Pamper palace


Where can you bliss out and treat your skin and feet at the same time? It’s a tough assignment, but Sarah Murray is up for it

The Wrap:
Pure Fiji Anti-ageing nourishing wrap, $159 From About Face

As soon as you lie face down on the preheated bed your muscles relax. Then, once the intoxicating scent of guava hits you, it feels like you’ve skipped town and escaped to the tropics.  The ritual begins with warmed milk being drizzled on the body, which is used to soften the skin in preparation for phase two – the full body exfoliation. The Pure Fiji Sugar Rub is then gently massaged into the skin. It starts off feeling quite grainy but as the massage progresses the crystals dissolve, allowing the naturally occurring AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) found in raw sugar to take effect. Next up is the lomilomi back massage which you really don’t want to end, but when it does it’s followed up by a body mask. Once your front and back are coated, a warm foot mask is also applied. From there, your whole body is wrapped (much like a burrito) in a cotton sheet so products can absorb fully into the skin.  If you’re planning on doing this wrap, we really recommend staying awake for the next part – an absolutely heavenly hair scalp ritual with warmed oil. My hair was raked, combed, pulled and twisted in a way I’d never experienced – and it was amazing. After you’re unwrapped, the excess from the mask is massaged in. Before you leave – to bring you back to reality – you’re spritzed with a hydrating body mist to wake you up. It was the most relaxing 75 minutes I’ve ever experienced.

The Scrub:
East signature scrub, $95 From East Day Spa

I’m always a little dubious when told to don a disposable G-string, so even though I am wearing a dressing gown and slippers I’m still filled with dread. In front of me is a high wooden slat-style bed and above the bed is a large horizontal shower contraption. I’m asked to disrobe, get up on to the bed and lie on my back, which naturally gives me that same sense of dread. I needn’t have worried though, as the staff at East Day are so professional you almost forget you’re lying practically naked on a wooden bed – but it does help that the room’s filled with visibility-inhibiting steam. A warm, luxurious sandalwood oil is used to drench my body, then I’m coated in a coconut cream and raw sugar scrub to buff away old skin. The scrub is finished with a cool splash of coconut cream and yoghurt which, in the warm steam room, helps improve the body’s detoxing ability. To finish, I am hosed off by the horizontal shower which feels like a gentle rain burst. If you’ve got time to spare, make sure you book in for an amzing massage afterwards.

The Pedicure:
Hot milk and almond pedicure, $95 From Spring Spa

After an intensive dry-buffing, my feet are softened in almond oil and steamed milk – the latter is used because the lactic acid is a good exfoliant. An intensive scrub follows and if you’re anything like me, you’ll find it a tad ticklish. But it’s all worth it when the next part starts – a blissful foot massage which seems to go on forever. By the time the pedicure comes along I’m feeling extremely relaxed and ready for my toes to be preened and primed. From a selection of more than 200 nail polish shades, I finally choose an Essie red for my toes and when I walk out of the door an hour later, I’m feeling pretty pleased with my foot makeover. This one is a real treat for anyone who has tired soles.

Words: Sarah Murray