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The Grand Estheva Spa - Review

Rubbing Shoulders with the "Tai Tais"

by Evelyn Chen

A 5,000-square-feet day spa in Singapore’s most glamorous fashion mall is no small feat in the space scarce lion city. If space and location alone do not draw you, let the truth be known that Penelope Cruz sneaked in here for a treatment when she visited Singapore. No amount of coaxing could convince the tight-lipped staff to divulge the covert treatment she indulged in. Before you scoot off to check out this hide-out, take note that Estheva is a ladies-only spa. While some selected offerings are pricey (the Celebrity Peel costs about US$500 per treatment), most treatments are reasonably priced and will not burn a hole in your pocket.

I visited Estheva on a humid and wet afternoon. The entrance to the spa looked warm and inviting—contemporary Mediterranean design with cream colored tiles and brightly lit reception. I was, however, surprised that a whiff of essential oils did not greet me upon entry. Whilst waiting for my treatment to commence, I flipped the spa menu. Though the menu looked like it needed a whitening treatment, it did its job of introducing me to Estheva’s fashionable legions of scrubs, wraps, massages, high-tech sounding facials and ritualistic packages. I have seen many spa menus in my life, and I must admit Estheva’s treatment descriptions are extremely well-crafted.

To get a scoop of what Estheva has to offer, I opted for the Citrus Body Massage and C-Matrix facial treatment. Etta, a poised young lady, performed both treatments. She started off the massage by asking if I preferred a heavy or lightweight massage; she also asked if I wanted her to focus the massage on specific areas. I requested “heavy” and highlighted my persistent shoulder ache from carrying my baby of eight months. She kneaded and glided her soothing but firm fingers, hands and elbows almost seamlessly over my body throughout the massage, paying attention to my problem areas. Admittedly, I cringed and felt the pain when Etta kneaded the knots behind my shoulders. The nagging shoulder ache however disappeared that very night!

Ladies only
18 treatment rooms
VIP spa suite
Aromatic green steam room
Swiss hydrotherapy treatment room
Retreat spa space

C is for Collagen. Next on the hit list was the “ultra-advanced and pampering” C-Matrix facial treatment. The talented Etta introduced the facial with a welcome touch. This was followed by interludes of cold lotions and warm toweling, a nice sensorial experience. I was pleasantly surprised when Etta started shaping my eyebrows in between products; she said it is part of all facial treatments here. After extraction and a calming facial massage, Etta placed collagen sheets on my face. She then drenched an ice-cold lotion over the sheets. This was followed by ten minutes of shoulder / neck massage, after which she left the room for twenty minutes. Though I adored the mask, I secretly wished that Etta had stayed in the room; I wouldn’t have minded a scalp or hand massage. After the mask was removed, Etta added her finishing touches and served me a cup of water. Unlike most other facials I’ve had, this one did not leave an oily sheen on my face. My skin felt supple and hydrated without a sticky sensation. That must be the collagen magic at work!

Do watch your water intake if you are planning on spending hours here. Before commencement of the treatment, I had to step out of Estheva briefly to use the ladies washroom since this facility is not available in-house (I was told for hygiene reasons).

So, if rubbing shoulders with the "tai tais" ("Singlish" for rich stay-at-home moms) and Singapore's brand of glamour puss is the thing for you, enjoy a languorous afternoon at Estheva and cruise down to Marmalade Pantry afterward for a tête-à-tête with your girlfriends. Urban life does not get any better than this.

The Grand Estheva Spa
390 Orchard Rd. #03-06/09 & 11/13
Palais Renaissance
Singapore 238871
Tel: 65 6733 9300

(Updated: 12/13/10 NW)

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