Singapore, famous for its spotless, squeaky clean streets, world-class gardens and biodiverse landscapes, has no doubt earned its reputation for being a ‘City in a Garden’. But when I heard that this ranking had extended to the new Jewel complex in Changi Airport, I was apprehensive at first…
Airports are stressful at the best of times. Have I forgotten my passport (again)? Will my plethora of beauty products all meet the 100ml requirement and will they squeeze into the tiny plastic see-through bag or will I have to beg a stranger to give a gal a hand? Why does yet another shop require my boarding pass? – let me purchase a bottle of water and some Milka chocolate in peace, please. And finally, who will win the game of cattle crush when the boarding announcement has been made and every man and his dog rushes to the queue as if their life depended on getting there first?
However, this Heathrow stress soon turned to relaxation as I landed in Changi Airport and spent the next few days experiencing Jewel, the new £950 million multifaceted lifestyle destination, designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie, that is directly connected to Terminals 1, 2 and 3, and has wellness at its heart.
I was pleasantly surprised by the health benefits that this one-of-a-kind airport had to offer, and the meticulous attention to detail that has gone into making this a true wellness hub, where tired travellers can ‘Refuel at Jewel’. Changi, recently awarded the World’s Best Airport title for the seventh consecutive year, has really created an unrivalled stress-free experience, and supported by science, here’s why Jewel’s two main components have changed the Travel Wellness game forever:
The world's tallest indoor waterfall
At its centrepiece features a majestic 40-metre-high Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. This scenic attraction not only looks absolutely stunning, but scientists say that the soothing sound of water, particularly the way water and sound interact, has been proven to have a positive effect on our brains as it produces an overwhelming sense of mental tranquillity. According to one study, the sound physically alters the connections in our brains, reducing our body’s natural fight-or-flight instinct. We often feel a sense of calm when we’re around water. Like a nap for our brains, the sound stops the brain from over-stimulating and our overloaded minds drift into a relaxed and hypnotic-like state.
At nightfall, Jewel’s tranquil waterfall transforms into a mesmerising night light show, like something out of Disneyland. I was in awe of the colours that lit up the water and danced to the peaceful playlist.
There's a huge forest
The Forest Valley is made up of four-storeys and decorates 21,000 square metres of Jewel comprising 120 different species of trees, palms, ferns and shrubs. The lush mix of greenery makes for an ambient, awe-inspiring scene, and the gardens rival the infamous Gardens by the Bay that tourists flock to. The forest has been years in the making, and
The trees and plants, some of which have incredible health and wellness benefits, have been imported from all around the world, namely Spain, America, China, Australia, Malaysia and Thailand. Some have been kept in a nursery for up to a year to acclimatise, and then regrown and planted in Jewel and there is a team of about 30 staff who do daily maintenance on the vegetation.
Here are 5 amazing ways the indoor forest can benefit your health and overall wellbeing:
1)They Purify the Air
Trees are the Earth’s lungs, removing carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air and replacing them with oxygen. Evergreens in particular, which make up 80% of Jewel’s forest, are the crème of the crop, the ‘power plants’ and purifying Queens. This is because their needles and leaves are open for service 24/7. They don’t get a day off, unlike many other varieties which shed their leaves in line with the seasons. Evergreens such as pines also have a refreshing scent, so as well as cleaning the air, they make it smell fresher and add moisture into the air that removes toxins. All of which has been proven reduce stress and anxiety.
2) They boost immunity
Plants, are also full of Vitamin C, particularly Evergreens which comprise 80% of the plant species at Jewel. Its antioxidant qualities are an essential element of our immune system and helps prevent illnesses- perfect for avoiding that looming post-flight flu!
3)They clear your skin
Evergreen varieties are jam packed with Vitamin A, which prevents stress on the skin, helping to keep it looking young and wrinkle-free.
4)The colours evoke emotions
The Canopy Park in Jewel includes a beautiful Petal Garden, and the red, yellow and white colours induce positive feelings. Red is associated with love and comfort, yellow with happiness and sunshine to lift moods, and white with cleanliness and purity, two things very close to Singapore’s heart. Outside of the garden, the majority of the forest is green, and this colour symbolises nature and tranquillity. It is one of the most restful colours for your eyes and is known to be restorative and mind-clearing, even decreasing blood pressure and lowering stress levels, all of which helps to promote wellbeing.
5)They reduce noise
Finally, the forest creates a sanctuary free from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and large plants with a large surface area have been proven to absorb surrounding sound, creating a sense of tranquillity which is necessary for relaxation.
Jewel at Changi Airport opened to the public on the 17th April, with a second stage launch of the Canopy Park at Jewel set to take place on the 10th June. Glamour was given behind the scenes access to the new development before the launch.