Wellness: Stay well in Singapore

1 May 2018 by Business Traveller Asia Pacific
ESPA Vitality Pool - Credit: Resorts World Sentosa

Singapore has long been leading the Asian Green City Index. The city welcomes you with almost as much greenery as steel and glass, thanks to regulations stating developers must replace the same amount of vegetation their building displaces… and the tropical climate, which does the rest naturally.

Many of Singapore’s hotels follow suit, not only practising renewable and sustainable initiatives, but also piling on amenities to help fuel guests’ wellbeing.

Proximity to nature, innovative exercise, mind-body practices and plant-focused diets are just some of today’s wellness must-dos that hotel guests will find in abundance. It’s the ideal opportunity to boost your physical, mental and spiritual energy, and return home feeling even better than when you left.

A prime example, Parkroyal on Pickering is an architectural breath of fresh air. More like a series of vertical flowerbeds than a hotel, the curvy architecture is designed like tiers of rice fields sprouting lush tropical plants at every turn. Spaciousness rules, whether in the rooms, the brilliantly hip Orchid Club Lounge, the lobby or on the wellness floor. The fifth floor is devoted to wellness – it’s home to the gym, the pool (flanked by birdcage-shaped cabanas) and the 300-metre garden walk that skirts the circumference of the hotel.

Here too, the hushed, dim interiors of St Gregory Spa are ideal for switching off from the day. The Elemis Well-Being Massage starts with a body brushing that wakes up every nerve end – great for jet lag – followed by a massage that addresses aches and pains by loosening muscles. The vigorous Chinese-style Tui Na Massage is an award-winner, plus there’s a full menu of 15- or 30-minute express treatments – ideal when time is at a premium.

The Suite Life package combines a luxury pick-up from a Singapore location, a one-night suite stay with arrival champagne and strawberries, an hour’s massage for two at St Gregory Spa and buffet dinner at Lime restaurant from S$698 (US$533).


Parkroyal on Pickering - Credit: Patrick Bingham Hall

On arrival at the lofty sky lobby of The Westin Singapore, take a deep breath – the subtle hint of white tea is fresh and calming. Kick-start your morning by jumping into the loaned New Balance kit and follow the running map (5km or 8km routes available), join Run Concierge Eddie on Thursdays or Saturdays for a guided jog, or retreat to the air-conditioned gym. Alternatively, laps in the infinity pool offer fabulous city and sea views. Refuel with The Juicery drinks and superfood breakfasts – there are superfood dishes available throughout the day and in-room too. And after a day of meetings, calm your brain with the lavender and chamomile Sleep Well Balm.

If you can, carve out time for a Heavenly Spa by Westin treatment. Set aside at least 15 minutes for the mini hydro playground, comprising an experience shower, whirlpool and aromatherapy steam room, where the warmth will start to loosen muscles and calm the mind. To continue the job, the Heavenly Massage includes a hot compress for the back to deeply relax those typically tense muscles. If strapped for time, try the 25-minute Renewal Ritual for a soothing scalp and shoulder massage, or the weekday Spa-Licious Lunch, an ideal wellness combo of 30-minute massage plus energising SuperFoodsRx set meal in the executive club.

The Exclusive Weekend Perks deal includes complimentary access to Heavenly Spa by Westin and lie-in friendly breakfasts at Daily Treats until 3pm, plus 15 per cent savings and dining privileges for SPG members. Prepaid rates start from S$530 (US$404).


The JW Marriott South Beach’s Foster + Partners-designed, 634-room hotel keeps things young and fun, with wavy architecture framing unique views of the city, art everywhere, and two alfresco lap pools perfectly positioned at the Ebb6 and Flow18 sky gardens. In-room, your health is addressed by Behind the Barre, tempting you to join two dancers from The Joffrey Ballet in a workout of core strength, stretching and the Barre method, with real pop-up classes to look out for too.

The beautiful grey-blue Spa by JW includes two express treatment pods, where you can grab a 15-minute power shoulder and back massage while you lose yourself in the news or maybe a quick hit of Netflix. Meanwhile, the spa menu divides treatments into Calm, Indulge, Invigorate and Renew sections: the Jet Lag Cure massage can be found in Invigorate, the deep cleansing and brightening Refinery Essential Facial for men in Renew, the Eyelift treatment in Indulge, and the Sleep Deeply pre-bed massage in Calm. Every section has two or three express treatments too, lasting anywhere between 12 to 40 minutes.

A Rejuvenating Staycation includes daily breakfast, spa facility access and 30-minute head, shoulder and lower back massage alongside your Thursday to Sunday room night, for two. Rates start from S$300 (US$230).


The infinity pool on the horizontal slab that spans the wicket-shaped Marina Bay Sands is an Instagrammer’s holy grail and just one of the ways the 2,561-room hotel adds wellbeing to your day. Wake up to Sunrise Yoga, or work out at the 24-hour Banyan Tree Fitness Club, then pick up a raw kale green juice at SweetSpot Café. Choose a veggie or vegan dish from one of the many food outlets for lunch, with herbs grown in the hotel’s 50-species herb garden. For a duvet dinner, dial room service where the Harvest menu features sustainably sourced, healthy menus. And if you’re organising meetings, buy in to their Meet Green, Live Well programme (think energy bars and fruit snacks, healthy lunch menus, post-lunch fitness programmes and even networking while cycling).

Meanwhile, to luxuriously de-stress, head to the stunning Banyan Tree Spa. Life-size Trees of Life welcome you, Indonesian vines line the corridors to your room and the interior serenity is enhanced by eagle-eye views of the city from the 55th floor. Make the most of your time with the 90-minute Master Therapist treatment where, following a consultation, the top therapist will spontaneously deliver exactly what your body and mind need. Alternatively, 30-minute treatments span neck and shoulders, back, hand or foot release, delivering intense rejuvenation for fast wellness.


In my opinion, the jewel in the Grand Hyatt Singapore’s crown is Oasis. A resort-like hideaway, this poolside café looks onto a turquoise and palm-filled escape, quiet save for the occasional splash or tap-bounce-tap of a tennis ball. The kale salad is a winner, with some of the greens on your plate coming from the hotel’s rooftop organic garden and the rest from its Cameron Highlands farm, just over the border in Malaysia. Throughout the hotel the restaurant outlets focus on organic produce and MSC and ASC certified seafood. Leftovers are either carefully packaged for Kerbside Gourmet’s needy families or fed to their “digester machine” and turned into fertiliser.

Groups have fantastic wellness options with “power hour” morning boot camps, yoga and meditation sessions, as well as healthy coffee and lunch breaks. Yoga, tennis, badminton, kinesis training and steam and sauna are available to all, as is the stunning Damai Spa. Follow your therapist down the corridor, which shines with calming blue light as you pass by, as if you’re making its day. Inside, the ESPA treatments include the 45-minute Muscle Reviver, which can leave you invigorated or relaxed, as well as 30-minute treatments like the express facial, foot relaxer or back, neck and shoulder massage, and of course longer deep tissue treatments that get into the core of chronic aches and pains.


The Westin Singapore - Heavenly Spa by Westin

A popular property for corporate groups, thanks to its airy meeting spaces and sizeable dining outlets, is the Sofitel Sentosa. Here, guests really are in the heart of the tropics, surrounded by trees dropping pink frangipani blossoms on the green lawns where multicoloured peacocks parade.

Yoga and tai chi is complimentary on Saturday mornings, but mats and DVDs can be requested anytime for in-room sessions, the gym offers various classes such as Pilates, and nearby golf course rounds can easily be reserved.

The best place to treat your body with great nutrition is The Garden, the in-house restaurant next to the spa’s pool. Devoted to conscious dining, top of the menu is their Salad Construction, where you can mix and match your favourite greens, grains and legumes, alongside Japanese-influenced starters, wraps and gluten-free mains, healthy desserts and detox juices.

But first, detox at SO Spa, where the Spa Garden is an alfresco wonderland of labyrinth walks, waterfall pools, mud baths and a peaceful lap pool for serious unwinding. Inside, numerous spa treatments include the Jet Lag Recovery scrub, ideal for sloughing off the effects of long-haul travel, followed by a rejuvenating massage. Alternatively, try the 30-minute hammam or express head massage for speedy rejuvenation.


It’s impossible to talk about wellness in Singapore without mentioning the ESPA by Resorts World Sentosa. A theme park of wellness, the spa offers a gym, Zen Studio for yoga and tai chi, a steam, sauna and ice fountain inside, with hot and cool onsen-style pools outside.

Relax in the tea lounge before the famous soap scrub and massage in the domed marble hammam or head to the treatment rooms upstairs for a facial. Post treatment, the sleep pods are sorely tempting, or stroll over to Tangerine for delicious nutrition courtesy of the Californian chef, who can cook up mini miracles thanks to her extensive vegan and vegetarian experience.

Lifestyle Retreat options include Fit for Life, Weight Management, Intro to Detox and De-Stress programmes, with consultations leading to therapies and nutritious meals. Stay in a Beach Villa on-site or at the Equarius hotel next door. Rates start from around S$948 (US$724).


Proving you don’t need to be a spa hotel to deliver quality wellness, Sofitel Singapore City Centre’s rooms can be transformed into a gym, an artist’s studio and a spa. Wake up and unpack your Virgin Active goody bag consisting of a yoga mat, resistance band and foam roller, and follow the instructions for your choice of easy or full-on workout. Get back from your meetings and pick up the colouring book and a crayon to let your brain freewheel as you channel your inner four-year-old. Last thing at night, run a bath and flick through the 101 Ways to Live Well book on the bath rack, perfectly placed next to a wine glass… This is all in addition to the beautifully landscaped gardens, pool, gym, running map and more.


Newly opened Six Senses on Duxton, the brand’s first urban hotel, is a riot of black and gold courtesy of design genius Anouska Hempel. A heritage shop house, the interiors feature a series of corridors and staircases leading to rooms that feature singing bowls (you’ll be taught how to make them sing), organic mattress, linens and amenities, and, thanks to their no plastics protocol, glass bottles of complimentary in-house bottled water. Downstairs, you’ll have passed the resident Traditional Chinese Doctor, responsible for the delicious welcome tonic. Following a short consultation he can determine your body’s current health status and needs, and advise the most appropriate dishes for you on Chef Sebastian’s menus. While there’s no spa here, start your Thursdays and Sundays with complimentary yoga, which takes place daily in the nearby garden, or pick up a jogging map from reception and explore your surroundings.


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