When it comes to decadent downtime, Melburnians are spoilt for choice with some truly world-class spas. Winning accolades from the likes of Wallpaper* and Conde Nast is no mean feat, so we thought we should do the legwork for you and check out the city’s finest urban retreats.
In the process, we’ve uncovered some beautifully designed spaces, incredible views and utterly unique treatments. So whether you’re fighting festive fatigue or just stumped for what to get your mother-in-law this Christmas, we’ve got you covered – in nutrient-rich mud.
Aurora Spa Retreat
Housed in St Kilda’s Wood Marsh-designed hotel, The Prince, Aurora is Australia’s largest purpose-built urban spa. The neutral interiors reflect a breezy, bayside cool and a big focus here is hydro (water and steam) therapies and specially sourced treatment products with a green conscience. The therapeutic steam rituals encourage toxin release and muscle relaxation and Wallpaper* recently voted their Signature Kitya Karnu (salty stone) treatment among the world’s best. With 22 treatment rooms, group bookings are a cinch, or you could always plump for a two-day retreat with an overnight stay at The Prince and dinner at the award-winning Circa.
Chuan Spa – Melbourne
With its grand brass and marble lobby, The Langham hotel itself possesses a rather old-school air, but the low lighting and serene energy of the Chuan spa is like escaping into another world. Decked out in deep chocolate brown, copper and neutral tones, Chuan offers a uniquely luxurious spa experience with an eye on traditional Eastern wellness philosophies. Start your relaxation off with the Tri-Bathing ritual where you’ll have free rein to luxuriate in the salt water jacuzzi, steam room, traditional sauna and river stone snail shower, before (and after) your treatment. Using Chuan’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sequence, the divine Harmony massage will render you relaxed, rebalanced and seriously Zen. Cancel your meetings and make a day of it.
Isika Day Spa at Crown Metropol
Housed on the 27th floor of the Bates Smart-designed Crown Metropol hotel, Isika is not only Melbourne’s newest spa but also its most lavishly appointed. The warm neutral interiors possess an understated luxury while the jaw-dropping city views summon an impressive level of international sophistication. Spacious treatment rooms are low-lit and beautifully decorated and the uber-luxe couples rooms are second-to-none. Treatments include a range of indulgent rituals such as the signature Isika Intuitive massage, revolutionary Omnilux (light therapy) facial and the Traditional Wet Shave for the boys. Extend the serenity with an Isika Residential retreat package, staying on the hotel’s dedicated wellness floor.
With its low-key sophistication and leafy South Yarra location, award-winning boutique hotel The Lyall has long been known as a classy home away from home for visiting celebs and VIPs. With a discerning international clientele and a swag of Conde Nast Traveller awards under its belt, standards at the Lyall Spa are suitably elevated. The split-level space is furnished in bright, white, minimal style with some lovely green treetop views from the sunny outdoor terrace. Signature treatments include the Exotic Ancient DIY Rassoul (Moroccan mud and steam session), Time Zone Recovery (perfect for the jetlagged rock star) and the popular Detoxifying Ritual (an indulgent three hours which includes dry body brushing and a purifying body wrap). Finish off with a post-treatment glass of French fizz in the hotel’s front bar.
14 Murphy Street, South Yarra
(03) 9868 8222
Fancy a martini with your massage? Glamorous Miss Fox will pour one for you while you get a pedi. Combining modern technology with vintage glam, this chic city outpost is your one-stop-shop for head-to-toe relaxation, renewal and reinvention. Beauty treatments are a focus here and the resident nail artist Clara is said to have a cult local following. The Mister Fox (for gentlemen) selection promises to bring out a fella’s inner Don Draper while the ladies can channel Joan or Betty with a trip to the stylish grooming lounge, where highly experienced staff will expertly curl your coif as you sit back with Vanity Fair and a glass of Mumm. Chic and fabulously old-school. We like.
Retreat on Spring
With its serene, green, top-of-town location, Retreat on Spring is a perfect escape hatch from the CBD’s hectic pace. Flanked by the verdant lushness of the Treasury Gardens, Retreat truly boasts one of Melbourne’s most tranquil spa settings. Inside, beautiful aromas, Nordic-inspired blonde wood furnishings and dappled natural light invoke instant feelings of calm. Service is discreet and highly professional all the way, from the welcoming offer of tea to the complimentary pre-treatment foot scrub. The various spa rituals are a true sensory journey – utilising gorgeously aromatic Aveda products matched to your individual Elemental Nature. Signatures include the detoxifying Caribbean Therapy body treatment, Ayurvedic Chakra Balancing massage or natural glow-inducing Omnilux facial.