No, this isn’t a resort in Bali, Indonesia. This outdoor nature spa with a spectacular view, just a few kilometers away from Manila, is proudly Filipino.
Written By Chelsea Gogola
Photographed By Ron Mendoza of Studio 100
Up in the mountains of Antipolo lies Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa, the first and only in the country.
By hanging, it really does mean that the spa—with its pools and massage huts—and the flourishing flora surrounding it, are all located on the side of the cliff. Having withstood several storms unscathed, Luljetta’s management assures its clients that the place is safe. And its location, which gives a stellar view of vast greenery and the city far off in the distance, is what makes the place amazing!
Getting here will take some time and you’ll probably need the help of the navigation app Waze, but you’ll be astonished when you see what’s hiding just a few kilometers outside of Metro Manila. The facilities sprawl across three hectares of land, so expect to break a sweat climbing stairs to get to the best areas.
There are air-conditioned massage rooms, but couples or groups can have the full experience by getting massages in the huts. The spa is known for its water amenities, such as the sauna, heated jacuzzi, hydro massage pools and the Dr. Fish Spas (where fish nibble on your feet to remove dead skin). There’s also the favorite photo spot: an infinity pool that provides a commanding view of Manila.
There’s the Hanging Restaurant, where guests can have pre-packaged meals; and several lounges including Buddha’s Lounge, a beautifully decorated hut overlooking the infinity pool. In fact, everything in the spa is beautifully decorated with materials that the owners collected from their trips around the country. From the table cloth fabric sourced from Zamboanga to the furniture from Pampanga, almost everything here is Filipino made.
There’s a welcome snack that is inclusive in every package, suman (sweet sticky rice cake) topped with cashews and mangoes (food that Antipolo is known for), and cold lemongrass tea served in the café. After having the filling snack, I donned a batik robe and slippers and headed to my first treatment: Red Wine Scrub (P1,450 for 1 hour).
I was given a tube and shorts set to wear instead of my underwear because the scrub really gets you soaked. My masseuse scrubbed my body with an all-natural mixture of red wine, honey, olive oil and sugar. She then mummified me using banana leaves to help skin seep in moisture. My hair got a minty and relaxing conditioning treatment that left it silky. After a few minutes, my masseuse removed the leaves and washed my hair and body. Then, I towel dried and moved onto the dry bed next to me. This is where she massaged body butter onto my body.
My next treatment was Luljetta’s SignatureMassage (P700 for 1 hour), a combination of Swedish, Shiatsu and Reflex massage techniques. On the floor, right under my face, was a bowl of peppermint essence that relaxed me with its smell. The masseuse applied just enough pressure. And I got such a sense of relief hearing my joints crack.
After the massage, I had a four course meal at the restaurant which was the perfect end to my day of pampering. I heartily recommend Luljetta for couples or groups of friends who want a spa experience as close to nature as it can get.
Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens and Spa is located at Loreland Farm Resort Brgy. San Roque, Antipolo City; tel. (02)570 2532; visit