Since returning to Singapore from study abroad many years ago, or when coming home from holidays or work trips since then, there’s one thing I’ve recognised as a hallmark of my home city, and that is construction and development.
It’s by the sides of the roads and around every corner; if you don’t see it, you can still hear it. The knowledge that something new is constantly coming always excites me and with that, I list just a few of my favourite places for health-focused visitors to see in Singapore, starting with my most recent but much anticipated find…
There’s no doubt the health and sustainability of the Earth is causing a direct impact on our food, but similarly, there is growing commitment to clean and sustainable living that goes beyond merely reading labels of food packets or looking out for labels like ‘low fat’ or ‘gluten free’. Restaurants and consumers alike are focusing on the origins of their food, with an increasing demand for sustainably grown and responsibly farmed produce.
Open Farm Community (OFC), newly opened in quite possibly my favourite enclave for food and drinks, is a restaurant by Spa Esprit Group and celebrity chef Ryan Clift, in collaboration with Edible Gardens. It has a beautiful green 35,000 sq ft garden comprising of a fruit orchard, herbs and vegetables, a coffee bar, and a shop for children. The restaurant features a rustic-styled kitchen that serves up an ever-changing menu according to the seasons or what is grown in the garden merely few feet away. A first of its kind in Singapore, OFC aims to unite local farmers and plans to use workshops and farmer’s markets to educate the public on urban farming and how it is accessible and possible in a city that is land scarce and import dependent.
For me, no food, however rare and expensive, could beat an experience to nourish my body and dine in a garden where everything is edible, freshly harvested, natural and wholesome, grown sustainably with nothing more than good soil, sunshine and a little rain.
I remember going by this empty corner unit, which happens to be in my neighbourhood, and thinking: I wonder what this will be soon. And certainly, what did pop up there – The Beauty Candy Apothecary – is nothing short of heavenly.
Easily the best multi-label stores for beauty product, this boutique is every girl’s dream with shelf upon shelf of well-curated beauty and lifestyle accessories, hand-picked from all over the world. What started out as one of my best kept secrets now has a reputation for itself.
From personalised stationery, to attractively packaged teas, organic make-up and artistically labeled household products, this gem boasts some exclusive labels, and will keep you in awe from the moment you walk in.
Warning though: this shop is hard to pry yourself away from – and even harder to walk out of without a bag in hand.
Step away from the beautiful apothecary above and you’ll soon find yourself standing in front of a little nearby kitchen bar that selling cold-pressed organic juices. The menu on the wall offers concoctions like Dragon Blood, Liver Scrub and Beginner Green, and next to it a glass fridge displaying bouquets of crisp kale, bright raw carrots and symmetrically-lined bottles of FP juices ready for delivery.
With a celebrity chef consulting for the Fresh Pressed menu, juice cleanses and superfood salads are available for in-store buys or subscription deliveries. There’s a second outlet in the Central Business District of Singapore, with both stores making it even easier to nourish yourself and cleanse your way into a plant-based diet. What better way to detox than with potent elixirs that come in a myriad of colours?!
Pure Yoga in Ngee Ann city is a 16,000 square foot, five-studio space within one of Singapore’s most iconic shopping centres and boasts panoramic views.
Aside from the usual Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin and other yoga varieties you would expect to find, two new classes have been recently introduced. The first, Wall Rope Yoga, is done with ropes, pelvic swings and bars to aid in correcting alignment and deepening the stretch for your practice. The second, Pure Air, is a class that utilizes a fabric hammock and two stirrups, for a practice that requires you to be both in the air and on the ground. Going against gravity, the stretches are deeper and less resistant, relieving any pain and muscle tightness you might be experiencing. I felt the relief when I was suspended in mid-air and, whilst upside-down, finally understood why there was always a waitlist.
With multiple locations on the island and a variety of classes on offer, you’re guaranteed to find one suited to you and your body. Lucky for me, some stillness after a hectic day can be found a mere seven floors above the office – just a short lift ride away.
On the island of Sentosa, 20 minutes away from the bustling city, a private driveway leads to the lobby of the most peaceful and tranquil hotel, Capella. Within this heritage-listed hotel are vast plots of land with green landscaping, with the Indian Ocean surrounding you as you roam all 30 acres within the walls of this restored colonial building.
The rooms are spacious and fitted with fully digital electronics, with impeccable service from staff that strives to fulfill your every request, ensuring a personalised, truly unforgettable stay.
Named “Best Hotel in Singapore” by TripAdisor, Capella received the Forbes five-star rating in 2014 and belongs to the list of The Leading Hotels of the World. It’s the perfect place to help you find peace and relieve stress. A getaway to this sanctuary for the weekend or even for a few hours to unwind and recharge your physical and emotional self, is certainly something your body will thank you for.
Nestled in the corner of the hotel, Auriga Spa embraces a holistic approach to health and wellness, offering treatments and massages carried out by extremely skilled masseuse, using only natural and organic products from The Organic Pharmacy.
The spa divides the men and women to opposite sides of the facility but offers the same exceptional amenities like the Relaxation Lounge, a resting area that is fitted with Sound Wave Lounge chairs that you may use before and after each treatment. There is the Vitality Pool, the steam shower infused with floral scents and fitted with optic fiber lights in the ceiling, revitalising hot and cold showers with refreshing scents of essential oils, and massage rooms with heated beds and luxuriously soft linen that hugs you as you sink in.
What I am amazed about is that, for the duration of the treatment, which lasts a couple hours on average, you almost never bump into another person. The service and professionalism make this hands down, my best spa experience yet – anywhere. The massages there are rejuvenating, pampering and full of restorative benefits. You’ll definitely need to try for yourself to believe.
About author Chuinwei Koh
Singapore-born Chuinwei Koh (pictured below) studied college and university in Melbourne, Australia, and is now a fashion industry specialist and connected to two multi-label stores in Singapore, one based in Raffles Hotel (Surrender) and the other at the Marina Bay Sands (Salon by Surrender), which carry both men’s and women’s brands of clothes, accessories, shoes and lifestyle products sourced from Europe, America, Australia and Japan.