RELAX: A Kerstain Florian mud mask.
RELAX: A Kerstain Florian mud mask.

Crystals not just for hippies at spa

I WAS snuggled in my fluffy white robe and my feet were thanking me for the swap from heels to soft slippers.

I certainly looked the part as I stood in the centre of the Aquarius Day Spa Korean-inspired bathhouse.

The facilities were at my disposal, but now what?

Between the wet and dry saunas, hot and cold plunge pools and communal bath areas, this was a whole new world to me.

Besides checking off mundane errands or a quick at-home pedicure, I had never set aside hours to take care of my mind and body. It was hard to believe this was a regular Saturday ritual for some Brisbane-ites.

I've had the odd massage here and there, but nothing to this level of luxury. So needless to say, my colleague and I were counting down the days to our spa weekend.

Aquarius Health Spa is located in the vibrant and bustling Brisbane CBD. I was alone when I visited the women's-only bathhouse. Word of warning - modelled on the traditional Korean bathhouse design, the dress code is not specific and many members go nude. But I opted for swimmers.

First stop, plunge pools.

My body went through the motions as I plonked from hot to cold. It was my first time and it took some getting used to - why leave the delicious warm water, set to the perfect bath temperature and move to cold?

But with proven health and stress-relief, I gave it a chance and eventually I had got the swing of things.

Then I just took everything in.

Silence. It was just me, my thoughts, the sound of trickling water and classical music oozing through the bathhouse.

The weekend of relaxation had officially started.

It was a stark contrast to the Saturday morning city traffic we weaved through to get to our M on Mary hotel, next door to Aquarius Health Spa.

We soon handed self-indulgence over to the professionals for our spa treatments.

My friend was booked for the Lavender Dreams treatment, which was described as an invigorating full- body exfoliation.

Deep breathing to inhale the calming and balancing benefits of wild lavender, followed by a neck and back massage using warm stones.

The stresses of my work week truly peeled away when I started my 110-minute Aquarian Body Ritual.

First was a Himalayan salt body exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and prepare me for the warm aromatic oils used in the amethyst crystal massage.

The ancient massage technique was followed by a crystal face massage and mask with products by Kerstin Florian.

The exfoliation treatment was just what my skin needed and the circular motions of the amethyst were unreal for a unique massage experience.

This is not the only treatment that goes against the relaxation massage norm. Experience the Kahuna massage, warm bamboo massage or a hot stone massage.

Aquarius Health Spa prides itself in being a complete medi-spa in Brisbane's heart.

Located alongside the spa, Cosmetic Images Clinic offers a wide range of cosmetic non-surgical options including Botulinum therapy, derma fillers, sculptura (anti-aging facial injections), cosmetic mole, skin tag and tattoo removal and surgical procedures including breast augmentation and reduction, liposuction and tummy tucks.

Once our treatments were finished, it was unfortunately time to face the world again.

The three hours of total self-indulgence, aromatic oils, warm water and classical music had set us in a state of euphoria . We were in a daze. There was only one way to cure this. Within two minutes walk, we were back in the hustle bustle of the city in Queen St, where we enjoyed a steamy chai latte. It was the best "massage hangover" cure.


What to do

Aquarius Health Spa offers a total pamper, health and fitness package. Facilities include: boutique fitness centre, 22m lap pool, Korean-inspired bathhouse with plunge pools, dry sauna, wet sauna, locker facilities and an extensive menu of more than 70 treatments. Images Clinic is located within the centre and offers a range of cosmetic non-surgical options including derma fillers, sculptura and cosmetic tattoo removal.

Spa single entry is $25; 10-visit card $210.

Where to stay

M on Mary, 70 Mary St, Brisbane City.

Features include 367 apartments on 43 levels, 24-hour reception, secure car parking, fully furnished and equipped one- and three-bedroom apartments, gym, sauna and heated lap pool.

Contact 3503 8000 or visit M On Mary.

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