Kick off those shopping shoes and slip into
something more comfortable as we take you spa-hopping through the island city
of Singapore, home to some of the best spas in the world.
For a country that is forever re-defining
its tourist attractions, Singapore does one great job. It’s been pushing the
spa experience for a while now and nothing loath, I decided to give it a try.
After all, what did I have to lose but my dry skin and stiff joints?
My first stop was the curiously named
Andana Spa on the sixth floor of the Paragon building on Orchard Road. Soothing
surroundings, the sound of gently falling water, blossoms abloom in corners,
the spa does a pretty good job of making one feel welcomed. I signed up for a
This entails immersing oneself in a hot
therapy pool, and then, just giving in to the sheer joy of warm water jets
pounding the tiredness out of the body and replacing it with new energy. After
a while, an attendant directed me to the sauna where I sat for as long as I
could manage, which was about 20 minutes; next was a very brief dip in the cold therapy
pool, something that can really sift the sissies from the bravehearts, I
Soon, I was in the massage cubicle where
Margaret waited to give me the Shiatsu Power Points massage. What can I say?
Margaret re-introduced me to parts of my body I never knew existed, made me
believe I could try out for a contortionist’s job, and all of it sans pain,
sans even a twinge of discomfort. I walked out of Andana looking good and
feeing great. Andana, like many spas in Singapore, offer couple’s treatment
Put your feet up
The Foot Ritual treatment at the Essence
Vale Day Spa on Orchard Road, was almost better than a facial. All the reflex
zones in my feet were stimulated so well, thanks to Kim, who used
lightly-fragranced ginger-infused herbal oil on the top and soles of my feet. I really felt the
connection; my feet felt great, my whole body felt even better. Since Kim
smiled more than she talked and since I was feeling decidedly drowsy with all the
pampering, it made for a silent, but oh-so-enjoyable experience. With all that
attention, my feet were now smooth as silk and looking rather nice, but it, and I myself,
needed some more prettification.
And for that I headed to the Mandarin
Hotel’s Nail Spa for a manicure and pedicure; it was a procedure that took all of an
hour under the tender ministrations of Janet, but I really can’t think of a
more relaxing way to spend an hour. Emerging with my toenails painted a deep
rose and fingertips gleaming a blush pink, I found myself gesturing more than I
normally did! The best part of it was that the polish, sequins included, stayed
on for a full month, through many a washing up, keying of endless stories, prising
open of a few tins and cans, and such tasks. Now that’s a professional job for
Another day, another spa
I was back at Orchard Road, at Le Salon in
Ngee Ann City for a de-stressing scalp massage and it was an interesting
experience. It was done totally without oil by a soft-spoken Chinese wraith of
a girl, so soft-spoken I didn’t catch her name. She used just her nubile
fingers to probe, pull, knead my scalp, nape, neck, brow, eyes and chest as I
lay prone, listening to soft music. After a full hour of all this concentrated
attention, my scalp was tingling with new life and so was I. A hair wash and a
blow-dry later, it wasn’t just a new life but a new look, too!
Spa Estheva in the Palais Renaissance on
Orchard Road, I had been informed, did a great collagen facial, and so there I
was, at the elegant if spartan spa. The facial, administered expertly by
Frances, lasted one-and-a-half hours, and involved the liberal use of creams
and lotions that put an instant glow on my face. A glow, I found to my delight,
that really lasted days. The spa’s hugely popular Choc De-Ager treatment, where
pure chocolate is drizzled over your body before being massaged gently into the
skin, is a spa-addict’s (or even a chocoholic’s) dream.
Spoilt for choice
The island has many spas that offer a
mind-boggling range of treatments. Most of these, like the foot reflexology
massages, are hugely popular with men, as are the exfoliation treatments.
Increasingly, a number of ‘exclusively for men’ spas are opening all over the
island with steam rooms, saunas, jacuzzis, even meditation rooms.
Aromatherapy, Traditional Chinese medicine
(TCM), mud pools, Japanese wooden hot tubs, flower baths, Balinese massage,
herbal wraps, hot stones, each and every treatment is as efficacious as it
sounds enticing. Prices start from SGD 35 and can go all the way up to SGD
300-400. All the places offer value for money, you can be assured of it...this
is Singapore, after all.
Visitors to the island spend so much on
shopping; it’s just a matter of re-directing some of that budget to spend on
oneself. Me, I’d rather schedule a trip just to spa-hop all over the island!
Book an appointment and reach
the place a little before your scheduled time.
Try and leave your jewellery
and valuables behind, though most spas do have lockers where your stuff will be
Do not go for a spa treatment
on a full stomach or after having had a lot to drink.
If the therapist is using too
soft a touch or conversely, too much pressure on your face or body, speak up.
You need to make your comfort zones clear.
During the treatment, just go
with the flow, relax completely, breathe deeply and evenly.
If you have medical concerns,
inform the therapist before your treatment starts.
Don’t hesitate to ask if some
instructions aren’t clear.
Do not get up immediately after
the treatment, just lie back for a few more minutes.
Tipping is not mandatory, it’s
your call. All the same, a little something in appreciation would be welcomed,
like anyplace else.