Being in a modern city such as Singapore has many perks, but save for the weekend tipple and occasional staycation, this city is one that’s notoriously difficult to relax in.
Now that our fast-paced lives have been dictated by KPIs and digital gratification, it’s time we go back to basics, and we’re talking activities that don’t require staring at your mobile phone — though you’d be inclined to take a photo or two.
From dipping your toes into a Japanese onsen to tapping into your inner artist, here’s how to relax in Singapore.
1
Go for the Sleep Ritual at ESPA

Sure, a soak in a warm tub with a fancy bath bomb is nice, but there’s a reason why the Japanese onsen is one of the country’s biggest exports. Thankfully you don’t have to travel far for a good soak; Singapore is actually home to numerous indoor onsens, but there’s no better way to experience Singapore in a new light than with an outdoor iteration.

ESPA Resorts World Sentosa features an outdoor Japanese-style forest onsen that allows you to completely unwind in with the company of the tranquil nature that surrounds it. If you’ve been having sleep problems, book yourself the Sleep Ritual, a 90-minute serene experience that’s meant to aid you in your quest to better rest. The experience starts with a visualisation exercise to relax you, followed by a gentle massage and hot stones that will remove all tension from your muscles.

2
Go for a hike

If your idea of relaxing is to be right in the thick of nature, then hiking is just the activity for you. Singapore might be better known as an urban jungle, but there are still pockets of untouched trails around the island that are worth exploring.

If you’re bored of the popular Treetop Walk at Macritchie Reservoir, Coney Island — located far north-east — is a rustic eco park that’s been deliberately left untouched to preserve the island’s natural character. Besides being home to hundreds of native wildlife, you’ll also see a diverse range of scenery here, from mangrove swamps and lush forestry to hidden beaches. 

3
Find your zen

Mindfulness has always been key to a healthy mind, body, and soul, so what better way to truly relax than with a meditation class? Led by the in-house psychotherapist Dawn Sim, Como Shambhala Urban Escape’s Mindful Meditation Practice is one of the best options if you’re looking to journey within yourself to find inner peace and live in the moment.

With regular attendance, the 60-minute class at the exclusive wellness centre promises better physical and emotional health, a better management of challenging situations, as well as with more self-awareness — benefits we could all use today. 

4
Indulge at the spa

There’s no other way which shouts ‘me-time’ louder than with a solid trip to the spa. Thankfully, Singapore isn’t short of luxurious establishments that are capable of a good pampering. Of the many, our favourites include the Damai Spa at Grand Hyatt — for its cultural healing philosophies and techniques — as well as the newly-opened Raffles Spa, for its opulent yet serene ambience and restorative treatments. 

5
Get artsy

You might have failed art class in school, but that doesn’t mean you should hang up your paintbrushes for good just yet. Making art has been proven to be a great form of stress release for the frazzle-minded, creating an escape that has been likened to meditation. Situated amidst the manicured greenery of Istana Park is My Art Space, an art studio and cafe which offers both painting classes or art jamming sessions. 

If painting within the lines doesn’t fit in right with your rebellious side, try splatter painting at Splat Paint House, where you’ll be able to — quite literally — throw paint with wild abandon at canvases instead.

Shatricia Nair
Senior Writer
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.