I always believed there would be a market for late night massages. Anyway, you may need one after all those bouts of late-night shopping in Orchard Road.
The closest I ever got to that was during overseas stints where the resort I was staying in had an in-house spa. But I never got that luxury in Singapore
Back here, the latest that I ever found was one that let me make a last appointment at 9.30pm.
So I was pretty pleased when House invited me to try out their hoot hoot massage, or foot reflexology massage, as most of us would commonly know it, which is available until midnight.
The therapist who was assigned to me let on that he has worked on customers who come in as late as 11.30pm, although it was a shortened 30-minute session, since therapists are human and need their beauty's rest as well.
It was perfect timing for night owls who have trouble sleeping.
|Promotion card - either present it to the staff
at House for your massage, or call for an appointment
But back to the massage. When you think Chinese reflexology foot massage, images of HDB shops packed with overused armchairs and treatment beds hidden behind a shower curtain pop up. You look out of the shop to see HDB denizens passing by along the common corridor, and you wait your turn as the massage therapist works on someone right next to you.
Well, the hoot hoot massage is that kind of massage, except the view offered at House is of green treetops with nary a person in sight - unless you happen to look down into their herb garden of cafe diners, and the therapy room I was shown to was a pleasant, spacious one with piped in music and pretty artwork on the walls.
The room had two other massage chairs, so it is perfect for a treatment with a few friends.
And the technique practised by the therapist is nothing short of expert, whom the people at House have brought in from China for that extra professional touch.
The massage here starts off with a 20-minute shoulder and back rub, followed by a 40-minute session of foot and leg massage.
The shoulder and back rub left me in a good mood, as it worked out the knots there. No need to take off clothes or get under towels, as it is a traditional Chinese massage that only requires you to sit while being massaged and does not call for the use of oil during treatment.
The therapist, a Chinese national who used to practise his craft in Beijing for four years before landing up in Singapore, was generous enough to share his knowledge of foot reflexology with me when I asked what massaging all the different points on the soles of my feet did for me.
I liked the foot rub as my therapist had a gentle, yet firm hand. What impressed me even more was that the therapist knew his stuff well.
Most people I know who like foot reflexology massages usually ask for a firmer massage, and I must say I'm not one to cringe from pain. So when he asked whether I was comfortable and was the pressure he applied just right, I replied that I have sat through more forceable massages.
With only a slight pause, he told me that massages should not be too hard, or the customer might end up hurt, not healed.
That caught my attention, because I have experienced incidents when a so-called therapist worked on me, but I end up with a splitting headache or more knots and sores because they applied too much pressure.
With my limited command of the Chinese language, he imparted whatever technical knowledge he could, until my language finally gave up on me. Then he pointed helpfully to a chart of the human feet and legs. It had a comprehensive explanation of the different accupressure points along the feet and the legs - in English - to help me better understand what he was doing when he applied pressure to different parts of my feet.
We eventually chatted about his life in China and Singapore, and how he ended up working here, which was pleasant, idle talk given the quiet environment we were in.
Despite our chatter, I also got the feeling that he would be happy to keep quiet and leave me to enjoy the massage if I wanted to be left in peace too as he did not try to impose his presence on me while he worked on my sore points.
And he always kept his attention on my feet and legs, making sure I was comfortable and the pressure just right.
For the sweet part, I also got to enjoy a glass of champagne as my legs and feet were given the royal treatment - on the house.
The bubblies were definitely a good way to further relax and enjoy the quiet ambience.
For a 60-minute session, the price of $80 is a bit on the steep side, but the champagne is free and you do get assured that the staff know their work, and your feet will not have to suffer under their ministrations.
The hoot hoot massage with free champagne is open for booking from Thursdays to Sundays, from 6pm onwards. Treatment sessions are available until midnight, but do call ahead to make an appointment, preferably one day in advance, or you may be disappointed.
But the offer is only available until end Dec 2007.
House is at 8D Dempsey Road. Tel: 6479 0090.