Relax just minutes away

Relax just minutes away

Espa founder Susan Harmsworth wants to lure more Singaporeans to spend their holidays - no plane ride needed - at the sprawling 10,000 sq m luxury wellness spa at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

"We already have many locals coming out of the city and taking three-day breaks at Espa as a retreat," says Ms Harmsworth, who was in town in November for a market visit. The Briton started her spa and wellness brand in 1993.

"I think many people don't want to get on the plane if they can help it, especially when they can drive 20 minutes to a sanctuary with the sea and greenery."

As with all the Espa spas in cities around the world, about 50 per cent of the patrons at Espa RWS are residents of Singapore.

Today, there are around 450 Espa spas in 60 places. The one at RWS is the brand's Asian flagship.

Espa is known for its exotic spa locations (think Udaipur in India and Pointe de Flacq in Mauritius) and wellness experiences that tap on holistic traditions.

These include the Turkish hammam ritual, naturopathy and iridology, the study of the iris to understand one's health.

To entice more Singapore residents to spend their vacations at Espa RWS, the premium Ultimate Wellness Journey programmes were launched last August.

These comprise three-night and five-night staycations, as well as full-on seven-night retreats.

Each package includes an Espa treatment a day, fitness sessions such as yoga or a bootcamp, holistic treatments such as nutritional counselling or naturopathic consultation, dining options at top restaurants around RWS and, or add-on customised tours to attractions on the integrated resort, such as Universal Studios Singapore.

Prices start from $4,500 for a three-night stay for one at a beach villa facing the sea, to around $17,000 for a seven-night stay for two people at a tree-top loft.

"Life is hard enough. So the new packages are put together to let you have fun together with the serious treatments," says Ms Harmsworth, who has two children and is a grandmother of six.

"And having a wellness retreat doesn't mean you have to starve yourself. Have a glass of champagne at the L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, learn about yourself and have a good time."

Previously, Espa RWS only offered staycations under its Lifestyle Retreats programmes that last between one and three nights. The activities and dining options are also limited within the Espa RWS compound.

Prices for the Lifestyle Retreats start from $808 for a one-night stay for one in a deluxe room in Equarius Hotel, to $4,608 for three nights for two in a beach villa.

WELLNESS PIONEER

Turning 70 in April, the impeccably coiffed, towering and light-footed Ms Harmsworth looks at least a decade younger.

No doubt, her youthful demeanour is the result of four decades spent in the spa and wellness industry, where she has possibly road-tested and researched every age-defying wellness treatment and routine popularised in the last 40 years.

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