Weekends are Best Spent Like This

The city life often corrodes my drive and will to live in this ... city. I used to be really gung ho on spending weekends outside my home, walking to and fro places and getting lost even in old and familiar streets. I had one motto: I will sleep when I'm dead.

The smog, the traffic jam and lack of parking space, however, have changed all of that. And then I grew up and I found sleep to have been my regular, most extravagant luxury of all.

 This is what I mean. Traffic jams on Sunday mornings.

When Sasha invited me to a day of retreat {by retreat I mean brunch and spa =P}, I happily obliged. I have never been to the Manila Marriott Hotel, much more to its new spa, the Quan Spa. If I have any considerations when trying out new places, it would be the company {I don't want to be stuck with someone I can't tell when I don't feel like so and so} and someone who are into the same things as I am, at least even off the bat {books, chick lit, movies, Coronas and you get the drift.}Sasha proves to be the perfect spa buddy. We both like Ms. Guiliano, we like 80s and 90s movies, alternative/rock music and talking to her does not feel like perusing a Stairmaster, among many other things.So off we went.

I've long been a fan of brunches. They are such food for the tummies and the soul. When I used to live with my flat mate L, we would get up on Sunday mornings even if we partied hard on Saturday night and walk to Greenbelt and elect a restaurant to eat at before going to church. On some Sundays, it would be with my favorite Sunday brunch place {Apartment 1B} with my favorite brunch buddy, eating three cheese omelets until 3 PM.

So much has changed since then, for I hardly find myself eating brunch now. I seem to have found a new love for waking up after lunch and my first meal on Sundays are usually at 2 PM, when I have finally mustered the energy to get up from the bed. My usual brunch mates have a) moved back to a faraway place and b) moved to an even farther place where siestas are infinitely common.

It felt good to be doing old habits with new buddies.
Sunday Brunch at the Cafe Marriott is at Php 1,610.

First up: Caesar's Salad | Cafe Marriott

Sasha: Salad person ka pala?
Me: Oo, di lang halata :P

And then I turned Japanese.

And then I emerged to be my real self, that is someone
who can't NOT eat desserts.

Me: {as I skipped over to the dessert table and ignored the fruits} A fruit is not a dessert.
Sasha: Eh ano yang hawak mo, hindi ba fruit yung nasa ibabaw?
Me: Oo nga no.

After even more long talks on books, on blogging and real life perceptions, I realized we were situated in a courtyard-ish deck at the back part of the hotel. It was amazing to have found a place that did not feel like Metro Manila. There were trees, big-ass insects, mosquitoes I think {signs of a healthy greenery} and there were no traces of honking nor careening jeepneys. There were no screaming babies/toddlers, too, which have become apparent on every single coffee shop and mall in this city. Nothing against babies, really. I just find it annoying when there's not much places left anymore in this city that seems to be reserved for adults who wish to remain in solitude or quietness {and no, don't tell me to go to a casino.}

Fortunately for us, there are places not plagued by noisy kids and/or adults:

 Photo by: Sasha Manuel

Black silk top: Mango
Shorts: Cotton On
Flats: Mimosa
Belt: Rubi
Bag: CMG

Loved the fact that they're using the Filipino product line Amu'in.

Literally warm towels are <3

The showers are spacious, more spacious than any other spa shower I've seen.

Guide on getting a spa buddy: Thou should be comfortable getting half naked with them.
Photo credit: Sasha Manuel

{Their welcome drink, a fusion of lemongrass and other things was absolutely divine.}

And where one gets the treatment:

I found that this little pot of petals under your nose is the nicest touch.

 And post treatment {we had the aromatherapy massage | Php 2,010}, we spent half an hour here.

Foot-massaged patrons get to stay in these couches.

Some notes on the spa:
  • I loved that there seemed to be not too many rooms, ergo, no lines at the showers and no army of naked women at the locker rooms.
  • I believe, as it is in most spa establishments, that one should call prior to treatment and same goes for Quan Spa.
  • Quan Spa's shower rooms are directly accessible from the swimming pool so at some point, there were some pesky teenagers ruining the mood. :{
  • The staff are courteous, extremely presentable and amiable. Lots of points for that.
  • I kind of wish we stayed longer at the steam room, though.
  • Props for the individual iPods on the treatment rooms. I failed to ask if I could have Janet Jackson playing while I get kneaded and massaged to oblivion but then again I would have revoked the entire purpose.
Overall, the spa experience was your normal massage/steam room experience but I have kept on raving about this day to friends because what made it extraordinary was the fact that I was scuttled away into the not so hidden Marriott Hotel, with a good friend, lots of great conversations and good food. That to me, is always what's more important.

*Thank you, Sasha, for inviting me and for that 11 hours of fun.