From the moment I land at Melbourne Airport, to the moment I am dropped off two days later at the departures terminal, I am treated like royalty. The Langham Hotel in Melbourne’s Southbank has a way of making you feel like a queen, even if it’s just for a brief two-day getaway. Staying in a Club River room, I am blessed with clear views of the Melbourne skyline and the Yarra River, with the added benefit of access to the club lounge on the 24th floor. I enjoy private check-in and checkout, afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and several other privileges.
After a quick snack in the Aria Lounge, I am off to the spa for my first treatment. The Chuan Spa has roots in eastern therapies and Traditional Chinese Medicine, where the main focus is on harmony and balance. In Chinese culture Chuan relates to flowing water, the source of life’s balance and harmony. Treatments are focused on regaining this balance – which worked for me. They use several exclusive products including Thalgo, Phyts, Kerstin Florian, and Chuans private label. The Spa is located on level nine, next to the pool and outdoor deck area. The waiting area can be a little noisy as other hotel guests enter and exit the pool area, but rest assured once you are within the actual spa you won’t notice any of that external hustle and bustle.
I’m escorted to a quiet lounge room and served tea while I await my facial with Nitesh. I’ve had facials in the past, but never by a male therapist. Nitesh was wonderful; he analysed and examined my skin, then made a recommendation to opt for a hydrating facial. His touch was easy, confident and the facial massage was excellent.
All of the pampering has built up my appetite and I decide to head downstairs for dinner at Melba, where I enjoy one of the most comprehensive buffets I have ever experienced. Buffets sometimes get a bad name, and often for good reason. But the Buffet at Melba is an exception, to say the least. Looking around I cannot believe the quality of the food. The sushi is fresh and flavourful, the oysters succulent, the freshly made naan bread and Indian Tandoori full of exotic spice and aroma – and I hadn’t even reached the dessert table yet.
The next day brings more wellness and my body is really feeling the benefits. My shoulders are more relaxed and my brows less furrowed. I start the day with a one-hour brisk guided walk around the Royal Botanic Gardens with Rob, one of the personal trainers. The Gardens are a short walk from the hotel and a great place for a jog or to clear your head and enjoy nature among the busy, cosmopolitan city.
Once back at the hotel it’s time to try out the spa’s signature foot treatment, the 90-minute Heavenly Jing Luo. I’ve experienced reflexology, foot massage, and pedicures before, but nothing could prepare me for this treatment. It’s hard to describe the whole experience, as I fell in and out of a relaxing sleep, but from what I can recall I was lying in a recliner chair and my feet were soaked in fragrant herbs, wrapped in a foot mask, rubbed with warm stones and then massaged for 70 minutes of pure bliss. It was honestly impossible to stay awake as it was so deeply calming, and it is said to be great for detoxing and fluid retention. It’s the perfect treatment for someone who spends a lot of time on his or her feet.
I perk up with a bit of caffeine at the Wedgewood afternoon tea at Aria Bar and Lounge. The three-tiered assortment includes sweets, savories and, of course, traditional scones with clotted cream. It’s a perfect way to enjoy the afternoon after a day of shopping, exploring the city or enjoying spa treatments.
My departure is soon approaching, but I have time to squeeze in one quick massage before my friendly Langham driver takes me back to the airport. It’s amazing how much pampering one can actually experience in just 48 hours. I leave feeling like a new person – a very spoiled, and very grateful person. While this is a pretty indulgent experience for anyone, it’s still good to know that when you really need a break but only have a small window of time, that it’s still possible to experience big changes.
Pampered and relaxed | The Langham, Melbourne