Admittedly, I haven’t been properly taking care of myself this year, again procrastinating the whole New Year’s resolution schtick. But an email caught my eye — an invitation to check out a preview of the upcoming Zentosa Fest.
For those out of the loop, Zentosa Fest is a wellness festival held at Sentosa with over 50 unique experiences for visitors to start on their wellness journey. You can try out programs like painting murals or taking part in workshops involving sewing to de-stress. An outdoor bazaar also sells artisanal goods, crafts, and food products. Finally, if you want to fully immerse yourself in all-around wellness, there are also staycation packages from Sentosa’s varied hotel lineup. Suffice to say; There’s almost everything for everyone.
Along with some colleagues, I arrived at Sentosa for the preview, which promised a glimpse of what Zentosa Fest had to offer. It was held at The Southernmost Point of Continental Asia, which will be the home of a unique beachfront escapade called Stress Stop when the festival swings underway. Stress Stop is just one of Zentosa Fest’s big highlights that focus on experiences that, as the name suggests, help keep stress at bay.
Indeed, it is an apt location for the activities such as their breathing-related program by The Senses Therapy. Officially called Rebalance Body and Mind with Ishiki (Awareness) Breath, the program is hosted by Co-founder, Lu Sin.
We begin at the foot of the viewing tower, under the cover of the swaying trees where mats were placed for us as part of the session. After settling down, the instructor guided us to take up specific postures before starting the breathing exercises. One was with a straightened back and hands behind our heads, the other with both hands intertwined behind the back.
Taking slow, deep breaths to relax the body and mind, I felt the muscle tension fade away. In addition, the cool breeze from the seaside helped further elevate the overall experience — providing a comfortable and refreshing atmosphere to the whole session.
Next up was a look at the Sunset Rejuvenation programme, also by The Senses Therapy. Here, Co-founder Jasz immerses participants in a medley of sounds and vibrations while basking in the warmth of the setting sun.
Though our session was held in the morning, it did not damper the experience. As we laid down, we were treated to a series of soothing sounds made from instruments that Jasz brought over. Combined with the sound of the nearby crashing waves, the experience was rather serene and quaint and a nice departure from the rowdiness of the city.
While these two programs offered us a comfortably slow experience to digest, our next program preview presented a more brisk pace.
We moved across the bridge onto Palawan Beach, where a couple of floating platforms and aquabikes greeted us. This will be the site for the fitness-centric programs FloatFit by Abvolution and Aquabike by The Ripple Club. FloatFit has participants try Vinyasa yoga and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) exercises whilst balancing on the provided Floatfit board against the gentle waves. Meanwhile, Aquabike provides low-impact aqua workouts with a view of the surrounding beach as you train while submerged in the sea.
Decked in a T-shirt and jeans, I was much too overdressed to try out the two water activities. Thankfully my colleague Luke was more humbly dressed, and I managed to scapegoat him into previewing them in my stead.
First up was FloatFit, with Luke jumping on the Floatfit board along with three others as the instructor got ready to begin the session. The group were given a mixture of yoga and HIIT activities, and I watched nearby to see how it would all go down.
Needless to say, it was a workout on its own. I could see Luke trying his hardest to balance himself on the board whilst executing the moves that the instructor was guiding them, the unstable water surface proving to be a surprising obstacle despite how calm the sea looked. Luke successfully managed to stay afloat for this short session, but it was a close call!
After the session ends, we move on to the aquabike activity right next to it. The one we previewed was a shorter version of what the complete program had to offer, but it was seemingly no less demanding than what I saw.
The instructor put Luke through his paces, working his core to the maximum with fast and consistent pedalling on the aquabike for a few minutes at a time. The bike also served as a stable surface for other exercises like planking. It certainly looks tiring, but it’s a pleasant environment to work out in. Luke mentions that the cool waters served as a nice distraction from the stenuous session.
By the end, Luke was understandably exhausted from both activities. But we’re not entirely done with the Zentosa Fest preview though! So while my colleague got some much-needed rest, I was taken to see the area where another highlight of the festival is at.
Visitors who want to stick close to nature can rent out tents to stay in, with Zentosa Fest offering Glamping by the Beach. Inside the tents, which are generously spaced for two people, you can enjoy the two queen-sized air beds and the provided air cooler so that you don’t have to worry about the humidity. In addition, a picnic mat is provided for you to dine as you and your partner dine amidst the glow of the accompanying fairy lights decorated within the tent.
Booking the tents starts at S$388 per night for Sundays to Wednesdays, while Thursdays to Saturdays are S$588. You’ll also be provided with a complimentary breakfast for up to four people and access to 8 activities and workshops for Zentosa Fest.
Speaking of food, the Tuckshop is also nearby to provide visitors with some good eats while enjoying Zentosa Fest. Healthy and nutritious meals are on the menu, with the chefs there whipping up a myriad of clean food options that are delicious and good for the body.
We were able to try out a small selection of what’s on offer, and it was a good variety with stuff from the West like Aglio Olio Pasta, Pan Seared Salmon, Kimchi Fried Rice and Tteokbokki from the East. We also indulged in local stuff like Cheng Tng and Kuehs for dessert to round off the meal.
That was a first look at the upcoming Zentosa Fest, but the festival has much more to offer than what we could try out, and you can see what they have on their Official Website. It’ll run from 3 to 30 June, and if you’re interested in trying out any of the activities, you’ll only need to pay S$5 to book a slot!
Photos by Darren Chiong of the DANAMIC Team.