The Spa’s Black Soap and Rassoul Hammam Ritual at The St. Regis Singapore’s Remede Spa has me rethinking what being clean really means
Ever gone through the five stages of grief in a split second, while at a luxury, world-class spa? Me neither. Well, that’s till I’ve tried Remede Spa’s Black Soap and Rassoul Hammam Ritual. It has been more than a year since my last visit to The St. Regis Singapore’s spa, and while one can always recreate a home spa experience, nothing really comes close to having a person fuss over you.
The treatment uses Charme D’Orient products exclusively, and Remede Spa is the sole location in Singapore where you’ll get to experience the French brand’s signature treatment. I’m promised 90 minutes of bliss, and after my therapist, Fifi, talks me through the process, I get comfy in the Eucalyptus-scented steam chamber. Ah, so begins the first step of body purification.
What I assume to be five minutes later – nobody keeps track of time when they’re relaxing – Fifi appears, and instructs me to stand up and remove my bikini top. That’s new; people usually offer to buy me dinner first. Only joking. She liberally applies olive and eucalyptus black soap all over me, first the back, and then the front. I’m much more concerned about my half nakedness than she is, and I do my best to shrug that thought out of mind. Then it’s back to the seat to allow my pores to fully open, and for the essential oils to penetrate my skin. The tingling sensation from the soap provides a welcome contrast in temperature.
Fifi leads a soapy me – pathetically clutching my bikini top to cover whatever modesty is left – to the Hammam suite, conveniently located in the wet lounge. She helps me climb onto the high marble countertop; elbows first then knees, so that my sweat-drenched body won’t slide off and crash head first to the floor.
I lie face down onto a rolled-up towel donut as Fifi rinses the soap off me with the Vichy shower. It’s pretty enjoyable, but my towel absorbs all the water and before you know it, I have a first-hand experience of what it’s like being waterboarded. Pretty funny if you ask, just move your head to the side and all will be fine.
The highlight of the treatment is no doubt the exfoliation, where a kassa glove is used to get real deep into the pores to remove the dirt. I’m secretly relieved that I gave myself a full body scrub a few days prior, it just means there’ll be less for Fifi to remove. Mock me all you want, but admit it, you brush and floss your teeth that bit longer the day before your dentist appointment. And this is no different. I pride myself on being clean and will not have anyone think otherwise.
What can I say about the scrub? It’s intense, deep, and very much enjoyable. And yes, it does hurt a little, particularly at the chest and inner arm areas where the skin is much thinner. But if am the Lumiere to Fifi (yes, it is a Beauty and the Beast reference), I will gladly let my rusty body undergo deep polishing just so that I can shine.
“Do you want to see what a kassa mitten does?” Fifi asks.
I’ll spare you the specifics, but let’s just say my weekly scrubs are not as effective as I imagine. My disbelief is almost immediately replaced by disgust and embarrassment, then resignation of fate. It’s quite like the five stages of grief, if you will, sans denial because obviously, that pile of dirt couldn’t have come from anyone else. The kassa cloth is a godsend, and to everyone I’ve met in my pre-Black Soap and Rassoul Hammam Ritual days, I sincerely apologise for allowing you to be near my under-scrubbed, dirt-filled pores.
To quell the heat dissipated from my embarrassment, Fifi hoses me down once again before applying a heated Rassoul mask on my tender body. Boy oh boy is this absolutely heavenly, with a small exception, the back is beginning to ache, and while my heels and back are supported by gel packs, I recommend requesting for towels to help pad your elbows.
Fifi cleanses and scrubs my face – not using the kassa cloth, thankfully – before spreading the same rassoul mask on. I can’t emphasise how much I enjoy the play in temperatures here; the face mask is cooling and smells a bit like almonds, but soon gives way to a firey heat. The scent also evolves to one of a salty, seaside breeze. The mask is also massaged onto my scalp and hair, its mineral properties are said to add volume, great for those with limp tresses.
After a third and final rinse, hot citrus-scented bathwater is poured over me. Honestly, if this was how royalty were treated in the past, I’m all in.
Now, I’ve had plenty of body massages, but this is something totally different altogether. I can’t believe I’ve lived 30 years without experiencing this. Home kits are also available, but you can be sure your therapist will do a much better job than you. The next time though, I’ll probably skip the scalp mask. My hair felt slightly waxy, as if I had put some product in it. It’s not bad per se, I’m perhaps just not used to it. And oh, I definitely won’t wait for another 30 to pass before paying another visit that’s for sure.
The St. Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
Tel: +65 6506 6860