The highest spa in Melbourne (and possibly even Australia), the Isika Spa can be found on the 27th (second top) floor of the city’s hip 5-star Crown Metropol hotel on Whiteman Street in the Southbank precinct. In fact, the very plush treatment rooms here - all with private bathrooms- together with an infinity and 25-metre pool, as well as a neighbouring sun deck, gym and relaxation lounge, take up the entire level (and which is referred to as hotel’s dedicated Wellness Floor). There is also a hair salon and nail bar for a bit of post-treatment pampering.
The Spa in this gleaming 658-room high rise hotel has its very own staircase and even its own cuisine – designed by none other than British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay (whose restaurant is also on the first floor). The actual Crown Complex itself boasts more than 40 restaurants in total, however, including the world famous Nobu.
There are also stunning 270 degrees views across to the Dandenongs Ranges and Port Phillip Bay and which you can appreciate from the Spa pool which is a lovely, soothing 38 degrees.
One of the most popular treatments here is the Chakra Balancing Massage. Based on the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda, this involves several massage techniques; including reflexology (30 mins for $95 or 90 mins for $235) and a choice of the UK brand Aromatherapy Associates’ essential oils. It can be performed in one of the uber-luxe couples rooms if you fancy bringing a partner (men can also enjoy a traditional wet shave).
To really indulge consider booking yourself the half day Isika Ultimate Journey package. What this involves is a 30 minute soak in your own private tub followed by a cleansing steam shower. Next up is a relaxing hour-long aromatherapy massage then 30 minute manicure and a pedicure and blow dry. You can also add on lunch if you’re so chilled you can’t even contemplate popping out for a bite to eat.
Having said that, there are plenty of city centre restaurants a mere stroll away across the river, in case you feel in need of a spot of invigorating fresh air. Or pop on up a floor to level 28 and sip a cocktail while gazing out the five metre high glass windows onto this amazing, vibrant city (and which is best done at twilight to appreciate all those twinkling and mesmerising skyscraper lights).
There are a handful of Spa overnight packages available to choose from here, varying from one to four nights. The rooms are all retro-inspired and designed for fun rather than smartness.
Review by Jill Sandringham
8 Whiteman St
Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 9292 8327