Having a massage or a facial is a great way of getting some me-time into your busy schedule. From aromatherapy massages and anti-ageing facials, to home spas and salt therapy, we’ve had a wonderful month reviewing some of Singapore’s top spa treatments, and now it’s your turn. Go on – spoil yourself!
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore
Located near the hotel’s pool area, this spa is said to draw its inspiration from Singapore’s rich heritage, offering a myriad of signature therapies, facials and massages in a tranquil setting.
We love the sound of the 90-minute Inner Strength treatment ($280), a tailored, full-body massage designed to ease muscle tensions and emotional anxiety. It features a mix of massage techniques, and uses a heated compress to stimulate blood circulation. The massage also uses the Aromatherapy Associates’ Inner Strength oil, an essential oil blend that brings about calming, strengthening, healing and balancing effects. It’s a magical mix of clary sage and frankincense for focus and clarity, fortifying cardamom and rosemary, rose and vetiver for healing properties, and geranium to balance the emotions and encourage inspiration. The treatment concludes with applied pressure to the reflex points on the feet to further awaken the senses. After the massage, you can head to the comfy lounge to relax before slowly easing back into reality.
Top tip: arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment to enjoy the spa’s steam facilities and the Experience Shower!
Until 31 October, quote “EXPAT LIVING” upon booking and get a complimentary travel-sized bottle of Inner Strength oil!
Have you heard of salt therapy? This popular alternative wellness treatment promises to reduce stress and improve sleep – two things we could all benefit from! The minerals from the salt are also said to draw out toxins from the body, leading to improved respiratory conditions like asthma and skin-related issues like eczema over time. If you look it up, you’ll find that salt therapy has a steady following, with many visitors making trips to salt caves around the world for their yearly fix!
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to travel from Singapore to try it. Pablo Blau, a luxury salt medi-spa at Raffles City Shopping Centre, uses salt therapy for detox and relaxation purposes. One must-try on the treatment menu is the Signature Salt Room Customised Facial (from $180), a 75-minute facial that’s tailored to your individual skin condition. To make the most of the session, request for the facial to be done in one of the salt rooms tucked away at the end of the spa. These exclusive treatment rooms are covered in real salt crystals, which are specially selected based on stringent standards, and then flown all the way from Europe.
The facial includes a series of steps like double cleansing, extraction and a heavenly massage on the face and neck areas. Skincare products are chosen based on what you hope to achieve from the treatment, whether it’s to smoothen out lines, clear congestion or brighten dull skin.
Until 31 December, try this facial at a special rate of $69! To enjoy the offer, sign up at pabloblau.com/expatmag.
Aleyda Mobile Spa
If you can’t find time to visit a spa for a massage, why not have it at home? Aleyda has been offering home massages for 10 years, bringing the luxurious spa experience straight to your doorstep. The set-up is complete with an ergonomic treatment table, fresh linen, spa music and the expert care of English-speaking therapists.
Try the signature Aleyda body massage ($165, 90 minutes), which first uses pressure-point technique to open up the lymph nodes. The full-body massage is customised to your liking and you can choose from gentle Swedish-style strokes to strong, targeted deep tissue techniques. Top up $20 for an aroma upgrade; our pick is ‘Tranquility’, a calming, dreamy blend of geranium, bergamot, ylang-ylang and lavender essential oils. Prenatal and postnatal massages are also available for mummies-to-be and new mums!
The Thai Spa
Founded in India, The Thai Spa now boasts over 30 outlets, with Singapore being its first international outpost. Centrally located in Suntec City, the spa haven offers a variety of top-to-toe treatments from deep tissue massage and hot stone therapy to facials for different skin types.
For a truly authentic experience, opt for the Thai massage ($79, 60 minutes) by experienced Thai masseuses. It’ll help to relax your tight muscles and relieve any body stiffness, while improving blood flow and circulation, so you’ll walk out feeling completely rejuvenated and stress-free. Each treatment room is equipped with a private shower, too! Visiting with your date? Amp up the experience with a couple’s massage ($198, 60 minutes), which starts with an aromatherapy massage, followed by a complimentary rose honey milk bath in a private jacuzzi. Or, if you’re looking for a unique gift idea, pamper your loved ones with an e-voucher from The Thai Spa – they’ll thank you later!
The Thai Spa
#03-324 Suntec City North Wing
6252 4400 | thethaispa.com.sg
The treatment: Cell Labs Energy Massage Therapy
The experience: “Spa Infinity’s signature massage focuses on lymphatic drainage and improving blood circulation using a special cream and a set of electric infra-ray massage paddles to deeply penetrate tissue and muscle. The cream is rubbed in, then my therapist uses long strokes to open up the body sections in turn before using the paddles. She did not use standard massage strokes – all movements were from the centre to the outer sides of the body, moving toxins and excess fluid away from the central system.
She felt all the knots in my muscles, using alternating pressure on either side of the body. During the massage, she could tell if I had bad circulation, water retention or an injury in certain areas just by feeling! This treatment is a cross between a sports massage and Tui Na Chinese deep tissue therapy. It’s not painful, but it’s not an entirely relaxing experience, either. If you want something you can doze off to, book the classic massage instead.
Even though I have many old muscle injuries, I walked away feeling lighter, more aligned and more aware of all my muscles. There was no oiliness (none in the hair, either) as the cream was massaged in thoroughly, and no pain or bruising the next day as I have had with other deep tissue therapies.” – Danielle Rossetti
Psst… Try the massage at a special first-timer price of $98.44!
Price: $235.40, 60 minutes
Heavenly Spa by Westin
The treatment: Heavenly Massage
The experience: “Eager to unwind even before my massage, I arrived early to use the facilities at Heavenly Spa by Westin, including the aromatherapy steam room and a tranquil whirlpool, which overlooks the CBD and beyond. Minimalist-chic with sleek marble, wood and light, earthy tones, the spa has tranquil vibes all around. I visited on a weekday afternoon when it was super-quiet, and had the facilities all to myself!
As the spa’s signature massage treatment, the Heavenly Massage is beloved for its refreshing, anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties, thanks to the white tea oil used throughout. It all began with a quick footbath, where my feet were exfoliated with sea salt and cinnamon (a very delicious-smelling start!) before I climbed onto the massage bed. Once I was face down, my therapist Eunice placed a heated compress on my back to allow the muscles to relax. I like that she started with my legs and feet before working her way up to my back – the best part! If you like Swedish massages, you’ll love this relaxing treatment. It was 90 minutes of pure bliss!
Sip on some ginger tea and snack on some nuts while reading magazines in the post-treatment relaxation lounge. Each chair is in its own private pod, each with front-row view of the city from 35 floors up – a nice way to end the entire experience.” – Amy Greenburg
Price: $160, 60 minutes; $220, 90 minutes
Away Spa at W Singapore
The treatment: Cove Massage
The experience: “As I was enthusiastically greeted at the hotel entrance, I explained I was heading to the spa. One of the welcoming doormen offered to escort me – making easy small talk on the way. Upon entering the neutrally decorated spa reception with ocean references, (think driftwood walls), I was again greeted with a warm smile.
The Cove is a new massage offered by the W, designed to replicate the ocean that the hotel overlooks. Long relaxing strokes and gentle muscle rolling – it is divine. I’d asked my therapist to focus on my tension-heavy shoulders and loved how she managed to tenderly work out a whole year’s worth of knots! The Away Spa is one of the most beautiful spas I have ever been into. The staff are exceptionally professional and attentive. It was the most delightful way to spend an afternoon. I felt incredible right after – totally relaxed and ready to face my toddlers!” – Kel Flanders
Psst… Don’t forget your swimwear and enjoy the rejuvenating spa facilities afterwards (including a sauna, steam room, vitality pools and cool experiential showers)!
Price: $265, 90 minutes
The treatment: Chakra Balancing Body Massage
The experience: “This full body massage is a combination of deep-tissue massage and reflexology using essential oils. I chose patchouli from the menu of aromatherapy oils as it’s an old favourite of mine, from my hippy days.
Going to Trimmings at Loewen always makes me feel calmer, even if it’s just popping by for a mani or pedi. I think it’s the greenery and old buildings – it also helps that you’re not thinking about parking fees, or getting in and out of town. I definitely felt relaxed throughout, and I thought Min, the therapist, had a very good technique (and I’m quite critical when it comes to massages). She was firm in the right places and listened to my preferences. I didn’t sleep during my 90 minutes massage as I normally do, but had to go to bed at 8.30pm that night so I think it had definitely helped to shift some chakras around. Don’t go planning a big night out afterwards!” – Rebecca Bisset
Psst… This massage can be of various lengths from half an hour to two hours, so you can customise according to how much time you have on hand.
Price: from $60 for 30 minutes
Damai Spa at Grand Hyatt Singapore
The treatment: Spa Afternoon Tea
The experience: “Damai Spa is a beautiful nature-inspired spa located in the heart of Orchard Road. It was our first time there, and my husband and I were treated to a Spa Afternoon Tea, which includes a personalised massage followed by a high tea experience. Upon our arrival, our therapists had us fill out a brief consultation form. We were asked to indicate which areas of the body we would like the therapist to focus on, the type of massage techniques we prefer and the goal of the treatment. I chose to have my upper back, neck, and shoulders worked on more and opted for a Javanese massage. The spacious treatment room has an ensuite bathroom, complete with a shower. There’s also plenty of wardrobe space to store your belongings. The overall massage experience was very soothing. The pressure was just right and it wasn’t too hard or painful. At the end of my treatment, a cup of hot ginger tea was waiting for me after I emerged from my ensuite and got dressed.
After our treatment, we were escorted down to 10 Scotts for our afternoon tea session, where we had a table waiting for us. The food was superb; we enjoyed a buffet spread of high tea selections on top of our tier of desserts. We were also seated right next to the glass windows, which gave us a splendid view of the cascading waterfall. It almost felt like we were holidaying abroad! We will most likely visit the Grand Hyatt again for another pampering spa day.” – Liana Talib-Keddie
Price: $400 per couple, 75 minutes
Chez Moi de Beaute
The treatment: LPG Endermopuncture Revitalising Massage
The experience: “This is not your average massage. First, I had to don a disposable body unitard made out of a stretchy netting material. Then, rather than human hands kneading my tired muscles, a machine went to work. Think of a giant vaccum head, sucking and then slightly pinching you before moving onto the next spot. It didn’t really hurt, but it wasn’t exactly relaxing either. After I was thoroughly pinched, the machine then started tapping me very quickly, like forefingers altering very quick hard pokes. The treatment ended with a neck and head massage – by hand. After, they slathered me in this oil and had me apply more at home later that night.
So what’s it all about? Detoxification, plain and simple. The goal is to pull icky stuff up and out from deep within your layers of skin and fat. It’s supposed to help with cellulite, water retention and digestion issues and more. My friend did this treatment religiously in Moscow before her wedding and swears she lost 14kg because of it! Me? I felt pretty good after the treatment, but didn’t drop any pounds. For the full effect, you need to have at least three session to see visible results. Want to try it out? They offer a taster for $120.” – Melinda Murphy
Price: $380, 60 minutes
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
The treatment: Oriental Essence Massage
The experience: “This massage is inspired by traditional therapies using custom-blended essential oils to soothe and treat the whole body. Best for de-stressing, it focuses on stress points in the neck, back and shoulders. There is also some treatment of pressure points on the face and head to ease tension.
The therapists here are very experienced and professional. They’d always chat through the options with you beforehand to make sure they’re aware of your preferred massage pressure. I chose a lavender and neroli oil for stress and relaxation, but they also have specific blends for those with water retention or those who travel frequently. The spa ambience is amazing: soft beds with temperature control and plump soft towels. It really is pure luxury! You are also allowed to arrive up to an hour before your treatment to use the steam and sauna room for the full experience.
After my massage, I headed to the comfy lounge for a hot tea and some snacks. My skin felt soft and supple to the touch, and had a light glow from the oil, which didn’t feel sticky or uncomfortable. The therapists recommended to leave the oil on the skin after the massage to allow it to soak in fully.” – Jacqui Young
Price: $210, 60 minutes; $270, 90 minutes
Healing Touch Spa
The treatment: Bojin Orthopaedic
The experience: “This unique therapy uses ancient Chinese techniques to address problem spots like stiff neck, lower back pain and tennis elbow. The massage focuses on stimulating the meridian channels (qi flows) and acupressure points using a specialised tool known as the bojin. This helps to release built-up tension, improve circulation and treat stress.
Stiff shoulders and tension in the neck are common issues for those with desk-bound jobs, as with accompanying stress-related headaches, so this treatment was perfect for me. My Thai therapist Khem was warm and friendly, without being imposing. She checked in regularly with me to ask if the pain was bearable, and even threw in a much-needed Thai massage (lots of cracking – I loved it!) at the end to wrap up. The bojin aspect of the massage was not entirely pain-free but because I stuck through with it, the stubborn muscle knot on my right shoulder was miraculously erased by the end of the session. The next morning, I woke up well-rested and relaxed, albeit with slight muscle soreness then went away the day after.” – Anthia Chng
Price: 60 minutes, $80.25
Healing Touch Spa
Multiple outlets islandwide
Aramsa The Garden Spa
The treatment: Aroma Rich
The experience: “This aromatherapy massage at Bishan Park’s Aramsa Spa lets you customise and mix your essential oils at a special aromatherapy bar. There are close to 30 different scents for each personality and moods as the focus of this massage is on the mind, body and soul of the individual. It’s meant to be a relaxing treatment, which means soft to medium pressure is used during the massage, so you shouldn’t expect the same kind of strength typically used in deep-tissue techniques.
After choosing my scents, I was led through a door and into a garden. The stone floorings and greenery made the atmosphere super serene. The treatment rooms are really spacious and the outdoor garden adds a calming touch. The massage itself was very relaxing and comfortable; I was constantly wishing it would never end! After it was over, I was brought to the waiting lounge, where I was treated to some housemade ginger tea and biscuits to munch on. You have the option of enjoying the quiet space, or you can head outdoors where there are chairs to relax in. If you’re doing a couple’s spa, you get to unwind in your own outdoor bath!”– Beatrice Ng
Price: $180, 60 minutes
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