Guidebook Relax, it’s time to head to spa country


Relax, it’s time to head to spa country

"Sometimes all of the green juice in the world just won't cut it," says Sarah Willcock in The Urban List. "And, luckily for us, there's no better place to relax than in Victoria's beautiful regional areas, which are filled with natural mineral springs and geothermal waters that nourish and cleanse, as well as some of Australia's most incredible modern spas."

"It's all about you at this customised east-meets-west retreat," is how Traveller describes Samadhi Retreat in Glenlyon, "a one-shop town near Australia's spa capital, Daylesford." Fitted out with polished concrete floors, an open fire, neutral calming decor and alpaca rugs, "Samadhi offers a mix of dynamic counselling and healing sessions, wholesome and artistically striking meals and soothing body treatments in the spa, which connects to the retreat through beautiful Chinese doors." And don’t overlook the Himalayan Rejuvenation body treatment, says Traveller: it combines "a mineral crystal salt scrub, warm detoxing oils, a thermal vitamin rich mud wrap, scalp massage and soporific full body massage."

"A trip to the Werribee Mansion Spa will redefine your definition of luxury," says Concrete Playground. The hotel, just 30 minutes from the city, offers massage packages like 'Waves of Relaxation' - "a rhythmic massage designed to leave you feeling loose and relaxed." And the spa is housed within a 19th century mansion, "set upon sprawling manicured gardens that leave you feeling as though you’ve been transported to a scene from Downton Abbey rather than outer Melbourne," writes the Australian Traveller.

Yoga in the bush. The luxury bush lodgings at Bush Creek Buddha, 100 kilometres north-east of Melbourne, will "have you both limber and restored," reports Travel Insider. Personalised yoga classes kick off at a reasonable hour ("it's the weekend, after all"), bushwalking and horseriding are optional and "French-influenced cuisine is created from locally sourced produce."

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are brimming with spas. "If the classic bathhouse experience is your idea of heaven, lock in a date with Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa," recommends The Urban List. "It's the only place in the Daylesford region that actually has direct spring access to Hepburn's iconic mineral waters, and they've been taking advantage of that for over a hundred years." It features a communal pool and spa for entry-level relaxation, "while the Sanctuary takes things up a notch with a salt water therapy pool to soothe what ails you, lit naturally via a circular 'moon roof' overhead."

Just up the road is the Mineral Spa at Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, which features "a lavender-scented sauna, an infrared 'detox’ box (no steam!), a steam room, twin open-air pools and a refreshingly icy plunge pool," reports The Urban List. They also offer 'soft pack' beds - "it's like getting a friendly bear hug from a waterbed and that is exactly as snug as it sounds."

Fancy an in-room Shiatsu massage or a Geisha white tea facial? Then, says The Urban List, go to Shizuka Ryokan in Daylesford which features traditional tatami mats, paper "shoji" screens, in-room spas and flooring designed for reflexology.

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