We’re nearing the time of year when we might have started planning our winter getaway – ‘might have’ being the operative word, of course.
While there’s no real substitute for a hot spring soak with Japan’s stunning snowscapes all around, Singapore’s spas are still up to delivering our steamy hot dose of detox – complete with rare wood tubs, luxurious bath salts, and all-day access.
Here’s our complete rundown of onsen spas in Singapore for a zen dip, no passport needed.
1. Ikeda Spa
From tatami mats to lush zen gardens, Ikeda Spa delivers the full Japanese experience in the heart of Bukit Timah. Their first-of-its-kind onsen bath is crafted entirely from hinoki – a cypress wood prized for its lemon-fresh fragrance and its immunity-boosting oils.
Soak up a dose of health with their private Hinoki Onsen Bath for singles ($80++) and couples ($120++), complete with five bath salt options inspired by iconic Japanese hot springs.
‘Ryujin Onsen’ is a milky, peach-infused bath likened to the silky waters of its namesake, ‘Yamashiro Onsen’ is fragrant with irises and pays tribute to the famed hot spring town.
Ikeda Spa is located at 787 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 269762, p. +65 6469 8080. Open daily 1.30pm–10.30pm.
2. Yunomori Onsen & Spa
An onsen chain hailing from Bangkok, Yunomori blends the best of Japanese hydrotherapy and Thai spa treatments. This sprawling spa centre in Kallang offers a diverse range of public baths for all temperatures and tastes.
Give your muscles some tough love under the powerful massaging jets of their Jet Bath, slip into the sensual Silk Bath , or savour a beauty soak in the carbon dioxide-rich waters of the Soda Bath – said to boost your blood circulation and skin elasticity.
A day pass is priced at $40.66 for affordable all-day onsen pampering.
Yunomori Onsen & Spa is located at 1 Stadium Place #02-17/18 Kallang Wave Mall Singapore 397628, p. +65 6386 4126. Open daily 10am–10pm.
3. Elements Wellness
Exclusive to its Centrepoint branch, Elements Wellness’s Koyamaki Onsen Ritual ($168++) is designed to have you soaking like royalty.
After a soothing massage and back scrub, you’ll proceed to your private suite to luxuriate in a handcrafted koyamaki wood tub – a rare umbrella pine that ranks among Japan’s five sacred trees and is prized for its antibacterial natural oils.
These essential oils mingle with heated water charged with negative ions, said to refresh the mind (you might find the same effect in natural water bodies like oceans and waterfalls). Finish off with a crystal cold shower for an invigorating shock.
Elements Wellness (Centrepoint) is located at #02-28 The Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Rd, Singapore 238843, p. +65 6737 8488. Open Mon-Fri 11am–9pm, Sat-Sun 10.30am–8pm.
4. Spa-1 Wellness Centre
Tucked away in Paya Lebar, Spa-1 jazzes up the public bathhouse experience with lush flora and foliage trailing from the ceiling. Lounge back in their Hot Bubble Pool for a foamy soft dose of stress relief, or dip in their Hot Hydro Jet Pool and let the side water jets pound your aches away.
If you’re still in need of heat, their unique sauna offerings will do the trick – their Korean Cassia Seed Sauna involves immersing yourself in masses of cassia seeds to soak up their detoxifying properties. A three-hour session is priced at $40.66, while couples can snag a full-day pass at $94.16.
Spa-1 Wellness Centre is located at 511 Guillemard Rd, #B1-01 Grandlink Square, Singapore 399849, p. +65 6846 1775. Open daily 11am–10.30pm.
5. Joya Onsen Cafe
This one’s for Westies who’ve had to travel to the east for an onsen fix thus far. Slated to open its doors from end-July, Joya Onsen Cafe is a full-fledged Japanese bathhouse set in Jurong.
For a true-blue communal experience, plunge into their bamboo-roofed public baths ($38++) steeped with a rotating range of minerals and infusions – we hear that green tea and citrus baths are in the lineup. Private onsen rooms are also available from $40++ per pax for a group of five.
A popular post-onsen ritual in Japan is drinking milk, so head over to the rustic in-house cafe for sushi, parfaits, and Hokkaido milkshakes.
Joya Onsen Cafe is located at 511 Upper Jurong Rd, #01-06, Singapore 638366, p. +65 8847 2081. Slated to open from end-July 2021.
This article was first published in City Nomads.