It’s the season where one wants to seek some respite from the heat, pollution and stress of city life that wreaks havoc on our bodies. Ruben Luong was up for the tough task of doing just that at three of Saigon’s foremost independent spas.

Crystal-Spa-Saigon Crystal Spa

Designed with an opulent white interior that references Saigon (which some translate as “cotton tree”), the 1,200-square-metre Crystal Spa is considered the largest in Ho Chi Minh City. Here, you can find a spa café with 20 spa chairs, 16 treatment rooms, four jacuzzis (hot and cold), a hair salon and a sauna or steam room for men and women.

Crystal Spa opened its doors two months ago in Phu Nhuan under the management of arom:D, a renowned Thai academic spa that combines the oriental science of ancient Ayurveda and Chakra with traditional Thai medicine using advanced aroma chromotherapy.

Its signature crystal therapy services utilise colour-specific aromas and arom:D products extracted from stones like diamonds, jade or pearls to naturally heal the body. For example, cool crystal therapy (blue) calms and clarifies to soothe the mind and relax muscles; Joy (orange) provides strength and protection of the immune system; and Light (yellow) clears depression, stimulates happiness and purifies the body. Most treatments run for 180 minutes for VND 2,500,000.

Other standard services and packages are also available, such as a 90-minute Chakra balancing massage (VND 1,650,000), a 30-minute Himalayan crystal mineral bath (VND 350,000), 60-minute Crystal classic facial (VND 900,000) and 45-minute body exfoliation (VND 590,000).

Tan Son Nhat Hotel, third floor
202 Hoang Van Thu Street, Phu Nhuan
08 38 47 99 64
10am-10pm, seven days
Crystalspa.com.vn

Saigon’s foremost independent spasGrand Spa JP

Grand Spa JP beauty resort, located along the Phu Dong traffic circle on Nguyen Trai Street, opened three months ago and houses the first indoor onsen (“hot springs”) Japanese healing baths in Saigon. Onsen baths, prevalent in Japan, are known for their supposed ability to aid recovery from illness with the restorative mineral properties in the water.

The baths (separate for men and women), hot stone bedrock spa and sauna facilities reflect Japanese architecture with highly minimal and geometric tiling. Deep soaks are encouraged to increase blood flow, metabolism and remove tension to aid the immune system. Entrance fee for the bath, bedrock spa and sauna rooms is VND 300,000. Couples receive 10 percent off their entrance fee at VND 540,000. For bath use only, guests pay VND 190,000.

Massage services consist of Thai, oil and hot stone or mixed massages, which can be arranged for 60, 90 or 120 minutes from VND 280,000 to VND 730,000 depending on which services are chosen. Afterwards, spa guests can lounge in the comfy break room or dine at the spa’s open space restaurant, which serves wholesome Japanese and Vietnamese fusion cuisine.

9 Nguyen Trai, Level 3-7, D1
08 73 00 01 23
10am-11pm, seven days
Grandspa.jp/en

Saigon’s foremost independent spasCat Moc Spa

By far the most welcoming and well-rounded spa in Saigon is Cat Moc Spa, which has held its own for three-and-a-half years. Two kilometres from Ben Thanh Market, it is ensconced on a side street off Tran Hung Dao. It’s convenient to get to but also isolated enough to be a downtown retreat. Not overly luxurious, Cat Moc is peaceful and quaint, attracting locals, travellers and expats alike.

There’s a reason it is rated number one on TripAdvisor. Its intimate spa corridor is dim, candlelit and scented in French aroma oils. Sixteen beds in total fill a public room, couple’s room, facial room and shampoo room. Every masseur and beautician is quality-trained in numerous services, such as Thai, Swedish or Vietnamese herbal relaxing therapy. Sessions also include personalised consultations for Dermalogica product facial treatments and other treatments like paraffins, waxing or Japanese-style hair washing.

There are a number of attractive packages, like the 150-minute renewal package (VND 668,000), which includes herbal steam and aroma sauna, yoghurt sea salt body scrub and 90-minute Swedish therapy with aroma oil. Couples especially love the 180-minute ‘a journey for two’ (VND 2,100,000) package, consisting of a coconut body scrub, 60-minute aromatherapy massage, facial and foot care.

61-61 Tran Dinh Xu, D1
08 62 95 89 26
9am-10pm, seven days
Catmocspa.com