Anya Resort Tagaytay pushes the envelope by offering a meticulous and pleasurable health package as an alternative holiday agenda.
Chilling in a hotel or resort has become synonymous with a jumble of diversions – chattering over a long meal, drinking the night away, reveling in live entertainment, or binging on TV shows. That is because not a few relish such thrills, and for good reason. Anya Resort Tagaytay pushes the envelope by offering a meticulous and pleasurable health package as an alternative holiday agenda.
“We decided to provide services beyond the conventional spa attractions,” says Carol Laguna, corporate director for spa and wellness. “That is our edge— an enjoyable healing experience.” Nowhere else in the country can be found a quiet hideaway that prepares nutritious and delicious “prescription” meals for guests, delivers customized bodywork and regenerative treatments, and conducts targeted “retreats” for holistic mending.
Anya is a most suitable destination for guests on a plant-based or restricted diet; who seek a detox regimen and scientifically-designed massages; who may be recovering from Covid, or“even those who wish to embark on an inner journey to self-awareness.
“Niyama” is the Sanskrit word for “observances” or “good habits” for the body and spirit. Anya created The Niyama Experience, a holistic service menu that refreshes and recharges weary bodies in a caring environment. Laguna explains that Anya works with partners and resource persons to create and sustain a well-rounded wellness program.
The core facility is Niyama Wellness Center, whose masterworks are an expanded spa menu and the integrative medicine clinic developed by Anya’s partner group, European Wellness Retreat (EWR). On the spa menu are such unique offerings as the Niyama Signature Massage, which incorporates a warm-bamboo treatment that elongates the muscles. The most popular, Couple’s Harmony, is a body scrub, a milk bath and massage for two.
Recommended for lower back and neck pains, the osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT, also referred to as osteopathic manipulative therapy) is perfor by therapists trained and certified by Dr. J.P. Prado, Japan-trained osteopath. The guests, who are administered to as patients, undergo comprehensive diagnostics to assess their vital signs and range of motion before the treatment.
Prado explains: “The manual manipulation therapy addresses systemic issues. Osteopathic manipulative therapy involves scientific stretching and massages meant to decompress and ‘unlock’ organs. It also breaks down connective tissue adhesions which turn into nodules that affect blood flow and muscular movement.” Accurate pressure is key, he stresses, adding that therapists at Niyama are precisely trained in this aspect.
EWR, a subsidiary of the international European Wellness Group, promotes the cellular health program that complements standard medical tests and treatments. The clinic specializes in biological medicine, which looks into the deep causes of stress and disease via high-tech medical devices, and prescribes advanced therapeutic methods. It works on the premise that the body can heal itself if the immune system is fortified.
Upon checking into Anya, patients can get the complete state of their health assessed via the BioMed Scan, a non-invasive diagnostic machine that evaluates the four vital regulating systems in the body— cardiovascular, auto-nervous, hormonal and psycho-emotional. The results are interpreted by Dr. Ariel Baira, EWR medical director, who may then prescribe treatments such as supplements or IV drips to boost metabolism for optimum health.
EWR recommends Clean Retreat, a basic program that addresses issues in the gut, colon and liver by cleansing them of heavy metals. This program can run from four to 14 days, all in a luxurious environment. Breath Retreat is ideal for individuals with respiratory concerns, or just- recovered Covid patients. It includes hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which improves oxygen flow while the patient is in a pressurized chamber.
MAGIC IN THE KITCHEN
When requested, EWR will advise the kitchen on the best foods a patient should take, based on the diagnostic results. The Soul Menu, although basically plant-based, can be modified for vegans and pescatarians. Executive Chef Chris Leaning is always prepared to work his magic.
One may choose to start every day with gluten-free bread or gluten- free vegan pancakes and home-made fruit jams. A meal may be replaced with nutritious, high-fiber fruit and vegetable smoothies. A mushroom pate nibbler could serve as a light meal, just as delightfully as Vietnamese spring rolls using vegetables from the garden and white bean puree with chargrilled asparagus, carrot and mushrooms; or a small vegetable paella. Even the desserts are guiltless: a myriad of fruit sorbets, and/or the coconut and mango panna cotta made of coconut cream and agar-agar instead of gelatin, which is animal-based.
Vegans may indulge, worry-free, in the burger, loaded with mushrooms, lentils and vegetables on a whole wheat bun. The mayo is made of tofu instead of egg, with homemade avocado oil.
Chef Leaning says, “All these dishes are flavorful. We use prime, fresh, local and alternative ingredients, natural yeast, and gluten-free produce. We also have a menu in Anila (all-day dining) for Niyama clients. For those who opt to take their meals in Samira (casual fine dining), we can likewise tweak some of the dishes.”
Though yoga, tai chi, and Zumba exercise comprise the modalities in the Niyama Experience movement program, guests would enjoy walking around Anya’s manicured landscape, or taking a dip in the heated pool.
The Inner Journeys opens people to new perspectives. Dr. Lia Bernardo, better known as the “Happiness Doctor,” conducts corporate wellness retreats and self-love workshops. Yoga teacher and aromatherapy advocate Marilen Gonzalez Elizalde conducts classes in yoga and on the benefits of healing oils. In all her classes, she gets to share insights on leading a balanced life.
Laguna says the Niyama Experience or parts of it may be replicated in other establishments, depending on the partner’s requirements. Already, Anya has received inquiries about spa consultancy and management. Prospective clients are invited to the resort to immerse themselves in The Niyama Experience.
As former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said, “Success is best when it is shared.”
Photos courtesy of Anya Resort Tagaytay.