The day after my helper came back from her holiday in the Philippines, I booked myself in for a massage at new Tiong Bahru day spa, Nimble/Knead. I had survived eight days of solo parenting (AKA Real World Motherhood) and felt like I deserved a bit of a treat. I’m always on the lookout for a decent neighbourhood massage place as in my opinion massages are a necessity, not a luxury, so a hotel spa can feel like a bit of a waste of time (and money) if you’re wanting to race in and out for a “quick fix” between meetings and appointments.
Nimble/Knead’s USP is that it’s a spa built from shipping containers, and has a cool, no-frills design, as befits its hipster location. Prices are reasonable, especially if it’s your first visit as they give a generous discount for newbies. The welcome is warm, and the spa menu is clear and easy to follow – you can choose from massages, facials or body scrubs and treatments. I chose the “A Thousand Smiles in the Land of the Rising Sun” (90 minutes for $74 introductory offer), which is basically a Thai massage in traditional pyjamas (sometimes you just don’t feel like getting naked for a massage, y’know?).
You are then led to your shipping container, with its curtain door and futon-like massage bed, and get changed. There isn’t really anywhere to put your clothes once you take them off, so I ended up kind of balling them up in my bag, leading to an even less chic than usual post-massage look. The light is dim, and there is spa muzak playing, and it’s very easy to slip into a blissful trance, except that your therapist’s thumbs of tungsten are inching their way up your spine and kneading your knotted calves.
The one downside of Nimble/Knead is that the shipping containers that you have your massage in are not at all sound-proof, so it can be a little disconcerting to be drifting off and then hear a toilet flushing, or someone padding by in flip flops or having a conversation what feels like right next to your head. Not necessarily super-zen, but it didn’t stress me out either.
Once your treatment is finished, you’re given time to dress again and then your therapist takes you for hot ginger tea in the sweet little courtyard garden. It was really nice to have this time to kind of “re-enter” the real world again and extend the feeling of giving myself a treat with some quiet alone time. When you’re ready to check out, you take yourself off to the reception again, where I was asked if I wanted to buy a package but there was no hard sell, and in minutes I was out blinking in the sunlight again, already planning my next visit (I’ve decided I’ll bring my husband back for an evening foot massage!).
Nimble/Knead, 66 Eng Watt Street #01-28, Singapore 160066
Tel: (+65) 6438 3933
Daily 11am – 9pm