After being exposed to the rigours of ‘serious skin services’ at various medispas over the years, I have to admit that I’ve come to think of facials as a little bit namby pamby. I’m just too impatient to lie back and enjoy it. When I’m going to a spa, I tend to prefer a massage – thinking that at least that will sort out my chronic knots. But I got to have my cake and eat it too when I booked in at The Park Hyatt Spa recently to review it for our GO-TO’s Spa & Salon Directory. I was scheduled in to try new iKOU Signature White Flannel Flower Anti-Ageing Facial and then added on a 30 minute Deep Tissue Massage to really customise the experience.
The Park Hyatt Spa is one of my favourite places to go, so on this particular rainy afternoon I am jumping out of my skin to get there. Your wind-down sequence starts the minute you pull into the palatial Harbourside hotel driveway, as they have complimentary valet parking – a serious drawcard when you’re dealing with an inner city location.
Passing my keys gratefully to a handsome uniformed bellboy, I step inside to the elegant beige foyer, with its understated marble reception area and that unmistakeable Hyatt fragrance I’ve come to recognise. It’s fresh and woody, with just a hint of leather. Subtle yet sophisticated. I would actually buy a bottle and wear it if I could.
Spa guests are directed to take a lift to the second floor, where you follow signs to the Spa. Tucked along the front side of the hotel that overlooks the park under the bridge, the spa is a haven of cream-hued deliciousness. The walls are covered in softly-textured fabrics, with natural elements like marble and limestone accented throughout. As I sip my lemon myrtle tea I take in my treatment room – mentally noting the private toilet and Le Labo amenities. There’s also a shower, should your treatment require it.
As I hang up my coat on the hook I involuntarily stiffen from a rogue gust of air conditioning. My therapist, Chizu is onto it immediately, telling me that she will adjust the heating and that there’s an electric blanket on the bed. Impressive.
I undress quickly and slip between crisp what feels like 3000 thread count sheets.The treatment starts with the massage and within seconds I know I’m on to a good thing. Over the next half an hour, Chizu expertly dissolves shoulder gristle I didn’t even know I had.
By the time the facial rolls around I am so relaxed I can barely roll over.
I remember - in no particular order – warm goo, synchronized motions, a double cleanse and a really nice gentle but gritty exfoliation. Smells of the Australian bush wafting up into my nose and the distant rumble of a train overhead on the nearby Harbour Bridge, a gentle reminder that I’m cozily cosseted in this cocoon.
The smells keep getting better. There’s some mighty fine facial massage using a Neroli face oil and a mask that, while it works, exposes me to some more pleasurable pummelling on my feet, hands and scalp.
Just before Chizu sends me back into the real world, she pops on a peptide serum, eye cream and day cream. I’m pretty enamoured with iKOU by now. The Australian brand is hand crafted in the Blue Mountains, and I think it’s a too-well-kept national secret. Apparently it’s rather active, too as I discover later, when I’m admiring my gleaming complexion. The scrub was actually AHA & BHA with Desert Lime, and the mask and other components are pumped with high performance botanical ingredients. Don’t be fooled by its flowery name and heavenly fragrance, this facial means business.
Story by Sigourney Cantelo.