This article was first published in the May issue of the Invites magazine
I have a problem. The first thing I reach for every morning and the last thing I let go of every night is my mobile phone. I feel like a piece of me is missing if I don’t check in on my Facebook, emails, and my favourite blog sites. So, when I was offered the chance to try out the new Lifestyle Retreat at ESPA at Resorts World Sentosa, I took on the challenge: drop everything – mobile phone, laptop, even internet access *gasp* – and go recharge my own battery.
ESPA’s Lifestyle Retreats offer one to three nights stay at either RWS’s latest Equarius Hotel or its premium Beach Villas. I booked myself into the overnight programme at Equarius Hotel. Out of four goal-specific programmes that included Intro to Detox, De-Stress, and Fit for Life, I chose Weight Management.
Checking in and a chat
Arriving mid afternoon, I checked into Equarius Hotel’s Deluxe Room. This hotel offers the largest deluxe room types in Singapore, starting from 51 sqm. For Retreat guests, rooms are specially stocked with ESPA amenities, eye pillows, an aromatherapy burner, and a fruit platter.
Ready to plunge into the programme, I went to meet my naturopath, Tiffany. Naturopathy, a holistic form of treatment, believes that a body has its own healing powers and optimal health can be attained through the balance of one’s mind, body, and spirit. Dietary adjustments and behavioural changes are common prescriptions.
Confessing to a stranger my gluttony and character flaws is nerve-wracking. But I must say that Tiffany has fantastic bedside manners. We did a 30-minute lifestyle evaluation and looked at areas where I have left myself out in the cold – poor nutrition, irregular meals, and bad sleeping habits, my bedtime cyber-addiction being the biggest culprit. Tiffany sent me away with a customised programme, as well as nutrition and lifestyle tips to take home.
The first treatment and activity
My first spa treatment is the one-hour Indulgence Hammam Ritual. The marble-veined room is a splendid Turkish bath palace of steam and heated water – a refuge to cleanse, relax, and reflect. The treatment included a bath by the therapist and a deeply relaxing hair wash. It was followed by a vigorous scrub using a traditional kese mitt, a relaxing foam massage, and ended with nourishing marine mud mask.
The next activity was aqua aerobics. I had picked this from an all-day menu of activities: including zumba, yoga, meditation, and workshops for detox and cookery classes. I couldn’t resist the temptation of doing water exercise in a scenic pool surrounded by lush green and a beautiful sunset sky.
I was starving. Dinner was at ESPA’s cosy and quiet restaurant Tangerine. Tangerine has to be RWS’s best kept secret – helmed by celebrity chef couple Sam Leong and Forest.
Starter was the vibrant-green Baby Spinach Broth with King Crab and Enoki Mushrooms. The main was Chef Forest’s Sous Vide Salmon Fillet with Red Capsicum Coulis and Tamarind Sauce. The salmon was soft as tofu. I had the meal with homebrew lemongrass tea, infused with pandan and mint leaves and sweetened with natural honey. The chefs’ combination of eastern flavours and western techniques is nothing short of mastery.
Post dinner, I decided to take a dip in ESPA’s Vitality Pool. Sitting alone amid the shrubs, with the rainforest in view and the moon above, it was beauty and serenity. I forgot that I was in Singapore. I forgot my digital dope. This was what I had come for: me.
The next day
I woke up to in-room breakfast, followed by a one-hour session with the Tai Chi master on the lawn. Then it’s back to the treatment room for a 45-minute Detoxifying Salt & Oil Scrub. I left the room glowing pink like a baby, all ready for lunch at Tangerine.
My 24-hour sojourn flew by and before I knew it, I was getting into my cab to return to my frenetic life. I didn’t lose weight – not in a day – but I realised I could eat better, sleep better and live better. I promised myself that I’d be back. This time, I’ll do a three-night stay. I could cure my connectivity craving here.
*The programme is flexible. Sleep late if you’d like, or stay to enjoy ESPA’s facilities such as the Crystal Steam Room, Rock Sauna, Relaxation Lounge and Sleep Zone after you check out.
To find out more and to make bookings, visit the website here.