Jasmine: Even before I got pregnant, one of my favourite indulgences was massage. I was never able to afford such pampering before I started working, and now that I am working, preggie and have to endure all the assorted aches and pains, massages are not only nice, they’re practically necessary :) In my first trimester, before I started showing, I would go for those 20-30 min Chinese massages as they were cheaper and widely available. Now though, my tummy gives me away and I have to go for legit prenatal massages.
Oh yeah! Most of these pregnancy massages were sponsored by Dear- thanks sweets and keep it up!
I will be reviewing some of the prenatal massages I’ve had in Singapore and on our travels over the last two pregnancies. Of course, there is no fair basis of comparison because I have only been to most of these spas once, and therefore the experience is dependent entirely on the therapist’s skill. Thus, I’ll try to provide some qualitative assessment of the spas based on two main criteria, mainly the massage itself as well as the ambience.
1. Qi Mantra ($98 for 60 min)
Given its Raffles City location, Qi Mantra is geared towards working women who can drop in during lunch hour for a quick facial or neck rub. I tried its prenatal massage based on a review that it was one of the top 5 spas in Singapore but found the massage average. The atmosphere is quite modern and no-frills, especially the therapy rooms which were pretty barebones.
2. Remede Spa at St Regis ($190 for 60 min)
This spa was pure luxury. The massage was extremely good and relaxing. The atmosphere was excellent- beautifully-appointed in marble and crystal. While I was having my massage, Andrew went in to enjoy the Remede Spa facilities (free entry for hotel guests), which included a full cycle of hot and cold therapies such as Finnish saunas, steam chambers, ice fountains and marble loungers for bathers to recline on, which Andrew said was very relaxing.
No pictures, because we lost a year’s worth of photos through accidental deletion on Andrew’s part. Grr.
Two days after our St Regis staycation, I gave birth to Baby D after just two hours of active labour. As such, our MOE colleagues started joking that if you want a speedy delivery, staycation at St Regis. Heh.
3. Estheva Spa at Raffles Hotel ($198 for 90 min)
We first stumbled upon Estheva’s prenatal massages when we were celebrating our 1st year wedding anniversary at Raffles Hotel. We had requested the same suite that we were given for our wedding dinner, and this spa was right outside it.
This is the spa that we keep returning to over and over again for pregnancy massages as the quality of the massage is consistently high, with the therapists thoroughly kneading the legs and back especially. I have fallen asleep in their therapy rooms quite a few times!
The atmosphere also blends in very well with the Raffles Hotel colonial aesthetic. While not my decor style (I find it abit too atas and maximalist), it looks inviting enough, like you are visiting the home of a rich friend.
The reception area
One of the therapy rooms- note the huge fluffy pillow which I am given to hug as a bolster and to support my tummy
4. Pimnara Spa (SGD$50 for 60min)
I also did prenatal massages during our short Phuket trip as they were so much cheaper than in Singapore. I went twice on two consecutive days to Pimnara Spa at Jungceylon shopping centre. There were cheaper ones but they didn’t offer prenatal massages. The massages were decent but not particularly memorable. The atmosphere was decidedly more upmarket though, with the Chanel-esque black and white decor and 3D camellia ceiling and wall fixtures.
Pimnara almost always has a glut of masseurs waiting to serve customers, so you can just walk in after a day of shopping. Also, they have dedicated facial and manicure/ pedicure areas, so it’s literally a one-stop beauty shop.
5. Spa at Avista Hideaway (SGD$90 for 60 min)
We were staying about 10 min out of town, nestled away on a cliff, so we were feeling rather lazy on our first day in Phuket to explore the town. We managed to get bookings for the spa at our hotel, which was also steps outside our suite (as we were staying in a spa suite with indoor and outdoor spa baths… shiok), and the massage was better than expected, as I fell asleep within the hour. The ambience was also fantastic- you could choose to have your spa treatment done al fresco in the pavilions pictured (but with the curtains drawn). We did ours in a comfortable couple room (stairs pictured lead down to it) with ensuite toilet and bathtub.
Oh yeah, the prenatal massage price listed in the spa brochure was about SGD$120, which we thought was pricey by Thailand standards, even though this resort was supposedly famed for its spa and wellness offerings, but Andrew somehow managed to bargain with the manager, who gave us a 25% off our treatments.
7. Waldheim Alpine Spa, Cradle Mountain Lodge (AUD$135 for 60 min)
I was about 6 months pregnant with Baby Dylan when we holidayed in Tasmania. This was the spa with a view. Atmosphere was unbeatable. Our treatment room had floor-to-ceiling length windows that overlooked the majestic forest of towering King Billy pines. Unfortunately, the blinds were drawn almost immediately once we began our treatment. Kua kua…
The massage itself was very soothing, though I would personally have preferred something firmer. Most massage places tend to be very gentle with pregnant women.
8. Sandy Bay Massage Centre, Hobart (AUD$80 for 60 min)
Now I will go out on a limb and say that this is the best prenatal massage I’ve ever had. The ambience was quite shabby chic, as this massage parlour was tucked away in a residential suburb of Hobart.
This unassuming massage parlour had fantastic reviews online, with many women raving about the great prenatal massages in particular. I was sold and emailed from Singapore to book a slot, and the massage centre responded very promptly, within a day.
The long-awaited massage did not disappoint. Firstly, there was a special massage bed for pregnant women, with a hole carved out to accommodate the belly, so that I could lie on my tummy for the first time in months. Secondly, my therapist from Czech Republic was amazingly skilled. Unlike many other masseuses giving prenatal massage, she wasn’t afraid to use firm strokes, hit all the right pressure points, and helped to loosen many of those stiff joints and achey back from all that driving and walking. I was super relaxed and ache-free that day!
Back home in Singapore (free)
9. But of course, the best massage is none other than the one that my hubby gives me, night after night, which includes a footrub (he can crack all ten of my toes) and a backrub.
Ambience is homely (hurhur), but I have to give my masseur extra credit because he is also not afraid to apply pressure or crack a toe. What’s best about this massage is that Andrew does it out of love, no matter how tired or sleepy he is. I really appreciate that lots about him because I may be the one who is pregnant, but he is supporting me through this pregnancy through his acts of service.
I top off the nightly massage with a Tiger Balm back pain patch (cleared by my doctor until I hit third tri). That plus my pregnancy pillow and I’m ready for bed, and hopefully, seven hours of sleep without needing to pee or tend to Dilly. Heh.
Hey dear, say something about the massages.
Andrew: Like what?
Jasmine: Like why do you like to pamper me with massages? (hoping for a sweet answer)
Andrew: To keep you quiet. If not, you will complain about your back…
Jasmine: HEY! I’m so gonna quote you on that.