Many spas offer to cleanse us of the stresses of modern life. Yet only a few can give a truly detoxifying experience the way The Farm at San Benito does. The man who ensures that San Benito lives up to its commitment is its general manager, Michael Di Lonardo.
Michael has spent more than 30 years in hospitality management. From Waldorf-Astoria in New York to Amanpuri in Phuket, to the Vigilius Mountain Resort in the Italian Alps, and now The Farm at San Benito in Lipa, Batangas, Michael knows how to put guests at ease.
As The Farm’s GM, he oversees everything—the detox programs, therapists, staff and award-winning raw vegan food. His creativity, skills and leadership helped earn The Farm the 2012 Senses Wellness Award for Best Medical Wellness Resort worldwide—its second so far.
When you’re running a sanctuary like The Farm, serious business can also be pure pleasure. Key to this is Michael’s philosophy of “promoting wellness from within.”
My most fulfilling experience while managing The Farm was… when our white peacock, Nirvana, was hatched, six months after I started working here. Because I believe in omens and spirits, I took that as the greatest of good omens.
A new project I’ve been busy with is… our latest book, “Cleanse,” with Jennifer Hazen and Luca Tettoni. It is based on the historical study of the Tonsorial parlor of a century ago. I want to expand the wellness and health options for men outside of a hospital setting.
The most notable events hosted by The Farm were… the two visits of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the guru of The Art of Living Foundation. It’s a compliment to know that we motivate the motivators!
My favorite quote from a guest after staying at The Farm is… “It was a life-changing experience… and I came with my wife kicking and screaming.”
A shot of wheatgrass
My daily diet includes… a shot of wheatgrass each morning, and my blood is like candy for a vampire! Lately I’ve been fascinated with fermented food of all kinds; they supply 100 times more good bacteria for our digestive systems. Kimchi, achara (no sugar), or any of the Japanese fermented vegetables are great. And also some good Italian wine.
My favorite saying is… “All things in moderation… including moderation.”
A staple in my bathroom is… The Farm’s Handmade Coco Soap. Patchouli is my favorite scent. Premium Virgin Coconut Oil for shaving and moisturizing. I shampoo with Kiehl’s and Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger.
When I’m in the city, I get my hands on products like… Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, Kiehl’s Amino Acid Shampoo, and Hermes Poivre Samarcande Cologne.
To relax, I indulge in… Purification Treatment. Found only at The Farm, the treatment is body balancing, relaxing and polishes away dead skin cells while stimulating the lymph system to remove toxins.
The Farm is all about healing, wellness, beauty and fitness in a posh, eco-friendly location. Try Michael’s favorite products from The Farm: The Farm’s Virgin Coconut Oil at P385 per 100-ml bottle. It’s 100-percent natural from fresh, mature coconuts. Applied topically, VCO alleviates eczema and other mild skin ailments such as diaper rash. As a massage oil, it is quickly absorbed by the skin and does not leave a sticky film behind. Available in scented massage variants Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Rosemary and Lemongrass. Handmade Coco Soaps come in different scent variants at P125 per 120-gram bar.
Call 8848074; 0917-5722240; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.thefarm.com.ph.
Shop 12, G/F, The Peninsula Manila, Makati City
The Farm is at San Benito, 119 Brgy. Tipakan, Lipa City, Batangas
Michael’s choice products come from Rustan’s, The Farm, and Kiehl’s boutiques nationwide.