The Best Day Spas and Retreats to Visit in Fast-Paced Singapore

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It’s not all hustle and bustle in the vibrant city of Singapore. Underneath its busy exterior, you’ll find a burgeoning holistic wellness scene packed with places and activities to help you achieve your zen.

In amongst the skyscrapers, busy shopping malls, and fantastical light shows, there’s a softer, calmer side of Singapore to be found. The city is both the yin and the yang, a city getaway for the shopping and bar-hopping folk while also being a holistic wellness hub for those looking for a more restorative holiday.

The best part? You needn’t go far from all that hustle and bustle to find a blissful holiday. These are some of the best ways to find your zen on the island, all within a short distance of the busy central business district.

Image: Supplied by Singapore Tourism Board

Rejuvenate in a Former Black and White Colonial Garrison

Hide away for some relaxation time in the tranquil oasis, Villa Samadhi. Within the lush green gardens of the 22-hectare Labrador Nature Reserve, this former black and white colonial garrison is an important part of Singapore’s history and a sanctuary for anyone seeking an escape from the city.

Spend your days relaxing in your own private garden and plunge pool of the Luxe Sarang room or curl up with a cup of tea (or cocktail, depending on the time of day) and a good book in the on-site library. If you’re feeling hungry, take a two-minute walk through a jungle boardwalk to Tamarind Hill for some of the best contemporary Thai and Shan cuisine in a bungalow setting.

Relax at a Day Spa in One of Singapore’s Largest Urban Parks

Singapore is a vibrant, fast-paced city. It’s also an incredibly green city, filled with large parks and green spaces for city-dwellers to escape for a bit of nature therapy. Nestled in the lush greenery of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in one of Singapore’s heartlands, you’ll find Aramsa The Garden Spa, a luxurious day spa that blends the boundary between indoor and outdoor by inviting the surrounding garden inside.

The 17 uniquely designed treatment rooms each have a courtyard, as well as an outdoor shower or tub from which you can enjoy the surrounding nature. Book in for one of their 150-minute spa packages and indulge in a relaxing massage (all therapists are fully vaccinated and take COVID tests weekly), followed by a quiet soak in the outdoor bath.

Unwind in a Singapore Onsen

The sleek and modern Yunomori Onsen Spa brings the mineral baths and spas of the Japanese Onsen to the heart of Singapore. With a selection of baths (think jet, bubble, or silk baths), steam rooms, and saunas, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Said to aid with the appearance of your skin, blood circulation, and muscle tension, the baths of the Onsen are the perfect place to find a little calm time.

Purchase a day pass and let your worries drift away as you slide into a warm tub of mineralised water or allow the rhythmic drumming of the spa jets to work out the tension in your tight muscles. There’s even a day spa on-site, should you want to couple your Onsen visit with a massage.

Refuel With the Right Food

Looking after your health and wellbeing starts on the inside. Nourishing the body with wholesome, healthy foods is fundamental to optimal brain and body performance, so why not give your digestive system a break by seeking out some of Singapore’s health-focused eateries.

A good place to start is at The Living Cafe. Using only the highest quality organic produce and the freshest ingredients, the Bukit Timah café omits all dairy, red meat, refined sugars, artificial additives, and preservatives from their kitchen. The menu is innovative and creative, swapping out ingredients like minced beef for walnut ‘meat’ in their version of tacos and bacon for ‘eggplant bacon’ in a keto brekky bowl. If you’re not quite ready to commit to 100% meat-free eating, the cafe does serve up small amounts of white meat and fish as options in their ‘bowls of plenty’ and on their comfort food menu.

singapore open farm community
Image: Supplied by Singapore Tourism Board

In the backyard of Singapore’s newest lifestyle precinct, Dempsey Hill, you’ll find Open Farm Community, a combined sustainable urban farm, restaurant, coffee bar, fresh juice, and cocktail bar, plus an educational space. Championing the farm-to-table concept, the restaurant strives to rebuild the connection between people and the food they eat. The menu also puts a heavy focus on gluten-free, vegan, and eco-friendly food — think mushroom ravioli with oyster mushroom ‘bacon’ and potato crumble, and farm-fresh eggplant with jackfruit, cashew and wild pepper. It’s delicious and wholesome food served in an elegant and refined way.

Float Your Troubles Away

Let your anxiety and stress drop away as you lay weightless, cocooned in your personal sensory deprivation tank. Filled with Epsom salt-infused water at a comfortable 34.5 degrees, the six float pods at Palm Ave Float Club — Singapore’s first and only float club — encourage a meditative state by removing external stimulants like sound, light, and gravity.

float pod
Image: Supplied by Singapore Tourism Board

Just an hour in the pod is said to increase mental clarity and focus, boost creativity and problem solving, and assist in muscle recovery. Follow up your blissful float with some rejuvenating red-light therapy. Five to ten minutes bathed in the gentle red glow is all you need to stimulate the cell mitochondria, which, in turn, speeds up the healing and regeneration process in your cells.

Enhance Your Vitality Through Complementary Therapies

Traditional Chinese medicine and therapies have been practised for more than 2,000 years. Primarily sought as a complementary alternative to the Western medicinal approach, ancient Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, cupping, and massage rituals aid healing and instil a renewed sense of vitality.

eu yang sang singapore
Image: Supplied by Singapore Tourism Board

In Singapore, try visiting a Eu Yan Sang Premier TCM Centre, wellness clinic, general clinic, or sessional clinic to delve even further into your wellness journey. Your appointment at the clinic will start with a health assessment by a fully certified practitioner, where you can specify any particular ailments you’d like addressed. They treat anything from dermatological concerns to fertility, long-term or short-term. Post-assessment, you’ll receive a detailed personalised treatment plan to begin in Singapore and take home to continue. Be sure to pop into the Eu Yan Sang store to stock up on herbal remedies while you’re there.

Find your zen in this urban wellness haven and pamper yourself with the right food, activities, and accommodation to help you relax on your next holiday. If you’re an existing ClassPass member, you’re in for a real treat in Singapore, too. Across the city, there are more than 300 studios and classes you can spend your credits on, from a gentle restorative yoga or Pilates class, to the more unusual classes like HIIT on floating pool mats, or outdoor street callisthenics. Who says you have to stop your exercise plan when on holiday? If you’re not yet a ClassPass member, you can sign up for a free trial to get access to the host of activities and experts on the app.

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