S$1,450 a night: Singapore pet owners pamper their furkids with ‘spa-cations’
Capella Singapore has a new spa staycation, where you can spoil your furbabies rotten with haircuts, blow-dries, Ayurvedic spa treatments as well as premium treats like grass-fed lamb seasoned with herbs and venison bites.
Ooni is looking bewildered as she’s slathered and massaged in a green concoction that smells like a mix of freshly cut grass and spirulina. A shower, a blow-dry and a haircut later, her hair is a glistening charcoal. Meanwhile, her owner Sharon is looking on amusedly, wondering who is the one really having a dog’s life.
My friend Sharon and I had checked into Capella Singapore’s one-bedroom garden villa for a weekend getaway in early July to try out their newly launched Pet Spa-cation. Ooni, her 12-year-old mini Schnauzer, came along, making it a truly all-girls outing.
After putting down our bags, pet grooming salon Petpawroni’s CEO Bernice Chen whisked us away in her car for Ooni’s Ayurvedic spa session at its Sentosa Cove outlet.
According to Chen, Petpawroni has been providing spa services for pets for eight years. The Ayurveda spa uses a Japanese product comprising organic Ayurvedic herbs that remove dead skin cells, odours and excess oil while keeping the animal’s skin moisturised.
Chen explained: “The natural ingredients are gentle on the animals yet very effective on the skin and coat. It has an antibacterial effect, makes the coat really clean and fluffy, and repels insects. Whenever we recommend it to customers, three out of four will want this treatment the next time after seeing the effect it has on their pet.” The salon also offers other types of spas such as mud and nano bubble treatments.
Petpawroni’s groomers handled an initially-nervous Ooni marvellously with gentleness and care, especially Mako, who specialises in schnauzers. The one-and-a-half hour spa session included a shower and blow-dry. We added a haircut for Ooni and she came out looking like a well-groomed lady ready to paint the town red. Two weeks later, her coat was still soft and shiny.
While pet staycations in Singapore aren’t new (Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, Sofitel Singapore Sentosa and Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa also offer them), Capella’s inclusion of a pet spa is a first.
Capella’s general manager Fernando Gibaja said: “Dogs and cats have become precious companions and family members to many in Singapore. With this growing trend, we decided to go a step further than the norm, to provide pampering services to our furry guests.”
“Dogs and cats have become precious companions and family members to many in Singapore. With this growing trend, we decided to go a step further than the norm, to provide pampering services to our furry guests.” – Fernando Gibaja
According to people who run pet businesses in Singapore, pet owners are definitely going the extra mile for their furry kids, from better food to extra special treatments.
Addiction Pet Foods’ CEO Jerel Kwek said: “There’s a growing trend called ‘pet humanisation’, where owners project their lifestyle or diet onto their pets. This is a key driver to the continued growth of the premium pet food segment.”
Pet grooming salons say that they have been offering spa treatments for several years, but are only recently seeing an uptick in sign-ups as more become aware of the services and want to splurge on their pets. Services range from S$35 for a 10-minute micro-bubble spa to as much as S$150 for a large dog using Dead Sea mud and vitamin-enriched shampoo at luxury pet hotel The Wagington.
Felines get their share of care too. Cat grooming salon Hey Good Cat has options such as a micro-bubble spa that deep cleanses the animal’s skin and coat while Nekomori has an ozone spa for treating skin ailments like itch and fungal infections.
Angela Wong, owner of Barkber, said that she has seen an increase in owners taking up spa treatments for their dogs since she took over the business last October. “Some even send their furkids weekly just for shower and spa treatments. I feel that spa treatments or other luxury treatments will be more popular as owners love to pamper their pets and those with spending power are definitely willing to spend on them.”
Back at Capella, Ooni gets premium treats from Addiction Pet Foods (gluten- and soy-free, grass-fed lamb seasoned with herbs; venison bites; alkaline water and a Smith & Burton cologne spray) and a cushioned bed to snuggle in. Us? We enjoyed a late lunch in the cosy interiors of our villa – recently given a subtle modern makeover by Hong Kong designer Andre Fu – away from the torrential rain.
When the sun came out the next day, Capella’s lush green grounds and well laid-out paths, including a private access to Palawan Beach, called out for walks with Ooni. In fact, she decided not to wait and sneaked out through a gap among the villa’s outdoor planters, causing us to panic for a moment that we had lost her.
We needn’t have worried. As we opened the front door, we saw Ooni in the arms of the next-door villa guest, who had already phoned the reception to report a missing pet and was glancing up and down the path to see if anyone was looking for her. We relieved her of the cheeky canine with profuse thanks and apologies – how’s that for a happy ending to a paw-fect staycation!