so to Nurture Spa and Martin, in particular, thank you for the awesome experience. I will definitely go back to this place and recommend it on the basis of Customer Service alone.
P is for PAMPERING. We availed of one of their most sought-after treatments which is the Aruga massage. Because we had our baby in tow, we had to separately schedule it. But, then again, with the kind of massage I got, I would have easily forgotten my hubby being right beside me had we opted to have it in one room and at the same time because of the utterly relaxing and absolutely heavenly experience I was having. Shen, our therapist, was a master. As self-confessed spa-afficionados, my hubby and I have been to quite a number of spa and wellness places in and around the metro and our Nurture Spa experience by far, tops the list. No wonder, it has been given its much-deserved acclaim as one of the 28 Most Relaxing Spas in Asia and one of the Top Seven Spas of the Philippines by CNNGo and Asia Spa Magazine, respectively. The treatment is pre-scheduled and is done upon checking-in. You will be asked to fill-up a form that lets you outline some health-related conditions akin to a doctor's check-up form such as illnesses - asthma, epilepsy, heart problems, skin allergies, etc and goes even further by asking you which body areas you want them to focus on and which ones to avoid. That is how personal they go to give you the ultimate pampering and nurturing experience. I guess my only complaint in the entire massage treatment would have been for the lights to be dimmed if not substituted with oil burners to complete the sensory experience.
Now, with the three Ps: PLACE + PEOPLE + PAMPERING who can deny one from claiming a PERFECT Vacation!
I can't wait to find another excuse to take my husband and toddler back to Nurture Spa!
- Also Known As:
- Nurture Spa Village Hotel
- Nurture Spa Village Hotel Tagaytay
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the pioneers in the Philippine spa industry, Nurture Spa is an award winning Dept of Tourism accredited spa chain. Proudly Filipino, Nurture Spa offers its guests exquisite spa and wellness experiences in selected tropical destinations around the country. Each wellness destination boasts of a unique Nurture Spa treatment reflecting the indigenous customs and healing traditions of the region, in addition to the tried and tested Nurture Spa favorites. ... more less
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