All things considered, 2020 has been a year like no other.
Under normal circumstances, you’d have the option to book yourself on a flight and jet off to Southeast Asia’s relaxation cities. From escaping to the serene mountainous countryside of Ubud, Bali to indulging in (several) affordable full-body massages in Bangkok, the options to destress and recharge are endless.
That said, there are a number of unique wellness destinations and experiences in Singapore that’ll help you relax. We scoured the country and found several unique experiences in Singapore that promise to pamper, hit all the right spots and make your regular massage and facials pale in comparison.
1. Take a dip in a floatation pod
You’ve probably heard of napping pods, but how about a floatation pod or tank? At Palm Ave Float Club, you’ll find futuristic-looking capsules fashioned like a luxurious and spacious lidded bathtub with soft ambient lighting.
Also known as sensory deprivation therapy, float therapy entails immersing oneself in a private and personal float pod. These pods are filled with up to 30cm of water which is enriched with over 600kg of Epsom Salt.
Just floating in these waters has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, boost mental clarity, help you focus better, and deepen your meditative state.
Also, with so much salt infused in the water, floating is almost effortless. That said, the rich salt content also means you should refrain from shaving, to avoid any uncomfortable stinging sensations, or colouring your hair before your float as the dye might run.
With the water kept heated to a warm 34.5oC, guests have described the experience similar to the sensation of lying in a comforting womb-like cocoon. When you first enter the pod, there will be soft ambient lights and slow, soothing music will be played from the underwater speakers during the first 10 and last five minutes of your float.
Cost: A single float session lasting 60 minutes costs S$89, packages are also available. These cost anywhere between S$225 for three sessions for first-timers to S$3000 for 48 sessions.
Address: 66 Kampong Bugis, #05-00, Singapore 338987
Opening hours: Monday to Wednesday – 11:00am to 9:00pm, Thursday – 4:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday to Sunday – 9:00am to 9:00pm. Call 9151 6004 for reservations.
2. Soak in soothing Japanese Onsen baths
While you may not be able to travel to Japan anytime soon, you can still head to Yunomori Onsen & Spa to luxuriate in the soothing waters of a Japanese Onsen.
The onsen spa prides itself on offering the widest range of hot spring baths —six different types, to be exact —such as the jet bath, hot bath, bubble bath, silk bath, soda bath and cold bath.
Taking a dip in each of these baths come with unique benefits, either for overall health and wellness or even for promoting better skin health.
The soda bath, which has a higher concentration of carbon dioxide, is touted to be beneficial for blood circulation crucial for radiant and healthy skin. With the water temperature held constant at 38.4oC, it is also the most comfortable as compared to the other baths.
Another unique hot spring is the silk bath which gets its white foamy appearance from the hydrogen-rich micro-bubbles that can help relax muscles and boost your skin elasticity.
However, if you’re up for a challenge, the hot bath, which is only available on the male side of the onsen, is kept at a warm 40 to 43oC. Taking a dip in the mineral-rich waters relaxes the mind and muscles while alleviating ailments. As women’s skin is softer and more delicate skin than men, it isn’t advisable for them to take a dip in a hot bath as it will dry up their skin at a much faster rate. It is also for that reason that there isn’t a sauna in the women’s area.
While there is no time limit, it is not advisable to spend more than 20 to 30 minutes in the baths. So, do take a breather and explore the other amenities offered by the spa. Just remember to put on your provided yukata (bathrobe) before heading out to the shared resting lounge.
Cost: Full-day access to the baths, sauna and steam rooms cost S$40.66 per adult (above the age of 15), S$29.96 per child (aged 3 to 15 years), S$29.96 per senior (aged 65 and above). If you prefer to include a Traditional Thai, Aroma Massage, or a Herbal Compress, you can check out this extensive spa menu.
Address: Kallang Wave Mall, 1 Stadium Place, #02-17/18, Singapore 397628
Opening hours: Opens daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm daily. Call 6386 4126 to make your reservations. Do note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are capacity limits so be sure to make your reservation to avoid disappointment. You are also reminded to wear your face masks in shared areas like the reception, resting lounge, café, treatment, and locker rooms.
3. Breathe easy with salt therapy
Located at Raffles City Shopping Centre, Pablo Blau offers 14 different treatments, including specialised ones for the eyes, neck and back. The unique twist? Salt therapy — or halotherapy — sits at the core of the boutique’s services. The therapy rooms in the spa also come equipped with salt generators which are constantly grinding and producing atmospheric salt.
While scientific studies have yet to prove any conclusive benefits, sinus or asthma sufferers stand by the effectiveness of halotherapy in controlling their conditions. The procedure is simple — guests need only to step into the salt room, rest in one of the comfy lounge chairs and take in regular deep breaths of salty air.
The salt content in the air is said to create an allergen-free environment which helps boost breathing, blood circulation and reduce inflammation.
All treatment options — from facials to massages — takes between 30 to 90 minutes to complete and are further tailored to cater to your skin type and condition.
Cost: Customers are encouraged to contact the spa concierge at 6261 6885 or 6261 7886 to learn more about their services.
Address: Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road #02-26A Singapore 179103
Opening hours: Opens daily from 11:00am to 9:00pm daily.
4. Sip on some wine while getting a mani-pedi
Restoring your wellness need not entail just getting a massage or facial. Getting yourself primped and preened is another way to make you feel better about yourself.
A visit to the nail salon can also do wonders for your state of mind, too. So, head to The Nail Social, Singapore’s first socially-conscious salon providing vocational training and employment to marginalised local women. It is the only salon to be recognised by raiSE, the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, which was established to develop the social enterprise sector in the lion city.
Make your visit on a Friday or Saturday to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine which will help to put you in a more relaxed mood.
The Nail Social also prides itself on choosing to use and sell products that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, fair-trade, or cruelty-free which makes for a safer environment for its service crew as well as customers.
The gel polishes are sourced from Zoya, Coat Nail lacquers, AnglePro and Jacqueline Burchell — labels which are free from formaldehyde, toluene, and camphor. These nail polishes are deemed safer for expectant mums or if you want to make a mother-daughter date out of your visit with your teen.
Cost: The salon’s signature treatment is affordably priced at S$70 which includes nail shaping, cuticle care and a massage followed by a fresh coat of polish. Check out their menu for more treatment options.
Address: 42A Haji Lane (2nd floor), Singapore 189235
Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – 10:00am to 9:00pm, Wednesday – 10:30am to 8:30pm, Saturday – 9:00am to 8:00pm, Sunday – 9:00am to 4:00pm, closed on Monday. Book an appointment by calling 6717 3221 or texting 8145 5226.
5. Level up your Yoga poses
Perched 39 floors above the Central Business District, you will be treated to breath-taking views of Singapore’s stunning skyline while you get into the Cow pose, guided along by friendly trained yoga instructors at The Yoga School.
In the field of wellness regimes and movements, none have garnered more attention on a global scale than yoga, following the rise in mindfulness practices. For the unacquainted, yoga may seem like a strange form of acrobatics with a wide range of daunting postures, poses and positions.
In fact, yoga is an exercise in mind and body — combining physical poses, breathing techniques, meditation and relaxation — originating from India with more than 5,000 years of history.
Of the many ‘branches’ — think of it as types — of yoga, The Yoga School’s classes range from Iyengar Yoga, Yin Yoga, to more unique offerings like Hatha Radja and Kundalini. Each of these kinds of yoga can offer different benefits.
Iyengar yoga, for instance, is good for beginners as it allows for the use of props to achieve precision and alignment when getting into and maintaining different positions. If you’re looking to clear your mind with some meditation and yoga, try Kundalini Yoga.
This branch of yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation and sometimes the chanting of mantras to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. That said, one of the studio’s more popular and speciality courses is it’s Restore classes which functions much like a power nap for your mind and body — great as an after-work pick-me-up.
During the lesson, you can expect to unwind and let the stresses of your day melt away as you nestle yourself in between a range of bolsters, blankets and pillows, close your eyes and learn to connect mind, body and breadth. Since it is a ‘level 0’ course, no prior experience is needed for you to join the class.
Cost: Prices start from S$38 per class to S$300 for a package of 10 classes valid for six months from the date of your first lesson. Prices include Manduka Mats, props, water and Ploh towels. There are also lockers, showers and even hairdryers for you to freshen up before and after class.
Address: 65 Chulia Street, #39-01 OCBC Centre, Singapore 049513
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday - 7:30am to 9pm, Friday - 7:30am to 2pm and Saturday - 9:30am to 12:30pm; Closed on Sundays. Call 6532 8228 or click here to reserve your mat.
It is no secret that the pandemic has disrupted our travel and holiday plans for the year. But it also offered us the chance to rediscover the interesting experiences we can enjoy right at our doorstep in Singapore.
So, be sure to take the time to smell the proverbial roses. It’ll restore your wellness — both in the physical and mental sense. Amid these uncertain times, making it a point to indulge in some self-love — by slowing down and giving these special activities a try — it’s a sure-fire way to get back to work stronger afterwards.