Review: Ikeda Spa's onsen and massage
Ikeda Spa is well-known for its onsens - which are hot baths made using water from Japanese hot springs. Ikeda Spa has a variety of options - you could visit their "public" onsen (segregated by gender) or their private couple onsen, as well as treat yourself to a variety of massage and other therapies.
We visited Ikeda Spa as a part of our wedding anniversary celebration. We had the pleasure of using the couple room private onsen, and opted for the Zen Candle Therapy massage in that couple room.
- Location: Ikeda Spa
6 Eu Tong Sen Street,
#05-22 Clarke Quay Central (the shopping mall),
- Opening hours: 1pm - 10pm daily
- Price: $120+ for use of private onsen (30 mins) in VIP couple suite
$180+ (per person) for Zen Candle Therapy massage (60 mins)
Hinoki Onsen Bath
Ikeda Spa says that they use real Hinoki (Japanese cypress) wood for their private couple onsen's "bath tub". This apparently replicates natural hot spring water because it releases natural mineral oils.
In any event, they also let you choose from 8 different bath salts to add to the onsen.
Before using the onsen you're supposed to give yourself a cold shower (for maximum benefits, apparently). The cold shower is taken traditionally - you can sit on a stool, fill a bucket with water, and pour the bucket over yourself. Then, after every 10 minutes in the hot water, you're supposed to give yourself another cold shower.
But enough about the technicalities - a spa experience like this is all about how it makes you feel. And the ambience was wonderful.
Between the use of wood in the couple suite, the sakura image on the glass ceiling cutout and the tatami blinds in the room, the onsen really felt like a traditional Japanese ryokan. The lovely decor, the onsen water and the nice-smelling and moisturising bath salts made us feel truly relaxed.
We were all primed and ready for our massage after the lovely onsen experience.
Zen Candle Therapy massage
Our massage treatment had a strange name, but don't let that put you off. The "Zen Candle" simply refers to the type of massage oils used. We had a choice between 3 different candle types (all of which smelled different).
This signature massage of Ikeda Spa's uses customised candles that are lit. As the candle melts, the masseuse uses the liquid as a moisturising skin salve. The massage itself is supposed to be Swedish-styled - so our masseuse used long, broad strokes that were intended to be deep tissue massages.
Having gone to Sweden for our honeymoon (and enjoying a traditional Swedish massage there) we can say that the massage felt very much like a Swedish massage (and also seemed equally effective).
It was thoroughly enjoyable and truly relaxing. You could easily fall asleep midway through the massage.
The private couple suite
After the massage, we were served hot tea and a biscuit each. These were served on a traditional Japanese table with matching chairs to sit cross legged on the floor.
After the tranquil experience from the massage, having a full pot of tea and a light snack was a welcome perk. This truly added to the relaxation. The tatami blinds were raised, and we had a nice view of the Clarke Quay riverside as we enjoyed our tea.
It was nice that the room wasn't overbooked either (it was a weekday) so we had as much time as we wanted in the room, and were never rushed by the staff.
The various options at Ikeda Spa do provide a wonderful, calming experience. It is rather pricey though, Ikeda Spa (very unfortunately for us) isn't somewhere we'll visit regularly.
We would recommend it for couple birthday or anniversary plans, or even as a sort of pre-honeymoon/post-wedding activity.
Do we enjoy the smart life with this? Yes, but it's also smart when done sparingly.
Who should visit this? Anyone who wants a nice experience for a special occasion (especially couples).
Who shouldn't visit this? Anyone who can't afford it.