Which one is it? Well, The Farm at San Benito, of course. Especially as it is one of the only wellness resorts in the world to provide infant massage.
This resort, tucked away in the rain forest an hour’s drive from Manila, is one of the only wellness destinations in the Philippines. After a visit, you may wonder if the country needs any more, because the Farm got it right the first time.
After four stays at the resort, I wonder that too. I have enjoyed the Farm as a retreat destination, as a mom, and on romantic and girlfriends getaways. The resort does not disappoint.
The Farm has the 10 things I love in a vacation. I know, 10 things, how high-maintenance? 😉 I guess I am trying to say it has it all…
1. Tropical rain forest: √
The 49 hectare resort is located on a former coconut plantation in the lush countryside of Batangas Province.
2. Lovingly designed bungalows: √
You know you are in the right place when it is hard to find a room with an indoor shower. Nearly all of the Farm’s lodging options offer tasteful outdoor bathrooms with top-of-the line amenities.The straight lines of the Nara Pool Villas’ ultra-modern furnishings provide a stunning contrast with the surrounding lush foliage.
3. Tasteful furnishings: √
Most of the furniture is made from mahogany or ebony wood.
4. Tasty and healthy cuisine: √
Before I came to the Farm I thought that raw and vegan food was, well, meh. Good for you, and all right on occasion. Then I sampled the vegetarian lasagna at Alive!, with many of the ingredients sourced from the resort’s organic garden right next to the kitchen. For dessert I had a peanut butter cup vegan cheesecake and was sold. I took the Farm’s cookbook, Raw, home with me, bought a dehydrator and put my Vitamix on overdrive.
5. An award-winning spa (I can’t get enough of the lemongrass treatments!!!): √
The Healing Sanctuary Spa uses 100% naturally-derived organic ingredients made fresh for each treatment.
In my more than four visits to the resort, I have always scrubbed out the toxins of the city with a Barako coffee scrub. I love the smell of coffee and purchased the scrub in the lobby store. Every time I open the lid I think of my time in a quiet rain forest.
The Farm offers medical treatments practiced by license doctors, prescribed to each guest’s health conditions.
6. Infinity pools for sunbathing: √
7. A glass of wine if I need it: √
The Farm isn’t too strict on raw and vegan cuisine. You can enjoy wine, beer and often sake from Alive!’s frequently changing drink list.
8. Yoga: √
The Farm offers near daily yoga classes on a pavilion overlooking a pond and a mountain.
9. A path to walk or run and an exercise room: √
Twice a day the Farm’s wellness gurus will arrange for area walks.
10. And now that I have a baby, I plan to enjoy mommy and me massages
In addition to targeted massages for pre- and post-natal care, the Farm is one of the only wellness resorts in Southeast Asia that provides infant massage. The service is targeted for newborns to toddlers, and can be done in tandem with a massage for mom.
And let’s not forget the kid’s activities. The Farm has a kid’s program where staff can take children fishing in its pond or for walks. You can find peacocks, goats, kittens, and ducks clustered around the more than 49 hectare grounds. The resort offers a kid’s menu with ice cream and healthy shakes and desserts.
A resort that truly embraces the environment
One of the things I love the most about the Farm is its commitment to environmental-friendliness. The shampoos and conditioners in your outdoor show
er are in reusable ceramic containers. The water provided in your room is located in a large dispensers. The Farm’s spa treatments are made from natural ingredients. Most products are sourced locally, hence the abundance of coconut and yummy lemongrass offerings.
It may seem that I am gushing. Well there’s a lot to love here!