About a month ago, my husband and I booked a Fairmont Hotel package that came with a 60-minute aromatherapy relaxation massage (read about our entire stay here). Unfortunately, our massage reservation didn’t show up on their system and they were out of available slots that day! Thankfully, we were issued a return voucher by Ophelia, the manager on duty. She even upgraded us to the couple suite, which we thought was excellent service recovery. So here we are, redeeming our massage session a month later (:
On the day of our appointment, we arrived 30 minutes earlier to use the spa facilities (remember to bring your swimwear along). My husband wanted to use the gym but apparently it was only available for in-house guests. One of the staff walked me all the way to the mostly empty plunge pool area. I could fully immerse in the serenity of the spa environment without worrying about the time as the staff mentioned that she will notify me when it was our turn. My husband took some photos of the men’s facilities and I must say it looked much more open and brightly lit. The relaxation lounge there even had a view of the Marina Bay area! Tsk tsk, playing gender favourites?
As mentioned in an earlier review of our stay, the facilities sorely needed updating. The grout between the shower stalls tiles were black, discoloured and completely uninviting. The locker I used required some wrestling to be locked and unlocked, and the hinges were also severely rusted. Generally, the hardware here was showing signs of age.
When it was our turn, Shirley, my masseuse, escorted me to the couple suite located beside the main entrance. Before beginning, she asked which parts she should focus on (plus points for customizing!). I usually prefer silent massages where the masseuse doesn’t engage in too much conversation to the point where I can’t switch off and just relax. Shirley kinda took it to the extreme end of the spectrum where she barely breathed a word to me. While I did somewhat appreciate that approach, I thought she could’ve at least done the routine checks of whether the pressure she used was okay or give me a heads up before wrapping my feet in a super hot towel (both of which my husband’s masseuse did).
However, her skills and experience were undeniable. I liked how she targeted and worked to release the knots in my back and shoulders. She also instinctively knew when to give me a break from all that agony by moving to a different spot before coming back later to tackle it. The pressure she used was acceptable most of the time, with some parts going slightly above my pain threshold (I prefer light massages that don’t involve a lot of pressure). True enough, when I briefly chatted with her after the massage, she mentioned that she has 40 years of experience under her belt (woah).
While walking me back to my locker, Shirley brought me to check out one of the bigger single occupancy rooms that could fit regular massage facilities as well as a free-standing jacuzzi bathtub, incredibly spacious! The other single occupancy rooms were about half the size of this room. She also explained that the jacuzzis were for specific types of treatments and using them would require a top-up fee.
My overall rating of the experience: 4 out of 5 stars. Our masseuses were very professional and competent, and the quality of the massages we got were pretty decent. A day or two after my massage, the spots where I had those knots worked on were aching slightly, but the good kind of ache where you know tension has been released. My husband enjoyed his high-pressure deep tissue massage too. In addition, it was nice to have access to a wide range of spa facilities like the plunge pool and the relaxation lounge. The main drawback was really the worn-out hardware, which made it feel much less luxurious than it could’ve been. Looking at the a la carte prices here (for instance, this same massage sets you back $149++ per person), I found it a tad expensive and I’m not sure the entire experience justifies these prices, unless they refurbish the facilities. Costs aside, we had a very pleasant time here and mighty glad our (rather pocket-friendly) stay package already included this wonderful experience (: