Singaporebrides | Beauty

January 2014

Girls’ Day Out in Spa Paradise

After months of gown fittings, table seating planning, wedding invitation designing and countless vendor meetings, your stress levels have risen to altitudes that are not so good for brides-to-be. You’re completely ready for a party to shake loose, except that the shaking part seems to require more energy than you can muster. Plus, you’ve been denying your sweet tooth and revving up on yoga sessions to prepare for your big day, and you really don’t want to waste your hard work by downing syrup-laced shots of booze and scoffing deep-fried snacks, even on your hen’s night. So where can a girl and her best friends go for some good, clean fun?

The Sentosa’s award-winning Spa Botanica turns out to be a brilliant place for the health-conscious bride and her entourage to escape city stress for a day and relax in the luxury of a garden spa paradise. I was invited to experience the spa’s soothing version of bridal bliss. My afternoon began with a healthy meal in the most tranquil of the resort’s restaurants, The Garden. It serves up a gourmet menu created around the refreshing concept of wholesome contemporary cuisine, using the freshest ingredients with exquisite care for their natural flavours.

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Girlfriends who want a taste of everything should order some starters to share. The Pan Seared Scallops taste every bit as juicy as they look, and the Smoked Eel is gorgeous with goat’s cheese and fuschia beetroot and raspberry, a vibrant flavour combination that I highly recommend. I also sampled the curiously refreshing Cucumber Gazpacho, a cold soup with quinoa couscous and avruga caviar. The Char-Grilled Short Rib, served with a healthy cereliac rosti (no carbs here!) and delicious onion praline, tastes surprisingly light for a meat course. For desserts, you won’t regret the restaurant’s chic raspberry interpretation of the New York cheesecake, which was beautifully presented and tasted even better than it looked. Both the cheesecake and our other treat, the Calvados Caramel-Chocolate Gateaux, hit just the right spot for sweet indulgence—you won’t suffer that sickly feeling from too much decadence here.

Chef Gary Edson explained how the health-conscious fare tastes and makes you feel so good. “Keep it simple,” his food philosophy declares, “When you make it all about the food, the ingredients speak to you and you know what best to do with them.” No wonder I was pleasantly stuffed, but not bloated the way you feel after gorging on meat and sugary desserts. The refreshingly light meals are perfect for complementing a rejuvenating day at the spa with your girls.

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Spa Botanica is one of Singapore’s top luxury spas, and it’s not difficult to see why, as you meander through the spa’s sprawling outdoor pavilions and lush gardens. Home to therapeutic waterfall float pools, meditative labyrinths and Asia’s first mud pools, the spa also facilitates outdoor treatments in private pavilions. Couple spa packages start from $530, and the garden pavilions with their private tubs are great for taking a break from wedding planning with your fiancé. A cosy time in the King’s Bath is sure to liven up the romance factor as well as erase all thoughts of briefings and fittings for a day!

Spa Botanica also offers a range of Spa Hen Retreats tailored for brides and their girlfriends to indulge in the ultimate pampering together. Melt the stress of wedding planning away with foot baths, 60-minute massages, detox wraps and facials, each using Spa Botanica’s own line of products which harness the healing nature of botanical extracts. The hen retreats start from $260 per person, and gives you access to the indoor and outdoor facilities as well. Smooth on some mineral-rich volcanic mud, cleanse off under the mist showers, hop in for a massage under the waterfalls, break for a calming tea in the outdoor tea house, and follow up with a soak in the hot and cold jacuzzis before being pampered in your massage and facial treatments. For something different, you can even opt to hold your hen’s night spa session under the stars with tables set up around the pools.

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After some sunbathing clad in mineral-rich mud at the private ladies-only gardens, I experienced the Total Chill-Out, a two-hour-and-15-minute pampering Spa Hen Retreat. To the scent of lavender and rosewood aromatherapy oils, the muscles in my arms, legs and back were kneaded into deep relaxation with the spa’s signature East-West blend technique. The therapist’s skilled touch massaged out the tiresome knots in my lower back with the perfect amount of pressure. The deluxe facial is customised to your skin’s needs, and under the therapist’s nimble fingers, the gentle facial massage was so soothing, I almost nodded off. Spa Botanica’s facial polish, purifying mask and eye gel left my skin soft and glowing for a full week.

While you’re going to glow with happiness on your wedding day, your skin will thank you for a rejuvenating boost. For a truly relaxing day that soothes tired minds and bodies, gather your girlfriends, turn off your phones, and retreat to tropical spa paradise.

Spa Botanica is located on the grounds of The Sentosa, A Beaufort Hotel at 2 Bukit Manis Road Sentosa, Singapore 099891. For more information, log on here.

Credit: Images by The Sentosa, A Beaufort Hotel