New Zealand luxury spa review: SO/ SPA
Here at beautyheaven, we like to focus on the positives of winter – like less shaving, track pants, comfort food and giving your body a little (or a lot of) TLC.
While we're all for results-focused, quick beauty treatments we can fit into our lunch breaks, rest and relaxation is also essential in the cooler months - thankfully, Auckland’s newest luxury spa, SO/SPA, has opened just in time for the wrath of winter.
There’s no denying it – SO/ Auckland is out of this world. It’s a luxurious avant-garde hotel that seamlessly and creatively incorporates both the spirit of Auckland with a playful twist of French joie de vivre.
So naturally, when the bh team were invited to preview SO/ SPA and try out the unique offering, we eagerly accepted! The menu is vast with innovative treatments like Himalayan detox therapy, Tibetan sound healing, chakra balancing and peeling Chlorella masks. SO/SPA’s therapists also extend beyond the offering currently in Auckland – they are not only experts in the menu but offer collective expertise between them including naturopathy, yoga and Chinese medicine.
Read on for the reviews of our tailored treatments…
Note: SO/SPA offers ‘off beat’ special prices Monday – Friday between 10am and 4pm.
bh’s Tracy - Sublime Skin Lifting Facial
Price: $195 off-peak / $205 peak hours
Duration: 75 minutes
What it promises: Give your skin the boost of radiance and plumpness it needs with this innovative re-densifying treatment. Intensive yet luxurious, this anti-ageing treatment lifts your skin and brings immediate rejuvenation.
The verdict: Being the 40+ expert, the Sublime Skin Lifting Facial had my name written all over it. As the spa’s most luxurious anti-aging treatment, it promises radiance, plumpness and lift. I knew I was in good hands the moment my French therapist Tessa’s fingers touched my face. She expertly massaged her way around to encourage lymphatic drainage while cleansing. There’s a lot of technique in this facial including rolling and pinching movements designed to boost circulation which in turn feeds the skin’s cells. Radiance comes by way of an AHA peel and a physical lift is created with some reasonably vigorous pummelling and flicking to the cheekbones. I left with a brow lift and defined cheekbones for sure – and the effect lasted for days. I’ll definitely be adding this to my next pre-event wish-list.
bh’s Amy - Frequent Flier Recovery Treatment
Price: $180 off-peak / $190 peak hours
Duration: 60 minutes
What it promises: An innovative body treatment acting on three different sensorial pathways to deliver a complete holistic wellbeing experience, resulting in a quieter, more peaceful mind and body state.
The verdict: I was lucky enough to experience the Frequent Flier Recovery Treatment - a luxurious full body massage designed to release tension and assist with fatigue. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to end a busy day at work. It’s part of the Sensational Skin Sessions menu and was 60 minutes of pure bliss in a warm, dimly-lit, soothingly scented room. It was unique in the fact that the pressure was very light and my lovely therapist also used brushes to work in oil to my tired limbs, which I’ve never experienced before. The aim of the treatment is to offer a ‘complete holistic well-being experience, resulting in a quieter and more peaceful mind and body state,’ which was definitely the case as I floated out the door!
bh’s Erin - Aroha Goddess Facial
Price: $270 off-peak / $280 peak hours
Duration: 120 minutes
What it promises: This is a truly beautiful experience, honouring the goddess within. Feel the aroha (love) through this full body aromatic massage with a back scrub and mini facial that will leave you feeling balanced, nourished and glowing. Rose quartz crystals balance the heart chakra, encouraging peace, healing and comfort to reawaken the heart to its own innate love.
The verdict: I was personally ushered from the eclectic lobby surrounds to the wellness centre located on the basement level. The impeccable service from greeting to end was clear every step of the way. Upon arriving, I immediately fell for the spa’s vibe: sophisticated, soothing and a little bit sexy all wrapped into one centre, featuring a state of the art pool, steam room, sauna, gym and spa (you can use these facilities if you book a treatment!).
The treatment itself was divine and the kind of indulgent experience where you find yourself drifting in and out of sleep. It’s the perfect gift for someone in need of relaxation first and foremost with a bit of skin pampering on the side. To finish my treatment, I was led through to a relaxation room to zen-out even further with bespoke teas blends, dried fruits, nuts and petite pastries. While on the steeper end of the price scale, if you’re after a truly special treatment for yourself (or someone else!) then look no further.
What's your favourite treatment for when you need some R&R?