A SIGNATURE treatment is a good way to gauge the services you might like in a spa. After all, like a chef's hat next to a dish in a food menu, the "signature" is a recommendation on its own - expected to showcase the best of a
spa therapist's moves and the spa's oil blends.
At the newly opened S.P.A, which niftily stands for Spa Park Asia, the signature treatment is a fusion of the best Asian therapies - Ayurvedic, Chinese Tuina, Indonesian, Shiatsu and Thai in a 100-minute long session ($180).
My treatment started with a "tranquillity ritual" - which means some calming pressing ministrations of the feet and the whole body while I'm lying face down. Fusion is precisely what spas in Asia should offer, I started thinking,
some 10-15 minutes into the treatment. Actually, what some experienced masseurs in the market already do is a hybrid of massage techniques, which they developed out of their own years of massage experience.But here, S.P.A.'s spa director and her team actually took the effort to "choreograph" their signature treatment - to make sure they chose the right moves, and that they flowed well from one to another.
The kneading of the body's large muscle groups was incorporated from Indonesian massage, for instance, while around the shoulder blades, more specific thumb-finger pressure was used. And then there's Shiatsu along the energy meridians of the spine and whole back.
The flow was there, because one didn't feel an abrupt change of the massage techniques, and every movement made sense. A lot of attention was paid to the legs, for instance, with the right amount of kneading and effleurage (long, smooth) strokes. If one were to go for a tui na session, for example, it could be kneading all the way, even at the ticklish parts where you wished the therapist would just be a little lighter instead of focusing on detailed spots.
The massage ends with a signature facial as well. The good thing is, since one usually goes to a massage in the middle or the end of the day, it's nice to have the face cleansed and refreshed as well at the end of the massage. The bad thing is, it's not easy to find a body masseuse who's also a good facial therapist because they're too used to their whole-body strokes. And viceversa, because a facial therapist is used to working on a small area.
So for mine, I felt the masseuse's fingers "crowding" my face during the facial massage, and the lack of fluency in her strokes were counter-relaxing.
This is something that the spa hopes its therapists will get better at, as it's training them to multi-task instead of focusing only on the body or face exclusively, I was told.
Ambience-wise, S.P.A may not make the designer spa list in Singapore, given that it has only minimally refurbished the original St Gregory Marine Spa's decor - the previous tenant of that spa space. The water features are still
there, however, so one can have a cosy hot pool party or a vichy shower.
Drink deeply of the signature herbal tea that awaits you after the massage session - it's quite a unique and lovely floral blend of different teas.
S.P.A., Spa Park Asia, Grand Plaza Park Hotel, 10 Coleman Street, Tel:6336 3456