Relaxation abounds at the recently opened The Spa at Park Hyatt. Photo / Supplied

The Test Drive: Balance & Calm Massage, The Spa At Park Hyatt

Viva creative director and fashion editor Dan Ahwa finds his zen at this inner-city retreat

The start of a new year is perfect opportunity to consider taking better care of yourself. As we dive into the work ahead, take the time to consider the benefits of a calming massage to balance body and mind.

The benefits of massage include improved circulation, stimulation of the lymphatic system and increased mobility and flexibility of the joints.

There’s a plethora of massage styles out there to discover — but the newly opened Park Hyatt Hotel’s luxurious spa offers a menu of massage styles that cater to different needs. Here’s one example.

The promise
The Balance and Calm Aromatherapy massage comes in 30-minute, 60-minute and 90-minute packages. I try the 60-minute option. The promise of a relaxing, soothing massage that combines rhythmic movements with aromatherapy (plant-based oil blends from iKou organic) is aimed at encouraging a relaxed state of mind. So a massage that is true to its name.

Inside one of the spa treatment rooms at The Spa at Park Hyatt. Photo / Supplied

The practice
I am greeted by friendly staff at reception, in a quiet corner of the sprawling hotel that overcame pandemic obstacles last year and opened to a steady stream of visitors and guests in September. I take the five minutes to fill out the obligatory form and am taken to the men’s changing room nearby, which is like walking into heaven — elegantly lit, plush towels, plenty of room and amenities.

Once I slip out of my clothes and into a robe and slippers, my masseuse Marie takes me to one of the massage rooms and talks me through what oils I’d like to choose from.

READ: Inside Auckland's Latest Luxury Spa

The smell of the oils immediately transports you to a calmer state of mind, so once you hit the massage table, your senses are already soothed. You can choose what pressure you prefer and once the hour is up, I was feeling completely relaxed and balanced.

Post massage was fun — Marie takes you to something I can only describe as a ‘chill room’ — where you can relax, listen to music, read a magazine, drink herbal tea. Marie also gave me a bowl of kumara chips and dark organic chocolate. There’s also plenty of lemon water in a glass dispenser.

After a few minutes, I make my way to the indoor pool rest in the room partly lined with pink Himalayan rock salt bricks to recharge my energy before showering and getting dressed.

End your treatment on a high note with a dip in the Hydrotherapy Vitality Pool. Photo / Supplied

The place
The Spa at Park Hyatt Auckland, 99 Halsey Street. (09) 366 2525. Hyatt.com

With travel restrictions in place, I have to admit, I do miss the escape of a nice hotel, and it’s great to have the elegance and class of the Park Hyatt in Auckland, localised by its very position by the sea.

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You can spend the day there or visit one of its eateries for lunch, dinner or high tea (also a great experience worth checking out after a spa indulgence), or even consider a staycation.

The price
You can book a treatment online or call the friendly staff. The Balance and Calm Aromatherapy Massage costs $110 for 30 minutes, $185 for 60 minutes and $240 for 90 minutes. While it is on the more expensive side for a massage, it is well worth it given you can take your time and enjoy some of the spa’s other areas, like the heated pool, post massage.

The soothing experience starts from the moment you set foot inside the sprawling waiting room. Photo / Supplied

The verdict
Would I go again? Yes. However, I’d make sure I’d block out a few hours to really enjoy the experience. The massage is one great part of this, but I’d go back and make the most of it by spending a day there, eating and maybe winding down at The Park Hyatt’s super-cool Captain’s Bar for a drink with friends.

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