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We had one more night in the Goodwood Park Hotel, then headed over to Sentosa. Sentosa is a little island off the bottom of the mainland that was used by the British as a military fort in WW2. When we lived in Singapore, you got there by cable car to see a museum and a monorail and not much else. Now it has had a bridge built out to it, and is home to a massive resort with a whole bunch of hotels, restaurants, Universal Studios (we went there last year), the SEA Aquarium and a casino.

We were booked in to the Hard Rock Hotel, which was very different to the colonial, restrained, neutral palette of the first hotel; it took me a while to get used to it because it was so over the top in comparison. The room was all purple and black and chrome and mirrored surfaces. They did have a much more comfortable bed though. And photos of Jimi Hendrix on the walls.

even the lifts are blingy

They didn’t give us a twin room, so dad said I could have the bed and he took the couch. He went off to a business meeting in the city and I wandered down to ESPA for my booking. I had wanted to get a massage while I was on holidays and done some research – I guess I was looking at the places linked to hotels so they are always going to be more expensive, but whoa. Pampering is serious business in Singapore. Anyway, I found ESPA had a Mother’s Day package, but they didn’t say you actually had to be a mother to book it and although still expensive, it came with a meal, a free gift, and was cheaper than just booking a massage on its own.

And oh my goodness. It was seriously the best spa and massage I have ever experienced (not that I’ve been to that many spas, and certainly not the top end ones). Just walking in, everything was calming and quiet. The staff were courteous and discreet. I sat down to fill out my client card, drank some cold lemongrass tea and then was given a tour of the facilities – well stocked showers and dressing rooms, a quiet tea room with a huge picture window, an onsen bath, a hot and cold outdoor bath surrounded by perfect tropical gardens, a wet sauna with crystals (!), a dry sauna with a beautiful view of the gardens. I happily wandered from bath to bath, sauna to sauna for about an hour, delighting in the sense of total relaxation and nowhere to be. Being the middle of the week, it was pretty quiet so I only had to share the facilities with two giggly Chinese women, and I managed to avoid them mostly.

This is from the ESPA website – I don’t have a white bikini, but this was pretty much me

Selina the therapist came and got me from the tea room. She took me up to the treatment rooms, completely separate to the spa facilities but with the same dark wood floors and pale walls. Unlike most massage places I’ve been, where the therapist has hardly any room to move around the table, this room was spacious.

Selina asked me how I wanted to feel at the end of the massage, then gave me a choice of two oil blends based on my answer. She filled a bowl of steaming water and added the same oil blend to it, and placed it under my face as I lay on the table. The massage was just perfect; perfect pressure, she attended to the areas I had mentioned as being sore, I felt totally mentally and physically calm by the end of it.

If and when I ever open my own massage practice, I want it to echo this kind of idea, aesthetically (just on a smaller, ever so slightly less expensive scale).

Then it was time for my complimentary meal at the Tangerine restaurant, which prides itself on extremely healthy food to match with the whole wellness aesthetic of the spa. The restaurant was surrounded by Japanese style gardens, and I was the only one there (until a gay couple arrived and carried on between themselves because they hadn’t realised it was a healthy restaurant…I caught them outside later having cigarettes). The food was sensational. Light and delicious and perfectly balanced.

Then back to the room to meet dad, and we went off to meet his colleagues and watch X Men: Days of Future Past together. Loved it! A study in brown leather jackets and gorgeous men.