Candice is a lawyer by profession and a freelance writer by inclination. Her creative outlet is writing about new experiencs, great food and living life in Melbourne.
Published May 24th 2014
Treat your partner to a night on the Mornington Peninsula
This is the perfect escape for two people wanting a restful and rejuvenating getaway with minimal fuss and travel time. Throw some clothes (and your togs) in a bag and head south-east for about one hour to Fingal - and let the Peninsula Hot Springs do all the planning for you.
Included in their "Moonah Relax Package" is your stay in a one bedroom suite, dinner, breakfast and lunch, a couples' massage in your own private room, two bathing passes and complimentary buggy transfers between the Springs and your accommodation at the Peppers Moonah Links Resort. You can read exactly what's on offer here and peruse the list of other packages and accommodation options to suit your individual taste and budget. As I have to say, although I felt our package was fantastic value, it was a little pricey.
When my fiancé came home from work on Saturday afternoon and told me to pack an overnight bag, I had no idea what he had lined up for us over the next 24 hours!
Peppers Moonah Links Resort
We arrived at Peppers Resort late Saturday afternoon and enjoyed a glass of bubbles on our balcony overlooking the resort's golf course.
Room with a view at Peppers Moonah Links Resort
Our room was spacious, clean and warm with a separate living space and kitchenette. The golf course and trees went from green to gold as the sun was setting and it was so incredibly quiet, we didn't see or hear another guest until dinnertime!
As the lucky ones to be seated in front of the crackling open fire, we were provided with a good run down of the menu as soon as we sat down for dinner in their Pebbles Restaurant.
Definitely a fine dining experience (without being pretentious), it was a good mix of fancy and relaxed. The food came out quickly – my scallops for entrée were the highlight of our three course meal.
The restaurant has floor to ceiling windows and 360 degree views of the golf course. The menu is contemporary and takes advantage of the local produce including a wine list with selections from the Mornington Peninsula region.
Our full buffet breakfast was included, also served in their Pebbles Restaurant and catering for most people with a moderate selection of hot and cold food and fresh local honey. Not an elaborate buffet by any means, but definitely sufficient.
The size of the Peninsula Hot Springs can be a little overwhelming for some. It's important to understand the different areas and what they have to offer before you arrive. Planning is the key. There are two bathing areas - The Bath House and the Spa Dreaming Centre.
The Bath House
The Bath House is available to the public to purchase a day pass and bathe all day as they wish. This as you can imagine makes it very popular - as a social bathing experience, it can be a little overcrowded and noisy. Nonetheless, The Bath House is worth a visit offering 20 different bathing experiences including mineral spring pools, a reflexology walk, stunning views from the hilltop pool, an underground sauna and a cave pool.
The views from the Hilltop Pool
The Bath House is open from 7.30am to 10.00pm every day of the week and is children friendly. Details of their opening hours can be found here.
We, on the other hand, decided to start our day at the Spa Dreaming Centre, where the focus is on relaxation and tranquility. You are asked to keep the talking to a minimum and a whisper at that. Arriving early meant we could enjoy one of the thermal mineral pools exclusively with nothing but the sound of running water.
A thermal mineral pool at the Spa Dreaming Centre
There are approximately 6 mineral pools in this area, a dry infrared sauna and a cold plunge pool. The Spa Dreaming Centre also houses the Spa Dreaming Café, the relaxation haven where guests await their treatments and of course, a small gift shop.
We were particularly interested in the health benefits of bathing in the natural occurring spring water. Depending on the time of the year, the water can reach 42 degrees and presumably helps with detoxification and increased blood circulation. Some research has shown minerals found in the Peninsula Hot Spring waters have been helpful for people suffering from arthritis, infertility problems, inflammation and hypertension. Keep in mind fresh water is pumped into the pools early each morning - so to reap maximum therapeutic benefits, one would assume morning is best. Further information on the health benefits can be found here.
We chose to take our private bathing experience before sitting down for lunch. This service is fairly new to their menu and will not disappoint. Our therapist collected us from the relaxation room where we waited in robes whilst sipping on green tea. Our steaming hot bath was prepared inside a private hut amongst the gardens. The bath was then doused with essential oils of our choice and we were left in peace to soak for 30 minutes.
Lunch was served in the Spa Dreaming Café which looked a little like an atrium, also recently extended and refurbished. We chose from their selection of delicious and healthy meals; steamed mussels and fish of the day on a bed of warmed potato salad and aioli. Included was our drink of choice - the berry smoothie is highly recommended!
My favourite part of our day was absolutely the one hour, full body massage in the couples' room (where I fought to stay awake). The beds were heated with electric blankets and the whole experience was calming and relaxing. Although not cheap, they do have a large range of other treatments including full body scrubs and facials and can be found on their menu.
So surprise that special someone (as my fiancé surprised me!) and whisk him or her away for a day and night of luxury.
Images appear courtesy of Peppers Moonah Links Resort website and Peninsula Hot Springs website.