Stephanies’ Spa Retreat 

Words Fiona Sefton

From my first experience at Stephanie’s Spa Retreat – stepping through the magnificent 200-year-old Spa doors – I knew this was going to be the perfect place for my journey. A journey that would take me from stressed, anxious ‘Miss Fiona’ to blissfully relaxed ‘Mrs Fiona’ in only a few short months. With the purifying facials, harmonising massages and vivifying body treatments, I was ready to embrace my inner beauty and allow it to shine for my big day. Each visit I was given a whole new experience that was finished off with the delicate aroma of essential oils and the sound of peace as the music echoed through my body. Yet as I sat in the beautifully customised chairs, eating my wonderfully refreshing sorbet, I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty. This is, after all, the type of experience that is best shared… with friends.

Stephanie’s was the ultimate retreat for my Bridal Shower. It allowed for me and six of my girlfriends to relax and celebrate the life that I’ve had and the life that is yet to be. The day began with my mum and my closest friend joining me in indulging in what can only be described as the most unique spa experience, the Opal Rasul Temple. With Stephanie’s signature muds placed all over our bodies, we found our places on the heated mosaic seat. The temple began to fill with steam as we drifted off into a state of pure bliss, guided by the soft glow of the stars above us. Before we knew it, we were awoken by a soft rain-mist falling from the sky. We then made our way into our own personal showers, where monsoon showerheads washed our bodies while deliciously fragranced body products left our skin and hair feeling like new.

Now the real fun began as we were joined by the rest of the ladies to celebrate in style. And stylish is exactly how we looked in our luxurious plush robes and decadent spa slippers. Sitting poolside under the warming sun, our tastebuds were taken on a journey of their own as we were treated to a slice of Asia with scrumptious sushi, rice paper rolls, noodles and salad. None of us wanted to leave our al fresco table with inner city views, but the temptation of champagne and having our feet rubbed was too much to resist.

As our feet soaked in rose petal baths, the real dilemma of the day arose as I tried to decide what colours I should choose for my fingers and toes. Luckily, my very knowledgeable therapist steered me in the right direction with ‘French’ for my fingers and ‘Tea and Crumpets’ for my toes. But the pampering didn’t stop there. As we nibbled on Australia’s finest cheeses and sipped my favourite champagne, our hands and feet were spoilt with a stimulating exfoliation, soothing hot stone massage and moisturising paraffin infusion, all of which was topped off with a French-inspired neck and scalp massage.

The air in the room had been filled with fun and excitement for hours now, so it was time to retreat to a more tranquil state of mind. As we snuggled in to wonderfully comfy chairs full of soft cushions and poured ourselves a cup of herbal tea, we were all able to reflect on the journey we had taken together. It was definitely a day for all of us to reconnect and of course have fun before I started my new life. With all of the photos we took and the memories we shared, it was an experience none of us will forget. Now I’m looking forward to the ‘Romance for Two’ package that my new husband and I will enjoy after our honeymoon. After all, ‘I Do’ deserve to be pampered, no matter the occasion!