You don’t need to be a guest staying at Millbrook Resort to enjoy the world-class spa facilities, although wouldn’t that be nice?Read on to discover the serious pampering treatments on offer at one of New Zealand’s top resort destinations.
My first summer job as a teenager was housekeeping at Millbrook Resort. Fast forward 12 years and I was now excited to be invited back to check out the day spa facilities.
I was soon reminded why Millbrook is known as one of the world’s most picturesque resorts. As I drove up the tree-lined avenue, I felt as though I was really getting away from it all. Ahead of me were duck ponds, charming country cottages, rolling green hills thanks to a pristine 27-hole golf course and snow-capped mountain vistas in every direction.
The Day Spa
After arriving at the hotel reception, I was whisked away to the spa on a golf cart. What a way to make a girl feel special!
Upon entering The Spa I was greeted with a big smile from the lovely staff in the reception area.
To the right is a retail area fully stocked with Elemis products, a roaring fire and a comfy leather couch where I sat enjoying the views out to the surrounding landscape.
It wasn’t long before I was escorted to the chic changing area, fitted out with showers, basins with large mirrors, and a grooming area where you can blow dry your hair & apply makeup. Should you have forgotten anything, they have you covered with toiletries on hand.
After attiring in The Spa’s fluffy white gown and slippers I was led to the chill out lounge where I sipped on chilled lemon water as I filled out my treatment form. On the way, we passed the Vichy shower room, which looked like a treatment I would be keen to get involved with.
Sarah, my therapist, a born & bred Queenstown local, talked me through my treatment and then showed me to the cosy spa room where ambient candles and delicious scents filled the air. Sarah then left the room while I slipped off my robe and made myself at home under some very plush bed covers.
Once I was settled facedown on the luxurious massage bed Sarah re-entered and asked what type of pressure I would like for my one-hour relaxation massage, and if there were any areas that needed extra attention. As I had a few knots and some serious neck tension I asked for a firm massage pressure with more emphasis on my neck and shoulders.
What followed next is best described as an hour of pure bliss. Once I had cleared to do lists and mental chatter from my mind, I really settled into the treatment, melting into the table as Sarah massaged all my tension away as peaceful nature music played softly in the background.
As requested she started with my shoulders and moved on to my neck and lower back with a firm even pressure before turning me over and working on my legs and feet.
The highlights of my massage were the hot stones, where Sarah massaged warm stones over my back to relax my muscles (just the thing on a cold winter's day) and the delightful foot massage. In regular life, I am not lucky enough to get a foot massage, so this was a real treat. Sarah had applied Elemis frangipani coconut oil for the massage, which she gently removed using hot towels at the end of my treatment. It was a lovely way to finish.
She told me the most popular treatments at Millbrook spa are the massage and the anti-aging facials, which I will be sure to try out next time.
As well as these, Millbrook has an extensive treatment menu including spray tans, body wraps and even an 18-hole Spa Package for the man in your life. Better yet, send him off for a round of golf while you hit the spa for some much-needed pamper time.
Treatments start from $79 and head upward of $400 for the top to toe spa packages. Check the Website for current specials.
With every spa treatment booked you receive complimentary access to the Health & Fitness Centre. So after my wonderful massage I headed over to check it out.
There is a gorgeous heated indoor swimming pool which overlooks the grounds, a fully equipped gym with weights, cardio equipment, Les Mills and yoga classes on offer.
Separate female and male saunas (so ladies you don’t have to worry about running into any of the ALL Blacks in your swimsuit) and three outdoor spa pools to relax in.
I could have happily spent hours here. It’s a great addition before or after your spa treatment and really makes you feel as though you are getting a full experience rather than just having a quick massage and then heading back out onto a busy street. Plus there’s plenty more to explore throughout the resort.
Before reluctantly heading home, I popped into the Hole in One Cafe for a chai latte and a cheeky white chocolate macaroon. It was the perfect ending to a relaxing and therapeutic morning. I really love the peace and tranquillity of the resort and the feeling of total escapism. Like a holiday without the hassle.
Getting There – Free Shuttle
Millbrook Resort is located two minutes’ drive from Arrowtown or 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Queenstown. If you do drive, then I suggest the Lake Hayes way as the scenery en route is stunning,
Alternatively, and perhaps an even better option for getting to the resort is to catch the free shuttle bus service operating daily from 7am- 10pm from Millbrook reception. Click here for the timetable. The pickup location is The Station Building on Duke street in Queenstown centre.
If you are staying in Arrowtown you can order the shuttle bus at any time you wish and be picked up outside Betty's Liquor store on the main street.
The shuttle is a great idea if you want to make a day out of it and have a few drinks at the Clubhouse after your spa treatment or a round of golf. Anyone can use this service, it’s not just for spa guests – ideal if you just want a change of scenery and a cup of coffee.
Before leaving I caught up with Marketing Executive Kay McKeon and asked her to tell me what her ultimate relaxing day in Queenstown would look like
Here’s what she said;
” My perfect idea of a relaxing Queenstown day would involve heading up Coronet Peak for a morning ski to watch the sunrise, before heading back down to Millbrook resort for a yoga class and a sauna.Afterwards, I would meet a friend for brunch at the Hole In One Cafe, followed by a massage or a facial at the spa.
For me that would be an ideal day off, with a good mixture of fitness and activity in the morning and then rewarding my efforts with luxurious “me time” in the afternoon. “
Photo Credits: KateCraigbrown – Instagram