The perfect stopover

MARK SMITH discovers a heavenly interlude at The Spa, Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, during his long-haul flight from the UK to Australia

Images: courtesy Mandarin Oriental Singapore

The Mandarin Oriental, Singapore is an ideal luxury stopover en-route to Australia and not only helps break the journey, but eases your body into another time zone with style and class. Indulge in one of the signature spa therapies to help soothe mind, body and spirit and relieve the symptoms of jet lag, it’s the perfect antidote to being cooped up in an airline seat for 12 hours.


Epitomising the very best of the Mandarin group, the Mandarin Oriental Singapore has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and is not showing its age at all. The Spa (the main reason for the stay) was completely refurbished in August 2011 and boasts six treatment rooms, including two couples suites, a separate manicure-pedicure station, a reflexology space and tea lounge for relaxation.


Tastefully appointed with dark woods and lacquered panels it evokes the history and heritage of Singapore’s colonial past. Using warm earthy tones, louvered shutters and subtle lighting it’s a haven of tranquillity and peace. From the moment I arrived and received my Moroccan Mint Tea I began to relax. The spa was a heavenly interlude and a highlight of the stopover. It has expertly included the best of Asian inspired treatments while offering a host of classic Mandarin Oriental Signature therapies.


I was privileged to experience my treatment in the luxurious private Spa Suite that not only had a couple’s vitality pool (I took a soothing bath prior to my treatment) but also a couple’s steam room (which I took advantage of too).


I had selected the two-hour Mandarin Oriental Signature Spa Therapies Treatment. It’s been developed in consultation with specialists in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and master aroma therapists (the UK’s Aromatherapy Associates) to devise a relaxing, hands-on body massage ritual that combines the powerful effects of oriental meridian massage with the therapeutic benefits of custom-blended essential oils, created uniquely for the Mandarin Oriental.


My therapist examined my Yin and Yang which revealed that I was feeling overly sensitive and needed rest, sleep and balance (I hadn’t slept at all on the flight from London or during the day in Singapore – so no wonder).


I was offered Awaken oil that is a blend of Lavender, Neroli, Grapefruit and Mandarin essential oils. Lavender creates a calming feeling, increases circulation and eases stiff muscles. Neroli is an uplifting oil made from the sweet orange blossom. Grapefruit is a warming oil that detoxifies and Mandarin is calming and cooling, and works to relax and soothe muscles.


The oils harmoniously work to cool and calm the body and senses, soothing both stress and worries. And it was spot on. After a foot bath and leg wash I was treated to a thorough full-body massage targeting, in particular the back, neck and shoulders but also focussed on my swollen feet and ankles using firm massage and stimulating pressure on the soles of my feet. The full sweeping strokes and good firm pressure helped release the tension of a 12-hour flight. I particularly liked the stomach massage which helped address some of the digestion issues identified in my TCM analysis. I did drop off to sleep for a while, but that was a wholly welcome outcome.


Following the treatment I was happily placed in a meditative state and suitably ready for a good night’s sleep. At the end of the treatment I was given some advice on taking a little exercise (I swam in the adjacent rooftop pool) drank plenty of still water and when my body said sleep – I did.


Treatment time: 1h 50 minutes

Price: SGD 330 (approx. £165)


Mandarin Oriental, Singapore

5 Raffles Avenue,

Marina Square,




Contact The SPA Traveller