This story first appeared in Vacations & Travel magazine, winter 2019, issue 111
A wellness escape at one of Brisbane’s new five-star hotels.
My expectations are high as I head into Heavenly by Westin Spa at the new The Westin Brisbane property on Mary Street, which opened last November. After all, The Westin Hotel group is known for its focus on guests’ health and wellbeing. This is not only apparent in the spa, where the brand’s nods to wellness are many and varied. In my room, I’ve slept on a ‘super king’ Westin Heavenly Bed with soft white bedding, making use of the little bottle of Sleep Well Lavender Balm on my bedside. I’ve hit the WestinWORKOUT room (open 24 hours) which has a variety of high-technology equipment, including a virtual personal trainer who, after entering my body basics, recommends a workout for me. Complimentary group training sessions and classes – including yoga, pilates or RunWESTIN (group jogging) – operate daily.
At Heavenly by Westin Spa, I’m looking forward to some mental unwinding within this little cocoon of the hotel. Guests are seated in a low-lit enclave with tranquil music playing, reclining on furniture with soft, calming and muted tones, before being shown into one of five holistic treatment rooms, two couples’ rooms or the hydrotherapy bath. After slipping into a fluffy, hooded robe, I sip on a lemon, lime and mint-infused water before my therapist Alexandra comes to collect me.
Inside the treatment room, we discuss my preferred massage pressure. I choose the ‘Gratitude’ stone (I value you too ‘Hope’ and ‘Love’) and take an inhale of camomile and lavender before settling onto the massage table.
“Would you like me to turn the bed heating on?” Alexandra asks softly. I soon feel a cosy warmth emanating from beneath me. I’m having a Heavenly Spa Signature Massage, but there are eight different massage styles to choose from (including pregnancy, hot stone and aromatherapy). Other treatments include body wraps and scrubs, signature body treatments (‘Revive’, ‘Relax’ or ‘Renew’); several package options; and high-performance facials (including the ‘Caviar Ultimate Facial’).
A humidifier gently hisses as Alexandra works on my knots, puffing air into the room and recalling the sound of ocean waves moving in and out along the shore. The essential oil blend seeps into my tired muscles and I drift off.
Afterwards, I sit in an individual relaxation pod. Staff bring me chocolates from the Westin’s kitchen, a skewer of berries and a cup of their signature white tea with blueberry. Thinking back to my ‘Gratitude’ stone, I am feeling lighter, more present and am thankful for these moments to reconnect with my own quietude. Soon, my mind wanders and I contemplate where in the hotel to spend the remainder of the afternoon. The comfy cabanas in the Brisbane sunshine, alongside Westin’s Nautilus Pool Bar and aqua blue infinity pool, are calling.
Find out more: westin.com/brisbane