- The Farm at San Benito: The Best Eco-Luxury Medical Wellness Resort in Asia
- Detox in Nature: Wellness program at the Farm at San Benito
- Cebu City to Moalboal: everything you need to know
The Farm at San Benito is one of the world’s best holistic wellness retreats and it’s about 2 hours south of Manila. I have previously been to many sustainable resorts and also went to active retreats, so this time I’m excited to combine both and experience a medical wellness program in the lush grounds of the Farm at San Benito.
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About the Farm at San Benito
The Farm at San Benito is located in Lipa City, Batangas, which is only a 90-minute drive from Manila, but it feels like a world away. The resort is surrounded by 52 hectares of green jungle and mountains, and it has everything you need for a relaxing and rejuvenating stay.
The resort has been awarded for its eco-luxury and holistic medical wellness services, and it follows a philosophy of five pillars: Diagnose, Cleanse, Nourish, Repair, and Sustain. It has a team of certified medical and wellness experts who can help you design a personalized plan for your health goals, using natural and science-based therapies.
You can also enjoy a range of activities, such as yoga, meditation, sound healing, spa treatments, gym workouts, organic farm tours, and more.
What sets the Farm at San Benito apart is its focus on holistic medical wellness, combining the medical aspect of healthcare with holistic practice, farm-to-table food, and the hospitality of a resort.
It is ideal for people looking for time to detox, address health problems and concerns, to eat healthy delicious food, and pay attention to their health goals. It is less for active fitness boot camp but rather for health and balance.
Rooms in the Farm at San Benito
The Farm has 33 spacious rooms, suites, and villas, all offering a secluded sanctuary in the centre of the jungle, overlooking the mountains. They are all decorated with a mix of native and modern decor, using natural materials and eco-friendly amenities. Some of them have private pools, balconies, or courtyards. We stayed at the Garden Villa which is perfect for nature lovers.
The Garden Villa is its own little oasis with a wooden gate entrance leading to a small courtyard. There is a forest-facing balcony with two lounge chairs and a spacious bedroom with a seating area.
The bathroom is the star of the show with a bright setting, wardrobe, and an outdoor bathtub and shower.
They also provide organic coconut shampoo, conditioner, soap, and even scrub!
Nara Pool Villa
We also had a look inside their Nara Pool Villa, which is on the other side of the property with a private plunge pool and more spacious and modern interior.
The freestanding bathtub is inside and there is a nice reading nook and two sinks as well.
The best part of the resort is the wellness program that they offer. All guests are offered complimentary medical consultation and most people opt to enroll in a program to maximise the wellness retreat.
Note: if you’re here for less than 4 days and not in a program, you’ll likely just do the guest survey instead of the below steps.
Choose your program
For the package, they have integrative doctors who can help you choose from a variety of programs depending on your needs, such as detoxification, weight management, diabetes prevention, heart health and stress management. They also have a holistic cancer care program that supports conventional treatments with natural therapies.
You start with a tele-call with the doctors to talk about your goals and problems. The program will be adjusted base on the consultation and examination on day 1 of arrival.
I did a light version of the holistic detox program for 5D4N, you can read more about it here.
Food at the Farm at San Benito
The Farm believes that whole-food and plant-based eating is the way forward, as the human body is designed to experience daily nourishment through nature. That’s why they have three restaurants that serve vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian dishes made with fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. They also have their own bakery that makes fresh bread every day.
I’m not usually a fan of vegan food, but I have to say that the food here was delicious and satisfying. They have everything from burgers to salads to soups to desserts, and they even have their own coconut oil that they use for everything from bathroom amenities to spa treatments to cleaning materials.
Note: the restaurants are Halal certified.
2nd note: if you’re on a detox diet, you will be on a juice cleanse most of the stay so be warned – don’t go with friends who are not on a detox diet too!
ALIVE! Eatery is a vegan restaurant. They have a great selection of soups, salads, starters, pizza and burgers, and a selection of east and west mains. Some of my favourite are the vegetable with lemongrass soup, roast vegetable soup, fresh pomelo salad, and the roast cauliflower pizza.
Their cheese are cashew cheese made with activated yeast and it’s quite good. There’s also a selection of vegan desserts – don’t miss the cake display in the outdoor area. I absolutely loved the chocolate cupcake.
Prana is their Ayurveda concept restaurant adjacent to ALIVE! Eatery. They have an Indian menu which we hadn’t tried but it also looks very good.
Pesce is the pescatarian restaurant at the Farm at San Benito and also where breakfast is served every morning. They have a range of seafood options inspired by the Mediterranean diet. They have a sharing seafood platter and even hot pot as well as various grilled options on prawns, lobsters, tuna steak, grouper fillet etc. We tried their miso soup and seafood ginger soup, with Kung Pao Prawn as our main and a side of rice. Everything was very delicious.
Sustainability at the Farm at San Benito
The Farm is an eco-socially responsible business and a true green destination that minimizes its carbon footprint by serving farm-to-table vegan cuisine. Which, apart from being beneficial to people’s health, has also been proven to be good for the environment. The Farm has developed a 15,000-square-meter organic farm where everything grown on the land has been designed to fit The Farm’s culinary needs.
You can join in on their heli-farm tour (as the farm is near the helipad), although due to the slippery road it is not possible if it has been raining. We saw the coconut farm as well and all their coconut oil toiletries are made from coconut harvested here.
The Farm also supports the local community by providing employment opportunities, education programs, medical assistance, and environmental awareness campaigns. They also use renewable energy sources such as solar panels and biogas generators to power their facilities.
The Farm at San Benito grounds
The lush ground of the Farm at San Benito is worth a roam itself. Before the resort opened, it was a farm itself and is still surrounded by farmlands.
There are 3 swimming pools scattered around and various hidden walking paths and secret gardens. The central part of the grounds consists of the area between Pesce Restaurant to the Holistic Sanctuary, and you can clock in a good 10k steps per day if you opt to walk around instead of calling for a buggy.
You’ll also find peacocks and geese roaming the ground! And also see a few cats around.
600 years old Mango Tree
The heart of the Farm at San Benito’s ground is a 600 years old mango tree. It’s absolutely magical at night (and where the residence peacocks go to sleep) with lanterns hanging.
Note: apparently a part of the tree still bears mango but only once or twice a year!
The main pond is across from the yoga pavilion with two water fountains that turns on during the day.
The Secret Garden is a mini maze between the pond and the main road from Holistic Sanctuary to Healing Sanctuary. It makes for a wonderful walk and I enjoy figuring out where each paths lead.
The Farm at San Benito has 3 pools and is also in the process of building another main pool. Guests who are on aqua program will have their exercises at the Aqua Sanctuary and not any of these main pools.
Hidden Waterfall is hidden inside the Secret Garden and took me a little while to find. It’s surrounded by tall trees and therefore can be a bit cold!
The infinity pool at the Healing Sanctuary is straight out of a fairy tale and looks even better at night.
The South Pool is inside the Pesce restaurant and is actually the least used. We went there before lunch and had it all to ourselves. Of course, you get to see it every morning as well.
Activities in the Farm at San Benito
There are many activities going on at the Farm at San Benito – all wellness related, of course! You can ask the reception on arrival for the activity calendar, which changes every week.
You can use the app to make a reservation (which you can download and scan your room number on arrival.
Daily Yoga at the pavilion
Every morning at 7:30am and 10:30pm there is a yoga or wellness class that lasts an hour each. It ranges from a gentle Vinyasa to chair yoga and even qigong. I’ve tried several and it’s a nice way to start the morning. But for those who prefer more active form of yoga, it might be a bit too gentle.
Sound healing is a relaxing one hour class that happens once or twice per week and a relaxing and zen experience. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it’s a first come first serve class.
Mandala Flower Arrangement
Mandala flower arrangement takes place at the Healing Sanctuary and is a very healing activity, too. It can only take place during drier weather and you get to put a pattern on water and it’s a fun meditative exercise whether on your own or with friends or a partner.
The heli-farm visit starts at 7am at the reception, but it doesn’t run if it rains. So you can drop by first then head to the yoga if it’s not running!
If you want a guided walk of the entire ground it happens every day in the afternoon and you only need to wait at the reception.
Live Food Prep at ALIVE! Eatery
The live food prep is a weekly showcase of the vegan food that is prepped at the ALIVE! Eatery. It’s an insight into the kitchen of ALIVE! Eatery and you get to try the snacks.
Final words on my stay at The Farm at San Benito
The Farm at San Benito is definitely one of the best resorts I’ve ever stayed at and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a life-transforming healing holiday in a sustainable way. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny. You’ll leave feeling refreshed, energized, and happy.
Have you ever stayed at a holistic medical wellness resort? Let me know in the comments below!