There's a sensation that sweeps over you when you enter a day spa. It feels strange at first — probably because it's not something you treat yourself to that often. Your phone is out of reach, your body is encased in a soft robe, calming scents waft through your nostrils and the loudest sound you'll hear is your own content exhalations. It's called relaxation.
Thankfully, Brisbane boasts plenty of spaces for indulgent stints of tranquility — you just need to know where to look. Whatever your budget, skin type or preferred massage style, there's a place just waiting to wash all your stresses away. Thank us after you've found your inner peace.
LOST WORLD DAY SPA AT O'REILLY'S RAINFOREST RETREAT, LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
A day spa that shares its name with the sequel to Jurassic Park? Sign us up immediately. There are no dinosaurs stampeding across your back at O'Reilly's Lost World Day Spa, but what you'll get instead is a gorgeous, greenery-filled outlook over Lamington National Park, the McPherson Ranges and the Great Dividing Range — oh, and an infinity pool, steam room and couple's treatment suite, which includes a hand-crafted wooden tub and a private nature-inspired shower. Treatment-wise, splashing out on a vinotherapy ritual ($595) is certainly tempting. There's no drinking, sadly, but it does soaking in blends made from grapey goodness.
AWAY SPA AT W BRISBANE, CBD
When the new W Brisbane opened, we were taken by its epic façade and impressive geometric pool and wanted to book a night there straight away. But even if you don't want to shell out for a night at the riverside hotel, you can check into its luxury Away Spa for an hour or two. Located on a quiet spot on level five, the spa has six treatment suites, relaxation pods, a sauna, steam room, a pool and a bar. Prices start at $150 for a one-hour massage and go up to $799 for a whole-day package. Edwards & Co. is also located at the spa if you want to get your hair done afterwards, too.
DOME SPA RETREAT, CBD
The Brisbane Marriott doesn't just boast river views — it also has its very own pocket of bliss. Found on the fourth floor and serving up those scenic vantages from the pool deck, Dome Spa Retreat is an ideal inner-city escape, whether you want to spend your lunch break having an ancient Hawaiian lomi lomi massage ($155), or head in on a Saturday for the three-hour signature retreat ($440).
ONE WYBELENNA, BROOKFIELD
A '60s-built Brookfield home that was turned into a luxury house in the late '00s, and then transformed into a holistic centre in 2015, One Wybelenna boasts a pool, spa and landscaped surrounds that'll make you feel you've ventured far, far beyond the city. Take your pick of everything from a deluxe chocolate scrub ($195) to a 24-carat gold facial ($145) to a one-hour tension-release massage ($155), or truly treat yo'self to a full ($600) or half-day ($330) package complete with a dip in the outdoor magnesium facilities.
STEPHANIE'S VINTAGE SPA, CLEVELAND
An award-wining spa located in the waterside suburb of Cleveland, Stephanie's Vintage Spa features eight treatment rooms across two very quaint Queenslanders. You can duck into the infra-red sauna, get your nails done in the pedicure lounge ($55–150) or get involved in a 40-minute 'cocooning waterfall' ($70). Grab a snack while you're there too, including a high tea ($40 per person) or a cheese and fruit platter ($20). Plus, Stephanie's also has locations in Bulimba, the CBD, Noosa and Clear Mountain.
HARBOUR DAY SPA, CLEVELAND
Also nestled in Cleveland, Harbour Day Spa is a combined spa and salon because multitaskers like chilling out too. Yes, that means a place with a view. Basically, if there's one thing that's more relaxing than a massage — even an 80-minute hot stone massage that comes with an indulgent floral foot soak ($190), or an exfoliating 45-minute body smoothing session ($100) — it's getting one in a Thai-style retreat overlooking a body of water.
SPA Q AT QT HOTEL, GOLD COAST
We know, we know, the Gold Coast isn't Brisbane. But sometimes, you just want to pair your indulgence with a trip somewhere beachy. Just a stone's throw away from the surf and sand in Surfer's Paradise, QT Gold Coast's Spa Q will have you unwinding in no time, including in their ice and steam room. Social spa-ing — aka group bookings — is one of their specialities, so gather up four of your mates and head on down. For $195 each, you'll all get a massage, a facial and a foot treatment, plus a glass of bubbly in the relaxation lounge afterwards.
AQUARIUS HEALTH & MEDISPA, CBD
Get a massage, treat your skin and soak in an Asian-style onsen at the super luxurious Aquarius Health & Medispa. Located on Mary Street in the CBD, we're not knocking all of the usual bits and pieces when we say that it's the latter that's worth the trip. The bathhouse comes complete with a temperature-controlled 22-metre indoor pool, male and female steam rooms, hot and cold plunge pools, and a dry Finnish sauna. Casual daily entry costs $30, and a ten-visit pass — which you'll definitely want after you've been once — will set you back $255.