The Mandarin Oriental isn’t just a fabulous spot to lay your head — its spa is a destination in itself. Step through the entrance to be whisked away, thanks to its tranquil interiors of gleaming, dark polished wood designed to resemble an intimate oasis. It will calm even the most frazzled of nerves — mine for instance. Comfortably enveloped in a plush bathrobe with my phone stashed away, I felt my worries ebb away. “Close your eyes and lean back. Inhale, exhale,” my therapist said as I sunk my feet into a warm foot bath filled with hot stones and flower petals.
The new two-hour Himalayan Crystal Glow treatment was my chosen therapy. While the use of Himalayan salt stones is a new inclusion at the spa, it’s a practice that dates back to ancient times, and is a reflection of today’s wellness leanings on time-honoured techniques. Abundant with healing goodness, these stones are bliss to sore muscles. Himalayan salt is said to contain 84 minerals that, when absorbed, delivers benefits such as soothing the nervous system and boosting circulation. The salt stones, which would later be used in the massage, contain negative ions that balance out the toxic positive ones found in your body. Bonus: They’re anti-microbial, and antibacterial.
Kicking off the two-hour treatment was an invigorating full body scrub using Himalayan salts that begun with my feet before I lay face down on a comfortably heated bed. Nourished with almond oil, the salts melded into a warm scrub that worked itself into a creamy lather with chunky grains for a thorough exfoliation.
Where many therapists are too rough with this process, mine made the experience a soothing one as she gently sloughed off dead skin with extreme care, subsequently wrapping the freshly exfoliated skin in a hot towel. The result? My skin felt incredibly soft when I woke for a quick, warm rinse before I happily submitted to a massage.
Freshly scrubbed and showered, I was ready for the ultimate slumber. Lying face down again, I deeply inhaled the triphala oil, a cleansing and nourishing Ayurvedic oil that detoxifies the body, and gives the immune system a powerful boost. This, combined with that of Himalayan salt stones, made for a mind-melting massage. Long, firm strokes of medium pressure were applied as she eased the knots on my sore shoulders and kneaded my sore points. She alternated these with the stones, using them as an extension of her hands — the result was a seamless transition where I couldn’t tell between stones and hands. Heated up, they stayed consistently warm, and served as a respite from muscle pain. At times, they were left on my skin, easing the tension in particularly stubborn knots. When I turned over, the stones were placed on my stomach, to calm the uneasiness I’d been feeling all day The therapy ended with a firm, rejuvenating head massage, leaving me wonderfully relaxed.
A treatment at The Spa is never complete without winding down in the communal relaxation room to stir your senses back to life. Take a seat on the couch, or lean back and recline on a lounge chair with a cup of hot tea and snacks — all complimentary of course — before you pad over to the washroom for a steam bath, or hit the experience showers, where bright lights, varying water temperature and sound effects come together for an energising return to reality.
The Spa, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039797