Core to the Six Senses brand and identity is its spa proposition. Indeed, it is probably hard to imagine Six Senses’ ultra-luxurious resorts without giving the wellness options more than a passing thought. For the case of the Singapore property which is the brand’s first city hotel, that proposition is fortunately not lost. Several months after Six Senses Maxwell opened, the property has finally debuted its spa pods located at the 4th level of the hotel.
Singapore has no shortage of spas but given the country’s heavily urban nature, spas here, with the exception of the ones in Sentosa, are mainly packaged with the urban dweller in mind. The new spa at Six Senses Singapore seems to break that mold by offering much more than your standard facials and massages. Taking a cue from its expertise in bringing resort-like facilities, the Six Senses spa offers multi-faceted programs including ones that combine massages with dining and even a health consultation. Recently, I was invited over by the folks from Six Senses Singapore to check out their new spa.
One of the signature treatments at the hotel spa is the Wellness Retreat (S$300++), a 3-in-1 programme that includes time with seasoned practitioners from a local TCM clinic that hold office in Six Senses Duxton, lunch in one of the hotel’s dining outlets and finally, an elaborate 2 hour 15 minutes massage, scrub and wrap.
One of the defining features of Six Senses Singapore, especially in its Duxton property, is the presence of a TCM practitioner in the lobby that staying guests can visit for free. The TCM practitioner is usually available daily between 1PM to 6:30PM. For the Wellness Retreat package, a complimentary visit to the practitioner is also included. The visit lasts for around 15 minutes after which the practitioner will suggest a course of action. If any medication or services such as acupuncture are recommended, these are charged separately.
As part of the Wellness Retreat, a healthful lunch is included in either Cook & Tras or Yellow Pot. I had wonderful memories of the food at Yellow Pot from my visit last year so I picked the latter. It’s possible to have the meal before or after the massage experience. In my case, I decided to have mine before. The meal wasn’t particularly heavy despite having 4 courses – 1 soup, a main, a carbohydrate dish and dessert.
The dishes change each day but during my visit, I had a run through of some of the house specialties. I still vividly remember the previous time when I had the Steamed Kuhlbarra Barramundi which comes with pesto as well as the delightful Stir-fried Mee Sua with prawns.
For the soup, I had an off-menu item – the nourishing Black Chicken Soup which blends well with the whole TCM and wellness concept. To cap off the meal, I had tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) in ginger soup.
Six Senses Singapore Spa
The spa pods at Six Senses Singapore are located in the Maxwell property in the 4th floor. The venue is expected to be just a temporary one. The permanent location will be open in a few months’ time somewhere in Tanjong Pagar Road. In the temporary space, there are 5 spa treatment rooms and 2 lounge rooms. After I was asked to fill out the registration form and handed my welcome drink, I was shown to one of the treatment rooms.
What followed was probably one of the most elaborate spa experiences I have ever encountered. The Vanda Miss Joaquim ritual (included in the Wellness Retreat and priced at S$280 when purchased separately) seemed like the perfect treatment to soothe those tired muscles. With the banging of a bronze bowl, the therapist started with a deeply calming back, neck and shoulders massage. There was a hot stone element to the massage, too, via the application of large amethyst crystals at key points of the body for deep tissue relaxation.
It was deeply relaxing indeed that I dozed off midway, only to wake up after the therapist signaled to me that it was time for the body scrub. Six Senses Singapore uses Himalayan salt and orchid oil for the scrub. Products used come from The Organic Pharmacy.
After a good scrubbing, it was time for a shower after which a lightly scented body mask is applied. Owing to the group’s commitment to sustainability, Six Senses does not use plastic for its body wraps. Instead, they use blankets made of fabric for it. Also, rather than leave one bored for a good 15 minutes while being cocooned, the ritual instead calls for a simultaneous facial massage. Interestingly, this massage is a combination of the gentle pressures of the therapist’s fingers and the use of a bamboo stick being rolled across one’s face. According to the therapist, this practice was derived from Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain in Central China. Whatever it is, it was so calming that I dozed off yet again. The ritual then ended with one final round of rose and jasmine body oil.
Those with a bit more time to spare would probably be fascinated with the spa’s relaxation lounges. At first glance, it might seem like in other spas. You get to sit on a lounge chair and you get served with herbal tea and fruits. However, the lounge is actually more like an extension to the ritual that just ended. The seats can actually made to vibrate according to different rhythms that one can choose from an iPod. These options range from the waves of the sea to the chirping of birds in a forest. One can also complement this experience via the other senses – music mimicking these situations can also be played and transmitted via the accompanying headphones.
For those who yearn for the resort life without having to venture out of Singapore, or even to Sentosa; the spa at Six Senses Singapore fulfills that getaway vibe (at least in the wellness aspect). For one weekend afternoon, it seemed that I had left the concrete jungle (and all my worries) for a pampering experience that an ultra-luxury hotel brand such as Six Senses Singapore knows best.
Six Senses Singapore
2 Cook Street
+65 6914 1400