1 of 3
Oriental Jasmine Day Spa 3
2 of 3
Oriental Jasmine Day Spa
3 of 3
Oriental Jasmine Day Spa 2
As excited as I was to be invited for a massage at the Oriental Jasmine Day Spa, little did I know that by the time I arrived at the spa I would be so bedraggled it would be exactly what I needed. Turns out my beloved left sandal couldn’t quite hack the walk from the Gótico area to Muntaner, leaving me almost barefoot and stumbling into the spa in desperate need of some TLC. Thank goodness, then, that that is exactly what I got.
The Oriental Jasmine Day Spa is a very new addition to the Barcelona pampering scene, having opened just two months ago. The spa believes in the oriental philosophy that beauty comes in three parts: the outer, the inner and the secret, meaning the spiritual grounding within. I was invited to try the traditional Filipino treatment of hilot, a deep-tissue massage using coconut oil and wild gingseng, which aims to get to the root of any recurring problems and is particularly recommended for people with upper back ache or stress and anxiety related pains. Apparently this treatment cannot be performed by just anyone; a person must have a gift to perform and heal, with their skills attributed to a higher power. It seems hilot is a treatment shrouded in ancient rituals and traditions so I was keen, as a back pain sufferer, to feel the effects.
Upon arrival, I was offered my choice of drink. I opted for Salabat, a homemade ginger tea that is said to help clear the throat and used as a remedy for coughs, indigestion, headaches and, yes, hangovers. The Filipino version of Berocca, then. I was led through an immaculately presented oriental oasis to my treatment room, painted in a deep rich terracota with candles burning and calming panpipe music floating through the air. Before beginning, my therapist asked if I had any aches and pains so I told her about my back problem, a very specific pain in my left side that I can’t seem to shake.
When the massage begins it’s legs first and I must admit that, right there and then, in my Eastern paradise, I almost fell asleep. Fortunately for you readers I was asked if I wanted it “más fuerte”, which of course I did, telling myself I’m not leaving till I’m cured! The hilot massage really does get into every single body part, even the fingers and toes. The smell of coconut and ginseng was almost intoxicating and mixed with the panpipes I forgot for the next 60 minutes about the busy roads and sticky heat just outside the door. By the end of the treatment, I felt so peaceful that it was a struggle to move.
The treatment and service at the Oriental Jasmine day spa was fantastic. However, if you are getting the hilot massage, don’t let yourself get so relaxed that you forget to remind your masseuse about any problem areas. As I was skipping down the street imagining myself in a shampoo advert I realised that my back had barely been touched at all. Basking in the experience, it had slipped my mind, which was particularly infuriating as later that night, I was once again tossing and turning as my pain crept up on me once more, and so the search for a cure continues.
To find out more about the Oriental Jasmine Day Spa, click here.