Aramsa’s unusual location in the middle of suburban Bishan Park means that it is surrounded by nature and feels a million miles from the concrete jungle of the city centre. Individual spa suites are linked via resort-style covered walkways; some also boast sunken bathtubs in private gardens. The best part is that on Friday and Saturday nights, they extend service hours until midnight.
Who doesn’t want free food with their massage? While the design may border on gaudy, g.spa Fitness and Recreation Hub makes up for it with a surprisingly solid Penang kway teow and laksa. If you’ve got time to kill, or you’re looking to relieve stress before a long haul (it’s only 20 minutes away from the airport), jump in and out of the hot and cold pools, or sweat it out in this integrated wellness centre’s sauna. If you’re feeling more decadent, there’s a four-hand synchronised massage that hits just the right spots.
Booking in for a hair blowout to get a bouncy, volumised finish has been all the rage for those looking for star-worthy bombshell hair. The concept at Blow+Bar is pretty simple: pick from a menu of final looks from the salon’s iPad, get a treatment to solve certain hair woes, add on extras like a manicure or a trim and then select a drink – the unique selling point here is a complimentary glass of wine to complete the indulgent experience.
Lads can get their beards shaved, moustache trimmed and hair perfectly coiffed at Hounds of the Baskerville, one of Singapore’s first Western barbershops. Leave the missus at the shops and sink onto leather seats at this Victorian-decorated salon for hair cuts, hot towel shaves and full-faced grooms. In the back, they also offer a tattoo service with a selection of old-school designs or custom artwork (about $300/half day).
Ikeda’s ryokan-style (Japanese inn) VIP suite on the fifth floor features traditional tatami (rice straw) mats, shoji sliding doors, as well as a hinoki bath tub that sits two, cosily. The tub is where the restoration lies: the specially imported hinoki, or Japanese cypress wood, releases oil as water enhanced with crystallised mineral bath salts is warmed up to a consistent 45 degrees Celsius. A mist blows while you’re seated in the tub to cool you down. Close your eyes and you may just convince yourself it’s Japan.
Stand Up Paddle (SUP) is a great way to work out your core. SUP School in Sentosa offers lessons and board rental beginning at $40 per hour, and it’s a nice way to soak in the sun without baking on the sand. Once you’ve found your balance, try one of their classes like Yoga/Fitness or Core Challenge to really feel the burn.
Singapore’s waters are undeniably calm, but surfers can still get in some action at Wave House Sentosa. The beachfront space specialises in flowboarding – a hybrid of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. Carve up and down the surface of the Double FlowRider or show off your skills in the perfect barrel wave at the FlowBarrel.
An increasingly popular activity in Singapore, Parkour, at its most basic, teaches practitioners to move from one point to another in the simplest, most efficient manner, overcoming obstacles using only their bodies. More advanced moves involve cat leaps, wall climbs and precision jumps. Check out the Yamakasi-endorsed ADD Academy for lessons. A led session typically combines both physical conditioning and movements.
Sweat it out in a yoga class
And we do mean sweat. Hot yoga – practised in heated rooms of about 40 degrees – is all the rage in Singapore, and yogis fill mats in studios across the city. Hot yoga is believed to help the body rid toxins more efficiently, and warm up muscles to lessen chances of injuries. Slip on your leggings and strike a pose – bring a big bottle of water, or join your sweaty neighbours in chugging down some coconut water after class.
Visit www.stretchcity.com for studio listings and info.
Stop over at the bar and hit the bottle – a bottle of premium skin serum, that is. Skin Inc is Asia’s first skin supplement bar, a concept designed for busy women (and metrosexuals). Just pop over and the consultants will help you select the right ‘cocktail mix’ of skin serums for your individual skin condition. The bar stocks the dermatology-based V-Solution 10 Series from Japan – touted as noninvasive alternatives to popular treatments like Botox and IPL.
Don’t inflict your unexfoliated feet on some poor pedicurist. Instead, let the fish take care of them. At Kenko Reflexology and Fish Spa, a shoal of industrious little Turkish fish wait in a pool to nibble away dead skin and leave your toes fresh and exfoliated. Though it’s best avoided by those with ticklish feet!
Part traditional Indian exercise and part circus training, Upside Motion’s anti-gravity yoga takes yoga poses from the ancient Indian discipline and – as the name suggests – suspends them in the air. The instructors are very knowledgeable and, with the help of the silk hammocks, would have even beginners upside down in no time. Get past the fumbling and you’ll feel strong yet weightless; close your eyes and you may just imagine yourself part of the Cirque.
Categorising Ancient Therapy as a spa is pushing it, as you will not leave feeling pampered and there is actually a chance you’ll walk out with a few bruises. But no pain, no gain – right? These people are there for one thing, and one thing only: to get those kinks out. And they will stop at nothing. The no-frills atmosphere and strict ‘keep quiet’ policy help us stay focused and not think about the fact that there are not even curtains separating us from the person being abused alongside.