Stepping through the doors of the spa, the warmth and comfort of the open wood fire is in stark contrast to the surrounding rugged yet beautiful Australian landscape. The therapists graciously welcome me into their space, their passion for what they do is immediately clear. As I sip on Li’tya’s signature Yulu herbal tea (a sweet, berry-tasting blend of lemon myrtle, wild lime, aniseed and plum), I feel the tension in my body gradually start to melt away.
Every Li’tya treatment begins with a sacred smoking ceremony; the ritual burning of O’yarrorng moss and lemon myrtle. As I sit next to the treatment bed, with my eyes closed, a scent, like sweet burning gum leaves, emanates around me. My therapist, Ainslie, gently washes my feet as I sit back and gaze through the glass windows at the spectacular coastline spread out like a postcard before me.
postcard before me.
Li’tya, meaning ‘of the earth’, is built upon the knowledge of more than 40,000 years of Indigenous Australian healing techniques. And you can tell from the way they talk about it, that the therapists possess a genuine reverence for this wisdom and a deep connection to the brand’s ideals. It feels perfectly in sync with the rhythm of the environment around us, a place steeped in ancient and perfect beauty.
The Dihlbi Bio Active Facial is the most recent and much anticipated high performance facial to debut at Southern Ocean Lodge. The new Li’tya Dihlbi Age Defying Serum helps to hydrate your skin leaving it plumped and glowing. Packed with antioxidants and sustainably-harvested botanical extracts from native banksia flower, Kakadu plum and fragonia, the serum has a silky, lightweight texture that doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. The word ‘Dihlbi’ translates to ‘early morning dew’, which is fitting considering the facial’s power to renew skin to achieve a radiant complexion.
After the Age Defying Serum has absorbed, my therapist applies the new Vitality Vitamin Cream Mask. It smells heavenly and I can feel it melt right into my skin. Lastly, comes the cooling effect of the Dihlbi Infusion Mask, which my therapist massages indulgently into my skin, telling me that it will help reduce any inflammation and also infuse all of the good work of the two products applied prior. My dermis drinks it up greedily. Cocooned in warmth, the gentle hum of a Didgeridoo and sound of the wild ocean crashing against the cliff-face provides a soothing backdrop, so much so that I have to make a conscious effort not to fall asleep (my therapist tells me gently that I wouldn’t be the first). Getting up at the end is a challenge, but even as I eventually bring myself back to reality, that feeling of zen stays with me long after I leave the idyllic hideaway of Southern Ocean Lodge Spa.
Review by Madeleine Boyd