Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Island Spa @ Rustan's Makati (A Spa, Massage Therapy Review from a Spa Connoisseur)

Island Spa @ Rustan's Makati (A Spa and Massage Therapy Review from a Spa Connoisseur)
by Eunice

November 05, 2010- What is different about my visit today at Island spa?
1. Towels- Obviosuly, hindi sila nag titipid ng towels. I love the warm towels applied on my back during the session and afterwards: application of warm towels on my arms, legs and foot.
2. The ginger tea they offered. Refreshing and delicious.
3. The therapist kept on asking to be excused everytime someone is at the reception area because they lack staff.
4. I have taken photos of the nice room we were in.

Here you go my latest thoughts on Island spa.

May 06, 2010- I was at Greenbelt 4 Makati and was aching for another spa-ing or "me" time. Although I only have three hours to spare, I opted to shop for another spa that I can blog about and hopefully, it would be worth blogging about (hehehe). I have been in and out of many spas, facial and beauty centers but one of my weakness is having to sit down and write my thoughts while I am enjoying my session. You have to agree with me that its diffucult to write your thoughts and enjoy the session at the same time. Mahirap kaya yun. But for this day, I chose to give myself a break, just relax and take it easy on my writing. It is worthy to note that prior to this consumer review I have already visited different spas but do not intend to write about it (yet) because I am giving them the chance to improve their services as they did not pass (in my personal opinion) professional standards of what a real or authentic spa is like. So instead of blurting out my disgust (or yelp about it), I will choose to be quiet and hunt for spas, massage clinics and wellness centers that are worthy of blogging about. Hopefully in the near future when I return to these spas, massage clinics and wellness center establishments they would have improved and perhaps that would be the time when I could blog about it.

Since the old spa (near a gym) where I frequent to whenever I am in Greenbelt is now closed and have transferred to another location, I promtly asked from the concierge for the nearest spa and they said it is located at the 5th level of Rustan's Department store, the Island Spa. Okay, so off I went to this upper level of Rustan's to venture into my spa cravings. As geographically challenged as I am, the location is quite difficult to find if you are coming from the Greenbelt area. Its also right near Belo Medical Group's center- maybe next time I will visit Belo instead.

Location and Ambiance

The location is quite difficult to find (no wonder I can only see a few people coming upstairs) . The ambiance is Thai-themed but amidst the Thai ambiance, their services do not include a Thai massage. It's called a spa but in reality, it's not a spa but a massage clinic or center as they do not offer any spa services only massage therapies. They also call their establishment Island spa but do not include different types of island-ish massage therapies. So much for branding huh?

I like the peppermint-ish scent of the candle when I entered and the serene atmosphere, realizing that we are on the fifth level and only a very few people are seen on this side of the mall. The ambiance is more relaxing than that of spas located in SM malls. The ambiance of the whole small floor where these medical spas and beauty centers are located emanates an aura of elegance and exclusivity. Good for those who would like to take a nap during their session. The big minus is that Island Spa do not have any toilets or wash rooms inside their massage center so when I asked where the toilet is at, they said you have to go outside of Island spa and walk a couple of feet away just right beside the alley around the Belo Medical group- so I asked the staff  "are there times where clients would ask to be excused for a bladder break wearing the spa robe?" and they said "yes ma'am- the guards outside know that you came from here- so no problem you can go to the bathroom" but for me (personally speaking) it's kinda awkward because you have to pass by the clinic of Belo and a coffee shop where people are taking "tea time". Oh well, luckily for me, during that time I do not have to take a bladder break until after my session was over.

Another disadvantage is that the rooms are separated only by open partitions so if there are a lot of clients simultaneously taking their session and one client happens to be a blabber- naku lagot- everyone will be able to eavesdrop from their conversation. But good thing I went right after lunch time (around 1 pm) so there isn't one client except me- so I have the privilege of having the spa all by myself.

I like that the flooring in between the rooms are made of stones and makes it appeal like you are not inside a mall but in a resort spa somewhere in Thailand.

I also like the back ground sound and music, soothing and similar to old Chinese themes.

Hygiene, Cleanliness and Sanitation

The sheets seem to be clean as the massage recliners are all covered in white and does not seem to have any funny smell. Generaly hygiene and cleanliness passed my standards. The toilets outside the Island spa is clean and neat- as we expect from upscale mall spas around the city.

The Menu of Services

When I looked at their services they have the following in their menu and the prices are very reasonable:
1. Chinese Therapeutic Foot Massage starting at 30 minutes duration for only 375 Pesos to 2 hours for 1,115 pesos (approximately U$D22). I wonder how many techniques there are for a 30 minutes and a two hour session (?). Maybe next time when I am within the vicinity, I will be able to try this one out.

2. Foot and Back Massage for 1 hour and 15 minutes = 800 pesos (approximately U$D16.00). Come to think of it, I should have chosen this as my back and shoulders were stiff that time (as it always was)...hehehe...

3. Full Body Massage which is composed of Swedish and Shiatsu techniques. They have one hou, 1.5 hours and two hours valued at 690 pesos (approximately U$D14), 970 pesos (approximately U$D20) and 1,190 pesos (approximately U$D24) consecutively.

4. Aromatherapy massage priced at 1,145 pesos (approximately U$D 23) for 1.5 hours.

5. Hot Stone Massage priced at 1,200 pesos (approximately U$D24) for 1.5 hours.

6. Foot and body combination at 1.150 pesos (approximately U$D23) for 2 hours- this one was what the staff recommended so I took it. because I am that greedy about massage as I am greedy about taking the knots out of my shoulders and back.

7. Express Back Massage at 375 pesos (approximately U$D8) for 30 minutes- this is the cheapest/least expensive massage they offer.

They also offer coupon booklets for five thousand and ten thousand pesos (approximately U$D100 to U$D 200) which contains 10 and 20 pieces of marked down prices coupons for massage. So if you already are their loyal client and you live near the area, I suggest you go for this value coupons. All in all, their menu is limited to massage therapy, do not expect any spa services even if they claim to be a spa, they do not have any hydrotherapy services or even remotely spa-ish services. Technically, this is not considered a spa but a massage center or massage clinic.

They accept credit cards for payment which is a good thing.

Staff and Decorum

The front desk and staff were nice and helpful. She also asked me if I would have my tea in my room or in the reception vis a vis lounge area. Someone also assisted me when I got lost trying to find the comfort room outside....hehehe....I told you, I am geographically challenged.

The massage therapist assigned to me was also accommodating. But she should go beyond the basic motions of the massage and actually work with your individual body to help not only relax but work towards healing you. They should be receptive to your personal preferences and needs. For someone like me, whose back is filled with really intense knots and carries a ton of stress around, this sort of attention and care is absolutely imperative.

Massage session and techniques

Since I choose Foot and Body Massage combination here is what I experienced:

The staff ushered me to a small room with a recliner for massage and then asked me to change and put on the robe and shorts, she then prepared the foot soak while I was changing then started with an herbal foot soak. Literally it has leaves on the foot soak and I like the feeling because of the hot tub of water with soothing herbs. It was similar to an herbal foot rub I experienced in Thailand except that in Thailand they do not put plastic or cellophane on their foot spa machines. Here the foot spa machine was covered with cellophane/plastic for ease and convenience of cleaning it up afterwards. While soaking my feet for five minutes or so, she also placed a warm massage pillow on my shoulders, making me start the session with ease and comfort. The warm pillow smelled like guava leaves though and I like the smell. The usual massage techniques that were used was nothing exemplary. It took around 30 to 45 minutes all in all. If you are well-versed with massage techniques, this is just an ordinary foot and leg massage nothing more to it.
Then came the time for the body massage proper. She asked me to stand up first while she moved the recliner downwards and put on the face rest. Then I was set to go for my body massage. She started with my legs upwards to other parts of the body. The feeling that it's systematic but not personalized. For me (as a massage therapist myself and a spa consultant), I am very particular about massage therapists who listen to the body's muscle movements while they knead. Its not only the spa or massage ritual that counts. They have to listen to the body not just execute techniques. Overall, the massage was just okay nothing exemplary. It's a combination of Swedish and Shiatsu massage with a bit of stretching.

What I like about the session though is the application of hot pack on my back while massaging on the supine position what I do not like is that I have to rise up and about again for her to be able to change the recliner suited for a supine position.

Overall rating = 80%
They have two branches: Main branch is located at Island Foot and Body Wellness 2/F Jupiter place 136-138 Jupiter st. Bel-Air Makaticity
Tel. Nos. 899-1234 or 7518296

For this visit and blog, I was at Island Spa
5th level, Rustan's Makati
Tel. No. 7108588
Sorry, they do not have any website or email address.

Guidelines in the writing of this spa/massage clinic review were observed, click on the link below to read about my guidelines:

The most comprehensive resource and information guide on the list of training centers, magazines, publications, books and literatures both local and international are all available in the book, “The Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource Guide and Career Book”. The First Book on Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource Book and Career Guide
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This review was written by: Eunice Estipona a spa consultant, mentor, advisor, speaker and lecturer. One of her advocacies is to make healing and information regarding the field of spa, massage and wellness accessible and affordable to everyone. If you are serious about turning your business or practice around, making the right decisions, getting an unbiased opinion and knowing where to get help, for lectures and other concerns she can be contacted at or +639184745685. To find out how she can help you take your business to the next level, visit her site at

These along with hundreds of resources found locally and abroad are contained in “The Spa, Massage and Wellness Resource and Career Book”, the first book of resource information to know more about the Spa, Massage and Wellness Industry in the Philippines and other countries including the United States, Australia and other Asian countries. You can view, read, download and print for FREE the book’s summary at this link

If you are a spa, massage therapy and wellness information seeker the resources contained in the book for you. This book is a collection of data and valuable information regarding the spa and massage industry in a global perspective with a focus on the Philippines. Her advocacy in writing the book is to make “unbiased” information regarding the field of spa, massage and wellness resources and career, accessible and affordable for everyone. If you are considering a career in the massage, spa and wellness industry, this book will prepare you and give you a glimpse of what it is like, the preparation you need to take: emotionally, intellectually and financially. In this book, you will learn more details in the spa and massage field and the possible paths you can take. You will also learn about local and international training programs offered and numerous employment possibilities. Giving you much needed information at your fingertips. You can order it from or for local Philippine residents, you can email and get in touch with Eunice at


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Anonymous said...

Went for a massage at Island Spa Makati last Saturday. Therapist had cold and sweaty hands! I will not go back to that place again. Waste of money! It is unfortunate that they do not have a website or email address for customers to give their feedback.

yunesa said...

I hope you gave them your feedback. Yes unfortunately, they do not have website. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Really good post!

Spa In Makati said...

"It is unfortunate that they do not have a website or email address for customers to give their feedback." <-- this problem also happens in other spa as well! it's hard for us to complain if they don't have any website.

maybe i should create a section in my site for review/feedback for Spa In Makatiand other places aswell..hmm... what do u think yunesa?

yunesa said...

Hello Spa in Makati,

I think of the biggest mistakes spas make is not to have any feedback from their clients. A listening ear will be much appreciated and goes a long long way for spas to really know what is going on in their operations.

Yes, I think you should ....

Hope this helps.