The Cocoon

    Give your feet some heavenly pampering inside a dome-shaped hut, surrounded by trees

    By Amanda Lago

    The dome-shaped native hut that is The Cocoon
    Why go?
    For some serious pampering in a unique cocooning dome.

    The spa room Aptly named the Cocoon, Mandala Spa & Resort Villas' newly opened nail spa, is tucked away on the leafier side of the spa’s huge property, a five-minute walk from the main reception. It’s a small, dome-shaped native thatched hut fenced in by trees, giving a sense of utmost privacy. I feel like I’ve stumbled into a different world, a cross between Star Wars’ Endor and Avatar’s Pandora. Inside, there are two lounge chairs, for only two treatments at a time. The ceiling of the hut looks a little bit like a giant leaf, curving down as if embracing me so I actually feel like I am in a cocoon. Spa music tinkles softly in the background as the sound of rustling leaves prevail. A clean floral scent wafts through the hut, perhaps from the plumeria and hibiscus flowers placed on the tables and chairs inside the hut. 

    Reflexology chair
    My therapist Rhenz offers me a glass of water with mint and lemon, and a soothing pot of ginger and honey tea, which I sip happily as I take a seat. All other thoughts and worries fade away without me even having to try.

    Foot reflexology
    Luxe treatment 
    If anyone gives a great massage, it’s the Mandala Spa, which has won awards for its signature massages and spa treatments. Its foot reflexology treatment (P2,000 or about US $47) starts with a foot soak of warm water, epsom salt, and hibiscus petals. After a few minutes, we move on to the massage, which is done with virgin coconut oil and lemongrass lotion. More than just a foot massage to ease the muscles, Rhenz explains that foot reflexology actually targets other organs of the body by pressing certain points on the feet and lower legs. She starts by giving my right lower leg a light massage, applying gentle pressure all over before moving on to the foot, massaging each part of it thoroughly and moving the ankle around. The same is repeated on the other leg. All in all, the treatment lasts for one hour.

    On the menu. Manicures, pedicures, foot reflexology and waxing services. Vegan-friendly and toxin-free, extended wear nail polish is available too.

    The feel good factor. The Cocoon itself makes it easy to block out the rest of the world. The harmony of the music and the leaves is beautiful. The ginger tea manages to soothe and energize at the same time. And Rhenz really knows how to knead those weary foot muscles with just the right amount of pressure.

    The shortcoming. Nothing at all.

    Verdict. Highly recommended.

    The Cocoon, Mandala Spa and Resort Villas, Station 3, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, tel +6336 288 5857, +6336 288 5858, +63917 634 8430. 

    Published November 2015