You work hard. You play hard. Obviously, you should get to relax hard, too. A healthy dose of luxury down at your local day spa offers just that — including kicking around in a comfy robe, being pampered like a boss and having all the time in the world to enjoy yourself, stress-free. Well, that idyllic image is an easy one to tap into since Melbourne is home to a vast array of top-notch spa destinations. Whatever your budget, skin type, or go-to massage style, there's a luxurious spa treatment for you right near the CBD. Go get your glow on and thank us after you've found your inner peace.
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 countries 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. So there's no excuse to drown in stress ever again with these tranquil, blissful oases all around us. So breathe out, relax your shoulders and get a booking.
Whether your muscles beg a meltdown or your complexion cries' makeover', Melbourne's best day spas will leave you feeling soft, warm and radiant. Read through for local day spas and day spas worth driving to in Victoria.
If the stresses of end-of-year deadlines and the holiday season – and, let's face it, 2020 – are getting the better of you, there's a good chance you're in need of a hot soak, steam, a massage, a facial, some aromatherapy or just some general pampering. After the year we've had, we think it's okay to treat yourself – or someone close to you.
Victoria isn't quite a geothermal hotspot, but hot springs do pop up in some unexpected places. You can bathe in hot pools surrounded by native bush on the Mornington Peninsula, head west to Warrnambool to wade through warm-water caves, or get your gear off in a traditional Japanese onsen in the heart of Collingwood. In partnership with Click for Vic, an initiative that encourages people to support Victorian businesses, we point you towards some of the state's best spas and hot springs, both city and country.
With many spas operating at limited capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions, be sure to check availability and booking requirements before you leave home. If you're browsing for someone else, consider a gift voucher.
Sometimes it seems like a day at the spa is just a distant memory, but we're giving you full permission to take a day off and totally indulge. Melbourne has some of the most luxurious and reinvigorating day spas and bathhouses, replete with pampering products and relaxing treatments in some of the most tranquil settings.
Peninsula Hot Springs
140 Springs Ln, Fingal, 3939 VIC
Of course, we're starting with Peninsula Hot Springs. This place is no stranger to Urban List and for a good reason. Their mineral springs, stunning retreats, and 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 most luxuriously.
When we all started travelling a little more and experiencing worldwide spa delights, we asked ourselves, but where are the hot springs in Melbourne? Well, there's Hepburn and others, but nothing has quite the cache that Peninsula Hot Springs does.
The beautiful landscaping of inland coastal Victoria has made this THE hot springs destination for Melbournians. Famous for the hilltop pool (everyone's favourite, and I mean, everyone – it's always full, even at 6 am), the traditional style Turkish hamam, and the reflexology walk. They've just added new attractions to the bathhouse area, including a fire and ice situation, a deep freeze, and a theatre.
They have a Spa Dreaming centre that sits apart from the more communal springs, with its own bathing experience and day spa treatments. It's pretty darned relaxing in this section, and you certainly feel more serene when the kids aren't doing laps around you. I was sad that I had to leave before enjoying a lunch snack in my robe – they have a really nice restaurant ripe for lounging.
Nestled among the coastal tea trees of Fingal, Peninsula Hot Springs has remained a key attraction on the Mornington Peninsula for a good reason. Their relaxing facilities make it an obvious choice for a visit, and the team is always developing experiences to remain the ultimate wellness destination.
On the bathing front, you'll be spoiled for choice with over 50 different bathing experiences in a variety of tranquil settings. Let the mineral-packed natural geothermal spring water rejuvenate your weary bones in the Bath House with friends, or move up into the Spa Dreaming Centre for a more peaceful and intimate experience with bae. If you want more than just a dip in the water and a massage or facial is for you—then you're in luck with a wide range of professional therapists on hand. Make sure you check out the on-site cafes or pack a picnic and set it up under an umbrella in the picnic gardens.
Sense of Self Spa
30-32 Easey Street, Collingwood, Victoria
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 yourself.
After taking a world tour of some of the best day spas, the dynamic duo Mary Minas & Freya Berwick are bringing some seriously cool self-care offerings to Melbourne.
Located on the border of Collingwood and Fitzroy, Sense Of Self Bathhouse occupies a double-storey converted brick warehouse.
The facilities include a large mineral bath, Finnish sauna, cold plunge, a day spa, a mindfulness studio, beautiful retail, and plenty of space to take your time. The massage day spa opened in November 2020 when Melbourne was coming out of hibernation from lockdown, and the baths are set to open in early 2021.
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.
Hepburn Springs is a region where mineral springs seem to pop up everywhere, like puddles after rain. You'll find Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa at the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve, 10 minutes north of Daylesford.
The historic bathhouse – which is open to children and adults – dates back to the late 19th century, although it's safe to say the modernity has been ratcheted up a notch or two since. The sanctuary mineral bathing option (for guests aged 16 and up) includes an aroma steam room, spa couches; a salt and magnesium pool; outdoor creekside bathing; and admission to the main bathhouse.
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. So 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 their signature, 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.
285 Little Collins Street Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3000
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.
In the heart of the CBD's Little Collins Street fashion district, Victoria Fox opened this luxe beauty boutique in 2011. Step off the city streets and relax in the lounge before settling down on a plush, heated massage bed for a full-body aromatherapy massage with camellia seed, rose or coconut oil.
But Miss Fox does so much more than a massage – you can get your hair cut and styled; sign up for a life coaching or counselling session, or check into the skin clinic for a comprehensive consultation and your choice of medifacial or professional peel. Laser hair removal and brow lamination? Sure, they can do that.
There's also a champagne and dessert bar so that you can enjoy a glass or two of Moet, Veuve or Dom Perignon with a mousse or meringue tart, courtesy of Royal St Collins. (You wouldn't want to leave too healthy, would you?)
Mansion Hotel and Spa At Werribee
The Werribee Mansion Hotel and Spa is a great place for an overnight or weekend stay. It's got beautiful grounds to explore, delicious dining, and extremely comfortable beds (those pillows, it's all about the pillows, isn't it?). If you want to go to the country, but not really, this is the place for you. You'll wake up feeling a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
This spa is surprising. Alongside the expansive indoor lap pool and the usual decadent massage and facial offering (they use Payot Paris product), the Mansion Spa has possibly one of the best Hammam experiences in Melbourne. This might be down to the products they use. I recall an orange-scented masque, but not that weird Imperial Leather soapy smell, a really high-qual one with those deep notes (yeah, I've read some Le Labo literature). Also, anywhere you can "add a glass of French champagne for $14 and chocolate-coated strawberries for $12" has pretty much won me over.
Imagine yourself in thick woollen oversized jumpers in my future-me visualisations, sitting next to a fire to keep warm from the chill clean air, utterly relaxed from deep steam and massage at the Werribee spa.
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 its website.
This convivial bathhouse, officially named Ofuroya but known more lovingly by locals as 'the Japanese Bathhouse', is the neighbourhood local that everyone should experience. Opened in 1999, they have been the winter warmer for 19-years now!
This is maybe the one true bathhouse in Melbourne. People love visiting alone or with friends. At $32 for entry, this is a wonderful and cost-effective way to get your mindfulness (and washing!) quota in. They give you a Japanese washcloth to use during and a Yukata (pj's) to wear afterwards. A bathe and shiatsu is the best combo, and you will walk away free of knots! The bathing is gender-segregated, but you can commune together in the Tatami lounge for water, tea or light Japanese cuisine. The Tatami lounge is perhaps the Melbourne locals' favourite bit about this establishment. Just don't do what my friend did and forget to put on the Yukata bottoms in the shared space. It won't be very comfortable!
This is the people's bathhouse. It's a joy to visit mainly because of the beautiful people running Ofuroya. It is customer service at its warmest. The baths each hold 8-10 people at a time, so booking is strongly recommended.
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
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 the first inspection, but rest assured they're only filled with skin temperature water and Epsom salts—the ultimate combo for a deeply relaxing float. In addition, 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.
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.
Chuan Spa at The Langham
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 to the traditional 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.
Often cited as "the best day spa in Melbourne", the Chuan Spa at the Langham has gorgeous Chinese decor and focus on Eastern wellbeing practices.
You can choose the Tri-bathing ritual or re-balance your Wu Xing, the Five Elements, a foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). When I booked online, I surveyed to find out which of the Five Elements was out of whack. Earth was the element I needed to harmonise, so I chose to be scrubbed and mudded before hitting the bathing and massage.
The Chuan has a pool, a saltwater jacuzzi, a river stone snail shower, and a heated sauna in terms of bathing. The mixture of hydro experiences was invigorating.
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. So pop into the private room and enjoy the complimentary tea (hot or iced) and filtered water while you sweat your worries away.
8 Whiteman St Southbank Melbourne 3006
If you're seeking a complete escape into opulence and luxury, then look no further than the Spa at Crown Towers. Treatments by La Prairie and Subtle Energies offer the usual facials and massages, along with other therapies such as the Detox and Adrenal Boost Journey ($400), which begins with a foot ritual and meditation, before exotic ingredients such as Tulasi, wild turmeric and Indian lime are applied via an invigorating body scrub, mud wrap and massage. Every treatment over one hour is complemented with time in the Aqua Retreat, consisting of a steam room, vitality pool and Swiss shower. The fluffy white bathrobe and a relaxation lounge with snacks and refreshments add that extra bit of wow factor that makes parting with your dollars a little bit easier.
The best descriptor of Crown Spa would have to be 'opulent'.
From the blown-glass chandeliers to its ancient Grecian and Moorish cues, to the ginormous skylit-pool next to Heston's "Dinner" that greets you as you enter – it is a day spa on an epic scale.
There are more hydrotherapy activations beyond the grand entrance, split into male and female zones, with a unisex area for hanging after your treatment. The vitality pool and steam rooms (both heated to 35 degrees) are perhaps the most frivolous part of the experience, and they sit alongside relaxation rooms with the requisite dried fruit, herbal tea, and mineral water.
There are 17 treatment rooms, including Deluxe and Indulgent suites. The latter is a double-height room the size of a New York penthouse studio. It's an extra $100 per person to have 30 minutes of this private "Indulgence". But if you're treating someone like your Mum or your partner, I say go big or go home.
The spa also has a full-scope hair and nail salon. Products used here are La Prairie (known for their "Skin Caviar" range, and that's no euphemism, it's really caviar) and surprise local brand, Subtle Energies, who have an understated organic botanical range.
Willow Urban Retreat
1203 High Street Armadale Melbourne 3143
Part wholefoods café and part mindfulness space with spa treatments and wellness services, Willow is a tranquil oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of Armadale. A few spa menu highlights include the Blissful Marma massage (from $170), which soothes tension and aligns vital energy centres. At the same time, the Signature Rose Quartz facial (from $170) uses aromatic actives, rollers and gua sha tools to lift, plump and soften the complexion. And if you're called to a little mystic magic, try the Intuitive Energy Healing (from $170) – it may be just the thing to harmonise your body, mind and soul.
1341 Dandenong Road Chadstone Melbourne 3148
Holism Retreat is all about radical self-kindness and unifying mind, body and breath. So much so that you'll feel relaxed just reading the menu. Here, it's all about personalisation and creating the journey you want and need. Upon the advice of Pauline, the owner, we joined the 9 am yoga class, followed by breakfast and a refreshing swim in the hotel's rooftop pool. Then we were treated to the Reset Ritual ($420, including an hour massage and an hour facial) and added some extra time in the Wellness Light Lounge.
Amara Wellness Centre
Dr. Zara has created a little oasis above Sydney Rd at this Hammam come wellness centre. There is a focus on high performance here because Dr. Zara is a trained endermotherapist, which Amara's website describes as "a French word for 'mechanical stimulation of cells'". I don't exactly know what that means, but it's said to assist in treating conditions such as fibrosis, arthritis, scarring from burns, and even frozen shoulder!
We once visited Amara and experienced the Hammam ritual with a friend. The rooms are a bit cosy, but they transport you with the Moroccan motif and the heady steam (it gets super-steamy in the smaller rooms, I loved it!). They mixed an aromatic paste of rose and eucalyptus that was applied to our skin to soften it in preparation for the scrub, or "gommage", as they call it in European hammams. The spa attendant mixed this, and no lie was absolutely beautiful.
Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs
This complex is fed by the natural geothermic waters of the Dilwyn aquifer, located 850 metres underground. The set-up at Deep Blue is fairly causal, in keeping with Warrnambool's laid-back vibe. Explore the geothermal rockpools and wade through caves to a rainforest waterfall; have a massage or facial at the spa; or stay within the manicured gardens, where there are many hot pools (and a bar and a cafe).
If you don't want to leave after all that, you don't have to – just book into the on-site hotel. The premium suites have spa baths, just in case you haven't had your fill of soaking.
Sakura Lounge is a Japanese-style day spa (sans onsen) tucked away down Warburton Lane. And it's a winning option for those looking to go all out, offering an array of all-day packages that won't break the bank. Think: traditional Japanese massages, invigorating foot treatments and hydrating facials rolled out one after the other until you've well and truly found your inner zen. With tea and sweets served throughout and sushi and champagne as optional inclusions, you'll finish up at Sakura feeling more pampered than ever. Try the 2.5-hour Decadent Detox package (foot treatment, chocolate body treatment and hot-stone massage), which clocks in at a reasonable $177.
Botanica Day Spa
A serene urban oasis within the InterContinental, Botanica Day Spa offers various packages to suit whatever mood your mind and body are in. That includes the tension-melting Botanica De-Stress ($240), featuring a full-body massage, aromatherapy foot massage and heavenly frangipani scalp massage — a trio we could probably all do with every now and then. In addition, you can find your groove with a selection of targeted skin and beauty therapies or lose yourself for a few blissful hours with a multi-treatment spa journey. What's more, the calm, contemporary surroundings will do just as much for your mood as any muscle-melting hot stone massage.
HÜD Skin & Body
140 St Kilda Road, St Kilda
At this peaceful Scandi-style salon, you'll find treatments that emphasise bringing the skin back to homeostasis (aka optimal health), as well as rolling back the effects of differing temperatures, water and environmental challenges from the sun.
Choose from several holistic and pampering experiences, including microdermabrasion, peels, LED light therapy and skin needling, waxing, manis and pedis, lashes, body treatments, and spray tans.
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