That achy feeling after skiing is about to be a distant memory when you check into Mt Hotham’s Onsen Retreat & Spa.
Located in the Victorian Alps in the Great Dividing Range, Hotham Alpine resort is home to the most relaxing experience. The Onsen Retreat & Spa offers patrons massages, facials, skin and body treatments as well as the outdoor Onsen. After you’ve done a few laps through most of the 66 runs over the 320 hectares, a retreat and spa is the perfect stop off before dinner.
This Japanese styled Onsen is heated to 38 degrees and sits just outside in the midst of the snow. The warmth of the natural hot springs is said to relieve muscle pain, fatigue and stress.
If you’re staying in the Dinner Plain area, the Retreat & Spa is located smack bang in the middle. However, if you’re 10 kilometres up the road on Great Alpine Road, a shuttle bus can easily take you there and back.
Each bathing session goes for two hours in the outdoor heated Onsen. A single session is $45 per adult and also offers access to the heated plunge spa, sauna, heated lap pool and fitness centre.
Guests can also opt for a Private Geisha Bathing, priced at $110 for 30 minutes. Instead of using the communal Onsen, they will be lead into a private room with a spa containing only the purest alpine water. Guests can choose from an array of customised bath salts to maximise the experience.
Unlike a traditional Japanese Onsen, the Retreat & Spa requires patrons who are using the communal bathing facilities to wear swimwear. Before your session, you’ll be given a warm fluffy robe and slippers to drape over you walk between each area.
The packages that Onsen Retreat & Spa have available range from $199 to $760 (couples) and offer a wide variety of treatments. Each package offers a complimentary session of Alpine Onsen Bathing.
Enjoy the light touch of their signature massage and organic facials to get you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Most of the packages include a light tasting platter in case your stomach starts rumbling throughout that body exfoliation and wrap.
Please note that while some guests prefer to undress entirely for their treatments, whereas some leave on underwear. The Onsen Retreat & Spa explains that they will accept whatever is comfortable for you.
With a mixture of massage therapies available to patrons, it’ll be tough to choose the favourite. With remedial, volcanic hot stone, muscle focus and Moroccan remedy options, each one will bring you ultimate relaxation. If the classic suits your interests, then the signature massage with customised aromatherapy will do the trick.
Body and facial therapy are well performed as well. With organic facials both for men and women, it will replenish, brighten and be a natural anti-aging agent for the skin. And if you’ve ever dreamed of a body wrap, the mineral detox therapy will do you wonders.
When to Go
The best time to visit the Onsen Retreat & Spa is right after you’ve spent some time skiing or snowboarding on the slopes. The treatments are incredibly therapeutic and performed by professionals.
During the winter season, the centre offers fitness and wellness classes. Sign up for a Mountain Yoga session before your dip in the outdoor or indoor spas. A single class will only set you back $15, which is an absolute steal considering the location. The instructor is an experienced yogi who will cater for all ages and health levels. The class will be about healing your physical, mental and spiritual body.
When you’ve finished up your afternoon delight at the Onsen, hop down to the local eateries to replenish your bellies.
Hotel High Plains is located in Dinner Plain, so very close to the retreat. The menu is full of delights from the Chicken Schnitzel Saltimbocca to the Prawn Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pancake).
And just up the road in Mt Hotham sits The General. They’re well known for the quirky woodfired pizzas. Order up a Flu Fighter or even a Pelly Pond and it’ll have your taste buds dancing.
When heading straight from Melbourne the drive to Mt Hotham will take roughly 4 and a half hours. Whereas Sydneysiders, get yourself strapped in for a long 8-hour road trip.
For those who hate to drive that long, HothamBus offers discounted express coaches heading to the Victorian snowfields. The bus departs from three major cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
HothamBus also offers day trips for central Melburnians straight to Mt Hotham. The overnight service departs at 1:50 AM, offering guests a whole day of swooping along the snowy ravines and relaxing in the Onsen retreat.
Open 10 AM to 6 PM Monday through to Sunday, these expansive services are offered every day.
Address: Big Muster Drive, Dinner Plain