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Bodyhaven, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, 10 March 2014. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.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.”

Bodyhaven, Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, 10 March 2014. Credit: Hagen Hopkins.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.

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