Good but still some distance to great – Away Spa, W Singapore

I’ve tried the treatments at Away Spa on a few occasions and this review is based on my most recent visit in April. And the facilities that I’ve reviewed are in the men’s changing room.  It could have been different for the women’s changing room.

Located along the exclusive Sentosa Cove belt on Sentosa Island, the Away Spa at W Singapore is one of the newest additions to the competitive spa scene in Singapore. On the approximately 5km2 island, which is just a stone’s throw away from the main island of Singapore, there are no fewer than seven spas to cater to the needs of locals and tourists.

Over a period of three months and about four treatments, I’ve always received consistent good massage treatments from the experienced therapists. I would say Away Spa is priced competitively among the mid-tier spas on Sentosa, and in terms of facilities, it probably has one of the best on the island. However, I feel that Away Spa still has room for improvement.  Currently, it falls short in creating a good overall experience for its guests.  It’s like eating a brownie without the vanilla ice cream, delicious but lacks punch.

Away Spa - Lobby

White disposal underwear

Spas that I’ve visited provide dark coloured disposable underwear.  Recently, Away Spa changed its disposable underwear to white and it does little to protect your modesty.

No Slippers

I do not understand why Away Spa does not provide any slippers for its guests. Guests, who are going for treatments, are barefooted and have to walk past the wet area (the shower area, Vitality pool, etc) and the holding area (Refuel) before they arrive at their treatment room.

Away Spa - Wet Lounge

Algae on the hydro back bench, Vitality Pool

The Away Spa opened in third quarter of 2012.  In less than six months, algae had grown on one of the stainless steel bars on the hydro back bench. Frankly, I think the underwater lighting and temperature of the pool water had promoted algae growth. I’ve reminded the staff several times about the algae but whenever I’m back at the spa, I still see it. The staff might have cleaned them whenever they changed the water in the pool but a permanent solution is required.  My suggestion is to switch off the underwater lighting.

It’s rather relaxing to sit on the hydro back bench. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was sitting on a bar of algae!

Other facilities – Tropical Rainforest Shower, Steam Room and Sauna

It’s rather fun to use the tropical rainforest shower.  The shower simulates the lightning , thunder and heavy downpour of a tropical rainforest thunderstorm.  Steam room and sauna facilities are also available in the men’s changing room.

Away Spa - Holding Area

Centralised Aircon

This is something that I cannot comprehend at all.  This is the first spa that I have visited that has a centralised aircon system.  It’s impossible to adjust the temperature of your treatment room.  On my recent massage, I was feeling so cold that I couldn’t continue with the last 10 minutes of my treatment.  And despite having an extra blanket, I was still shivering. Different people react differently to room temperature.  I would have preferred rooms with their own aircon control.

Refuel – the holding and rest area

Refuel, the holding area before and after your treatment, is comparable to the other luxury spas.  Besides providing hot herbal tea (if I remember correctly it’s honey, ginger and lemon tea), Refuel also provides a good selection of other teas and dried fruit snacks. Guests can help themselves to the dried fruits and tea.

Weak water pressure

Out of the three shower cubicles for abled bodies, two of the shower cubicles have very weak water pressure. Despite several reminders to the spa staff, the problem still persists.  I find it rather annoying to bathe with weak water pressure and it takes longer than usual to have a quick shower.

On the whole, it’s difficult not to like Away Spa. Away Spa definitely has the potential to be a great spa but the management needs to fine-tune some of the operational hiccups I mentioned so as to provide a better spa experience for its guests.

W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
21 Ocean Way  Singapore 098374

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