While Singapore’s grand old dame remains an oasis of tranquillity in the Civic District, within it lies a not-too-little slice of heaven – the Raffles Spa, which re-opened as the property’s major restoration was completed in late 2019. Now nestled in the heart of Raffles Arcade just steps from the Grand Lobby via a side gate, its location is more convenient for guests arriving from outside the hotel.
The spa’s quiet elegance, spaciousness and muted colour palette together offer a salve for the senses. The thick walls of such old colonial buildings also seem to block out any noise. The largest treatment room is the Gem Suite, a large standalone space that boasts a vitality pool, bathroom and its own private entrance. Even my individual suite, one of seven there, was generously sized, featuring an en suite bathroom and vanity area well stocked with amenities and complimentary bottled water and mixed nuts.
I chose the 90-minute Raffles Signature Gemstone Massage, since it is a tension reliever that was much needed by me, and the spa is themed around gems. I filled in a card that allowed me to pictorially indicate the areas for my therapist to focus on or avoid – a detail missing at many spas that I find absolutely necessary, being quite fussy about the massage pressure for different parts of my body.
While Raffles Spa exclusively uses products from two luxury brands, premium US label ISUN and Mikimoto (yes, the Japanese pearl jeweller also manufactures high-end skincare products), a spa ultimately proves its worth through the delivery of its treatments. My affable Thai therapist first explained the healing properties of the carnelian, rose quartz and amethyst pebbles that would be used for the corresponding chakras of my body, after which I chose my preferred essential oil-infused massage oil.
The experience passed in a haze, for it was that good. It was a combination of my therapist’s long, kneading, muscle-melting strokes that bear traditional Thai massage pedigree; the comforting warmth of the gemstones; and the serene ambience of the room. It was one of those massages that you never knew you needed, and certainly one of the best local experiences I had in recent memory.
Treatments at the spa are pricey, but worth every dollar, and totally worth taking half the day out of your busy schedule for. To obtain the best value, do spare some time for the spa’s hydrothermal facilities pre- or post-treatment. Using the steam bath, sauna, ice fountain as well as the heated pool is said to promote better blood circulation and relaxation. From now until end of this June, guests also enjoy 20 per cent off any 90-minute facial or body treatment for appointments from Mondays through Wednesdays.
This story was published in the May 2021 issue of Prestige Singapore.