A reputation for 'the place' in Melbourne to totally relax and unwind, editor Trudi Brewer spent the afternoon under the spell of Aurora Spa Retreat.
The moment you enter the Prince Hotel in St Kilda, home of Aurora Spa and Retreat the aroma of lemongrass and sweet orange is hypnotic. Making your way up the winding stairs to the spa the scent becomes even headier, and the sound of trickling water gives you that instant sense of calm. I had booked in for the signature steam massage, known as Kitya Karnu, the Aboriginal meaning for salty stones, which has the reputation of being a 'total body bliss'. Naked in my private steam room, heated to a balmy 38 degrees, my therapist (who was wearing her swim suit) started by covering my body in rich lavender and patchouli essential oils. Rubbed liberally on my arms, legs, back and chest, the organic sea salt was then sprinkled from head to toe. This concoction was accompanied by a firm, circular exfoliation and the gritty ASPAR Wattleseed and Walnut Resurfacing Skin Cream. The next step did startle me, and this is the idea. Freezing river-stones were rubbed across my tummy, legs and arms, refreshing yes, but an instant wake up from my relaxing slumber. Next, to my face, cleansed, and then treated to a rich mask, followed by the creamy, nutritious ASPAR Olive Leaf Intensive Treatment Hair Masque combed through my hair. The next ten minutes was taken up by a dreamy scalp massage, and I can honestly say, there was not an inch of my body that is not buffed and nourished to perfection. After a hot shower and back in the relax lounge, I contemplate as I sip my chamomile and spearmint tea, and watch a blustery Melbourne day turn to evening. It’s rare to be in a spa of this calibre, and now that I have indulged, it believe it should be on every woman's beauty bucket list
Signature Kitya Karnu steam massage, allow 90 minutes and expect to pay $225 AUD.
Quick note: Aurora Spa Retreat is one of Australia's leading boutique spas, a favourite amongst celebrities, beauty editors and spa travellers the world over. It was voted one of the top 10 hotel spas in 2009 for Australasia and The South Pacific by Conde Naste Traveller, and rumour has it Paris Hilton books in on every visit to Australia.