Budji Layug+Royal Pineda redefines Tagaytay spa
Qi Spa has been designed with the physical universe—the earth, sky, mountains—visualized as a unit. It makes the natural environment visible in a simplified form.
Viewed from any perspective, it is visually bold; its impact does not come from refined finishes or luxurious materials.
But it is not only the Budji Layug+Royal Pineda Design Architects that takes its cue from the natural setting. The concepts of a spa and a teahouse have also been integrated, so that, in its totality, it is indeed a little universe in itself.
From the outside, it is a simple concrete structure. But past its red wooden doors with brass lionhead knockers, you enter a stage—a cosmic stage—and you become the actor; you are part of a new world. The mountains and the volcano with its crater lake seem so close to heaven, and immediately you sense their heavenly energies: yin and yang in its many variations.
It is not only a view. It is a vista, a hybrid Chinese scroll. And while you are deciding on what role you want to play—dowager, wushu princess or royal son of heaven—the background music of guzheng, a Chinese zither, and the roof of a temple that you spy from the reception area, make you decide you want to be pampered first.
The structure is made mainly of concrete and stone with dramatic black-and-white veined marble slate cladding for a seven-meter-high water wall cascading to a pool of koi. The simplicity of its design needed only two materials to unify all the areas.
Built on a slope, the levels are oriented downward, so that the first level is the dining and reception area, where large-scale Ming-design Chinese furniture provides an effective interior design for the airy open plan.
The next level is where the unglazed ceramic- and clay-roofed teahouse and outdoor dining area are located. This level houses the spa’s complete facilities, with interiors designed to make you feel calm and in the right mood for a soothing wellness massage.
The last level features the bathhouse, a yin-yang pool and the steam rooms. Rooms on this level have en suite steam generators. A look that is modern and graphic, while being organic and natural, has been achieved. Spaces flow from one area to another.
The only concession to color is red, an auspicious color in the Chinese color wheel. Here, it is used sparingly, also as accents that match perfectly well with all the gray concrete.
Dining in the restaurant is by reservation only. You can choose a six-course or eight-course lunch or dinner. The food has French and Asian leanings served degustation-style and is innovative while still being accessible.
Tea or cocktails are available at the teahouse and outdoor dining area. Music is top-rate, with Chinese lounge at the teahouse, and traditional Chinese classical music in the spa.
Call Qiwellness Living at tel. nos. 5561818, 8363688 or 0916-7936666.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.