Australian Traveller picks the most pamper-filled day spas in all of cosmopolitan Sydney.
1. Endota Day Spa, Martin Place
Fact: Endota Spa is actually the largest day spa franchise in Australia. But at Sydney’s Martin Place spa the experience is nothing but personalised, welcoming and wonderfully unwinding. You’ll find this hideaway located within the beautiful heritage-listed Westin Hotel; decked out in timber floors and benches, off-white walls and with delicious essential oils lingering in the air. Overlooking a buzzing streetscape, it’s also a great spot for people-watching while you relax between treatments. Choose from a range of feel-good indulgences for the ultimate chill-out session, from organic facials to deep-tissue massages – or take them all. Endota’s product range of skincare, teas and even nail polishes are all locally-made and organic. We recommend the decadent two-hour Moisturise treatment, which begins with a herb-infused billabong footbath, followed by a full body cleanse, honey exfoliation and a yoghurt cocoon. Needless to say, you’ll come out smelling as delish as you feel.
2. The Spa, The Darling
The name says it all: this is the darling of Sydney’s spa-land, and with good reason: The Spa takes up an entire floor of The Darling, and like the rest of the hotel it’s uber- uber-stylish. The dim lights, plush couches and sleek, dark timber furnishings create a space intimate and luxe enough to feel like you’ve climbed into honeycomb-infused chocolate – and it’s at least as delicious inside. There are 16 treatments rooms here and at least double that many treatments on offer, like The Darling Signature – a combination of exfoliation and hot stone massage, followed by a scalp treatment for whole-body wellness. If you really can’t choose, fret not; The Spa is partnered with La Prairie, so every treatment is a guaranteed piece of heaven. And when it’s all over, there’s no rush to leave – simply curl up in a dark, cosy corner, drink sweet herbal tea, pick at the organic fruit plate and pretend life is always this luxurious.
3. Venustus Day Spa
This is it: the classic day spa experience. Well-loved by the well-heeled for over 20 years, Venustus remains the eternal favourite of ladies who lunch for good reason. As soon as you step into the gorgeous little Oxford Street storefront it’s immediately clear that every possible detail has been considered here: from the white-on-white interiors and the spa’s cult namesake skincare brand, to the Chanel polish painted on every pretty pedicure. We’re particularly in love with the Five-Star Facial here, and not just because it sounds good – these therapists know their skin. Slip between carefully warmed white towels in one of their cosy treatment rooms and surrender yourself to their expert hands, where a mixture of hard science and soft creams will leave you with beautiful skin and a renewed appreciation of you-time. Five-star indeed.
4. Park Hyatt Day Spa
The Park Hyatt Sydney takes pride of place on The Rocks foreshore, but you wouldn’t know it from the spa inside: it’s a world away from the hype and happenings of the city. There is is an extensive menu of massaging, prodding and polishing practiced inside the lush treatment rooms. The definitive Park Hyatt treatment is the 60-minute Aromatherapy facial, which promises to leave you reconnected with ‘nature, spirit and your inner self’. Whatever the beliefs behind it, we can’t fault an aromatic oil facial that also includes a scalp and foot massage. Proceed with caution, you may never want to leave.
5. CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel
A serene experience awaits those in the know at the appropriately-named CHI Spa at Sydney’s iconic Shangri-La Hotel. The deluxe treatments on offer are centred around the five Chi elements – wood, fire, metal, earth and water and are designed to harmonise the body’s energy. And we’re happy to report a treatment here does leave you feeling harmonious: especially the Jet Lag Recovery treatment, which is possibly the ultimate spa treatment to ever grace a menu (and we’re not just saying that because we’re travellers). The journey begins with an all-over nourishing salt scrub body wrap, followed by a back massage and finishes with a refresher facial. By the time you leave, you feel one hundred per cent ready to face…whatever you’ve been able to forget for the last few hours. Bliss.
6. The Day Spa, The Langham
There’s something slightly Roman about this two-level, underground spa. It could be the lavish pillars. Or maybe the olde-worlde mural on the wall. Or even the giant Roman bath – sorry, heated swimming pool. In any case, the classic decadence at the Langham’s day spa perfectly complements the modern menu, which blends unusual ingredients with an avant-garde range of seriously opulent treatments. Head off to one of the private treatment rooms and choose from a veritable degustation menu of champagne indulgences, sea kelp cocoons and lava shell massages. This range is far from average – the Perfect Gold massage uses body cream infused with real 24-carat gold to leave your muscles relaxed and skin iridescent. When you’re done, the Health Club is yours for the taking: go for a swim, head to the sauna or steam rooms, or have a workout in the gym (yeah, right).
7. Endota Spa, Four Seasons Hotel
The Four Seasons name promises a particular kind of experience, dah-ling – marble bench tops and opulent gold trimmings, for starters, although all the classic Four Seasons ingredients can be expected here. Indeed, the menu itself is something of an achievement with a lengthy list of facials, body treatments and massages, Dermalogica products, and local and international treatment techniques. Don’t miss out on the pièce de résistance: the ‘be-all-end-all’ package. Four blissful hours is filled with body exfoliation, to help your skin absorb your choice of a warm oil wrap or yoghurt cocoon followed by a seriously sublime full-body massage, and topped off with an organic facial and pedicure. This is total body renewal – these guys know what they’re doing. If you can bring yourself to stand afterwards, there’s also a steam room, sauna and pool at your disposal. Then again, just staying put on the massage bed a little longer isn’t a bad option either…