Hey Melbourne, you’ve had a tough year so let’s all get into the treat-yo-self spirit and hit the spas. Victoria has some of the best spa country in Australia, with Daylesford and Hepburn Springs bringing the goods. We’re pretty lucky to have such an awesome selection of spas all within driving distance of the city, plus plenty of boutique spas right here in metro Melbourne too. There’s really no excuse to drown in stress ever again with these tranquil, blissful oases all around us. So breathe out, relax your shoulders and get booking.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Of course we’re starting with Peninsula Hot Springs. This place is no stranger to Urban List, and for good reason. Their mineral springs and stunning retreats, plus the new glamping tents and outdoor cinema make this place the ultimate day trip (or overnight venture) from Melbourne. Our tip: go on a winter morning to avoid the crowds and warm up in the most luxurious way.
Sense of Self
Tucked away on Stanley Street, Sense of Self is one of the best new spas in Melbourne. They’ve got a big focus on self-love and self-care, with every treatment designed to help you feel your best. The space is super dreamy too—the neutral tones and soft linens are relaxing just to look at. Step inside this urban oasis, leave the city and your worries at the door, and indulge in their glorious bathhouse and massage treatments. Treat yo self.
Hepburn Springs Bathhouse and Spa
It’s called Spa Country for a reason. Hepburn Springs and Daylesford are like one big day spa, just search ‘spas’ on google and a flurry of them will pop up in the area. Hepburn Springs Bathhouse and Spa is one of the bougiest offerings in the region. They offer both private and communal bathing in their mineral pools, and the spa list is extensive. They’re not cheap though, so save this one for a special occasion.
The Mineral Spa
Also in Hepburn Springs, The Mineral Spa is a beautiful retreat nestled amongst nature at the Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel. The architect-designed facilities will make you feel at one with the gorgeous surroundings as you look out across the gardens from the mineral bath. They do custom ‘girl’s weekends’, private bathing, couples’ specials and loads of treatments and massages to up your zen. If you’re a big spender, stay at the hotel and make the most of everything they have to offer.
The Lake House Spa
Combine fine dining or high tea with your spa experience at the iconic Lake House Spa in Daylesford. Choose from their long list of treatments that use natural exfoliants, clays and oils to pamper your skin. We’d recommend the ‘Tree Top’ soaks, set in an idyllic treetop location overlooking the lake using 100% mineral water. The spa also offers a range of hen’s party packages for brides-to-be if you’re more into pampering and less into lap dances.
Set within the Werribee Park Lancemore Mansion, the Lancemore Spa is suitably swanky. They’ve got treatments to spoil you quite literally from head to toe, with facials, soaks, massages, manis and pedis. Their traditional Turkish Hammam experience is a signature of theirs, with mud and oils available for you to lather yourself in. You can also add handmade chocolates or a glass of bubbly to your experience for next-level luxury.
Our friends over at Miss Fox are well-versed in all things pampering and relaxation (seriously, have you tried their facials?). But there’s more to this beauty salon on Little Collins Street than manis and facials—they’ll fix you up a sensational soak session faster than you can say bubble bath. The 1001 Roses milk bath is our pick for something a bit different (and decadent). Hot tip: For a pretty penny, you can add on in-tub scalp massages, champagne and macaroons.
Norbu Infrared Sauna at The Olsen
Norbu is more than just a little bit luxe. It’s the in-house spa facility at The Olsen Hotel in South Yarra, though it’s also open to the public if you book ahead. Norbu offers an infrared sauna treatment, dubbed The Detox Box. It’s the perfect treatment for those of you that find regular saunas just a touch too hot to comfortably enjoy—the trick is it’s heated to a slightly lower temperature than regular saunas. Book ahead for this one as space is limited.
Gravity Floatation Centre
Northcote & Armadale
It’s not your usual soak or steam session, but loyal regulars swear by the wellness benefits that flotation has to offer. Gravity Floatation Centre, which has locations in Northcote and Armadale, offers sci-fi-esque looking pods that you may be hesitant to climb inside upon first inspection, but rest assured they’re only filled with skin temperature water and Epsom salts—the ultimate combo for a deeply relaxing float. You’re completely in control of the lighting and whether or not the lid is open or closed. Though for maximum relaxation it has to be lights off, lid shut. Most people book in for an hour-long float, though the patient (or very stressed?) often opt for a two-hour session.
The Japanese Bath House
The Japanese are really onto something with their bathing traditions, and it’s no wonder—the ritual has been around for over 1000 years. The Japanese Bath House in Collingwood is the original bathhouse of its type in Melbourne, operating since 1999. Affording Melburnians the ultimate relaxation, The Japanese Bath House is run as a traditional sento and is segregated into men’s and women’s areas. As with all traditional Japanese bathhouses, it’s kit off, rinse with a handheld bowl, and then jump in for a relaxing, long, hot soak. Don’t judge this place by it’s website.
Sunlighten is a favourite with those that enjoy the heat, but not humidity. There’s no steam or any of the moisture that comes with a regular sauna at Sunlighten, meaning that you’re safe to take your iPad or Kindle and settle in for an hour or two. Instead of the sweats, you’ll be treated to a gentle, soothing warmth in one of their pristine timber cabins, with fresh towels galore. You’ll find it in the heart of South Melbourne, on Clarendon Street.
Another day spa offering situated inside a hotel, The Langham’s Chuan Spa’s Tri-Bathing ritual is well worth a look in if you’ve got some time to spare. Kick things off with the spacious saltwater jacuzzi then continue on to the traditional style sauna before enjoying a river stone snail shower. Intrigued? The conceptual shower design forces 12 jets of water onto separate muscles groups while invigorating you from above with a generous rain shower and steam.
Nimbus & Co.
Nimbus & Co is the first infrared sauna studio in Australia. With locations in Bondi Beach, Byron Bay and Melbourne, Nimbus & Co’s state-of-the-art infrared saunas will have you melt into a puddle of pure relaxation without all that water-and-hot-stones situation. Pop into the private room and enjoy the complimentary tea (hot or iced) and filtered water while you sweat your worries away.
Now you know where to go for a soak and steam, check out Melbourne’s best spots for a massage.
Image credit: Sense of Self