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.
While hotel spas are the norm these days, the Terazi Spa at the Discovery Primea in Makati offers something unique with its Hammam treatment.
The spa's signature Hammam treatment or Turkish bath is truly an experience. This treatment can be done alone, but it’s highly recommended for couples. (This author had this treatment with her husband.)
Our treatment started by being prepped (one can choose to go au naturel or leave on their undergarments), and then we were given a pestemal—the traditional Turkish towel used for modesty.
We were then escorted to a private marble-lined steam bath. The room was filled with steam, and we were led to separate enclaves within the room.
While I have been to other steam baths before, this experience had to be one of my favorites because the attendant left me in my enclave fully prepped.
My corner had its own tub filled with water, so I could douse myself with water if it gets too hot, and she also left me with an accompanying face towel that I could wet and put on my face. The clincher was my personal pitcher of cold fruit-infused water, just in case I needed a drink during the steam session. The minutes passed by very leisurely, as the steam relaxed and loosened up my muscles.
When the allotted time finished, our attendant cleared out the steam, and led us to a raised marble surface in the middle of the room called a göbektaşı. We laid down on cloths and had our bodies scrubbed using the traditional "kese" mitt and according to our own pressure preference.
After the exfoliation, we had castile soap suds cascaded onto our bodies. It was an extremely heady experience – like being massaged by clouds, or akin to the feeling of a million little pearls running down your body. It was, by far, one of this author’s favorite sensations of all time.
The treatment ended after a leisurely rinse, leaving this author with baby soft and smooth skin, and a euphoric feeling.
The Hammam treatment lasted for an hour, and I highly recommend following up the treatment with any of Terazi Spa’s massages. For our visit, we tried the signature Terazi massage, which used a combination of Lomi-lomi movement, Swedish massage, and acupressure techniques.
So if you’re looking for some intense pampering that’s not run-of-the-mill, check out this Turkish delight.