I hate taking out packages when I visit a spa, or anywhere for that matter. I think it’s the eternal pessimist in me: what if I die before I’ve used up all my sessions? (Ditto advance planning for holidays.)
But at the beautiful, zen Ikeda Spa on Bukit Timah (in that weird stretch of shops sandwiched between fourth and sixth avenue) the prices sans-package are so punitive, and the treatments so fabulous, that you just have to do it.
It’s the place I have been looking for for ages. Citra, who I’ve written about before, may be fabulously priced (at $50 for one and a half hours home massage) but my house is so noisy, I sometimes like to be able to escape it.
I then become hugely fussy about paying proper money for a massage. I love the spa at the St Regis for instance but I am just not going to part with that much cash on a monthly basis. I want somewhere that feels luxe but doesn’t leave my shoulders up around my ears after I’m presented with the bill.
Equally, places that are super cheap tend not to be very relaxing and I hate being able to smell that the person before me had their head resting on the very same towel that is now being used for me. Yuck.
This place – Ikeda Spa – is the business. Not so cheap that they cut corners but equally not so expensive that I’m only going to want to visit it annually (Scottish blood, I just can’t help it).
Sheets are silky soft, towels are clean and fluffy and the massage technique, amazing (so good in fact that I never bother asking for a specific therapist – everyone’s excellent).
It’s also the little things: there is a rolled towel under your ankles (somehow so relaxing), an unfurling, floating lilly bud for you to stare at when you poke your head through the hole in the massage table that doesn’t EVER smell of anyone else and, finally, they always clean your feet with a hot towel before they start.
Your first treatment here is $90 and considered to be a trial. After that, it jumps up to $120. Take out a dreaded package and it will be reduced to $60 for an hour’s session, which I really don’t think is too bad (£30).
Ikeda is my new discovery but I am by no means the first to rate this place; the glass door of the joint is jam-packed with more stickers (above) than the windscreen of a car belonging to someone who’s a member of every single club in Singapore: it’s been voted ‘Best Spa’ that many times.
And I very much agree.
Since updating this post, the prices at Ikeda have risen. $60 WITH a package will get you a relaxing massage; deep tissue now costs considerably more. I am still a regular customer.
Ikeda sign and room image courtesy of Street Directory