Destination spas that are all that (and more)
The best destination spas don’t just relax your body – they also rejuvenate your soul. These one-of-a-kind spas deliver extraordinary wellness experiences that let you escape the everyday.
Whether it’s a massage by the sea or ancient Indian rituals delivered in a lush rainforest setting, a spa session at one of these retreats will help you step out of the fast lane and submerge yourself in bliss.
Awaken your third eye near Byron Bay
The rituals of Ayurveda are among the oldest forms of healing in the world, and at Gaia Retreat and Spa in the Byron Bay hinterland, the Ayurvedic Journey package lets you discover these time-honoured therapies for yourself. Follow the path through the lush rainforest setting to reach the tranquil retreat and settle in for a very different spa experience. The deeply restorative shirodhara, a meditative treatment that involves having a stream of warm oil poured onto your forehead on the spot known as the third eye, is a highlight.
Stop and smell the roses at a luxury city spa
There is a toe-curling pleasure in having power-packed beauty products massaged gently into your skin, but that’s not the only thing that makes The Langham Day Spa’s Babor Grand Cru facial such an indulgent treat. The therapists at this spa in Sydney understand that the best treatments stimulate all the senses, which is why they use rose-infused products. The spa session doesn’t end with the facial: complimentary champagne and macarons are served poolside beneath a twinkling sky of artificial stars to provide a grand finish.
Be lulled by the sound of the sea at a clifftop retreat
When it comes to jaw-dropping settings, Mollymook’s Spa by the Sea has it sewn up. Part of the Bannisters by the Sea boutique hotel on the South Coast, a 3hr drive from Sydney, the day spa is known for its views – gaze out into the garden or across the ocean during your facial. Dial-up the luxury factor by booking yourself into The Cabana, a semi-open-air pavilion where your massage, accompanied by the gentle touch of a sea breeze, is delivered against the most soothing soundtrack of all, the ancient rhythms of the waves.
Get steamed up at Sydney’s SpaQ
If you’re looking for a shortcut to relaxation, it’s hard to go past a session in a steam room where the air wraps around you like a warm hug. A stint in the hammam-style steam room of Spa Q – tucked inside the colourful QT Sydney hotel in the middle of the city – is the perfect overture to one of the spa’s indulgent treatments. Need a full recharge? Then sign up for the 6hr Metamorphosis package which, apart from a steam session, includes a body wrap, a 90min massage, a 90min facial, a mouthwatering lunch and a glass of bubbly.
Drift away beneath the palms on the North Coast
Halcyon House, a boutique hotel at Cabarita Beach in northern NSW, has a playful take on coastal chic that suits its prime oceanfront position. That extends to the stylish spa, where the cheerful palm-patterned fabrics on the walls and the armchairs will lift your spirits as soon as you step inside. The treatments, using products from the acclaimed Australian Sodashi range, are designed to leave you looking and feeling better. Try the Thermal Infusing Facial, a warming, nourishing indulgence that will leave your skin silky smooth.
Be energised in the Blue Mountains
Set in a lush valley a 2.5hr drive from Sydney and overlooked by the spectacular sandstone crags of the Blue Mountains, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley is all about celebrating nature. That philosophy extends to its spa. The most memorable treatment, the Mountain Aromatherapy massage, uses essential oils infused with the distinctive scents of the surrounding bush. Feel your body sink into a state of calm as oils fragrant with honey myrtle, eucalyptus and lemon myrtle are rubbed into your skin during this Swedish-style full-body massage.
Enjoy a one-of-kind massage at Sydney’s most glamorous spa
The moment you enter Crown Spa at Crown Sydney, you know you are in for some serious spoiling. The spa menu includes treatments available nowhere else in Australia but the stand-out is the psammotherapy. This memorable massage takes place on a heated bed of quartz sand and is designed to loosen even the most knotted muscles. The therapy also includes the use of singing bowls, which emit vibrations designed to relax you even further. Ahhhhhh!