GBA Lifestyle News
Travel Guide
By Adele Wong | July 10th, 2024

Wellness is so much more than a buzzword these days — it’s a concept that occupies significant territory on many urban dwellers’ minds. Whether it’s because we’re constantly being bombarded by stimulations and stressors at work, in our external environments and even at home; or because we’re expected to be doing more of everything in modern society (more jobs, side hustles, hobbies, knowledge acquisition, parenting duties, you name it), wellness has become a veritable life category that many of us simply can’t afford to ignore.

Whether wellness means general bodily health, fitness, mental health, spiritual health, or all of the above for you, the common denominator is that most of us can’t get enough of it!

And so, we have the world of wellness retreats, which promise to deliver a one-stop wellness cure-all for those of us in need. The Farm at San Benito, a two-hour drive from Manila, aims to help you specifically achieve your own personal wellness goals — and this author got a firsthand experience via a work stay.

The Farm at San Benito
The Farm at San Benito

Having been around before “wellness” was even a thing, this 52-hectare wellness resort in the middle of a lush green forest has over the years established a respectable reputation for itself. The Farm is known for its massive, tranquil grounds and a full menu of health and wellness offerings tailored to individual needs.

Guests can choose to stay in rooms and suites here, but there are also entire villas to accommodate families and bigger groups. The Farm can host children, and kid-friendly activities and babysitting services can be organized on request.

For our particular stay, we were stationed in an elegantly styled two-bedroom Mahogany Luxury Residence, complete with private pool (a game changer, in our humble opinion).

The Farm at San Benito
The Farm at San Benito

There are four restaurants at the Farm, the flagship being vegan restaurant Alive. There’s also Indian vegetarian eatery Prana; pescetarian diner Pesce; and The Upper Deck — the only restaurant here that offers land-based meat, in the form of pasture-raised chicken. Helmed by chef Rosemarie Pagcaliwagan, the dishes at each establishment are creative and full of flavors. You will hopefully not be suffering any cravings here. (Full disclosure: the author is a vegetarian, so The Farm was actually food paradise.)

A vegan dish at Alive, The Farm.
A vegan dish at Alive, The Farm.

The Farm differs from other tropical holiday resorts in that it really is tailored specifically for wellness. Sure, there are lovely communal pools, lagoons and pavilions dotting the premises, and plenty of picture-perfect spots for those social media shots; but white sand beaches and entertainment facilities that one might otherwise expect of a sun-soaked holiday are nowhere in the vicinity. By design.

In short: it might take some getting used to. This author, for one, loved the serenity and peacefulness of the grounds.

The Farm at San Benito
The Farm at San Benito

By contrast, The Farm offers outdoor yoga classes, sound bath sessions, guided walks, juicing classes, personal training workshops, and quiet nooks for meditation. It also offers spa and holistic health treatments like the signature Hilot massage (a Filipino-style healing touch massage), body scrubs, herbal steams, and acupuncture therapy. Colonic irrigation, juice detoxes, vitamin C IV infusions, water-based therapies and a whole lot more are available as well.

The yoga and other classes are conducted at the amphitheater in the middle of a “Secret Garden”, with water, mountains and palm trees in the background. The guided walks are taken on secluded trails that loop around the resort. The personal training sessions are held at an air-conditioned indoor gym. The treatments and therapies are either performed at the tree-lined spa or the three-story medical center.

Yoga at The Farm at San Benito
Yoga at The Farm at San Benito

Administering the treatments and therapies are a team of doctors and nutritionists who can perform body composition analyses, cellular health screenings and even offer psycho-emotional guidance to give you a more comprehensive understanding of your overall well-being.

For those in need of more intense itineraries, The Farm can customize an entire wellness program for you based on the length of your stay.

During our stay, we were put on a four-day plan that included daily yoga classes, a one-day juice fast, three colon-cleansing treatments, a personal training session, meditative flower mandala-arranging workshops, hot-cold aqua therapy in a private pool, and head-to-toe spa treatments.

We also got our body checked for metabolic age and blood cell health, among other things. We even attended a private psycho-emotional clearing session that felt like a cross between therapy and guided meditation. The program was quite packed and ambitious, but at the end of it all, we did feel like quite a bit of gunk had been cleared out of our systems, both metaphorically and very literally.

Spa treatment at The Farm in San Benito
Spa treatment at The Farm in San Benito

Life can be leisurely, it can be spartan, or it can even be pushing your personal limits, when it comes to staying at The Farm. The choice is ultimately up to you, and what your goals and needs are.

Some of the services are indulgent (like the massages), some are soul-soothing (like the yoga classes and the body wraps), some are intense (like the PT sessions) and some might be a bit strange for the uninitiated (like the colon treatments that involve lots of tubes and lots of liquids), but all have the intent to heal.

Celular health screening at The Farm at San Benito
Celular health screening at The Farm at San Benito

It’s best to set your own intentions and boundaries before you embark on this journey. Do you want to detox from the digital world? Find some more me-time? Do you want to lose some weight? Gain some muscle? Do you want to feel generally healthier? Recover from an illness? How you answer these questions will inform your stay at The Farm.

At the end of the day, The Farm is meant to be a sanctuary for everyone, no matter where they are in their wellness journey.

Curious to see if The Farm’s right for you? Check out its website for more details.

 

This article was based on a media stay at The Farm.