Ever since lockdowns when many of us spent more time by ourselves, not to mention with TikTok giving us a peek into the winding-down rituals of others, we’re more aware of self-care. Most of us are now better able to recognise when we’re running on empty and need to stop and fuel back up.
This personal awareness has translated into dozens of new spas and bathhouses opening around the country this year — a handful of them in Melbourne. Ahead, we’re rounding up a few of those fresh spots, along with some longstanding favourites, too.
From a spa on the 64th level of one of Melbourne’s swankiest new hotels to another that feels like stepping into a scene from the ’70s, here’s our edit of what we consider to be the best Melbourne spas.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Melbourne
It’s all about the views at The Ritz-Carlton Spa in Melbourne, which opened this year along with the hotel. Set on the 64th level, the spa looks out over the city through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Choose from treatments like massages, facials, body wraps, or enhancements like gua sha facial toning or a stimulating body brush. Afterwards, make use of the spa’s infinity pool.
Ma Saj, Carlton North
Ma Saj only opened in Melbourne in the second half of this year. It offers bodywork and massages that blend physical restoration with mood alteration. Massages weave in reiki and meridian therapy principles. The studio taps into ‘70s design for its inspiration with a mauve, green, and brown colour palette, curved edges, and statement furniture and décor.
Launcemore Mansion Day Spa, Werribee Park
Few day spas in Australia have a history like that of Launcemore Mansion’s Day Spa at Werribee Park, a 30-minute drive from the CBD. The space has been operating as a retreat since the 1920s. Today, you can book treatments like a rose quartz spa facial, packed with Vitamins A, C, D and E, hot stone massage or a waterlily body ritual that’ll see you steeped in oils.
Located in leafy Melbourne suburb Ivanhoe, Relinque has treatment rooms, a steam room with an ice fountain, and a studio used for yoga and pilates. Treatments include deep tissue massage, thermal body wrap, or 110-minute to 170-minute packages that combine massages, wraps, and facials for the ultimate pampering, morning or afternoon.
Sense of Self, Collingwood
Sense of Self is a communal bathhouse and day spa on the border of Collingwood and Fitzroy. Here, you can relax in a hot tub, get your endorphins up in a cold plunge or sweat out your toxins in a sauna. The facility has massages too — three types, available as either 60 or 90-minute treatments.
Japanese Mountain Retreat, Montrose
Japanese Mountain Retreat is a 45-minute drive east of Melbourne CBD in the Dandenong Ranges, but well worth the commute. While the retreat is well-catered to couples wishing to celebrate special occasions or milestones, it’s great for solo guests, too. The retreat’s natural mineral waters are heated to between 37 and 40 degrees and you can bathe privately in an outdoor pool or Roman bathhouse. Make a morning of it with a package that includes a bathing session plus yum cha lunch.