I’m neither a spa nor massage fanatic, but I don’t mind the occasional relaxing massage to pamper myself, especially when I visit neighbouring countries with lower cost of living compared to Singapore. Since I’ve heard & read many positive reviews about the massage parlours/ spa centres in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), it was a must-do for my friend & I. In fact, I think this was the only firm plan we made for our short trip in HCMC. 😛
As Le Meridien Saigon had promised us a complimentary 60-minute spa treatment at the hotel, we were only left with 1 more night to try another spa treatment. On my 1st night, we actually passed by many massage parlours with scantily dressed ladies luring customers outside. Of course we didn’t pick any of these! Read on to find out where we went & how we found the spa experience in Saigon. 🙂
1. Explore Spa at Le Meridien Saigon
Located on the 9th floor of Le Meridien Saigon, Explore Spa’s entrance is brightly lit with a futuristic-looking design of bird cage & “space ships” hanging from the ceiling. I was pleasantly surprised that the hotel Marketing personnel offered us the luxurious 150-min (i.e. 2.5 hours) Glow Spa package instead of the 60-min spa treatment promised in the email. The package also included a light meal that we could enjoy before or after the spa treatment. Since the spa closes at 10pm, we booked the last slot at 7.30pm so that after the relaxing treatment, we could retreat to our cosy room to rest.
The Glow Spa Package is a promotional package valid from 1 December 2016 to 28 February 2017, priced at 2,017,000 VND (S$127.50), a generous 45% off its normal price. The package comprises the following 3 treatments:
- 30-min body exfoliation,
- 60-min marine detoxifying & relaxing aromatherapy massage, and
- 60-min seawater pearl hydrating facial therapy.
We opted for the light meal to be served before our treatment, so we arrived at Explore Spa around 7pm.
The organic salad – sea grape, lettuce, seaweed, citrus, avocado topped with sesame dressing was very nice & refreshing. Together with the miso soup, hot fragrant ginger tea & watermelon smoothie, this light meal was great. After a healthy meal, we were ushered into our private treatment room to begin our indulgent session.
The session began with a sea-salt foot bath (as seen in the top left photo in above collage). Thereafter, I lied down on the bed for the therapist to do a body scrub. Halfway through the body exfoliation treatment when I turned around, the therapist acted swiftly to turn on the rain shower so that the water would not be too cold for me when I enter for a quick rinse. Following, it was such a relaxing body massage that I started to doze off. I think I was totally “concussed” during the facial therapy, similar to the diamond peel facial we have in Singapore. But I do remember that she placed a piece of detoxifying seaweed-soaked aluminum foil on my back while doing the facial.
This Glow Spa package is one of the best spa experiences I have received to date. I didn’t say this because I got it free, but because it was really awesome! It’s very rare that I can really doze off & sleep during massage treatments, because I’m always conscious of the fact that someone is touching me. But my therapist did such a wonderful job to make me totally relaxed & feel at ease. In fact I remained so “concussed” after leaving the spa that my friend thought I looked like I was in a daze. 😛
Furthermore, the treatment was done in utmost comfort and privacy. When the music from the lounge downstairs seemed too loud, the staff pulled down the shutters leading to the treatment rooms to block out the noise. All therapists and staff at Explore Spa were also polite & helpful. Even if I had to pay for the package, it’s actually quite a value-for-money deal considering it’s a 3-in-1 treatment for less than S$130. At this price, it’s hard to find a good facial using modern technology in Singapore, unless you go for Groupon deals & endure the incessant sales talk throughout the session… Really delighted that I had the opportunity to enjoy this rejuvenating Glow Spa package at Le Meridien Saigon. 🙂
2. Miu Miu Spa
We went to Miu Miu Spa through recommendation from contacts who said this was a decent spa with no hanky panky. There are 4 outlets, all located in the heart of the city in District 1. There’s online booking facility on its website, but too bad it wasn’t working during the period we were there. As miumiu3 outlet is just a short walking distance (about 5 min) from the hotel, we decided to swing by on our last night to try our luck. Fortunately we only had to wait about half an hour & managed to get 2 slots for our 90-min aroma massage with hot stones (450,000 VND, S$28.45) at 9pm.
The counter staff mentioned we could take a shower in the spa while waiting for our turn, but alas, we already showered before going to the outlet. We were asked to complete a checklist to indicate our massage intensity preference. While waiting, pre-spa refreshments were served – ginger tea, jelly dessert & some snack (I forgot what it was). The ginger tea was pretty diluted, though the jelly dessert was quite refreshing with a tangy flavour. Soon, we were brought upstairs to change into our spa robes. Thereafter, we entered the spa treatment room where it was so quiet that even a pin drop would be deemed as noise. That’s good in a way since it meant we could relax in silence.
My friend enjoyed this 90-min massage tremendously, as she loved that her masseur applied strong pressure throughout the massage. In fact, she preferred this over Explore Spa which she claimed was a bit too soft for her liking. On the other hand, while the hot stones part was great, I thought my masseur’s skills were just average. I had a severe coughing bout shortly after the session started, so bad till I felt like vomitting. That somehow spoiled my session as I couldn’t fully recover from the cough. So, maybe she was just unlucky that I labelled her as a “so-so” masseur (we had to rate the masseur after the session at the counter) given my situation. Ironically, despite my massage pausing for a while because of my bad cough, my session actually ended earlier than my friend’s! So how to give an excellent rating like many others I read online?!
Although I can’t say I know enough of Saigon spas, I believe they are definitely worth visiting. Not just because the price is much lower than in Singapore, but also because the Vietnamese are known to massage pretty well, & they will usually ensure you are able to rest & relax without disturbance. Or maybe because there’s the language barrier haha. Nonetheless, do make time for at least 1 reputable spa when you visit HCMC to pamper yourself a little without feeling a pinch in your wallet!