There’s a lot to be said for whale music and Himalayan pan flutes. As Elvis is to Graceland, the sounds of humpbacks and belugas (often accompanied, oddly, by Himalayan pan flutes) is almost enough to render me into a semi-conscious, drooling dream state through sheer association with those glorious pockets of heaven called day spas.
Deep tissue massages, vichy showers, hot stone therapies, seaweed wraps and coconut coffee scrubs, and even some of the wackier treatments like 24-carat gold facials, dead skin-eating fish and below-freezing cryogenic chambers, I’ve never met a day spa treatment menu item I didn’t love. Except for ‘snake therapy’ – dozens of snakes left to slither over one’s body all in the name of relaxation. True story. Google it. I never thought I’d be able to say ‘thank goodness I live in a region that has nine of the world’s ten most deadliest snakes so I never have to experience snake therapy’.
Anyway, back to whale music. I love it and everything it represents, so in a stroke of pure selflessness and the interest of the mental and physical health of us all (and weeding out anywhere that actually does snake therapy), I did a bit of research into the best places in the tropical north to go to truly R-E-L-A-X. I know, I know – my benevolence is breathtaking.
SpaQ – QT Port Douglas
As part of the luxury QT Hotels & Resorts group, SpaQ at QT Port Douglas is of course on brand with good doses of quirky humour and coastal lightness in its aesthetic – murals on walls evoking whimsical adventures, and a spa team whose professionalism genuinely feels like a big warm hug. SpaQ offers a wide array of treatments, including the impressive Coffee & Sea Kelp Contour Wrap. Don’t want to commit to booking a particular treatment? Just reserve your time and then, with the help of your therapist, you can choose a treatment experience when you arrive. That way you get exactly what you need on the day rather than something that feels so… umm, last week. That’s what they call a Freshly Picked spa experience!
QT Port Douglas Hotel
87-109 Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas
(07) 4099 8940
Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa
Daintree Wellness Spa at The Daintree Eco Lodge harnesses the traditional methods of local Aboriginal healing to nurture, revive and restore. Using the powerful properties of nourishing botanical products, many found in the Daintree Rainforest, they offer unique and effective treatments. With approval from the local Kuku Yalanji tribe elders, the spa treatments combine the wisdom of their culture, healing, medicines and spirituality.
The treatment rooms are open roofed opening up to the rainforest canopy above and the sounds and smells of the jungle – try the Walbul-Walbul massage with local aromatics, mud and rainforest water for a full head-to-toe experience.
Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa
3189 Mossman-Daintree Road, Daintree
(07) 4098 6100
Healing Waters Spa @ Silky Oaks Lodge
Set in the Daintree rainforest 20 minutes north of Port Douglas, Healing Waters Spa at Silky Oaks Lodge is the pinnacle of natural luxury. Winner of the world luxury spas award in 2011 Healing Waters at Silky Oaks really knows how to spa. Surrounded by the lush foliage of the Daintree Rainforest it’s impossible not to feel completely immersed in this tranquil and rejuvenating experience. Did I mention the outdoor baths? Winning.
Finlayvale Road, Mossman,
(07) 4098 1666 (resort reception)
Niramaya Day Spa & Villas
With its serene, green, Balinese-inspired decor, Niramaya Day Spa & Villas is a perfect escape from the hectic pace of a tropical holiday. And it delivers tranquility in spades. Inside, water features, dark timber furnishings and dappled natural light invoke instant feelings of calm. The various spa rituals are a true sensory journey utilising products from the Sydney-based Dr Rose; signature treatments include The Jewel of The Reef package (4 hours of more pampering than should be legal) and the ‘so good I can’t believe it’s not surgery’ Dr. Rose Gold Facial – a mask of 24-carat gold gel and gold leaf used to eliminate wrinkles. Post-treatment, indulge in the sauna, plunge pool or poolside lunch at Niramaya’s restaurant, Rasa.
1 Bale Drive, Port Douglas
(07) 4099 1855