Relinque Urban Retreat and Spa
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Calming music floats into the welcoming reception space and fresh strawberries float in a glass jar, flavouring the ice-cold water I drink as I fill in my pre-treatment form. The questionnaire asks how I'd like to feel at the conclusion of my wellness journey today and, because I'm focusing on my personal wellness and health this year, I tick the 'Balanced' option.
I'm at the brand new
in Ivanhoe, 10kms north of Melbourne's CBD to experience the 170-minute Release Signature Journey, an indulgent and quite desperately needed, wellness treatment that includes a full-body scrub, a massage, a LaGaia
facial and scalp treatment.
I change into a soft robe and sustainable slippers from Seedling Sole
and take a seat in the Retreat Lounge. When my therapist, Resh, comes to collect me I pepper her with questions. She originally trained in Mauritius, then travelled to Cyprus to work in an exclusive spa retreat for the rich and famous who wanted to escape the eye of the public. On this secluded island, the neighbours complained about the noise from Robbie Williams' house when he was in town. Resh shared tales of tasting her first Dom Pérignon on yachts in the Mediterranean and treating clients like the Princess of Kuwait. Here in Melbourne she developed her skills at the well known Aurora Day Spa in St Kilda for 14 years until its recent closure and, although she remains discreet, she has certainly seen her fair share of famous faces there.
Slowly but surely, Resh uses her skills to lull me into a deeply serene state of mind. In the treatment room, I lie face down on the bed, cosy under thick soft towels. The journey begins as she waves a peppermint and desert lime inhalation under the face rest and instructs me to take a few focused breaths. From there, I surrender to the magic of the day spa.
As Resh expertly rubs the Macadamia scrub into my limbs and back and stomach I feel the constant chatter in my head subside and I focus on the glorious feeling of being pampered. Once the scrub is complete I head for the exquisite jet shower to rinse off then back to the table for the next part of the journey - the signature Bian massage. The Bian stone used as part of this massage is known in traditional Chinese medicine for its healing properties, and is especially good for clearing energy meridians and improving blood flow in the body. Resh moves the stone up and down my spine with practised confidence and I feel the knots melt away. When she kneads at my muscles later there is less pain than usual and my feeling of wellbeing is heightened even more.
Every so often during the treatment, I'm spritzed with Relinque's blend of peppermint, desert lime and geranium oil, an uplifting scent that reminds me to savour the experience. When the time comes for my facial I am almost asleep, I'm so blissed out. I remember those days when I thought that spending three hours in a day spa was an eternity. Even during a short treatment, my mind would wander, my legs would start to twitch, and I'd be desperate to get back out and join the fast-paced world. Now I think I must have been a maniac in my youth. The bliss of shutting out the world for an hour or two or many many more, is the stuff of dreams.
The balancing facial using LaGaia products, incidentally created by a local Ivanhoe woman, takes my nurturing to another level. To help reduce redness in my skin, Resh uses a jade roller, following the contours of my face from the centre outwards, stimulating the lymphatic system. The cleansing cream, followed by a foam, a mask, an eye gel and a serum, are all applied in a conga line of products, each one more luxurious than the last until I'm left with skin as plump and soft as a ripe peach.
A firm head massage is the final part of the treatment and leaves me rejuvenated, revived and rested. Resh leaves the room and I shrug my fluffy robe on, step into my slippers and practically glide back to the Retreat Lounge.
I sip a cup of 'serenity' tea (the flavours change daily) and flick through one of the Essential mindfulness books. The vibe is super relaxed and it's only the urgent call of family food shopping that drags me back into the changeroom and my normal clothes. Out on the street again, I'm ready to face the day, the week, and the New Year. Just as the Relinque brochure promises, I've released 2021 and feel balanced and serene as I journey into 2022.
: Relinque has a 45 degree steam and cool room with a stunning ice fountain which is available for free as part of the journeys or can be booked for $55.
Parking is available underneath/behind the building.
for all treatments and journeys are available online.
163846 - 2023-06-14 22:45:28