Onsen pools. Jacuzzis with satin-like microbubbles. Finnish saunas. Steam rooms cast in a psychedelic glow. Many of these hotels go all out to differentiate their spa offerings beyond the quintessential treatments. This is why they're the best spa hotels in Singapore.
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Think of airport hotels and you'll likely imagine sterile-looking, utilitarian rooms. Nix that. The Crowne Plaza is high on our list of hotels for mind and body restoration. There's the resort-like vibes of the pool deck surrounded by palm trees, the novelty of the in-pool exercise bikes, the little extras that the hotel goes to make your stay restorative – from making its tastefully decorated accommodations sound-proof to providing calming room mists. Then there's the fact that every single is spacious with lots of natural light, and a full-sized bathtub to call your own. There's also the Essence Vale spa: although barebones in setup, the therapists here are very adept at kneading and pummeling your aches and tensions away. But our utmost favourite thing about Crowne Plaza is the Runway View category – rooms where you can lose yourself in the meditative trance of watching planes land and take off all day long.
This Lifestyle Retreat Getaway ($450, available all-year) sounds almost too good to be true, and we're not just talking the 60-minute spa treatments for two. Your expansive Skyline Studio Room comes with equally outsized club privileges. Think of Skyline as One Farrer's executive club on steroids, going beyond the usual lounge experience (wines all day!) to also encompass a separate lap pool, gym and spa treatment rooms that are exclusive to Skyline guests. The 'regular' facilities are nothing to snub your nose at either. The sundeck sprawls to fit an Olympic-size pool and the main spa's Onsen Relaxation Garden (access is complimentary) offers a hot pool with jacuzzi loungers, a 1.2m-deep cold plunge pool and a mineral plunge pool. To complete the wellness theme, participate in a complimentary daily tour of the rooftop farm – an 11,000sqft behemoth that's ripe with pineapple plants, papaya trees, herbs and even grape vines.
The rooms at The Ritz-Carlton are plenty lavish – we're still gaga over the fact that every single room comes with a giant marble bathtub that boasts its own superb views of either the Marina Bay or Kallang River precinct – and the eponymous spa is every bit just as rarefied. Case in point: instead of the usual blankets, you'll be luxuriously ensconced in silken sheets. Since The Ritz-Carlton Spa is the only full-fledged La Mer spa partner in Asia Pacific, the facials just shouldn't be missed. The La Mer Custom Facial, for instance, promises to hydrate and sculpt your face while pampering you with massage after massage – face and neck-and-shoulder massages during both the serum and mask application stages, followed by another eye massage. Make time too to take advantage of the spa facilities (complimentary with spa bookings or $35 for the day pass) such as the jacuzzi pool, steam room and experiential showers.
Here's one for a spa-themed getaway with the girls. Consider the Ladies Floor, a women-only floor that goes all out to woo female guests with pretty-in-pink designer bathrobes, boyfriend shirt-style loungewear and amenities such as hair straightener, facial steamer and manicure set. Then there's Spa by JW, which eschews the conventional Balinese-inspired style for modern interiors that call to mind upmarket salons. The signature massage is among the most effective we've had. Opt for the 80-minute version for a thorough rejuvenation that combines acupressure, gua sha, long strokes and stretching techniques. Usage of the spa facilities is typically chargeable (from $38 for in-house guests, good for three hours) but waived with treatments. There are the usual elements like sauna and steam room and the whirlpool is particularly noteworthy for the micro-bubbles that create a luxuriant silken sensation.
For the ultimate me-time indulgence, treat yourself to the detoxifying spa day ($598) experience at the Willow Stream Spa. It takes a holistic view of wellness, starting guests off with an hour of in-depth body composition analysis (by way of a state-of-the-art InBody machine) and personal training. The workout will be demanding, but train your sights on the upcoming three-and-a-half hours of pampering for motivation: a mineral and jacuzzi soak, a spirulina detox wrap (think cosily draped rather than uncomfortably bound, and with a head massage meanwhile), an aromatherapy massage and an express facial. It's as blissful as it sounds, thanks to the therapists' magic hands and the cocoon-y comforts of the spa beds, plus there's still a 2-course spa lunch to look forward to. Alternatively, check yourself into the Fairmont Singapore, which not only includes complimentary access to the spa facilities (sauna, steam room, whirlpool and cold plunge) but also discounted rates for selected treatments.
Staying at the Grand Hyatt, you'll learn that the old dame has quite a few lesser-known "secrets". The lobby may seem like any other business hotel, but venture deeper and you'll discover a towering indoor water fountain. The jigsaw-like pool, almost entirely obscured by tropical foliage, is as close as it gets to forest bathing in Singapore – in the thick of the shopping district, no less. The nature theme extends into the Damai Spa, where every room has a water feature to create a serene atmosphere to complement your treatment. The cavernous spa facilities (entry is complimentary for hotel guests) call to mind memories of onsens and jjimjjilbangs from your travels and the generously sized hot and cold pools mean lots of personal space for every guest. While there's no turndown service – except for suites – the hotel offers a very comprehensive amenities menu, which goes beyond the expected handful to also suggest items such as garment steamer, humidifier and curling iron.
Heading into the CBD for a recuperative getaway might seem like an oxymoronic concept but the Westin Singapore paints a compelling case. The rooms are all situated on the 33th floor and up, so you'll always have a grand view and a freestanding tub to wind down in. The Westin is not one to shy from lofty proclamations, such as in deeming their cots Heavenly Beds. But with ten layers of satiny sheets for maximum plushness, their bravado is justified. The Heavenly Spa thankfully also lives up to its promise and not just for the ritzy marble-clad treatment rooms. The signature treatment, Heavenly Massage (d'uh), leans on Swedish-style long strokes and kneading motions to smooth out kinks and tensions. The spa also offers a steam room and a whirlpool. We must say there's a schadenfreude appeal to basking in a hot tub with the knowledge that the people in the buildings in front are all cooped up.
Amara Sanctuary's Spa Getaway may be restricted to weeknight stays (Sundays to Thursdays only) but it's the sort of deal we're more than happy to use our annual leave on. Running until December 31, the promo is astoundingly good value for money, starting at just $360 and inclusive of breakfast and 90-minute spa treatments (30-minute steam bath and an hour-long Swedish massage) for two. Granted, the on-site Luna Spa is looking a little worn at the edges but the friendly service and skilfulness of the team more than make up for it. And think of it this way, given that most couple massages come up to that figure or more, you're practically getting your resort stay on Sentosa for free. Amara is also minutes away from Palawan Beach, so you can easily add sunset walks by the beach to your spa getaway agenda.
When spa time and shopping time are equal priority, book yourself a spa indulgence package (from $500, available until December 31) at the Singapore Marriott. Your deluxe room has all the space you need for your shopping hauls and since the hotel is conveniently located amongst Orchard Road's major malls, you can shop to your heart's content then easily nip back to soothe your shopping-weary body with a relaxing 60-minute massage. Notably, the newly opened Serene Spa is among the few spas that offer a steam shower in every treatment room and you're highly recommended to precede your treatment with a steam shower to prime your body for the massage. Don't forget to also head up to the pool deck for its breezy, resort-style atmosphere and to soak in the jacuzzi.
An institute in Singapore's hospitality scene, the Four Seasons has built a reputation of understated elegance. A recent round of refurbishments – it's still on-going, but so carefully managed that most guests won't even realise it – cements that impression with a fresh new natural palette, subtle, botanical-inspired motifs and sophisticated references to Singapore's cultural history through elements such as Peranakan tile accents and colonial-style louvered doors. Fitness-wise, there's no lack of options. There are two pool areas – a family-friendly pool on the 20th (look this way for Instagram-worthy floats) and another deck that houses a lap pool and whirlpool. This is also among the few hotels that have tennis courts on the property. The hotel's pride and joy is the Four Seasons Spa which uses exclusively L'Occitane products for all treatments. To get the full-on experience, book a Neroli & Orchidee treatment. The 90-minute scrub-and-massage uses a blend of neroli and white orchid essential oils to leave you invigorated and perfumed.