A Peek Inside a New Spa Outside Melbourne, Complete With Rooftop Pools and a Cave

Alba Thermal Springs and Spa

Peninsula Hot Springs have a fierce new competitor in Alba Thermal Springs and Spa that just opened in Mornington Peninsula, roughly an hours’ drive south of Melbourne.

But unlike Peninsula Hot Springs, which arguably blew up thanks to Instagram geo-tagging, you won’t be able to post about Alba Thermal Springs — the wellness sanctuary asks guests to completely switch off, both mentally and physically, by putting their phones away.

So, what can you expect inside?

The Pools

Well, for starters, there are a whopping 31 pools spread across the property’s 15 hectares. When you arrive and check-in, you’ll be given a locker, towel and bathrobe that you wear over your swimwear as you head to the pools. These include warm geothermal pools, cold plunge pools and botanical pools that are herbal-infused.

Each pool targets a different ailment. The botanical pools have lemon myrtle, rose water and hibiscus aroma that’ll help you relax. Those looking for privacy can visit The Terrace to dip in a pool overlooking the property. And those keen on weightless floating should swing by a private rooftop salt pool called The Salts. For guests who love stargazing, book a night session and head straight to The Clouds.

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The star of the pool show, though, is easily The Hemisphere. The semi-enclosed pool in the centre of a grand structure is a cold plunge that’s steps away from a dry sauna and steam room.

The idea is that you’ll dip in The Hemisphere before heading into the sauna or steam room, and then back again into the cold plunge. Alternating between cold and hot helps blood circulation and opens pores, ideal if you booked a treatment at the spa after a pool session.

The Spa

At the spa, you’ll find 21 treatment rooms, some that cater to group experiences and others for private appointments. Architecture practice Hayball is behind the spa’s design, while Mala Studio created a landscape to complement the space.

Highlights inside include two Vichy showers, rows of horizontal shower heads that can be manoeuvred by a therapist to work as a massage tool. They help the body detox, hydrate and relax. The hammam float treatment also aims to do the same. It’s completed in a darkened room filled with aromatic steam. First, your body is fully exfoliated before you’ll get a hair masque and soap massage.

The Restaurant

Finally, if you’ve worked up quite the appetite wandering around the property, dipping in the pools and receiving a long spa treatment, you’ll be pleased to find out you won’t have to travel far for a good feed. Local Melburnian chef Karen Martini helms its on-site restaurant Thyme.

The restaurant seats up to 120 diners and will focus on quality food and wine available from the Peninsula, with the menu changing seasonally. Guests can dine indoors or outside on the rooftop terrace that overlooks the Peninsula.

The springs are great to visit in all seasons, though guests are asked to leave the pools during thunderstorms until they pass. Those 16 and under will need to be accompanied by an adult and won’t be allowed in certain private springs experiences.

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