The place: Everything is based on earthy elements at Nature’s Energy in Sydney’s Balmain. The spa baths are surrounded by dark cobbled stones, creating an experience akin to being in a secluded rainforest. Just leave the kids at home.
The experience: Book yourself in for an indulgent massage with hydrating, sweet-smelling products such as shea butter and coconut, sunflower and jojoba oil. Your skin feels amazing after! They also perform massages tailored to expectant mothers and sports professionals.
Details: 312 Darling Street, Balmain, (02) 9555 5533
The place: Pañpuri Organic Spa combines traditional Indonesian and Cambodian influences with a truly modern feel. Walk in from the street, entering through wooden, black-lacquered doors into a peaceful haven. Everything is organic, from the welcome tea and bathrobes to the cotton buds and slippers. Sharon Stone and Richard Gere are regular clients at Pañpuri in Bali and Spain, so you’re in good company.
The experience: The Mali Moonlight Massage, which is a combination of traditional Thai massage, aromatherapy, reiki and acupressure techniques. The perfect antidote to those tiresome back knots. A dip in the hydrotherapy bath and steam room are also a must.
Details: 55 Miller Street, Pyrmont, (02) 9660 1916
The place: Want total mind, body and soul regeneration? At Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, there are six luxurious treatment rooms specialising in several signature relaxation, renewal and results-focused treatments. All treatments encompass native Australian ingredients, such as macadamia nut and fragonia, for a distinctive Byron Bay feel. At the resort, there’s also reflexology, naturopathic consultations, tarot card readings, acupuncture and daily yoga classes to while away the day.
The experience: The uber-indulgent Cypress Sojourn, which is $370 for three hours of bliss, is the ultimate face and body therapy, commencing with an invigorating body brush followed by a relaxing full-body aromatic massage. You’re then treated to a Pevonia facial, manicure and pedicure, including an aromatic salt footbath and massage.
Details: 77–97 Broken Head Road, Byron Bay, (02) 6639 2110
The place: Gaia was launched by Olivia Newton-John and her interior designer friend Gregg Cave in 2005. Located in the lush, emerald-green hinterland of Byron Bay, this soul-soothing hippy hangout is your much-needed weekend reprieve from deadlines, to-do lists and the stresses of work and city life. Everything at Gaia works to detox the mind and body, from the psychic readings and balancing therapies to the spa treatments and menu. Daily activities such as yoga and tai chi are also thrown into the experience. Oprah is reportedly a fan.
The experience: The treatments draw on massage and healing techniques from around the world. The most ludicrously indulgent is the Gaia Goddess (or Gaia Man) which involves four-and-a-half hours of pure luxe, including a body polish and massage, mask, scalp massage, facial, hand and foot treatment with locally made organic products. If you want to try something different, opt for the Esoteric Breast Massage. By far the most ‘hippie’ treatment on the menu, it focuses on restoring ‘nurturing honour’ to the fairer sex.
Details: 933 Fernleigh Road, Brooklet, (02) 6687 1216
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