Tried and tested: At Okada spa, guests can have a 'daycation'

Joko Magalong-De Veyra

Posted at Oct 06 2018 05:34 AM

MANILA -- In the nitty gritty of everyday urban life, self-care isn’t a luxury, but a need. If you’re going to pamper your body and rest your mind, the city offers lush escapes for the weary. 

In this series, we explore the relaxation meccas of the metro, starting with the newly opened The Retreat Spa of Okada Manila in Paranaque. 

The Retreat Spa was designed for the global travellers. Handout

The Retreat Spa welcomes their guests with a foyer designed with global travelers in mind. The counter, manned by friendly staff, is framed from above by a sepia-toned globe lighting fixture that gives the room a warm glow — an almost hotel-like ambiance. The room is big, with alcoves where guests can sit in cushioned lounges for their consultation, or while waiting for their treatment. 

On one side, there is a gift shop of sorts, where all the products used in the spa are on display to be tried or purchased. 

“It’s like a spa-daycation, that’s what we want our guests to know. Our guests can actually stay as long as they want (during the spa hours). They can enjoy the spa-retreat pool, or the relaxation rooms,” explained Sham Macalinga, marketing officer of the Retreat Spa. 

Opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 4 a.m. the next day, guests can enjoy the many facilities of the spa while waiting for their treatment or to relax further after their treatments. And in the Retreat Spa at Okada, guests are spoiled for options. 

These choices include soaking in the temperature-controlled Jacuzzi, getting some sauna time, doing laps at the dedicated spa swimming pool, hitting the gym, or eating some light meals from the Tonic Bar. 

“The concept of the Retreat Spa is a hybrid spa. When you come in, the theme of the spa is travel, and the products that we have are from all the different parts of the world, which are not found here in the Philippines, so we’re the first spa to offer them. But there’s still the Filipino touch, with all the people that we have, some of which are fourth or third generation masseuses,” explained Macalintal.

In terms of treatments, the spa has a menu of services that range from oriental massages, traditional hilot, reflexology, various facials, to signature and specialized treatments for expectant mothers, men, and couples using premium skin and massage products from around the globe. 

Here’s a sneak peak at some of the amenities of the Retreat Spa at Okada Manila. 

The barber shop has a classic masculine feel. Jeeves de Veyra

Barber Shop & Salon

The Retreat Spa has a designer barbershop (also a gin bar) and a salon on its premises, offering personalized services, and even private rooms. 

The salon goes for a modern look. Jeeves de Veyra

Barber Shop & Salon

The Retreat Spa has a designer barbershop (also a gin bar) and a salon on its premises, offering personalized services, and even private rooms. 

Guests are welcomed by the friendly staff. Jeeves de Veyra


Guests are welcomed to this travel-themed lounge with ashibori-tinged (sweet orange essential oil) hot towels, and refreshments, as you await your consultation, or treatment. On one side of the wall is a retail area, where you can test the products used in the spa. 

There are plenty of spa products to choose from. Jeeves de Veyra

Retail and Tester Area

Products used in the spa come from around the globe, notably from New York, Ireland, and even Hungary. 

The spa has its own swimming pool. Jeeves de Veyra

Swimming pool and spa garden

This 650-sq.m. spa area has a lush garden, and a free-form pool. 

Relax at the Wave Room. Handout

Wave Room

The first in Southeast Asia, the Wave Dream Meditation Chamber is a Scandinavian invention, designed to disengage you from stress, as it relaxes you with chromotheraphy combined with a LED light projection system. 

The sauna. Handout

Relaxation rooms

Male and female relaxation rooms are equipped with their own sauna and Jacuzzi. The Jacuzzis are always ready for use in the rooms, at its optimum temperature of 38 to 42 degrees Celsius. Relaxation rooms also come with well-appointed bathrooms, and electronic lockers. 

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Treatment Rooms

The main spa measures at 2,500 sq.m., and the treatment rooms are reflective of the amount of space that the spa has available. Named after bays in the country, our treatment was slated at the Lian Room, one of the indoor spa suites designed for couples. 

The Lian room blew us away! Easily the biggest private treatment room of any spa that this author has been to, it had hydraulic treatment beds that adjusted to your height. The music was controlled by an iPad, so you could control the music during your treatment. A foot ritual corner had brass bowls for foot baths. 

Other features included having its own water closet and shower, a Jacuzzi, and two Thai massage lounger beds.

The products used for the treatment. Jeeves de Veyra

Couples Connect

We tried the Couples Connect, a two-hour treatment designed to rekindle romance through a total spa-experience.

A consultation marks the start of your session. Your therapist whips out an iPad, and you are asked to pick your choices on massage pressure, as well as a series of questions regarding your health. 

One of the niftiest parts of this treatment was that you could specify which area you wished for the therapist to concentrate the most on by encircling the body part on the iPad. 

After the consultation, we were treated to charcoal foot baths, followed by a full-body scrub. The treatment specifically uses Ila Spa products from England that are designed to align and calm the body and the soul. 

Next, we were treated to a backcial (back facial), our bespoke massage, and a facial. At the end, oil was poured onto our foreheads (a surprisingly relaxing endeavor), while heart-shaped rose quartz stones were placed at the back of our shoulders and hands, then we were asked to hold hands and a few words were said to us to mark the end of a remarkable treatment. 

Relax at the Tonic Bar with light meals and drinks. Handout

Tonic Bar

After your treatment, you can choose to take a few minutes inside the room, take an extended breather in the Wave Room, or spend time relaxing in the lounge, which serves light sandwiches and meals (ranging from P200 to P300+), fruit, as well as cookies, tea, and infused water.