Situated right in the heart of Wellington city is Bodyhaven Spa, a tranquil and exotic urban escape. An award-winning boutique spa with an impressive range of treatments and services, Bodyhaven offers an overwhelmingly relaxing environment of rejuvenation and recovery.
Tucked away on the mezzanine floor of the Amora Hotel on Wakefield Street, the spa has a luxurious Moroccan styling and quiet ambience that instantly transports me to another place entirely. As I enter Bodyhaven I am greeted warmly by spa director Ana Maria Moore, and am ushered into her authentic Moroccan tearoom, where I fall into a comfortable armchair and begin to unwind over a glass of warm mint tea. The facility is overwhelmingly peaceful and, although it is fully booked, I feel as though I have the entire spa to myself.
Part of Bodyhaven’s appeal comes from the fact that, despite demand, no more than five guests are treated in the spa at one time. “Having a smaller number of guests keeps the spa quiet and relaxing,” says Ana Maria. “We’re not interested in setting up a chain of spas. We just want our guests to feel relaxed and at home here.”
Ana Maria and her team of highly qualified beauty and massage therapists aim to provide every guest with much more than a beauty treatment. “We aim to offer a total wellness experience,” says Ana Maria. “We are not the place where you get quickly in and out.”
It’s this emphasis on blissfully slow service that sets Bodyhaven apart and has helped to cement its reputation as one of the leading boutique spas in Australasia. Now in its 15th year of operation, Bodyhaven has become something of an institution among spa enthusiasts in both Wellington and beyond, and as I drain the last of my tea and enter a stunning treatment suite, I begin to understand why.
In my treatment suite I change into a luxurious bathrobe and continue the unwinding process, plunging my feet in a copper footbath filled with sweet-smelling rose petals and creamy, warm beauty milk. “For the next two hours you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, so just relax,” Ana Maria says with a smile before she quietly exits the suite. At her instruction I sink back into my armchair and allow the stresses of my week to slowly fade away.
Throughout my treatments, I learn that Bodyhaven uses copper bowls, baths and foil as much as possible. With natural properties that have a proven energising affect on the human body, the copper further helps to ensure that Bodyhaven’s treatments not only relax, but also revive weary guests.
To complete my experience, I am whisked away to a candlelit corner of the treatment suite, where I am given a glass of top-quality champagne and am left to soak in a copper bath full of beauty milk, crushed pearls, Himalayan rock salt and rose petals.
As I leave the spa, a small bag of organic Bodyhaven products in hand, I feel refreshed, revived and refuelled. I step back out into the busy street, a giant smile across my face, and I know that it won’t be long before I return to this heavenly haven for another dose of divine magic.