5 of the best spas in New Zealand
New Zealand’s famous greeting, Kia Ora, is Maori for ‘be well, be healthy’. So it’s no surprise this country of spectacular scenery, complete with the largest geothermal area in the southern hemisphere, should be home to award-winning, world-class spas. Rebecca Skinner finds many of these spas also boast some of the world’s most gorgeous views.
Located at Queenstown’s five-star Millbrook Resort, this spa is highly regarded as one of the finest in the world. Last year it was named New Zealand’s Top Spa Resort for the third consecutive year at the World Travel Awards. On offer is a complete spa experience with leading-edge treatments for men and women. The stunning mountains and lakes that Queenstown is renowned for provides an environment that allows guests to soak up the tranquillity and slip easily into a relaxed state. There is also a superb golf course, considered to be one of New Zealand’s best.
In the heart of geothermal country, less than two hours’ drive from Christchurch, is Hanmer Springs, perhaps New Zealand’s most popular alpine and spa destination with its many thermal rock and sulphur pools. The Spa at Hanmer Springs, a multi-million-dollar world-class spa complex offers the greatest indulgence, thanks to its exclusive range of beauty and therapeutic treatments. Particularly popular is the coffee bean exfoliation, offering a boost of Vitamin E and magnesium.
This breathtaking property on the edge of Lake Wakatipu is just 10 minutes’ drive from Queenstown, boasting a contemporary, casual style that reflects the panoramic alpine scenery that surrounds it. The interior, with its emphasis on natural materials and warm colours and textures, has been created by acclaimed New Zealand designer, Virginia Fisher, with the 11 spacious suites offering stunning views. The spa offers a range of holistic treatments, personalised to meet guests’ individual needs with massages and foot treatments particularly popular after long walks or a day spent skiing.
One of New Zealand’s oldest thermal spas, the Polynesian spa began as a natural hot pool for the local Maori in the central north island town of Rotorua, before becoming a bath house. Now there are 28 hot mineral spring pools in which to soak in a state of relaxed bliss. The Retreat offers spa therapies using natural, local products including Rotorua thermal mud and Manuka honey. A signature treatment is the Aix spa water massage that has been available at Polynesian Spa for over 30 years.
The Langham Hotel in Auckland is home to the Chuan Spa, which has many offerings based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, including circular ‘snail’ showers, ice experience and a herbal steam room. Snail showers form the first part of a “Chuan tribathing ritual” which is undertaken at the start of many of the specialty spa treatments on the menu. In English, the word ‘Chuan’ means a serene course of water and the Chuan Spa facilities are modelled to reflect this harmony by using the principles of Feng Shui. In Chinese culture, flowing water is seen to be the source of life and balance; a key to keeping mind, body and soul in check. Stunningly appointed, this spa is the ultimate in urban spas, and delivers relaxation with panache.
This article originally appeared in Signature Luxury Travel & Style. Subscribe to our latest issue here and be the first to see exclusive online content by subscribing to our fortnightly enewsletter here.