Award Trips

3 Days In Singapore: Singapore and Sentosa Spa Reviews

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One of the things I love most about traveling to Asia is getting luxurious, over the top spa treatments from highly trained professionals that I could never afford in the US on a non-profit salary. So it should come as no surprise that when figuring out what I wanted to do on this 3 day trip, I made spas a big part. While doing searches for best spas in Singapore I came across this 2010 review “SPA-rkling Singapore” that influenced my choices. (Interestingly enough the writer was staying in the Grand Hyatt Singapore).

So this story starts the morning I landed in Singapore. I wanted to do a spa appointment while I was waiting for my friend to land later that day. Originally I’d considered trekking out to the Aramsa Garden Spa that had been recommended but decided the extra effort wasn’t worth the cost savings of just going downstairs to the Hyatt spa, especially since my spend at the spa would net me 3 Hyatt points per $ since I was using my Chase Hyatt credit card.

Tragically, the Damai Spa website lets you make bookings that the spa doesn’t have available. In my case, this meant the 9AM appointment I booked at 7:30AM that morning didn’t actually exist. While they were doing their best to accommodate I had plenty of time to try out the facilities, and incidentally try out nude bathing. Not a fan. Will always pack a swim suit on spa visits now just in case.

Other than my wardrobe discomfort, the locker rooms were actually pretty nice. There’s a spacious locker area with the usual basic toiletries. The robes were interesting — incredibly soft and fluffy and clingy, leaving nothing to the imagination, which is why my photo is from far away 🙂

Damai Spa female locker room keri

Damai Spa female lockerroom

It also offered a hot tub, an extremely cold plunge pool (the warnings not to stay longer than 4 min at a time were well advised), a steam sauna, and a dry sauna with a TV.

Damai Spa Hot Tub Plunge Pool

My therapist arrived a little after 10 and came to take me down the awesome treatment hall to my room.

Damai Spa treatment hallway

I was so taken with the beauty of the treatment room, better than even the best Thailand spa I’ve visited, that I completely forgot to take pictures. Two sides of the room were glass, one overlooking a rocky fountain coming down the side of the privacy wall and the other looking on to a rough boulder wall sitting in the pool of water. The light, the beauty, and the noise of water made a perfect combination.

The treatment, a 90 minute deep tissue Targeted Healing Massage, for ~$156 was amazing. She was really digging in to the painful parts on my back (at my request) but it felt so much better than it had I nearly fell asleep on the table. The table was also a cool feature. Not only was it heated, but it was also electronic and could be raised to put me in a semi-upright position as she worked on various muscle parts.

The treatment was on the pricier side for Singapore, but so amazing. The locker room facilities were also quite good although I longed for a bathing suit and/or a shorter stay there. If you’re staying at the Hyatt, especially if you can get a deal, definitely give it a shot.

My second spa experience happened the next day, we’d been taken with the description of Spa Botanica and decided to try it, Chinese New Year or no. I’d been particularly draw by the description of mud baths! I’d never done a mud bath!! How awesome was this going to be!?

Sunday dawns and its overcast and rainy. Not really a problem. We arrive in the beautiful lobby and sip our welcome tea.

Spa Botanica lobby

Spa Botanica sign in

 

We were given a quick tour and then escorted to the nicely appointed locker rooms to change into our bathing suits (yes I brought one!)

Spa Botanica Lockers

The lack of sun wasn’t a problem until we headed out to enjoy the female-only grounds for the hour before our treatment. Singapore 80 degrees on a gray overcast day with rain in the air is COLD! But we braved it, only to discover the mud baths weren’t quite what we thought.

Spa Botanica mud pool area

A large bowl of mud that you smear a thin layer on, wait for it to dry, and then go sit on a bench ankle deep in water. They’d mentioned some people would walk the meditation paths while waiting for it to dry – that sounded really romantic, wandering a labyrinth of hedges, only to discover it’s a path one brick wide that traces a path in an area 20x20ft or smaller.

Spa Botanica mud pool
After 2 minutes I gave up and paced aimlessly waiting for the mud to dry (I’d put too much on) so I could then sit with my feet in tepid water. Hmmm. Definitely better for a hot sunny day.

We then washed off in the outdoor showers, no hot water, and bundled back up ready for a dip in the hot tub and a hot shower before going in for a massage. Unfortunately the hot tub was pretty luke warm, not great on a cold day.

Spa Botanica Indoor Female Facilities
But soon enough I was having a fantastic one hour deep tissue massage. Not only did she quickly start breaking down the knots in my back, but the quick reflexology and scalp massage was outstanding.

After the massage we sat in a pretty basic waiting area to receive our post-treatment tea. Then we ventured outside again to try the waterfall effect on our shoulders as had been suggested. The water was COLD. So although the pounding water was helpful, the shivering was not relaxing. Spa Botanica waterfall pool

Spa Botanica was good, but inconsistent. Certain areas like the entry way and indoor facilities were quite posh, other areas, like the pools and post-treatment waiting area were surprisingly worn or basic. A good massage, but at $160 not worth trekking out to Sentosa just for the experience.

Next Post: Free Ice Cream & Rained Out Twice In An Hour

3 Days In Singapore Trip Report:
Finally Getting to fly Singapore Airlines First Class
Overnight at the Sheraton North Houston
My Flight is Cancelled. Or is it?
Singapore Airlines First Class: Houston to Moscow
Race to the International Business Lounge Shower in Moscow + General Impressions
Singapore Airlines First Class: Moscow to Singapore
Spa in the Sky
Grand Hyatt Singapore Review
Grand Hyatt Singapore Club Lounge Review
Nude Swimming Experience
Free Ice Cream & Rained Out Twice In An Hour
Acrophobia Over Sentosa & Gourmet Street Food
Chinese New Year Walking Tour and Hawker Stalls at East Lagoon Food Village
A Shift in Hippo Karma At The Night Zoo
A Visit To The Private Room At SIN
Singapore Airlines First Class SIN-IAH: Blind Champagne Tasting
How Much Did the Trip Cost?

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1 Comment

  1. Jenny

    September 16, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Great post! I’ll be staying at the Grand Hyatt Singapore next year and am looking forward to trying their spa based on your recommendation! 🙂

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