Massage places are a dime a dozen, even in rural areas. Any self-respecting town now has at least one clean massage parlor or two, and any number of shady ones.
However, a full-blown spa in Laguna with a range of services (not just massage) is not so common, much less a luxurious one like the recently-opened Royale Garden Spa in Calamba.
I was lucky enough to get invited to try its services on its first week of operations, and all I can say is that I’m grateful I live so far from Laguna; otherwise, I’d make it a point to visit every week (which will not bode well for my budget!).
Situated off the highway in Brgy. Real, there are three things visitors will notice when they arrive at this spa in Laguna. The first is that it’s big; it’s a 1,160 sqm structure with an even bigger garden. There wasn’t much vegetation but what flowers and plants there were, were tastefully arranged.
There was even a huge lotus fountain, giving one an idea that the motif of the place is Asian. The ten business partners wanted the design and structure to be Balinese, wanting a place that’s unique in aesthetics, but promotes wellness and relaxation as well.
The owners—all good friends and themselves huge fans of spas—bought the materials not only in the Philippines but also in Thailand as well, each bringing a statue or wall decor every time they went back from Bangkok.
The result is a highly pleasant place to look at; it has certainly achieved the atmosphere they’d intended to have!
Operations Manager Amaya Senorio said that they currently have 20 massage therapists, although they can accommodate a maximum of 100 persons. Newly-certified by TESDA (they had gotten a National Certificate 2 and a Hilot license from the Department of Health), these therapists were further trained for six months on a style that’s a combination of everything the partners love in a massage.
“We love going to spas a lot,” Ner Dalmacion, one of the partners, said, “so we wanted to make sure that we’re going to offer the best of what we’ve experienced.”
It was indeed good; I had the Royale Garden massage (90 minutes, P880) and I found it very relaxing; quite a surprise, actually, given the therapist’s lack of experience.
The pressure was just right, and the strokes were even. I could identify Thai, Swedish, Shiatsu, and reflexology influences, but my mental note-taking didn’t last long.
After 5 minutes or so, I was already fast asleep. They also offer one-hour sessions of Swedish massage (P780), Shiatsu (P780), Thai (P780), and Body Scrub (P780).
Royale Garden Spa is more than just a massage though. Starting at just P680 for the Thai foot massage, all their massage services include a steam bath, jacuzzi, hot/cold shower, 60-90 minutes of massage, and a full meal.
We had an über-delicious shabu-shabu, tofu sisig (the best one I’d had), fried chicken, raspberry tea, dessert, and a Korean noodle dish called jap chae.
Another partner, Baby Santos, is in charge of the meal offerings, and she said that they change the menu every week. Since their aim is wellness, they only serve organic food, mostly vegetables, chicken, and seafood.
At the moment, they only offer foot spa and body massages (aside from the jacuzzi and the dipping pool), both for individual clients and large groups. However, they’re planning to offer more soon, like a fish spa (I had that in Pattaya) and facials, making Royale Garden Spa a one-stop shop for wellness.
“We’re also going to offer overnight accommodations in the future,” business partner Rick Santos said, pointing out that in their first week of operations alone, a lot of inquiries have already come in about overnight stays.
What makes this seemingly luxurious spa in Laguna such a success? For one, it’s the first of its kind in Calamba. Aside from the employees and executives in the industrial park in town, their target market also covers surrounding towns like Los Baños.
Indeed, if you’re a professional living in and near the area and looking for a relaxing place where you can have good food and two hours or so of wellness, why would you bother to go to Manila for that alone? Royale Garden Spa can already provide that service, and more!
Royale Garden Spa
Brgy. Real, Calamba, Laguna
(049) 508 2365
Note: Although this trip has been sponsored (thanks for that!), all opinions in this post are mine alone.