Thursday, June 20, 2013

A review for the soul

This time I am going to write a review on a massage experience at Habourfront and a dessert I tried at Vivo. This is my first so pardon me if my information is inadequate. It is alright to disagree with me,afterall, this is from my point of view.
FYI: I am not paid or anything to do this review.

My first time going for a massage with JL at Bella Luna (Habourfront).

A little about Bella Luna
Bella Luna is a modern contemporary day spa with the essence of ancient therapeutic formulas that provide the ultimate care for your overall wellness. 

Bella Luna believes perfecting beauty begins with wellness, uniting the 5 senses with professional facial and body massages by certified therapists; they provide wellness to improve beauty in every individual, to de-stress, rejuvenate and to renew mind and body within a relaxing environment. It is their aim to maintain and exude wellness to surface the overall beauty of that perfect being.

I paid $48 per person,kudos to My initial package was New Concept - First Ever 4 Hands Mirror Massage: Only $48 for 90-Min 4 Hands Full Body Massage + Full Body Scrub + Hot Stones OR Wrap & Mask + Steam Relaxer at Bella Luna 

90-Min Massage Therapy consists of:
-Full Body Scrub
-4 Hands Full Body Warm Oil Massage
-Hot Stone OR Mask and Wrap
-Steam Relaxer

Four hands mirror massage therapy at Bella Luna, is a synchronized full body massage by 2 professional therapists Massage strokes are mirrored with customized kneading and rolling massage techniques, hands touch in rhythmic movements to create a sense of serenity and calmness.

Blood circulation is increased and this effectively increase blood flow simultaneously.

Choice of therapeutic oil (eucalyptus, ginger, green tea or lavender oil) soothes the senses and induces deep relaxation throughout the whole session of the massage therapy.

Sounds like I've hooked onto a  good deal right?Oh boy was I wrong but I will go into details later.

So one of the staffs,Joan,called me 2 days before my appointment. She was telling me about this free upgrade to detox treatment. I was on the bus and wasn't really listening to what she was saying but in the end, I agreed to the upgrade.

Fast forward to the present day. Situated next to Yoshinoya, the shop wasn't difficult to locate. The staffs were friendly and the environment was cosy. The receptionist asked for my IC and she complimented on the colour of my wallet and our young looks. We were then asked to fill up a form and 2 cups of warm water were given to us.
Upon seeing my IC photo, Joan made a comment on how my real life self is prettier than my IC photo. I took  no offense as I agreed with her because I dislike taking IC photos.

Anyway, it was time to start the treatment. We were brought into a room with 2 beds and were asked to change into the disposable undies and shower cap provided. When everything was set, they began the massage session. After the massage, the masseur started the detox treatment by applying Juma all over my body. After which we went into the steam relaxer for about 15mins. After steaming for 15 mins,we washed up, changed and were done. At this point of time, the staffs were still smiling and being friendly.

The whole session took less than about 1 and a half hours and Joan bought us to this cubicle where she talked to us about signing up for packages. Since we are students, she offered us a rate at $55 per session and that we can choose to sign up for 4 or 10 sessions. We didn't have any intention of signing up but she wasn't ready to admit defeat. She showed us the photo of Zoe Tay which totally didn't work on me. Throughout the talk, she was directing her questions and persuasion to JL(maybe because I failed to recognise Zoe Tay in the photo which shocked her). She started asking about menses cramp, even mentioned slimming effects and pulling my parents in. However, we stood firm and said we will consider the offer.

Her face changed immediately the moment we said that, gone with the friendly vibe. She asked me how much did I pay for this session. I couldn't remember the price at that point of time so I told her it should be stated in the deal's voucher(being a frequent customer at,I was quite positive about that.) She claimed that the price isn't there. The next sentence she said shocked me a little. She said that different deals' websites have different pricing hence she has no idea how much I paid but it should be the lowest range at about $28.

All the staffs were gathered at the counter, probably thinking whether did we sign anything. When we were making our way to the exit, nobody bid farewell or smile at us. Geez, talk about customer service.

So that was what I experienced. In the beginning, I mentioned that I was wrong to said that this was a good deal right?Why so?Because Groupon is going to have a deal on the treatment I did.

$30 for 80 min Botanical Detox Fusion Full Body Massage Therapy at Bella Luna
-80 minute treatment
-Ancient healing therapy that uses natural herbs and acupuncture methods
-Certified therapists
-Available at 2 locations

Bella Luna's Botanical Fusion Massage Therapy is an ancient healing therapy which uses natural herbs known as Jamu that is widely known for its healing benefits to the human bodies. Using acupressure methods, the massage aims to relieve tiredness and muscle aches and at the same time helps to improve certain skin conditions, perform detoxification and increase blood circulation. For 80 minutes, recluse into solitary relaxation as Bella Luna's certified therapist reenergized your body back to its 'cool mom' state.

Honestly?I didn't feel any differences before and after the session-one of the reasons why I didn't want to sign the package. I didn't feel the super-shiok feeling of having a light body after the massage or that my skin feels refreshed. In fact, I felt very oily. Don't get me wrong but I've gone for massages in Batam before and the feelings are totally different.
I can't believe the fact that Joan can go to the extreme of telling us to spend and eat lesser so that we can sign up for this package and she linked it to the future of how it will benefit our bodies in the future. Like hello?Isn't that a bit too much?JL disliked that fact that she was indirectly telling her about her body size.Come on,my friend is not that big compared to your masseur. Everyone is beautiful in their own ways-be it the shape, size, height, looks or what nots. 

I went home to search for reviews for Bella Luna. Turns out I wasn't the only one who had such a bad experience.

Summary: Rumours say that Bella Luna is the salon Zoe Tay chose to have her postnatal massages from. Given the number of positive reviews recommending Bella luna for its prenatal and postnatal massages, we can see why. Still, Bella Luna suffers from the perennial salon problem: hardselling! As there aren’t that many salons specializing in maternity therapies in Singapore, many MTB (mummy-to-be) just have to endure Bella Luna’s hardselling to experience the relief offered by the experienced masseurs.

For any other therapy, there are salons out there that possibly provide better value… sales assistants here can be pushy and the treatment itself may not be able to fulfill your expectations.

The review:
"Bought a voucher from Groupon on ”$23 for 60 min Botanical Fusion Oil Full Body Massage with Back Scrub at Bella Luna (Worth $180)
(9 August 2011)

I was late. My apologies. The minute I stepped in, I felt that the place is quite quiet. The receptionist Iris attended to me. I am not a person who frequents massages but I do know how to differentiate a good massage parlor or a slipshod one. I had been to the Thai odyssey, massage hut and the latest one from Spa Elements at The Cathay.

She poured me a cup of warm (I expected green tea) water. She asked me to fill up the form, which is not as detailed as Spa Element. They did not ask whether which part of the back should they pay attention to or where my back is aching. When you go to the massage parlor, you are expected to be relaxed. I was asked about my tattoos. I felt that it’s inappropriate. And she went on asking where’s my workplace, how’s the crowd, what are the favorite designs, why I chose this line, bla bla bla.. It’s my off day and I’m talking abt work. That’s a minus point.

Proceeding to the masseuse, she led me to the room to get ready my massage. I had the paper undies and shower cap on and on the bed getting ready. Then I heard the drilling works next door. Damned. As I came in, all the five rooms were empty except for one. Why was I on the very last room where it’s closest to the renovation works? Another minus point.

The masseuse apologized on the renovation going on and went on starting massaging on my feet up. It was not too bad. When it came to my back, her sequence were off. It was suppose to be section by section. She rolled up my spine and started on the neck and shoulders. She went down to my lower back and then up my neck and shoulders again. I guessed she had used up all her mediocre skills and decided to use her hands to draw a big X on my back. This is the first time i encountered this stance. I also suspected she had corn on her finger as I felt it scratching on my back. Minus point.

So, it’s time to turn to the front massage. Again she started on the feet which is good. Then she did the stomach. I always believe the massage should be one way, clockwise or anti clockwise. There should be a procedure to it. So she massaged my stomach, clockwise and then anti clockwise. ??? Another first. Then the chest. Nothing much.. Then came the head. As I was wearing the PLASTIC showercap, when she massage my head with the cap on, the rustling of the plastic was bloody annoying. She was at it for 10 mins. Maybe she was a shampoo girl previously. So I tot finally it was over, she went to my chest again, not kneading but putting pressure from her palms.

And off she went to take the scrub. So I tot it will be lying on my front again to get a good scrub, finally. Turns out I have to sit up. Again ??? She put the scrub on my back and began rubbing, for like 5 mins? I tot it’s suppose to be 15mins? Fine. The masseuse then asked me to use the portable shower to clean myself up when she was done. So that’s it. I cleaned myself and went out. Sorry, no tips for the masseuse because I dun think she did a good job, compared to Spa Elements. I did gave the masseuse a tip at Spa Elements.

So I was in the cubicle, waiting for Iris to tell me her packages, she asked me how was the massage, I said it was ok. No point telling her so much, the massage was over anyway. She then proceed to recommend me a promotion only for that day at $50 for an hour massage. I told her I wanted to try other parlors before deciding and she insisted me to get a five hour package first that would cost $250. Why would I want to get a $250 package when I dun even enjoy the massage and was hounded abt my job when I first step in? I will not even get it even if it’s free. It’s not how cheap it is cos I know even if I were to get a package, it will be with spa elements. Of cos, it will be way more expensive than Bellaluna. If the service is good, I enjoy my quiet time and a good massage, why not?

I told her no, I wouldn’t want to commit myself at this time. She finally let it go and as we went out of the cubicle, she told me not to buy the voucher again as it is for one time trial only. How rude can she be? She thinks I can’t read the terms and conditions? Or just because I did not buy the package from her? But then again, there won’t be a next time for sure. The massage experience from hell.

Verdict: 0.5 / 5 – 0.5 for the cup of ginger tea after the massage."

Extracted from Beauty Undercover-Bella Luna

This is my first massage in Singapore and I will not recommend this place for a massage.


We headed to St-Marc Cafe for tea located at Vivo City. I am a sucker for desserts and I absolutely love sweets! We were spoilt for choices-from coffees to breads to desserts. In the end, we settled for Kyoto Delight and Mango Fantasy.

My Kyoto Delight consists of a ball of matcha ice cream, warabi mochi,  milk soft serve, mini rice balls, red bean paste, corn flakes, castella sponge cake and a drizzle of caramel syrup.
JL's Mango Fantasy consists of Japanese soft serve ice cream, a ball of vanilla ice cream, mango chunks, mango sauce, mango pudding cornflakes and castella sponge cake.

My verdict?
Let's start with Kyoto Delight. The matcha ice cream is bland in the beginning but has a bitter aftertaste. The red bean paste is not very rich but it is sweet. The soft serve melts fast and has a strong vanilla(?) taste. Warabi mochi and mini rice balls are the reasons why I chose Kyoto Delight but alas, I was disappointed. Both ingredients do not have the chewy texture. They broke apart easily when my teeth sank into them. Chocolate sauce was found at the bottom with the cornflakes and cake. I would say the ingredients compliment one another. You won't enjoy the dessert if you eat it separately so you got to take a bit of everything and put them together into your mouth at one shot.

The soft serve and the ball of ice cream found in Mango Fantasy has 2 different tastes-soft serve is stronger and sweeter whereas the ice cream ball is weaker and bland. The mango pudding is tasteless but it has a sticky texture. The sweetness comes from the sauce, mango chucks (not so much) and soft serve. As usual, eating it together will taste better.

They have many other options there like ice cream cones and dessert bowls. Hot-selling item is the Choco Cro which cost $2.60 per piece ($12 for a box of 6).
Kyoto Delight and Mango Fantasy each cost $8.80. The ambiance is alright for a place to chill but there were 2 large houseflies flying around at the counter.
I think the prices are a bit costly. For that price, I could have gone somewhere with better desserts.

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