Imagine having a spa treatment in a tranquil, lush garden where award-winning architecture keeps out the hubbub of traffic and harmonises nature in the design of the rooms, the outdoor showers and baths. At Aramsa The Garden Spa, the only sounds you’ll hear are the chirping of birds and cicadas – even the staff work quietly so you can really unwind and relax.
Such was my experience at Aramsa The Garden Spa in Bishan Park 2 one sultry weekday afternoon. As part of our work for the Entertainer, I had arranged to try the Regenerating Facial ($208, 75 minutes), one of the treatments available for the one-for-one offers on the app and in the book. The other two available offers are Milk & Rose Garden Bath ($98, 30 minutes) and Aramsa Touch Massage ($138, 60 minutes). This means that you get two treatment sessions for the price of one. You can either go on your own, pay in full at your first visit, then your second visit will be complimentary. Or, go with a friend and split the bill!
The last time I had a facial done at a salon was during the year I was preparing for my wedding; I was a high-maintenance bride who needed her spa treatments to get her glow on. After marriage and later, having a kid, the sensibilities of money-minding made it impractical to continue going for regular facials, and massages became an occasional luxury. But now, the Entertainer Body one-for-one deals will make it worth more my while when I need to be pampered.
The harsh midday sun and noise from revellers at the park seemed to fade away once I stepped inside Aramsa. Conveniently located right behind the car park near Canopy Dining, Green Room Café and Middle Rock Bar (which, by the way, are owned by the same people as Aramsa Spas), I didn’t have to walk far after parking and found the entrance to Aramsa straightaway.
The reception area feels cool and professional, being encased in glass, with a myriad of skincare products neatly arranged on wooden shelves and islands. But beyond this glass room is a verdant sanctuary where tropical landscaping meets Japanese zen. Stone, wood and greenery form the foundation of this unique garden design facility, which has been recognised by the Singapore Institute of Architects as the winner of the Commercial Projects division in 2008.
I was shown the way to a beautiful, big and clean locker room which led to a gorgeous open-air shower area and a Swedish sauna. Immediately I regretted not arriving at least 30 minutes early because all customers are entitled to use the sauna and shower before their treatment commences.
Anyhow, after changing out of my clothes and into the robes provided, I waited briefly at a refreshment lounge where I could help myself to kangen water, other hot beverages and light snacks while gazing at the greenery outside. Then my facialist, Flora, appeared and I was led to one of the 17 luxurious treatment rooms – each room is equipped with an outdoor bath and shower in a small courtyard.
The introduction on the Aramsa website says that the Regenerating Facial is “the perfect antidote for skin in need of a circulation boost after air travel illness, medication or stress”. I was pleased when I was told that it also helps to leave the skin hydrated, works to eradicate free radicals, reduces winkles and fine lines. I’ve been attacked by fine lines since I hit my 30s and I have always thought that my skin could look a little less sallow. I also have a stubborn rough spot under my lower lip which could use some retexturing.
I love the fact that the facialist makes it a point to communicate with me before the treatment commences. Flora asked me whether I was on medication, whether I had undergone any laser treatment recently, whether I was allergic to any substances, and what I thought my skin needed. She told me what she was going to do before she started washing my face: She said that she would wash and exfoliate my face, then analyse my skin before commencing the treatment. And, once the treatment commenced, she would stop talking to me. This is great for me because I absolutely hate it when therapists talk to me when I am trying to enjoy the treatment. I find that they somehow lose focus when they’re talking, especially during massage and they miss the shiok spots, or use less pressure.
The Regenerating Facial uses a range of SkinCeuticals products, the highlight of which is C E Ferulic, a daytime antioxidant serum which was applied to my face at the end of the treatment. It is said to deliver advanced environmental protection against photoaging by neutralising free radicals that cause accelerated signs of ageing, alleviate puffiness around the eye area, support collagen synthesis as well as heal and soothe. The other products include a Hydrating B5 Gel and Hydrating B5 Masque, which help with tissue repair, are water binding and smoothen rough skin.
With gentle hands but a firm touch, she cleansed my skin and switched on a bright light to check for spots and blemishes. Her conclusion: My combination type complexion wasn’t as “dirty” as I thought it was. If I was concerned about clogged pores, all I needed was a mud pack I could easily apply at home. If I wanted a pampering spa treat, I could come back for a Hydra Glycolic facial which is supposed to deep cleanse skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles as well as restore a youthful glow to my skin. I was delighted that at no point of the facial did she try to hard-sell me any spa package or products.
Three masques were applied to my skin – a hydrating one, a firming one, and an eye mask. The overall target of the facial was to drench my skin in hydration and tighten my skin by stimulating collagen synthesis. Flora was thoroughly professional throughout the session, massaging with deft strokes and always making sure that I knew what she was going to do. I had a wonderful face, neck and shoulder massage.
And Flora kept her promise. She’s a lovely lady to talk to and had such a pleasant disposition, but I was very happy when she told me that the treatment was going to commence and that she was going to be silent. I dozed off while the masque sat on my face, and was left to snooze in peace. Only when all the masque had been washed off and after she had applied all the products she needed to, did she share pamphlets on the products she had used on me.
The effects of this facial were immediately felt and seen. My face felt smoother, brighter, clearer, the fine lines were diminished and my skin felt more supple. The rough spot was gone! I would definitely highly recommend Aramsa The Garden Spa to anyone who wants a professional, peaceful and painless facial.
The Regenerating Facial costs S$208, 75 minutes. This is one of three available offers by Aramsa The Garden Spa with the Entertainer. The other two offers are: Milk & Rose Garden Bath ($98, 30 minutes) and Aramsa Touch Massage ($138, 60 minutes).
Aramsa The Garden Spa
Address: Bishan Park 2, 1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
Tel: 6456 6556
Treatment slots are subject to availability and it’s always best to call ahead and make your booking in advance. The Entertainer Body Vouchers can be used individually. Pay full price for the first treatment/visit, then you’ll be provided a voucher by the outlet for your second treatment, which will be complimentary. Alternatively, you can book a treatment/visit with a friend and split the cost. Please note that the Entertainer vouchers cannot be used on eve of public holidays and public holidays, and gift vouchers cannot be issued for your complimentary Entertainer Body voucher visit/treatment.
Plenty of other beauty merchant offers are available with Entertainer Body vouchers: Pink Parlour, Asterspring, CROSSFIT, Hadara, LS Philosophy Spa, Mary Chia, Philip Wain, Spa Elements, Spa Symphony, Spa Rael, Urban Homme and more. Using a voucher for any of these treatments will offset the cost of the app, which is $60.