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Spa in Sydney; Every Day is a G'day

By: Bryan Durocher
Posted: January 30, 2009, from the February 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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I was eager to explore the spas of Sydney, wondering how they would marry the Asian, European and American influences present in the city. I was also curious as to where they would fall on an evolutionary scale, because the country—and therefore the spa industry—are so much younger than the other places I have experienced in my travels. I decided to visit two spas that were very diverse: the elegant, European-informed Spa Chakra in Sydney’s chic Woolloomooloo area, and the cozy Zen Day Spa in the trendy suburb of Darlinghurst.

Professional, chic, multicultural and welcoming

Part of the Guerlain global brand, Spa Chakra is the signature spa in the group. It’s located in the Blue Hotel Sydney, and offers views of Sydney Harbour and the city’s beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens. The elegant, 4,500-square-foot location features 12 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy and Vichy showers, a relaxation lounge, an arrivals lounge and in-room services for hotel guests. The facility’s décor is clean and spare, and spa director Helen Thomas told me the intent is to focus on the client and treatment with minimal distraction.

Because of Sydney’s pleasant weather and strong beach culture, residents tend to be quite body-conscious, which is reflected on Spa Chakra’s service menu. What’s more, both women and men take a keen interest in their appearance, and in Australia, men account for 30% of spa clients—double or possibly even triple the number of men who frequent spas in the United States.

To meet these demands, Spa Chakra offers popular signature services such as the Design Contour Multi-Zone Redefining Programme, which detoxifies and firms with prices ranging from $240 for a single session to upward of $2,500 for a series; the Men’s Firming Abdomen Treatment for $160; and a wide range of 90-minute massage therapies for around $240.

Because my skin was extremely dehydrated from the long journey, I chose to receive the 60-minute Men’s Energising Facial, which is priced at $160. The treatment began with a Spa Chakra Revitalising Footbath, included with every service, where I changed into a plush terrycloth robe, was seated in a custom-built chair in a designated area of the spa, and my feet were submerged in a soothing bath. The soak was then followed by a vigorous exfoliation and relaxing massage.