Spa 1-Wellness Review: A relaxing and value-for-money retreat
Updated: Jun 8, 2021
Like most tired and stressed-out Singaporeans, I love a good massage and spa retreat. Unfortunately, many full-service spas are located within hotels and charge exorbitant amounts just for entry and usage of basic facilities like Jacuzzis.
One exception was W Sentosa where I enjoyed complimentary usage of their lovely Away Spa - you can read my full review of the hotel here.
So when I chanced upon a good promo deal for Spa 1-Wellness Centre, I knew I had to check it out. Priced at $28 ($29.96 after GST), the deal includes entry from 8pm to 10:20pm (both weekdays and weekends) and usage of the following facilities:
Hot Bath (Separate male and female facilities)
Cold Bath (Male)
Sauna and steam room (Separate male and female facilities)
Korean Cassia Seed Sauna (Unisex)
Himalayan Salt Sauna (Unisex)
Myanmar Jade Room (Unisex)
Resting Lounges (Separate for male and female)
Access to the in-house café with free-flow refreshments
The facilities and pictures impressed me, so I decided to head down. Thankfully, I managed to book a slot in early May - the spa is currently closed from 16 May to 13 June 2021 because of the Phase 2 Heightened Alert restrictions. New bookings can be made from 13th June 2021 onwards.
Booking was a breeze as well, all I had to do was WhatsApp the spa’s mobile number listed on their Facebook page, and they got back to me quickly on reserving a slot.
FYI, they also provide the following:
In-house adult clothing (up to XXXL)
Slippers and hair dryer
Disposable bra and underwear for ladies( nope , you don’t have to enter the hot pool naked)
In-house shorts for guys for pool-area
Shampoo and body wash (make-up remover and hair conditioner nor provided)
Spa 1-Wellness Centre is located at Grandlink Square along Guillemard Road, at the basement level. After check-in, we were ushered to a seating area briefly, before being given a tour of the premises along with a few others.
Here’s what you can expect during your visit :
Locker room and changing area
The locker/changing area is fairly sizeable, with a few hairdryers to freshen up with afterward.
The spa also provides a set of loose orange-coloured shirt and shorts to wear as you walk around outside, a face and body towel and a set of disposable underwear for the spa and sauna. There are also slippers provided to walk about in.
I did find the locker sizes a bit awkward though. They had an odd, elongated shape, and I had trouble stuffing my handbag inside. I'd advise bringing a smaller bag or maybe a tote bag which would fit in better. There are also hangers for your clothes.
The hot bath is accessible via the female changing area. It’s definitely much smaller than the one at Yunomori Onsen & Spa in Kallang Wave Pool (which has 4 hot pools and one cold pool) , and certainly less decorated than the provided picture suggests.
It wasn’t too crowded when I went on a Monday evening though, so I shared the pool with at most two or three other people and had to myself at some points. It's mentioned on their signage board that the hot baths have a temperature of 40 to 40 degrees, but it didn’t feel as warm as that (perhaps around 38 to 39 degrees max?).
Despite that and its small size, it was still really relaxing. The bath area and water was clean and the jets were strong enough for my liking. You can’t spend too long in a hot pool anyway - I always end up feeling quite light-headed after 15 minutes.
There’s also a small shower area for you to wash up beforehand, a few tables and chairs as well as a water dispenser with disposable cups.
Obviously, I didn’t get to visit the male baths, but it is bigger with two hot pools and a cold pool. One of the hot pools even has four seats to lie on.
Grand spa therapy
Next to the hot pool is what’s known as the Grand Spa Therapy. The area consists of two bathtubs and a blue bed ( I’m honestly not sure what that was for).
The Grand Spa Therapy is described as a hydro-massage bubble bath with up to 46 litres of high speed air bubbles. According to the spa’s description of it, 15 minutes of the therapy is akin to a 3 km slow jog in energy exchange.
The benefits they listed include:
Improvement of blood circulation
A boosting of the immune system, metabolic rate and stimulation of the creation of blood cells
Relieves body tension and promotes better sleep
I didn’t try it out because I couldn't quite figure out how it worked and no one else was using it. The therapy is chargeable too, at $38 for 15 minutes.
Sauna and steam room
The infrared sauna is just next to the hot pool, and both the sauna and steam room are connected to the female bathroom.
There were no capacity limits stated ( from what I can recall), but both rooms looked like they could sit 4 people comfortably. There was no crowd when I went so I had both rooms all to myself at around 9pm. Both were very clean and well-maintained too.
The recommended duration for the sauna is 15- 30 minutes, and 10 -20 minutes for the steam room. I advised following the lower limits through, to avoid dizziness or other forms of discomfort.
In case you were wondering, a steam room provides moist heat from a generator that pumps the steam into the room at regular intervals.
In contrast, a sauna uses dry heat, and the one here emits heat from infrared light via specially installed panels. The temperature is lower than regular saunas too, so do check it out if you can’t bear the heat from regular saunas. It did take me longer than usual to feel the heat, so I’d say the technology works well.
You can also head to the female-only resting lounge just next to the changing area to chill out. The dimly-lit area was quiet, though the TV screens were not operating so you’ll have to bring your own form of entertainment.
The large recliner chairs were pretty big and comfortable as well, so you could very well have a nice nap. There are also additional lockers inside the resting lounge for you to store your belongings.
Cassia seed sauna
As you head out to the public/ unisex areas, you’ll come across the cassia seed sauna. It’s an offering modelled after traditional Jjimjilbangs in Korea.
The cassia seed is a Chinese herb that’s known for benefits such as weight loss and relieving of congestion, redness and vision ailments.
According to the spa, the cassia seed sauna itself boasts benefits like an improvement in quality of sleep, detox, weight loss and a reduction in stress level.
Whilst I doubt you’ll get all of that with just a 10- 15 minute visit, I did find the experience very unique. You basically lie down and bury yourself amongst the small blackish seeds, and there’s also a tool to scoop them onto your body. The seeds are warm but not so hot that it becomes unbearable.
They do stick to your body though, so be sure to brush them off thoroughly with the brush that’s provided before you leave the room.
Himalayan salt sauna
This sauna is filled with Himalayan sat obtained from mines in the Himalayan foothills. These salts contain 84 natural minerals that are present in the human body.
The salt air and particles absorb irritants, allergens and toxins from the skin and respiratory system, and are believed to help relieve muscular inflammation, joint pain and discomfort from asthma.
I don’t have any of these conditions so can’t really attest to how beneficial the salts actually are. But I would say the cassia seed sauna is a little more comfortable to visit, given that the salts are bigger and grainier than the seeds and do grate against your skin a little.
If I recall, they also give you a brick to rest your head on, whereas there’s a pillow for the cassia seed sauna.
I did see a guy napping here quite comfortably though, so it’s a matter of preference I guess!
This room features oxygen therapy, where the air pressure in the room is roughly two to three times higher than normal air pressure. I didn’t try this out as it’s chargeable too, priced at $10 for 15 minutes.
Oxygen therapy is reputed to speed up the wound healing process, relieve headaches and sinus problems and relax the body.
Do remember not to bring your phone into this room, or carry items like lighters or battery-powered devices.
Myanmar jade room
This was one of my favourite rooms ( let’s just say I prefer the cold to heat). This room features cold jade beds/ mats you can lie on. The jade beads promote chiropractic and acupressure benefits, correcting imbalances in your musculoskeletal system and "Qi".
There are also partitions between each bed for more privacy, and quite a number of beds available in the room as well.
I’d say it’s the perfect place to cool down (and maybe even knock out) after all that heat in the hot pools, steam room and various saunas. The jade mats are relaxing enough to lie on without being uncomfortable - it felt like a mini back massage.
With the food here being described as vegetarian café refreshments, I honestly wasn’t expecting much. I pictured finger foods like fried spring rolls and other small snacks.
So I was pretty impressed to see the menu, which rotates every day. The selection isn’t huge, but they do serve at least two main dishes daily in addition to salad, carrot cake and a healthy dessert of the day. All dishes are free-flow too.
Coming on a Monday, we got olive veg fried rice, curry noodles, carrot cake and green bean soup.
The highlight was definitely the curry noodles. Even with mock char siew, it was one of the tastiest curry noodles I’ve had thanks to the rich and flavourful sauce, and generous ingredients like tau pok and fried wanton. If I wasn't full, I would definitely have ordered a second bowl.
The carrot cake was very pleasant too. Sure - it isn’t as good as the famous ones at hawker centres, but it was tasty, crunchy and not oily at all. The portion size was generous and we saw people ordering multiple servings of this so it must be a hot favourite.
In addition to food, drinks such a white coffee, chocolate malt, milk tea and hot water are served, along with several types of biscuits.
Admittedly, treatments here are pretty pricey. Their 90-minute signature hot stone massage will set you back $188. A 60-minute Japanese shiatsu massage costs $138, and a facial costs $158.
You do get a complimentary day pass with $58 with any treatment, so consider that if you want to indulge or spend a whole day at the spa.
Aside from the After 8pm promo, Spa1-wellness charges the following for day passes.
3-hour pass at $38
Full day pass at $58 (11am - 10:30pm)
Couple/buddy full day pass at $88
You can also buy credit packages on their website if you plan on patronising frequently.
From my experience, the $28 after 8pm promo is pretty value-for-money and I’d highly recommend it. The food I had was delicious, so you could very well have a late dinner there.
I advise coming on a weekday night though, to avoid crowds at the facilities.
Whilst the female area only has one hot pool, I’d still say it’s more value than Yunomori Onsen & Spa, which charges $38 just for onsen entry and its resting area( which was completely packed when I visited last year).
At Spa 1-Wellness, you also get to check out various unique saunas and rooms. You do have to check out by 10:20pm, but two and half hours is sufficient to enjoy what the spa has to offer.
Spa-1 Wellness Centre is closed from 16 May to 13 June 2021 due to Phase 2 HA, bookings can be made after it reopens.