A mere linen-swathed sashay from the shores of pristine Cabarita Beach lies Halcyon House: a superbly designed boutique beach hotel with an inspired spa to match.
The former 1960’s surf motel has retained its classic beachside feel with a spectacular overhaul by interior designer Anna Spiro and architect Virginia Kerridge, and naturally, not one design detail seems out of place. Crisp blue and white is the order of the day, echoing through the hotel via striped awnings and daybeds, geometric tiled floors and a mélange of mismatched but harmoniously-toned textiles.
Every available wall is decorated generously with expertly curated artworks and oversized clam shells are filled abundantly with fresh fruit. The effect being that, rather than checking into a hotel, you’re visiting someone’s very tastefully decorated beach house. The spa is a delicious extension of the resort’s Hamptons meets St. Barths style and is housed in an airy white building off to the side of the property. Although it overlooks a car park, the minute you step in, you’re transported somewhere much more sophisticated.
As I enter and check in for my massage I can’t help but be distracted by an enticing wall of stylish Lucy Folk sunglasses and the Spa Boutique, proffering an array of chic linen separates from Sarah J Curtis, Bassike and Thierry Coulson. If you’re still feeling a little shoppy, down one wall is a delicious range of Sodashi products ripe for smelling and taking home. As I thumb through a Slim Aarons tome, it takes me a minute to realize the source of the delicious room fragrance.
On the coffee table before me, an oversized clam shell casually holds half a dozen pineapples. It’s an unexpected but delightful twist on the typical oil burners you find in a spa. The ripe fruity aroma is perfectly at home with the terracotta tiles (imported from Mexico no less) and the white wood-panelled walls.
Before I get changed for the steam room, Prashanti, who welcomed me in, gives me a tour of the rooms – of which there are six – which she tells me are named affectionately by the staff as Pinkie, Mr Mustard, Miss Green, Grandma Blue, etc. Prashanti is also a clinical aromatherapist and has formulated three custom oils for Halcyon spa – of which I’ll select one for my massage. They all smell like heaven – it’s going to be a struggle to choose. They’re also nut free (for those with allergies) but light and don’t leave you feeling greasy.
After a quick spin around the gorgeous blue (of course) tiled steam room, my therapist Leone collects me from the Relax Lounge and leads me through to my treatment room - Miss Green. I derobe and stretch out between crisp white umpteen-count sheets, surrendering to her expert strokes. I am lulled off to near sleep but vaguely remember an excellent pressure point head massage, some very impressive neck work and a foot massage that’s definitely worth writing home about (Hi Mum!)
Halcyon House certainly lives up to its name and reputation – a peaceful and stylish place that dreams are made of. In fact, the spa experience stays with me all the way into my cavernous bed that night, the memory of those massage strokes mingling with the sound of the ocean lapping just beyond our balcony. I float back to my room in a near stupor, grateful for a short break until my husband arrives toting two tired children. We bundle them into bed and order room service from the hotel’s restaurant Paper Daisy. We sit out on the terrace under a blanket of stars, listening to the nearby surf swish against the shore.
The meal arrives on beautiful ceramics with Frette linen, taking room service to the next level with locally-sourced, organic produce and a complimentary mini bar. Who needs dining out when dining in is this fabulous?
21 Cypress Crescent Cabarita Beach NSW 2488
(02) 6676 1444
Words by Sigourney Cantelo.