Health-retreat

5 Of The Most Luxurious Spas in Australia

We’re living in a world where we are glued to technology and we easily work more than eight hours a day so it’s no wonder that more people are seeking out sanctuaries where they can switch off for a while, relax and invigorate their mind, body and soul.  So if you’re in need of some pampering and relaxation, here are five of the best spas in Australia.

Gwinganna Spa Sanctuary – Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland

The Gwinganna Spa Sanctuary is an exclusive 33-room facility at the Gwinganna Lifestyle retreat, nestled in the Gold Coast hinterland.  The spa sanctuary is completely surrounded by nature and includes an amethyst crystal steam room, couples rooms and outdoor decks with magnificent views of natural wildlife, flora and fauna.  They offer stress management sessions, wellness consultations, spa therapies and the spa sanctuary is also completely self-sufficient in water consumption.  It’s no wonder this place received rave reviews from Hugh Jackman.

Gaia Day Spa – Gaia Retreat, Byron Bay, Queensland

The award winning Gaia Day Spa is part of the Gaia Retreat, founded by Olivia Newton-John and set on 25 acres in the Byron Bay Hinterland.  With some of the finest healers and therapists in Australia, this day spa is not to be missed.  They use freshly blended products from local suppliers and their own organic garden and offer a range of specialised treatments including a package specially designed for men.  You don’t have to stay at the retreat to enjoy the spa – day guests are also welcome and have access to the pool, spa and sauna.

Waldheim Alpine Spa – Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

In the wilderness of Cradle Mountain, Tasmania you’ll find the Waldheim Alpine Spa, part of the Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge.  Set amongst tall pine trees and fresh mountain streams the spa offers a huge range of treatments that cater for everyone including couples and pregnant women.  The Sanctuary is a therapeutic area of the spa that has a steam room, plunge pool, sauna and a hot tub and can be hired out for private use.

Healing Waters Spa – Silky Oaks Lodge, Mossman, Queensland

Healing Waters Spa is part of the Silky Oaks Lodge and is situated in the Daintree Forest – the oldest living rainforest on earth.  Surrounded by tranquil gardens and lush greenery this spa uses clay from the earth and plant extracts for therapy treatments as well as the all-natural, chemical free skincare range Sodashi.  They offer a wide range of treatments including chakra balancing with crystals, harmonic sound healing and Reiki.  Indulge in a romantic spa ritual with your partner and soak in a mud bath as you gaze out to the rainforest.

Hepburn Bathhouse and Day Spa – Daylesford, Victoria

Nestled in the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve and just a short distance to picturesque Daylesford is the Hepburn Bathhouse and Day Spa.  As well as having various communal hydrotherapies including a steam room and salt therapy pool, they also have a more intimate experience on offer in the day spa where there are private healing mineral baths and a huge range of relaxing and invigorating treatments to choose from.  Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa has just been named Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa in Australia and Oceania for 2014.

Image via pounedesign.com

Is It Too Difficult To Separate Work And Home Life?

In today’s society, with Internet access available readily at our fingertips, more and more women are turning to the ‘connected lifestyle’ to manage their busy lives. Women are busier than ever, juggling work life and motherhood and with technology developing right before our eyes, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to switch off when the workday has ended. In fact, in a 2013 survey by AVG Australia, 62 per cent of women said mobile devices make it hard to separate home and work life.

The Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa, Elysia are leaders as a destination for guests to not only detox, but also e-tox – that means no laptop, iPad, e-reader or TV. While that may sound scary to some, general manager Brigid Walsh says her team encourages retreat guests to limit their use of technology while e-toxing.

“Guests find it invigorating to escape from being constantly  ‘plugged in’ and have quality face-to-face time with fellow guests and staff at the retreat. We encourage guests to enjoy meal times together and without the distractions of technology, allow them enjoy the simplicity of food and life. This reminds guests to slow down and be more present in the moment.”

Set in the peaceful surroundings of the Hunter Valley, just two and a half hours from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa, Elysia is an sanctuary of serenity where guests are encouraged to disconnect from their devices in order to regain some of the passion, energy, creativity and clarity that gets lost in the stresses of everyday life.

“We find our guests relish in the huge range of activities Elysia has on offer and use it as an opportunity to take time to re-connect with themselves without the pressure of technology getting in the way. They are finding it easier to switch-off in the ‘real world’ and less likely to go back to the excessive levels they were use to,” Brigid said.

While Golden Door Health Retreat & Spa, Elysia, encourages guests to disconnect from their devices while e-toxing, there is, of course, no restriction in staying in touch with family and friends via mobile phone from their accommodation.

It’s time now for women to unplug the charger to their laptop and focus on recharging their lives. We all could all benefit from learning to switch off every once in awhile. For more information on programs and packages go to www.goldendoor.com.au

Tried And Tested: Golden Door Health Retreat

It’s not often in life you get to sit back, relax and let worries go (well, not often in my life anyway) and that is precisely why a stay at the Golden Door Health Retreat Elysia was an absolute treat for me. Not only was I to be pampered in the spa and fed like a queen but I was also encouraged to stop. Yes, just stop. Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop relying on caffeine (this one scared me), stop craving, stop working. Hmmm, so that last one was a challenge. It is also suggested that guests refrain from the use of their technology – a digital detox of sorts. Although, in the confines of your villa, it was perfectly fine to contact loved ones via mobile phone if you choose.

I arrived for my two-night stay on a Friday around midday and, not wanting to deter from my usual routine that week, it meant I was tired, sore and a tad hungover. Just in time for lunch, I made my way to the dining room where I was served an amazing prawn salad (and I immediately regretted the bacon and cheese roll I’d consumed on my two-hour drive to Pokolbin from Sydney).

A meet and greet ensued followed by a tour of the grounds and then a yoga class. By this point, 4pm on a Friday afternoon, I was either ready for wine time or bed. In the break before dinner I took an opportunity to retreat back to my gorgeous villa for quick lie down on the couch while catching up on the text messages I’d missed from my work colleagues out at a farewell lunch. It looked fun but… snoooooooze, I was wrecked.

I woke up just in time for Friday night drinks (the non-alcoholic variety) before dinner. Fruity concoctions awaited the guests so we sipped and mingled before the night’s meal was served. Another delicious dish was served, a first course of pumpkin soup followed by ocean trout with roma tomato and caper sauce and avocado mash.

A seminar followed for those interested and I was one of the first to put my hand up when I heard the topic – Sleep. In an hour-long workshop, we learned some methods of meditation and how to get ourselves of to sleep by using the breath and extending our inhales and exhales. Clearly there’s a lot more to it but I certainly needed to hit the sack straight after that.

The next morning I had every intention of heading to the 6am tai chi class. That is until my alarm went off at 5:45am. Snooze. Extended snooze. Alarm off. I rose at 8:45am, just in time for my deep tissue massage, followed by a facial in the Golden Door Day Spa. Needless to say, I blissed out!

Lunch on Saturday was a take on the traditional chicken caesar salad Golden Door-style and, of course, was scrumptious. But it was after lunch that I started to feel a little unwell. An ache had started to gently thump away at my temples and a feeling of exhaustion had washed over me – even though all I had done all day was get pampered. Weird, right? Well, apparently not when you are suffering the effects of caffeine withdrawal. As a medium-heavy coffee drinker (3-4 espressos a day), going without for more than 24 hours had made parts of my body mutiny. Resistance was futile but, with no caffeine to be found, I retreated to my villa – more precisely, the world’s most comfortable king bed – to sleep off my ‘coming down’.

I awoke just in time for dinner, chatted with my fellow guests at the dinner table and devoured the evening’s three-course meal that was completed with my favourite food of all-time, cheesecake (Golden Door-style once again). Yum! But the mallet in my head was banging away and a friendly staff member smuggled me some green tea and suggested I take it easy that night. So back to my room I went, where the beautiful turn-down service complete with the burning of amazing essential oils, prompted me to make use of the glorious bathtub. Now, I don’t have a bathtub in my tiny one-bedroom Sydney apartment so this was an absolute treat! I slipped into the tub, green tea in hand and iPhone for photographic evidence for friends and family that I was actually relaxing, and I had found my fave part of my Golden Door experience.

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Refreshed and relaxed, headache subsiding, I got into bed ready for a night of restful sleep before packing up and heading back to the rat race the following morning, one thing came to mind… Two days was too short!

On Sunday morning, as I said my goodbyes to the wonderful staff and the lovely guests that I had met during my stay, I wished I had made more of my time there although, as one of the girls behind the desk had said to me, “Your experience was just what you needed”. Whether that be partaking in the sports, hikes, yoga, tai chi, spa treatements or like me, sleeping and eating well, I’m better for it.

And I’ve even cut down my coffee intake!

Thanks to the Golden Door Health Retreat Elysia

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