Falling in love with Spa Wellness

My first Waterlily Spa Facial

The first time I was introduced to the world of spa, I was almost thirty. For nearly thirty years I had never had a spa treatment in my life, and had never had a massage either. I’m what you could call a late bloomer—I also didn’t know what a day spa was. But that all changed one day when I visited the Waterlily James St concept store, which was several years ago now.

After a brief but thorough consultation with a Waterlily skin specialist, I was tucked away in the therapy room and treated to Waterlily’s Signature Triple Berry Spa Facial. I tend to be quite a high strung person but all I could do was relax as the soothing, refreshing berry mask was laid over my skin, forcing me to meditate within the quiet, curated silence. How had I been only washing my face with a cleanser-moisturiser routine all these years? My poor skin had been so neglected, crying out for the calming and reassuring antioxidant blend of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry.

“I left that afternoon a changed woman. My skin felt plump, dewy, and glowing. It was unbelievable how pampered and refreshed my face felt. Goodbye harsh winds and sunscreen, hello rejuvenation and hydration! Emerging into the oppressive Brisbane heat did nothing to faze my mood. From there, I was hooked.”

Falling in love with spa…

 

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Looking for any excuse to expand my day spa horizons, I roped my partner into my next adventure—a couple’s retreat at the Mineral Spa in Hepburn Springs. A sixty-minute bathing experience, packaged with lunch and a relaxation massage? Sign me up! That too, far exceeded my expectations. (Should I add that I had also never been inside a sauna before in my life?)

This was a whole new world, away from the bustle of metropolitan Melbourne, and fortuitously we had the whole bathing area to ourselves. And the MASSAGE.

I take my hat off to masseurs everywhere. I was probably an entire body’s worth of knots, but relax me they did—and not only that, but they afterwards proceeded to tuck us up in robe and slippers, with a cup of herbal tea and a plate of dried fruit. What was this life? I had to have more, I decided; this would be something we would do every anniversary, I told my partner, and she readily agreed.

A metropolitan haven

My partner (a day spa aficionado) was a firsthand witness to the transformative experience that was my introduction to the world of spa treatments. For my birthday, she treated me to a facial at MISS FOX, somewhere I could nip off to in the middle of the day outside of my hectic work and study schedule to relax and rejuvenate. This, too, was an eye-opening experience: in the middle of Melbourne, tucked away behind the busy streets, was a self-care sanctuary. How did a place like this exist amongst the corporate and tourist hustle and bustle, without the need to ‘escape’ two hours out of Melbourne?

But exist it did. Reader, this was another life-changing facial—I fell asleep! I was spoiled by the indulgent tranquility where my only task in that moment was to relax, to allow myself to be carried away.

A New York minute

And carried away I was, because a mere six months later, I found myself at AIRE Ancient Baths in New York. No, I did not specifically go to New York for my next spa experience—but if I was going to go on holiday there, surely it would be remiss if I didn’t seek out at least one retreat. AIRE turned out to be a special kind of heaven, with so many different pools and experiences, never once feeling too crowded despite its popularity. A particular standout for me was the salted flotation pool. Something else carrying the weight of life off my shoulders for a few moments was true bliss indeed.

“The highlight for me was the floating pool. Suspended, floating, relaxed.”

A beautiful country retreat

Fast forward a year and a half later. Amidst a pandemic, missing my family and craving the deep, endless, and luscious greenery that can only be found in a regional town, I was determined to ‘get away’ after the latest Victorian lockdown. And of course, a getaway wouldn’t be complete without a spa experience. Having heard many great things about theMacedon Ranges, my research led me to the Ellenis Day Spa in Kyneton.

“Set upon an unassuming shopfront a stone’s throw from the town centre, Ellenis was another spa sanctuary tucked away from high-traffic roads. A beautiful haven awaited inside, cocooning me and my partner in warmth and relaxation and away from the deep winter wind and rain. The space itself was truly next level—for example, we were treated to an infrared sauna in the waiting room (note to self: look into purchasing one for my future dream home).”

This time, I signed up for something truly luxurious: facial AND a massage. After the sauna, my partner and I were led upstairs to the couple’s therapy room, where our treatment started off with a back exfoliation and massage, with my amazing spa therapist Pam once again probably finding a whole back of knots to work through.

I’m honestly in awe of massage therapists and the work they do.

Ellenis Day Spa: A truly decadent Spa getaway

Ellenis Day Spa is also a Waterlily Spa Partner, and this time my facial (along with the rest of the treatment) used products from the Spaceuticals, Waterlily and Lime Caviar collections, alongside professionally exclusive Spa Facial products for our facial.

DIVINE is the only word to describe it.

The comfort of the mask cooling on my skin, and then the pure refreshing sensation when it peeled off, was indescribably decadent.

Waterlily Lime Caviar Body Care

This was all done alongside a beautiful hand treatment where my skin was exfoliated with Lime Caviar Sugar Smoother, followed by the Lime Caviar Body Balm. I hadn’t expected this special addition and it was the most luxurious thing ever. Every new portion of the treatment was like a game of Pass the Parcel, but where every layer revealed a wonderful surprise.

Bookending the treatment were meditative breathing exercises to guide us in and out of the experience.

“It all ended far too soon and later we were treated to a post-treatment herbal tea and chocolates in a gorgeous plant-filled sunroom overlooking a lovely fountain and garden. The whole thing was two full hours of indulgence and relaxation… and I could do it all over again.”

What’s next for my spa journey?

 

From that first step into the Waterlily Concept Store four years ago, working my way up to a full-package country escape, I live in anticipation of what the next spa step will be. Is it too much to experience back-to-back spa retreats? A facial every week would be nice…

I wonder, how did it take me this long to discover this world of pure seclusion and luxury? All I know is that my eyes have been opened now, and there’s no going back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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