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The Oriental Spa - Review

Zen-Laced Luxury

by Evelyn Chen

After a massive renovation reportedly costing tens of millions of dollars, The Oriental, Singapore reopened for business in December 2004. Redesigned with a strong Pan-Asian influence, the swanky hotel exudes old mandarin elegance and Zen-laced luxury to match the top tier status now associated with Mandarin Oriental properties worldwide.

To complete our review of The Oriental Spa, we decided to stay a night at the newly refurbished hotel. Whilst our city-view suite afforded a great view of Singapore's skylines through the stunning floor-to-ceiling windows (we were told the harbor-view suites have a more spectacular view of the bay area), we were most impressed with the design of our suite. Bathed in warm neutral tones, it projected luxury and charm with attention to details that even the most jet-lagged guests would take notice of: textured ivory cloth on walls, polished wood bed panel and Jim Thompson beddings.

Tucked away discreetly on the fifth floor is The Oriental Spa. At 528 square meters, the spa comprises four treatment rooms, a Couples' Suite, a Shiatsu room, a yoga studio as well as a relaxation lounge. Dressed in an exotic dark mandarin interior, the dimly lit spa lobby is an aura of calm and peace. Comfort Zone products are decked neatly on shelves to the right of the spa upon entry. The menu here boasts an array of holistic therapies and spa rituals.

Whilst browsing the menu, cold tea was served and our shoes were discreetly removed in exchange for spa slippers. As we were seeking a unique treatment, the staff recommended that we try the Oriental Massage. Combining a unique blend of massage techniques from Asia, the indulgent one-and-a-half-hour Oriental Massage provided an excellent all-round relaxation for the muscles. Very unique to the Oriental Spa too, a tiny gong was sounded at the beginning and end of each treatment. This provided a truly "mandarin" touch to our Oriental experience.

The Oriental Spa has a reputation for being a top business hotel and tired execs will not be disappointed with the spa experience in lovely surroundings. But should you find yourself here with a partner, the Couples' Suite with its Agape baths, steam room and opium bed may be the ticket.

The Oriental, Singapore
5 Raffles Ave.
Marina Square
Singapore 039797

Guest writer, Evelyn Chen, is a Singapore-based freelance travel writer whose work has also appeared in's go asia channel and spa site. She travels regularly to spa destinations in South East Asia and has reviewed numerous award-winning properties in the region.

(Updated: 07/10/08 HC)

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