Quietly situated in the hills of Antipolo is a relaxation haven called Luljetta's Hanging Gardens and Spa. As seen from the Zen lounge, the bright lights of Ortigas and Makati seems like another world away. The endless myriad of human activity on that far-away world was a stark contrast to the tranquility I was experiencing as I sat on a wooden bench. Soon, I let go of my worries and allowed the vibe of the place to bring forth a silent occupancy of my senses. In a wave of free-flowing karmic urge, the same thing was happening inside a packed MOA arena, as our Smart Gilas boys, freeing itself with fear - have finally ended a spate of unfortunate beatings against the South Koreans, with a FIBA-World clinching victory.
|Spa Therapist. Photo property of Luljetta's|
An hour later after it was my turn to lie down on the massage bed and as the experienced Spa therapist pressed parts of my back, I also rid my body of unwanted toxicity, my mind of unwavering doubts, my spirit of possessed fears and my physical self of a bad back. I fell asleep right there for what seemed like an hour until I woke up and looked around the room seeing nobody. I gently stood up and saw three of the therapists waiting for me. They smiled at me and wished me goodnight.
|Massage room. Photo property of Luljetta's|
I went there as part of a bloggers' tour organized by Mr. Ramon Mariñas of Loreland Resort, inside the resort on the side of the downward part of the hill, another resort-within-a-resort was constructed to cater to those wanting a couple of days of pampering. It was a spa-themed place enclosed by a lush and wonderfully landscaped garden named after Doña Luljetta, the matriarch of the family which owns Loreland.
|Infinity Pool below the Buddha Bar Lounge|
After walking around the place for the whole afternoon, we spent the night exchanging blogger and other social media tales, I guess when you put a group of bloggers together, the nature of conversation would always end up in "who is this blogger who slapped a PR person" territory. I merely listened to them, while I'm sure all of them are respected bloggers, we can't deny the existence of "some" bloggers who constantly gives us a bad name. Bad news for them, they become the conversation topic for the night, as laughable as their shenanigans just to grab a booty bag, we just while the night away frolicking in the hydro massage pool.
|Fish Spa: Photo property of Luljetta's|
Earlier in the evening we had dinner at "Luljetta's Hanging Restaurant" consisting of vegetable salad, crab and corn soup and Pesto pasta. We got to know each other, even though I already know some of the other bloggers like Marjorie, Melo, Aleah, Juan Manila and Azrael, I get to hear the background stories of Ruth, Jonel, The Rod Magaru, Alex for the first time and finally I get to see their real-life persona outside of their online avatars.
|Hydro Massage Pool: Photo property of Luljetta's|
The next morning we had breakfast at Verde Restaurant inside Loreland Resort and some of us went down 300 plus steps to Camptipolo Adventure Land, still a part of Loreland Resort and Luljetta's, it has a small man-made pond and other adventure obstacles and a camping ground. The place is perfect for team-building activities.
|Camptipolo Adventure land|
Afterwards, some of us bonded in the infinity pool located below the Buddha Lounge, which can be rented out for a small intimate pool party. The Buddha lounge has a room upstairs, a kitchen and bar counter by the infinity pool. This is where Ruth jokingly teased "The Rod Magaru" to someone who couldn't be named here. We were almost complete at the pool, only the newlywed Marj and Jonel (alam na) and Aleah are conspicuously missing. We were wondering if Aleah went back down Camptipolo to re-count the steps back up because she lost count of it on our way up earlier that day.
After lounging by the pool over a plateful of sliced green mangoes with bagoong, we took our turns for our foot spa session upstairs the Buddha Lounge. It was my first time to have one, so I wasn't really sure what to expect other than a lot of foot scrubbing. I found the process very relaxing, and what is probably the most abused part of our body, I reckoned my feet deserves some pampering once in a while and I promised to have more foot spa and massage in the future.
We capped the weekend by having a sumptuous lunch at Verde restaurant and I got to sit beside Ruth and ended up talking to her for the first time. Since I was shy and quiet in person, I welcome that moment of semi-privacy to get to know more about her. It was raining hard when we bid our host goodbye, and an hour later we bid each other adieu at the LRT II Santolan station. Over-all it was a great weekend, chilling in a place only an hour and a half away from Cubao. Coupled with Team Philippines' victory over South Korea it was indeed a weekend worthy of a short narrative on this travel blog.
|Luljetta's Hanging Restaurant|
For more information: Like the Facebook Page of Loreland Resorts and check the packages offered by Luljetta's Hanging Garden and Spa.