The Spa and hotel Chateau Elan sprawls elegantly along the fairways of popular Hunter Valley golfing and residential community, The Vintage.  Located in the heart of the Valley’s wine region, it’s the perfect spot to indulge in a little joie de vivre.

As the name suggests, there is an air of style and luxury that greets you from the minute you drive in and roll past knolls of manicured lawns. I’m lucky enough to be spending a night at the hotel (with hubby) to fully immerse myself in all that the spa has to offer. 

Source: Cudo

Check in is a breeze and, as I step through the doors near the entrance, I note that the Spa occupies a princely position next to reception. It’s clearly a priority here (rather than languishing in the bowels of the building as spas tend to do at some hotels).

I’m greeted in a hushed reception and led down a dimly-lit hallway. Branching off beside us as we walk, is a series of tranquil relaxation rooms with cushy armchairs, fireplaces and large picture windows looking out over the endless green. The décor is all muted earthy tones with an ornate French influence.  

I’m pleased to discover that they have a decent-sized Hydro Lounge (complimentary to visit with your treatment) that has two spas (one warm, one cooler), an infrared sauna and reclining lounges positioned to take in the verdant vista. There’s a delicious Turkish Apple Tea and trail mix on offer along with a wine and cocktail menu, if you’re so inclined. 

Once inside the change rooms I clock multiple Spa Industry awards displayed proudly. Happily ensconced in the requisite toweling robe and slippers I’m led into a couples room with twin treatment beds and matching balneotherapy baths.

Today I’m experiencing the indulgent Milk & Honey Ritual: a two-hour body extravaganza that includes a delectable Pure Fiji coconut milk and sugar scrub, wrap, scalp treatment, soak in a balneo and a moisture infusion.

My therapist Alannah is amazing. After patiently and methodically scrubbing every inch of my body, she wraps me up like a sweet-smelling kebab and sets to work on my scalp. I divide my time between dosing and musing over how good it is to have someone tend to those oft-neglected inches between shoulder blades and toes.

I rouse myself from my reverie when I realize Alannah has just asked me to sit up and have a shower. It then takes a good minute to work out how to get my legs to work again. I scrub myself clean in a sudsy torrent of tropical scents, admiring my slippery, silky limbs before stepping into a steaming balneo bath, which is basically a little seated pod of water with spa jets.

There’s a wooden paddle set up for me with water, tea, cut up fruit and nuts mix to nibble on along with a book of Karl Lagerfeld quotes. My soak goes by in a blink and then Alannah is back to massage in my moisture infusion with tender yet masterful strokes. When she’s done, she places my slippers on my feet and spritzes my face with something delicious. 

I emerge from the treatment room chrysalis into the reflections lounge feeling positively butterfly-like. We have an afternoon ahead of lunch and wine-tasting and I’m more than ready to greet it, with shiny, hydrated skin and a nurtured soul.


Chateau Elan Spa, The Hunter Valley NSW
Vintage Drive, Private Bag 2023, Rothbury NSW 2320, Australia
 (02) 4998 2500

Story by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography courtesy of Chateau Elan Spa.

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