Spas in Singapore were allowed to reopen from 19 June and are busy. It was tricky to find an appointment within a couple of days of calling as multiple spas were fully booked and confirmed they were operating at full capacity. I’ve seen a wide range of promotions to entice visitors, so that seems to be working.
I was pleased to secure a booking at Adeva Spa Retreat at One Farrer Hotel as this local luxury spa has been on my shortlist for a while. The urban hotel is situated in one of Singapore’s heritage districts and showcases 700 pieces of original contemporary abstract art from Asia.
The spa, owned and managed by The Ultimate Group of Companies (see SB 2020 issue 4 p56), is set among lush tropical gardens and bordered by a large pool. This provides a beautiful, tranquil setting for the seven-suite spa, meditative reflexology walk and Japanese-style onsen gardens with water lounges, plunge pools and natural mineral pools.
COVID-19 restrictions & rules
All hotels in Singapore must pass an SG Clean quality certification – sgclean.gov.sg – and commit to upholding good sanitation and hygiene practices to reopen. The spa website immediately displays a pop up window confirming its compliance as well as a link to new detailed procedures.
This was very reassuring and throughout my experience, the spa went above and beyond these measures. Thoughtful touches included branded hand sanitiser for use and retail, for example, while the Trace Together QR code at check-in sat alongside a sign entitled ‘We care for you – Precautions to take for COVID-19’. The clever sign, with the a in care replaced by a red love heart, reminded spa-goers of restrictions and also included a link to the official government COVID-19 webpage. Logos for the Singapore Tourism Board and SG Passion Made Possible, the current destination brand, made it clear that these departments are working together to ensure the safety of employees and guests.
The telephone answered immediately when I called to book and a pleasant receptionist informed me of the first-time visitor trial pricing, which was SG$168 (US$124, €105, £95) compared to the published price of SG$388 (US$286, €241, £219). A welcome surprise! A text reminder confirmed cancellation fees would be waived if you’re not feeling well, which also gave me some peace of mind that they were mindful of everyone’s safety.
Arrival / check-in
A friendly employee greeted me at the hotel and waited while I checked-in with the QR code and had my temperature checked before helpfully explaining how to reach the spa. It was a seamless experience which continued as a spa receptionist pleasantly welcomed me after I checked in using the spa’s QR code and had my temperature taken again. This was necessary as the spa runs as a separate business to the hotel, but also thorough I thought. She then directed me to a consultation room for my pre-treatment forms.
As I’ve recently had surgery to remove two skin cancers on my clavicle and upper back (luckily caught early), the receptionist suggested I modified my facial to include hand and arm massages rather than the usual shoulder and décolleté massage. This was perfect and I appreciated the care and attention to detail which she then quickly relayed to my therapist who was waiting for me.
The room was nicely set up in neutral tones with faint relaxing music and a very soft, comfortable bed. I didn’t notice any pandemic information in the room, but I didn’t feel it was necessary either and it was nice to escape into a space that didn’t remind you about what was going on outside.
I chose a 90-minute 24k gold anti-ageing facial by Yellow Rose which complements other available treatments by medi-skincare range Hann and Korea’s Civasan brand. At each step during the facial, the therapist quietly stated what she was about to perform and continued on with the treatment. She remembered not to touch my recent surgery scars and to conduct the hand and arm massage, which were performed well. The products felt and smelt nice. The ambiance of the room and her delivery technique made it hard not to doze off towards the end.
The only thing which seemed to be missing was a specific eye cream that was different to the face moisturiser. I also prefer some lip balm applied at the end of a facial as I find my lips get dry from the cleaning, however that may have not been allowed due to coronavirus restrictions?
The treatment finished abruptly with the therapist asking me to sit up to wipe off the excess product. It would have flowed better with a more gentle culmination but I felt so relaxed it didn’t seem to matter, even when she wasn’t waiting outside for me. I meandered to reception and was guided to the consultation room where a cup of water was waiting for me. I was presented with an ‘add on’ option for the gardens, pools and steam/sauna area. I politely declined and the final check-out was friendly.
Adeva spa did an excellent job adhering to COVID-19 guidelines and maintaining a safe and enjoyable customer journey.
Even though all staff I saw were wearing face masks and there was obvious pandemic-related signage displayed around the venue, the spa experience was not negatively affected by these changes. I appreciated the attention to detail, from the friendly staff to the customising of my treatment which was also well executed. This was my first spa experience since lockdown and my surgery and it’s given me confidence to have even more.