It is run by the lovely and pleasant Ms. Choey, who was quick to point out that the massage oil the salon uses are organic, do not clog the pores and a project of Gawad Kalinga. True enough, after the massage, I went straight to bed (ergo: I didn’t shower), and the next morning, my face wasn’t oily at all!
Anyhow, that’s getting ahead of my story.
Mon and I were delighted by the salon’s interior: it was decorated in white and light teal. I thought the counter was chic too. The inside was even better: the hallway was lined with floor candles and there were beach chairs for the after-massage tea. It was obvious that the owner put a lot of thought down to the very little details — I cannot pinpoint anything that was bad about the place (lol!) — and at this point, I knew the service was going to be great.
The private room is small and bathed in blue light. A locker is available under the bed for storage.
I asked for a Swedish massage, which lasts for 60 minutes for P400. Other massages available are Shiatsu, Combination of Swedish and Shiatsu, Dry Massage, and the intriguing and what could be an orgasmic Four-Hand Massage: as in a couple gets to massage you!!! That costs P800 for 60 minutes and a little too kinky for my taste 😛 so we just settled for the traditional one.
You know how you tell the masseuse you want it hard but she tends to just “pat” your body? At Agua, when you say “hard” then she really gives it to you hard. I also think their Swedish is akin to our own traditional hilot; she didn’t stop massaging my back and shoulders until there was no more lamig (those gentle crackles and ripples in your joints and muscles).
After the massage, we lounged in the chairs and we were served Chai Tea Latte, which was superb. It was way better than Starbucks’ and comparable to Coffee Bean’s. Mon said he absolutely enjoyed his massage too, which means mine wasn’t a fluke (meaning, I didn’t just happen to get the good masseuse out of the bunch). He also found it so relaxing he dozed off for a few minutes after the massage.
Overall, it was heavenly: I will absolutely go back when I return to Cebu. It is also infinitely better than the salons/spas that have sprouted in the villages of Makati.
I’m not sure what time Agua opens, but it doesn’t close until 4 a.m. It offers room service for those staying at Maxwell but I suggest going to the salon itself as the ambiance and service are truly excellent.
Agua is located at Maxwell Hotel, N. Escario St., Cebu City, with telephone number (63 32) 412.2277