Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beyond Bath Organics at The Manila Hotel Spa

My sister and I were invited to the Beyond Bath Organics launch which was held at The Manila Hotel Spa last July 27, 2010. Alex and I are a strange duo. She's a fashion blogger (even though she's actually a multimedia artist) and I usually cover art exhibits (even though my top Google entry is about a beauty product), so it's quite  rare for us to be at the same event.

We were welcomed by a curiously dressed attendant. I badly wanted to take a photo of him -- I thought his outfit was adorable -- but I felt a bit shy. I was also absent-minded enough to forget Shin-Chan2 at home, so I was at the mercy of Alex's Canon 30D (dSLR). I could probably work better with her kit lens, but she had brought along her 50mm lens (f/1.8 II).

Anyway, the moment we entered The Manila Hotel Spa lounge, I gasped at the interiors. It was so Filipino! I'm guessing most of the furniture were made of rattan and hard wood.

There were basins and baskets of Beyond Bath's different lines and they were arranged so neatly. Incidentally, I was recovering from fever and a whiff of the products (or maybe it was the awe) had me feeling so much better.

We were later led into a small room, where foot massages usually take place, and GlobalXChange Corporation's representatives explained what Beyond Bath Organics is all about. Okay, I'll spare everyone the nosebleed-inducing list of natural ingredients and just concentrate on the magic words that certainly piqued my interest: "Free of paraben, mineral oil and alcohol." The brand is certified organic by Greentech, which is one of Europe's authorities in natural and organic cosmetics. Furthermore, Beyond Bath has partnered with Bantay Kalikasan in preserving the La Mesa forest. That tidbit had me applauding the team behind this.

Beyond Bath Organics will be exclusively distributed by the A.S. Watson Group, which means that these are going to be super affordable and highly accessible. I've frequently lamented on how organic products are not only expensive, but also difficult to find. Well, that will no longer be a problem since Watsons is everywhere.

It was emphasized that Beyond Bath products are supposed to make bathing a leisurely ritual. Three regimens were introduced: the Stress-busting Sunflower, Perk-Me-Up Energizing Grapefruit and the Stimulating and Lightening Nature Glow. Everything smelled great and Jared de Guzman, Watsons Brand Manager, assured me that none of the notes used here are synthetic. This means that whatever it is that I smell, it's the natural scent of the fruits.

After the brief seminar, we were given refreshments (grapefruit and orange juices) and then led to a room with two beds. They were nice enough to put me and my sister in one room with two female attendants. Again, I was awed by the beauty of its interiors. Even the lavatories looked like you could actually dine in them. Seriously!


The women left us alone so we could shower and change into our robes, but Alex and I spent most of that time taking photos. Two pictures above is where I had my feet scrubbed and massaged with the Beyond Bath Grapefruit Rejuvenating Sugared Body Scrub. My sister, who sat across me, had the same service.

Uh, yeah...can you tell I really loved the interiors?

Anyway, after the relaxing foot scrub, we were prepped nicely on the bed and were given an hour-long full body massage. That was a heavenly experience. Not only were the attendants very pleasant, the grapefruit's scent also wafted gently around my senses. I felt the aches and pains slowly ease away.

When we were done, the attendants excused themselves so that Alex and I could change back. They returned with fruits and tea a few minutes later.

Halfway through the refreshments, we were told that a buffet was waiting for us at the Ginza Restaurant. I turned to my sister and said, "Uh, I don't think we should finish all of these if we want more room for that buffet."

Ginza is The Manila Hotel's Japanese restaurant. The buffet feast, however, was composed of Chinese, Japanese and French dishes. I'm not complaining, though. The food was pretty good.

This is my frustrated attempt at mastering Alex's 30D. I couldn't get the depth of field I wanted. I was blurring parts I didn't want blurred and sharpening parts I thought weren't that important. (Staring at these is making me awfully hungry again, though.)

Ah dessert! I've always been partial to tarts and French pastries. Actually, there were more selections at the buffet table but I had finished off my plate before I remembered to take photographs. As usual.

Anyhoo, it was a lovely experience overall. I discovered two things: (1) an inexpensive alternative to imported organic products, and (2) that The Manila Hotel's seemingly unappealing exteriors belie the wondrous textures of its newly renovated interiors.

I went home with a bag of Beyond Bath Organics Sunflower line. Pictured here, from left to right: Soothing Hand and Body Lotion, Soothing Soap-Free Body Wash, Soothing Body Butter, Nurturing Conditioner and Nurturing Shampoo. The product description reads: "Relax your mind and body with the fresh scent of sunflower that can give you that sunny and happy feeling. Get transported to endless fields of flowers and blissful summer days."

There are so many things I want to say (and stuff I actually forgot to say), but I'll just lead you over to my sister's blog, since we share the same sentiments about Stratigem's events and some of the ingredients I wanted to question.

Alex wrote about her side of the story here:
http://www.reluctantstylista.com/article/ootd-and-my-beyond-bath-spa-day-at-the-manila-hotel

You can learn more about Beyond Bath Organics here:
http://www.beyond-bath.com



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3 comments :

  1. The food photos turned out pretty nicely, I think! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. another item to add to my "things to do when i get home" list - go to a spa :)

    fun! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Alex
    I still couldn't get the kind of depth of field that I want but they sure still make me hungry.

    @Papavik
    Let's go to The Manila Hotel Spa sometime. Although for purposes of weekly or monthly relaxation, let's go to Wensha (budget friendly haha).

    There's one other spa that I want to try. Animetric wrote about it a few months ago.

    ReplyDelete

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