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Spa Riviera – Iloilo’s Spa Pioneer

Spa Riviera's Services -- Photo by Spa Riviera

Going to the spa counts among my guilty pleasures as a woman. I love getting a massage, and if the massage comes with a free foot scrub or whatever else, all the better for me!

Iloilo City, unbeknownst to many, is home to quite a few spas. One great thing about this fact is that the spa services in Iloilo are among the most affordable.

The first spa to ever open in Iloilo was the product of a woman’s perseverance and God’s favor upon her life.

Spa Riviera founder and proprietor Anna Marie Rivera-Wharton never thought that she’d one day be the owner of a successful chain of spas. But because of her faith in God and perseverance through life’s troubles, God blessed the determined lady with open doors.

Spa Riviera started out as a personal service business that Anna “Babes” Rivera created. At the time, she was a single mom and needed to find a good way to raise her daughter. Her home massage services proved to be a lucrative business, and soon she had a growing number of happy, satisfied home spa clientele.

Apparently, God was not satisfied seeing her reach her peak as a one-woman mom and pop operation. By a twist of circumstances, a miracle happened: an investor wanted to partner with her and volunteered to fund a bigger venture. In a whirlwind of miracles and favor, Spa Riviera was born.

From the humble home service, to Iloilo’s first spa, Babes Wharton was not content to keep things in a plateau. As Victory Iloilo’s pastor mentioned, there is something called “Divine Discontent.” It is when you know you want to reach for bigger, better things for God’s greater glory.

And so, Spa Riviera kept expanding. From its original location on General Luna Street, Spa Riviera now has three branches in Iloilo City: the original branch, one on Valeria-Delgado, and possibly the best branch, the Chair Spa branch in Jaro.

Spa Riviera’s Chair Spa branch in Jaro is an all-encompassing sensory experience. The ambience is soothing, even heavenly, and the services themselves, divine.

I was privileged to have been part of an exclusive invite to Iloilo Bloggers. On January 21, amidst a stressful moment in my homebased career, I was able to relax and unwind in Spa Riviera’s Chair Spa.
The Chair Spa experience is exactly that: you’re getting royal spa treatment on a big, relaxing chair. I got an arm scrub and massage, a head and scalp massage and a foot scrub.

I am a big fan of full body massages, but even with just those alone, my stress dissipated. The smell of the peppermint cream they rubbed my arms with, along with the relaxing feeling of being kneaded and massaged was perfect. I was chomping on some Swiss chocolate at the time also, and if there was one phrase that may be able to best describe my moment, it would be “Sensory Bombardment.”

I was in a state of bliss, thanks to the massage, the peppermint in the air, and the chocolate filling me with happy chemicals.

When you go to Spa Riviera, take note that you don’t need the chocolate to be blissful. The Chair Spa surroundings alone will put you in a state of relaxation. Here are the highlights of my experience:

  1. The ambience was amazing. Low lights, great music, great smells. It’s enough to make a girl go silly from happiness.
  2. It made me deliriously happy to know that there are packages for the hedonists on a budget. Chair Spa offers Php 65 for a quick massage. Beat that!
  3. The staff were warm and accommodating. And they really make sure that you leave the spa satisfied and happy.

The first spa I’ve ever tried was Spa Riviera, in their original branch. I loved the ritual of showering, going on the sauna and then getting that massage. It makes me happy that I can get a spa experience more often, for the price of a budget meal.

For more information, visit:

When you take a trip to Iloilo, don’t forget to visit Spa Riviera!


Babes Rivera is now married to a Spa Riviera client, Liam Wharton.

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