I’m not someone who goes to spas often, so I’m pretty clueless when it comes to spa etiquette. Last Christmas I was lucky enough to win an Endota Spa Mind voucher, a one-hour package including a footbath and full body brush and massage. I chose Endota Spa at Martin Place – it has an incredibly convenient CBD location, just a few minutes’ walk from Wynyard station.
The first thing you’ll notice as you get into the lift is that the whole place smells really good – indulgent, herbal good. The friendly receptionist sits me down with a cup of organic chamomile tea and a client card to fill in. I write down details that could be imaginative questions for fraud protection, like how many glasses of water I drink a day (6, I swear!), how much pressure I want in a massage (firm), how much I would like the therapist to talk (very important question, I’m sure you’ll agree), and any allergies to ingredients that may be in the products (happily, none). After a comfortable pause, I’m introduced to my therapist, Akiko, and taken to a dimly lit room with what I can only describe as “gong-y” music piping in, and told to strip to my undies and put on a robe. Hurray!
|I wanted to just put a huge circle around both figures, but then realised that wouldn’t be too helpful.
After turning myself into a burrito, I dunk my feet into a bowl of warm water in the corner and wait. This is when my newbie socially awkward paranoia takes over – did she tell me to get her? Should I have knocked on the door from the inside? I start worrying since my feet are wet and it’s too late to go anywhere without slopping mildly bubbly water all over the wooden floor. Luckily, just as I’m frantically looking around for handholds to swing me to the door in the least number of steps, my therapist comes back.
|A couples treatment room – it took me the whole hour to realise that those ashtray things are for putting your jewellery in. OH.
She explains that the first treatment in the Mind package is the Billabong footbath. I’m given a choice of essential oil blends and I pick Spirit, a relaxing mixture of lavender, frankincense, cedarwood and sandalwood. This is added to my footbath and an oil burner, and Akiko gets to work on my feet with a scrub (I forget which), then rinses and massages them with Mint & Desert Lime Foot Cream. After asking which areas I’d like her to concentrate on, she gets into my sore feet and calves. (My feet must’ve known a massage was coming, they were conveniently cramping the night before…)
Next, I get to crawl under a blanket and cozy up to the the ubiquitous hole-for-your-face on the towel-covered massage table to await the dry body brushing, which exfoliates and stimulates circulation. I’m a body brushing virgin, so I’m unprepared for the hundreds of stiff bristles which are suddenly attacking my legs. After a few moments, I’m used to the sensation, and I mentally add a body brush to my beauty shopping list so I can scratch myself with the might of a thousand tiny nails in the comfort of my own home (if only I knew about this during mosquito season!).
|One of the seasonal offers at Endota Spa
Lilly Pilly Body Moisturiser is then massaged into all my limbs and my back, and Wild Lavender and Alpine Pepper hand cream (which I reviewed here) is rubbed into my hands. Akiko then adds some Olive & Macadamia Massage Oil and starts pummelling my tight back muscles (prewarmed with a soothing wheat bag) with far more force than I expected from a spa treatment, and she goes even harder when I ask. With the heady scent of Spirit wafting gently in my face, my mind is beautifully clear and I’m starting to come around to the boyfriend’s opinion that a fortnightly massage is essential for optimal human functioning. The gong-y music (getting panflute-y by this stage) helps with the experience.
Akiko tells me to roll over for the final step: a head, neck and shoulder massage. She considerately holds the blanket up between us while I scramble around on the table. While I’m not a huge fan of the intense neck massage, the head and shoulder massage is heavenly. I get dressed, and am led to a sunny relaxation area where I’m given another organic tea (vitamin-ful rose hip this time – literally not my cup of tea flavourwise) and a handy “prescription” sheet which details all the products used and what I can incorporate into my routine. Akiko recommends a body scrub and a muscle balm as well, then leaves me to make my way out to the foyer where all the products can be purchased (no pressure selling – love it!).
|The corridor to the treatment rooms
Overall, my experience was an absolute pleasure (my awkwardness aside), and I’d happily recommend this spa – although it’s on the pricey side, everything is what you’d expect from the best. The staff were professional and the treatment was entirely tailored to my personal needs. I loved the personal profile I filled in at the beginning – it’s very handy not have to interrupt the treatment to tell the therapist to talk less, or knead softer. I was massaged exactly where I needed it. The products used (including the organic teas) were all from Endota’s own brand, and are certified organic by the Organic Food Chain.
In addition to the many lovely one-person treatment rooms, there are couple therapy rooms that accommodate two people (and their beauty therapists) at a time – I think a couples treatment is a really thoughtful idea for an engagement or anniversary present. There are also monthly specials on offer which can be found on their Facebook page, and a variety of gift vouchers are available, as well as an online shop with the Endota Spa range.
This spa voucher was a lucky door prize at an Endota Spa event, which did not affect my opinion of the experience. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.