Massages, Massages, Massages

Have I mentioned one of the great advantages of living in Manila?

Affordable massages!

For the equivalent of $12, for a non-fancy place, to $30 for a very fancy spa, I can have anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half massage.

And the massages here?  Absolutely amazing.  Better than anything I’ve had in the US.  (To be honest, I’ve only been to Massage Envy in the US, and some therapists were better than others.  If you’re going to the one in Potomac Yard, ask for Jae – best massage I’ve had stateside.)

So Saturday after my 5 mile run, Karl and I made our way to Lotus Massage, the cheap place nearby that has massages for $12.


I go there a lot for foot massages ($8/hour), but rarely for a full body.  Definitely not a fancy spot, but relaxing (and cheap!) nonetheless. I got a Filipino Hilot massage, and they almost broke me.

It was awesome.

Sunday, it was time to go to The Spa, after months away, and try their version of the same massage.  I am entertaining a guest from DC after all, so I must show her all the good massage spots, no?  I mean, it’s only fair…

The Spa definitely does not have my favorite masseuses.  The massages are nice, but not incredible.  The Hilot was relaxing, but my muscles didn’t get the work out they got the day before (it was actually a good thing in this case, but if it had been my only massage this week, I would have been disappointed).

The Spa is the most expensive spot I’ve tried (it was $27 for the one hour of the Hilot), but unarguably, the best atmosphere in town.


Monday, I showed Steph my favorite massage spot, QiWellness.  (She’s here from Sunday-Wednesday, and my goal is to get her to have a massage every day – she’ll still spend less than a massage in DC + tip.)  They don’t have the same fancy atmosphere as The Spa, but the quality of their massages definitely makes it worth it!


I usually get either their vitality (deep pressure with stretches) or their tranquility (suuuuper relaxing) massages.  Once in a while I throw the hot stone into the mix.  You get 1.5 hours in heaven for only $23 (or $31 if you’re going for the hot stone).

I can’t recommend them enough – not only the massages are the best I’ve ever had, but their customer service is exceptional.  They know who I am.  And not just because they see me once a week, but they’ve known me since my first visit.  It’s just small enough that they’ll remember you after the first visit.

How the hell will I get back to real life once we leave Manila?  And if you’ve been here, what is your favorite massage spa?


Filed under Manila, Non-Running Stuff, Philippines

10 responses to “Massages, Massages, Massages

  1. Jane

    check out neo spa at global city. i got the lymphatic drainage massage and it was awesome.

  2. Wow! Lucky you! I need a $27 massage at a place like that. 🙂 Fantastic blog!

  3. I’m trying the Massage Envy at Potomac Yard today. I have to have a prenatal person though, so I’ll make sure and request Jae after I give birth!

  4. I liked Neo Spa. I would always do the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi. More pricey but on par with The Spa 1500 php for 90 minutes. Get your nails done at Nail Tropics at the Fort. Hope you are okay. Read your flooding account and I am so upset about all of if.

    • That’s 2 shout outs for Neo Spa — I think I’ll have to try it soon (once the weather clears, of course!) I have to try the Lomi Lomi.

      The flooding was not fun, luckily everyone is home safe now (not sure if anyone had to stay overnight, or at least not as many people as before, since I heard of others getting home this afternoon).

  5. Syeila

    Hey Carla, awesome blog! I just moved to Manila last month. My husband is also a diplomat and this is our second posting! Funnily enough, I’m living in Salcedo Village and got to know about the neighbourhood before we even moved here thanks to you!
    All the best on your next adventure in Rio and thanks again for writing such an amazing blog!

  6. greenroommiami

    Oh wow! That is a great post! I love seeing massage locations from different spots in the world. I especially like the photo underneath the lotus massage blurb.

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