Monday, July 02, 2007

Kartini Spa South of Manila

DSCF2998I knew it was time to getaway again after an episode last Friday had my heart palpitating (and no, it wasn't the sight of the very buff Piolo Pascual running on a treadmill across me) ever so often. At the end it wasn't my heart, but rather, my hormones playing tricks on me again.

Today, I hied off to my good friend's sanctuary for the senses, south of Metro Manila. A former certified member of the corporate rat race, my friend Nina re-invented herself at mid-life after spending many years as a top-notch executive at P&G, and ending a highly-successful career as CFO of Kraft. Upon her retirement, five years ago, Nina studied landscape design in Bali, no less, and the product of that is a highly successful company called Kartini Landscape Design. As if that weren't enough, early last year, Nina opened Kartini Spa south of the Metro and it has been a haven of tranquility for battle-weary souls. A new branch is slated to open at the Alabang Town Center later this year.

Even if you are not stressed, a visit to Kartini is always a feast for the senses. As soon as you enter, your heartbeat settles as you feel the wind gently brush across your cheeks and listen to the soothing strains of Javanese music that fill the air. Surrounded by lush greenery all over, there are many spots for quiet meditation - in one corner, water cascades from a beautiful stone fountain as therapists, well-trained in the art of pampering and kneading one's blues away quietly whisk you to your own private cabana.

Nina knows all about the rat race, having once been a part of the corporate jungle, thus she has gone through great lengths to make a haven out of Kartini. One feels so far from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis as this mini-haven that Nina has created is reminiscent of the famed spas in Bali or Phuket.

There are several body and facial treatments one can chose from at Kartini depending on the amount of time (and money) that you have to spare. The therapists here are all very pleasant and highly-skilled. The oils used for massage treatments are of an excellent quality as are the scrubs that come from Thailand. For facials, Kartini clients can pick from a wide array of Decleor or Judith Jackson products. And don't be daunted, unlike spas at the hotels or malls, Kartini's prices are very reasonable. Okay, admittedly you have to travel quite a bit, but that in itself is part of the adventure. It's best to go in the late mornings or after lunch because you can sometimes have the place all to yourself. The place though can get very busy from mid-afternoon until closing time at 10PM.

Realizing that I had not had quality "Me" time in a while, I relished every minute spent at Kartini - a little Bali, south of the city. Can't wait to go back there soon.

To further appreciate Kartini, visit their
beautiful website here.

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