10 amazing spas for a birthday indulgence
Discover the best luxury retreats in Australia, New Zealand and Asia to pamper yourself – or even find a whole new you.
- May 2018
It’s your birthday? Time for some self-indulgence. Throw off your everyday cares and treat yourself to a luxurious spa retreat. Here are 10 top spots around the Jetstar network to celebrate your birthday with pampering and good vibes.
Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Perched atop a secluded cliff overlooking a stretch of wild Southern Ocean, Southern Ocean Lodge is the ultimate mod-Oz spa resort. The spa centre – reached from the luxury lodge via a boardwalk above the crashing waves – offers therapies that reflect the location and the landscape. Treatments use the island’s home-grown beauty products – lavender, pink clay, eucalyptus and Ligurian honey – and minerals and plants from the sea: marine algae, bull kelp and mother of pearl. Aboriginal massage techniques and lotions using quandong and Munthari berry bring traditional healing techniques to the ultra-modern spa experience.
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
If the stunning views across Tasmania’s famous Freycinet Peninsula and the incredible multi-course degustation dinner weren’t enough, then the spa treatments at Saffire Freycinet should bring inner joy. They’ll start by giving you a personal consultation to select a program of therapies perfect for you – it might include a macadamia-shell body scrub with ginseng, echinacea, chamomile and vitamin E, or a super-luxe facial with products by iconic Swiss brand La Prairie. Those in need of the most extreme pampering may be prescribed the Spa Saffire Restoration, a three-hour holistic treatment including a body cocoon, heated stone massage and caviar facial.
Gaia Retreat and Spa, Byron Bay, NSW
No surprise that one of the country’s best ‘pamper retreats’ is in the hinterland near Byron Bay, Australia’s prime health and wellness hotspot. Poised on the highest point of Byron Shire, Gaia boasts stunning views, a crack team of pamper professionals and a mission to help you actualize into the centred, rejuvenated, glowing human you were always meant to be. Two- to five-night retreat packages – Renew, Revive, Restore, Refresh – include yoga classes, naturopathy sessions and gourmet meals featuring produce from Gaia’s own organic garden and the orchards and farms of the Northern Rivers region. Packages for two include honeymoon and mother-daughter options.
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Gold Coast, Queensland
Whether you want a rejuvenating weekend or a full life makeover, Gwinganna is serious about wellness. ‘Strategic rest’ – this is not mere relaxation, but a recipe for living. Treatments at the Spa Sanctuary, a 33-room indoor/outdoor space, range from cutting-edge and interesting, like the Spirit of Sound (powerful meditation plus live percussion) and Rockupuncture (hot-stone massage plus acupuncture), to traditional healing from across the globe – Ayurveda aromatherapy, Reiki, Thai massage and Hawaiian bodywork. With equine therapy (that’s with horses), tarot card reading and colonic hydrotherapy also on the menu, no hot stone is left unturned.
Polynesian Spa, Rotorua, New Zealand
Careworn humans have been flocking to take the healing waters of geothermal darling Rotorua since the 1800s. Discover why at Polynesian Spa, nestled on the shores of Lake Rotorua, where the healing therapies channel the region’s volcanic marvels. The 28 hot mineral pools are sourced from two nearby natural springs – the water of one is slightly acidic (which relieves tired muscles, aches and pains), while the other is alkaline (good for nourishing the skin). The spa therapy menu features wraps and masks using the local thermal mud – due to the region’s volcanic nature it’s packed full of antioxidant-releasing minerals including sulphur, calcium, sodium and silicon, great for giving skin a fresh inner glow.
Fivelements, Bali, Indonesia
Sitting on the banks of the Ayung River in Ubud, Fivelements takes its inspiration from Bali’s mystic ancient traditions, which emphasize harmony of spirit, nature and people. The healers here have learned their skills over generations; so when you do the signature Panca Mahabhuta healing ritual to balance the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) within your body, you’re taking part in sacred Balinese culture. More earth-bound treatments include the Balinese boreh body scrub and facials using turmeric or matcha green tea. Cuisine is a highlight, with the award-winning, raw vegan menu completing your holistic renewal.
Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand
If it’s transformation you’re after, the Wellness Immersions at Amanpuri promise profound change, palpable results and deep inner happiness. A sleek resort with a coconut palm grove spilling down to its own secluded beach on the turquoise Andaman Sea, the approach here is based on Thailand’s gentle healing arts. Choose your challenge: Physical Fitness, Sustainable Weight Loss, Digestive Cleanse or Mental Awareness, and they’ll tailor a three- to 14-day program of massage, spa treatments, a special menu including herbal elixirs, and yoga, meditation and movement classes to put you on the path to a whole new (and much improved) you.
Fusion Maia, Da Nang, Vietnam
Embracing a ‘down-to-earth five-star’ attitude, beachfront Fusion Maia takes the budget stress out of luxury by including spa treatments in the resort rate. The slick, spacious villas each have a private pool, and the spa is set in lush tropical gardens, all carefully arranged to optimize your relaxation levels. Choose two treatments a day from an enticing menu, including Reiki healing, aromatherapy massage, lotus root scrubs and coconut-clove wraps (scrub and wrap ingredients are sourced from the organic garden and homemade at the in-house apothecary), and wind down afterwards around the heated infinity pool.
Navutu Dreams Resort and Wellness Retreat, Cambodia
Siem Reap’s upscale ‘eco-chic’ spa, Navutu Dreams offers luxe surrounds and a range of treatments at a price point bound to encourage relaxation. Honey facials, aloe vera wraps and coconut body scrubs are on the menu, as well as Khmer and Thai massages. Four- to seven-day yoga and detox retreats are available if you have some serious realignment to do, and with Angkor Wat just minutes away, your bodily readjustment will be accompanied by the spiritual side-effects of exploring the mind-blowing temple complex.
Zaborin, Hokkaido, Japan
Some of Japan’s best spa experiences can be found in modern versions of traditional ryokan, and Zaborin is one of the finest. It’s a chic modern retreat built around an onsen (hot mineral spring) with water rich with minerals absorbed from the surrounding nature. Intimate luxury in a secluded forest setting, the resort has only 15 private villas, each with its own dedicated indoor and outdoor private baths fed directly from the onsen. Zen principles rule: simplicity, serenity, peace. The chef’s own version of famed Japanese kaiseki cuisine is served in the stunning dining room with views of the surrounding woods and distant Mt Yotei.