It has been some time (too long) since I last had a massage so imagine how thrilled I am when I got the opportunity to try out The Signature at the Chinois Spa. A top-to-toe rub down with essential oils and natural emollients, it sounds like it is going to be 90 minutes of pure bliss – and god knows I need that.
I have only been to a local spa a couple of times as I associate body pampering with indulgent resort vacations on foreign beaches. However, taking a break from life and zen-ing out at a urban sanctuary in the heart of town actually makes more sense.
As evident from its name (i.e. Chinois = Chinese in French), the interior decor is distinctly oriental. Being Chinese, I often found the oriental theme to be stuffy and pretentious, rather than exotic. If you are of the same sentiment, fret not – from the reception to the treatment rooms, the furnishing at Chinois Spa are more modern Shanghai Tang than Qing Dynasty.
There are four (colour-coded) single* treatment rooms and I was led to the Amber Room. On entering the small, intimate place, I was greeted with the sweet but subtle scent of essential oils. Laid out neatly for my use was a tray of toiletries and a robe. Reflective of the management’s thoughtfulness, the room also feature a security safe for any small valuable items I may have with me. I also appreciate that there is a ensuite shower facility in the room for my convenience.
I was introduced to my therapist, Kamisha, who was friendly without being overly attentive. After a foot bath (with bath salts) to put me at ease, we were ready to begin the session. To ensure my comfort, the bed was warmed to a desired temperature.
When it comes to massages, I am of the school of thought that it should be relaxing and pleasurable instead of a pain endurance test. This is the main reason why I give Thai massage a wide berth. So, I’m pretty glad that The Signature is meant to be firm but not high-pressured. Kamisha’s skillful hands worked wonderfully on my stiff shoulders and kneaded away at my tight lower back muscles. Other than checking in on me now and then at the start, Kamisha left me to myself. Soon, I was drifting off to sleep.
The session ended too soon (but doesn’t it always?), but I’m already looking forward to trying out some of the other offerings on the body spa menu (i.e. body scrub, masque, hot stone massage) in the future.
Spa-ing in the city is definitely something I can get used to.
You will find Chinois Spa on Level 4, Mandarin Gallery.
* For those of you who are looking to tick ‘couple spa retreat’ off your to-do list, there are also couple facilities, most notably the Gold Couple’s Room that comes with a double jacuzzi and a steam room.