Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but we all know a good beauty therapist is definitely a mama’s secret weapon! Last month, I was lucky enough to scope out the annual AsiaSpa Awards and get the lowdown on the best of the best in the relaxation biz.
With an ‘old Hollywood glamour’ theme to mark the ritzy occasion, nominees and industry insiders were decked out in their red carpet finest to toast the top spas at hotels and resorts across Asia, along with gongs for the most luxurious retreats and, last but not least, the all-important products of the year.
If you’re anything like me, you’re always wondering which spa treatments really do work on tired, achy mummy-bones, and which products are genuinely going to erase those new-baby eye bags and sleep-deprived lines… well mamas, pen and paper at the ready; here’s the list! (Singapore mamas, we’re in luck – some of them are RIGHT on our doorstep!)
Urban Spa of the Year: Banyan Tree Spa at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Busy mamas in need of a total zone-out should try the Harmony Banyan 150 minute treatment?. The highlight is the harmony massage with two therapists working on either side of the body to bring about a harmonious sense of well-being. Inspired by Singapore’s national flower, the orchid scrub gently exfoliates to leave the body so very smooth. A head and food massage follows the harmony massage, and finally a therapeutic orchid bath completes this super-indulgent experience.
Day Spa of the Year: The Oasis Spa Lanna in Chiang Mai, Thailand If you’re heading for a family-friendly holiday in Thailand (check out Nicole’s Northern Thailand family lowdown here) then make sure you’ve booked your treatment at the Oasis Spa before you check in!
New Spa of the Year: ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore Ladies, the authentic Turkish hammam here is a must.Derived from the Arabic word meaning ‘heat,’ hammam treatments are an age-old ritual of cleansing and purification in the traditional heated bathhouses of Morocco and Turkey. Using a traditional Kese mitt and black olive soap, a full-body foam massage and nourishing mud body mask will leave you energised and with silky smooth skin.
Asian Spa Capital of the Year: Thailand Yep, when it comes to gorgeous day spas, you can’t really go wrong if you’re Thailand-bound on your hols!
Spa Design of the Year: The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong For mums-to-be there’s a special maternity experience to help ease aching muscles and make you feel completely relaxed and pampered. Once the little critter’s out and relaxation feels like a distant memory, you’ll be desperate for the new mom massage that reduces fatigue and nourishes the skin.
Spa Cuisine of the Year: The Farm, San Benito, Philippines If you want to make sure your belly is also nourished and revived then check out this completely vegan option. Food aside, there’s plenty on offer here for stressed out mums including a special treatment for preggers ladies called Hampol. This healing treatment has been practiced over generations in the Northern part of the Philippines and is based on the belief that all plants are created by nature for healing. Hampol uses a warm compress of a number of different local herbs, followed by a massage inspired by Hilot. This combination of herbs is said to improve blood circulation, relieve headaches, insomnia, arthritis, pelvic muscle tightness, bruising, dysmenorrhea and water retention.
Most Innovative Spa of the Year: Over-Water Spa, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives If it’s been a while since you and hubby enjoyed some downtime together, I’m told that the Siddhartha Art of Love spa rituals at the Conrad, designed for two and using aphrodisiac body oils is a fab way for a couple to reconnect and rediscover themselves. Just as exciting is the Ice-Cream Spa, designed especially for kids!
Busy dads, there’s one for you too!
Men’s Spa of the Year, Bliss Spa, W Hotel, Hong Kong Their ‘Homme Improvement Facial’ is great after a hard week’s work. This instant pick-me-up will leave you revived and ready to play with the kids all weekend…so then it’s mum’s turn to relax! My personal favorite is the ‘Youth as We Know It Facial’ (a girl’s gotta try, right?)
Men’s Product Line of the Year: Time For Men by Elegies
So get booking those flights now (I’m coming with you!) and if a vacay is not on the menu, rest assured there’s plenty of award-winning spas right here in SG for an amazing staycation!
Nicole was a newsreader and journalist with Sky News Australia for a decade, and has now swapped the news desk and microphone for a change table and nappy bag! Mum to baby Ava, Nicole is now enjoying casual work as a journalist, presenter, master of ceremonies and media trainer. Check out her blog mintmochamusings.com. She can be reached at [email protected].