Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bioessence Summer Hot Treatment: Banana Leaf Massage and the Warmth of an Escape

Summer is indeed a time for long family travels and outdoor sports activities, but it could also be very tiring and come on, with the temperature rising up to 35.7 degrees Celsius in the Metro, staying outdoors is probably the least that you’d want to do.
What’s the best way to escape the stifling heat of the city without having to deal with the hassles that come with going away? Escaping to a spa is at the top of the list. So escape I did, to the Bioessence branch in West Avenue, Quezon City. The moment I stepped in, I let the relaxing warmth embrace me, wrap me in calm comfort and wash away the slightest traces of stress.

Comfy couch at the reception area makes you feel welcome immediately.
 Bioessence stands in striking contrast to the bustle of West Avenue. The spa’s fa├žade is comparably vast but not at all busy, the large and comfortable couch immediately settles the mind on the solace the spa provides. Stepping inside, one is immediately warmed by the relaxing scent of peppermint oils and the hospitality of the ladies manning the front desk headed by Bioessence sales consultant Ms. Brenda Bayani.

Private and executive rooms at Bioessence West Avenue.

 Bioessence’s interiors reflect a modern look tempered by traditional Asian influences. A quick tour of the place revealed decorative details and minimalist designs.

One of the treatment rooms at Bioessence.
Our stress levels already down a few notches, this Bioessence West Avenue branch exclusively provides the Banana Leaf Massage. Although their range of services were equally tempting: pampering treats for the hands and feet like paraffin treatments, facial treatments; body scrubs; body massages; “couple packages” as well as other services. Since this branch exclusively offers the Banana  Leaf massage, I was lucky enough to try it. 
One of the two beds at the executive room.

 The use of executive room also had a completely automatic hydro spa tub with steam Jacuzzi, enclosed shower—instant bliss and relaxation in a Jacuzzi tub, you might call it.

The executive room's large jacuzzi with aqua jet massage.

See my reflection from the mirror?

The sink where you can wash your face and hands.

My day of relaxation started with a Turkish Steam Bath. It was something new to me since I’ve been used to the old way of having an entire room for a steam or sauna. This time, the experience was different. I had the pleasure to watch my favorite cable channel TV on flat screen monitor while I was seated on a comfortable wooden chair and my body was zipped up in a thermal like tent. From afar, it seemed like I was about to be beheaded while I was seated and covered inside a huge oven but I’m actually having fun. I spent around 10 to 15 minutes on the Turkish steam. And gosh, I couldn’t hide my embarrassment a few minutes later after it was time to go out of that thermal like tent zipper…I had all my sweat dripping down the drain from my body! Eeeeeew! Totally gross! But I swear, it felt like I’ve exercised or run for hours non-stop.

The Bioessence Turkish Steam Bath/sauna.

Then I was ushered to the Jacuzzi for some bubble bath. It was really fun! I had a pillow under my neck so it was great to lie down and let the bubbles do its magic—there were jet pressured water massages also on my back and somewhere near my feet. I felt so special and everything was almost perfect, except that I was missing on something…I knew I was supposed to feel like a queen, but I think it had something to do with my Peter Pan personality…alas! I was looking for my rubber ducky. Just kidding…J

The author in a jacuzzi royalty experience.

I felt like I was in a dream so I wanted to perpetuate the moment, I had asked my pretty and understanding therapist Joy to allow a few more minutes for me to play with the Jacuzzi bubbles before I took a bath in an enclosed shower at my executive room. I am grateful to Joy for allowing me to do just that. 

The author having fun with bubbles...but where's her rubber ducky?
After the shower comes the main highlight of all—the Banana Leaf Massage. I was told that most people who tried this out, immediately doze off to slumber. Well, prior to the said massage, I told myself I’ve got to fight it since I don’t want the entire Bioessence West Avenue branch to hear my loud snore…
The Banana Leaf Massage is a two-hour bliss combination of Swedish massage and ventouse (ventosa) using cupping glasses and sterilized banana leaves. For those not familiar with ventouse, it is like a vacuum extractor of cupping glasses used on your back. However, unlike others that facilitate ventosa, my therapist Joy didn’t make use of fire or candles anymore, instead Joy used a different kind of glass that’s specifically made for such treatments. I loved how the sterilized warm banana leaves glide onto my back. It felt like the traditional Filipino hilot, with some distinct variations. It gave me two hours of muscle-melting massage therapy with the use of banana leaves, known to have antiseptic properties, and some kind of oil (sorry, I forgot to ask what it was), also known to have healing effects.

At Bioessence, what stands out the most is the level of luxurious pampering one could get with a rare degree of privacy. The spas I frequent have massage rooms and a wet floor; if you want to use the Jacuzzi, you have to go to the wet floor and, if it’s a busy day you might have to share the tub with strangers. I was booked in an executive room (could be shared by couples) at Bioessence, and I had a large Jacuzzi decorated with tea lite candles around, an enclosed shower room with rain shower head, a separate toilet and I had all these to myself.

At Bioessence, with a price point that certainly isn’t far from those of other luxury spas, you truly get superior value for your money at Bioessence. There’s no room for aches, pains, and knots in the season of the sun. Prepare for better days with head-to-toe luxurious pampering treatment at Bioessence. 

Call Bioessence at 372-2648 to 49 to book the executive room or set an appointment for a Banana Leaf Massage or call the above number for more details. 

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this blog post. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 
Purple Plum Fairy thanks Bioessence West Avenue branch, Ms. Angeline Alip, Bioessence's Marketing Administrator, Ms. Brenda Bayani, Sales Coordinator, and lovely therapists Joy and Sheila. 

Bioessence Image models TV hosts Iya Villania and Nikki Gil.



  1. will be dropping by bioessence next week to check out their services.. the pampering service that you had looked really delightful.. ahaha.. gusto ko din yan! :)

  2. The Jacuzzi is awesome! I'd like to soak for a few hours and then have the ventosa. We also have a branch here in Las Pinas and I hope to visit them soon.

  3. way to go girl, that is the back profile to die for *joke* :)
    I agree with the ventosa, we used to do it DIY back home and very effective and relaxing. I admire your confidence in showing of that skin, who cares it's summer anyway! :)

  4. Would love to try this! Once I'm back in the PH, will definitely go! Thanks for the very informative post!

  5. omg. I would love totally love to try that one.
    How Much kaya yung "couple packages?"
    my boyfriend's gettin addicted w/ spa and massage lately. :)


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