I’M Hotel Onsen Spa
One of the highlights of I’M Hotel is its “onsen” or Japanese spa. At a whopping 6 storeys high, this is the biggest spa complex in the whole country! But simply big isn’t enough. How do the facilities and the service compare?
What is an “onsen”?
Being a country very much exposed to Japanese culture, many Filipinos (millennials, especially) are aware of the “onsen”. It is generally a hot spring spa, and its waters are believed to have healing and rejuvenating properties! Bathing in an onsen helps in curing many different skin ailments, while also providing a very relaxing and uplifting experience. This is why bathing in an authentic onsen is considered one of the best parts in a tourist’s Japanese trip.
I’M Hotel’s Onsen
Thankfully, Filipinos no longer need to flock to another country in order to experience this. I’M Hotel has brought in Japanese technology in the establishment of its spa complex, ensuring a quality experience for its customers. A great plus is the fact that all facilities had the same stylish touch as the rest of the hotel!
The onsen’s service is tagged with an introductory price of Php 1,500, good for an hour of massage plus a lunch or dinner buffet at the hotel’s Bloom restaurant. Considering the quality of the service and the newness of the amenities, this is a steal!
Upon entering the spa at the appointed time, guests are are given a wrist tag and a locker key. Then, they are escorted to the second floor where the wellness suites, sauna, and lockers are. There are separate male and female wings, divided by the beautiful mermaid pool and Mermaid Bar!
In the huge locker room, we were provided our “yukata”, the traditional Japanese cotton kimono. We were also given slippers and towels for personal use. I loved this robe! I wanted one for myself, but the heavy price tag (Php 2,700) is quite prohibitive. Well, it isn’t a priority at the moment, but I sure loved it!
We then proceeded to the sauna and the steam room. After we stayed there we were led to the shower room where we rinsed off our sweat. And finally, it’s onsen time!
One of the things to note here is that you are not allowed to wear anything in the onsen. That’s right — it’s that authentic.! Luckily there was no one else bathing when I was there. The hot water was rejuvenating, and its components like iron and sulfuric acid really help.
From the hot spring, we patted ourselves dry and proceeded to the tea lounge, where there were different choices of unlimited tea! I tried the hot peppermint, but I fell in love with the cold longan tea. There’s also green tea for those who like it! They also serve dates to go with the tea.
From there, the masseuse led us to the third floor where the spa treatment is. All these, together, made for a really revitalizing experience.
And finally, there’s the buffet! The Bloom restaurant offers all-day buffet at the spa complex’s 4th floor. Helmed by Chef King Fonacier, every single thing I tasted there was top-notch! I’ll leave it for another review, but suffice it to say that the buffet alone is worth the Php 1,500.
Basic Onsen Etiquette
And as I’m sure you’re tempted to have that onsen experience, it’s important to know the basic etiquette you are expected to follow. We may not be in Japan, but these rules still apply!
- Wash yourself thoroughly in the shower, after the steam bath. Use soap if you will. This is very important! Onsen water is very clean, contributing to their therapeutic properties.
- Take care, as many surfaces are slippery.
- If your towel or yukata falls into the water, wring it outside! Tainting the onsen water is considered rude.
- The onsen is a place for quiet and relaxation, so do not swim. The waters are meant for soaking only.
- If you’re not comfortable being bare while walking around the bath, you can always use the provided towel to cover yourself. Just make sure not to bring it in the water.
- Absolutely no picture-taking!
I’M Hotel’s onsen is without doubt a luxurious affair, in keeping with the hotel’s theme. Despite this, it’s also amazingly affordable! You get a one-of-a-kind spa experience plus a full hour of massage, as well as a mouthwatering buffet. It’s the perfect way to spend a day off. And since it’s all just within the metro, you won’t have to travel far for it!