Start exploring the leafy, Paris-end of Melbourne city and you’ll stumble across a grand hotel at the end of a gorgeous tree-lined entrance.
Get closer and you’ll see it’s the Park Hyatt Melbourne, a five-star hotel that boasts views overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens, and the cosmopolitan mix of Victorian and modern architecture.
Housed within its classic walls is an equally impressive five-star spa, which sits within the very heart of the hotel.
The Park Club Health & Day Spa features an indoor infinity pool built right over the lobby’s silver-leaf encrusted dome, with a spectacular heritage mosaic of two water nymphs by artist Rob Di Virgilli on the walls.
The pool is just one element of the ‘wet’ area which includes a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
Alongside the wet area and the boutique gym is the seven-room day spa, which includes a double room for couples or friends to enjoy treatments together.
The spa has been in operation almost 20 years – it welcomed its first client in 1999 when the Park Hyatt Melbourne opened – and in 2014 was the winner of the Best Luxury Wellness Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards.
Spa manager Shelley Varacalli said the treatments, rituals and lifestyle recommendations are based on the four cornerstones of wellness; sound nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind and care of the face and body.
She said from the moment a guest walked into the spa, every element has been carefully considered to ensure their experience is outstanding.
Guests are encouraged to arrive at the spa at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to their appointment to allow enough time to complete a consultation form, use the steam room and sauna, and relax in the lounge to enjoy a cup of signature tea, which is a delicious blend of honey, lemon and ginger.
Fresh flowers, incense, mood lighting and soft music complement the spa’s ambient interiors.
Shelly said from a client’s first visit, she taught them the first step to a glowing complexion and body was through investing in treatments that directly targeted their individual skin type.
“Home treatments are a great way to maintain your skin, but skin conditions change over time, and just like how we pay regular visits to the hairdresser, our own skin should be taken care of with a similar to higher frequency,” she said.
Years of industry knowledge and a firm understanding of the current trends and influences in the beauty realm led Shelley to recently revamp the spa’s treatment menu and introduce two new skincare partners ‒ the UK’s Linda Meredith and local brand Uspa.
Shelley said both brands are perfectly aligned with the expectations of the hotel’s high profile clientele and the new menu reflects an emphasis on achieving beautiful skin using natural and science-based products and methods.
“From haute oxygen facials to coco body cocoons, the new spa menu offers an indulgent range of treatments to refresh and renew from head to toe,” she said.
Shelley said both Linda Meredith and Uspa had been well received by her savvy clients.
“Our clients do not only look for effective treatments – what we offer must look good, smell good, and feel good, while at the same time deliver proven results,” Shelley said.
“They are educated individuals who approach beauty as a lifestyle and have made a conscious decision to include this as part of their personal wellbeing.”
Shelley said other than interstate and international hotel guests, the gym and pool within the spa attracted locals from around East Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs.
“We mostly work with high profile, high net worth clients looking for a quiet and private place to retreat, away from the public eye,” she said.
To keep her raft of cosmopolitan clients happy, Shelley employs an international team of casuals and full-time staff to work around the clock.
“We have an amazing group of 11 therapists who are quite devoted to the business – four of them have been at the Park Club for over five years,” Shelley said.
“We have a wide range of international therapists from Japan, Korea, Mauritius, Irish and Russian, each owning a wide variety of experience and knowledge.”
Shelley said regular training for both treatments and products helped to keep her team engaged, enthusiastic and at the top of their game, ready to achieve the best result for each and every client.
“It can sometimes be a challenge to keep everyone motivated, but regular and consistent communication is a must,” she said.
Shelly said the 75-minute Park Infusion Facial was one of the signature treatments that guests kept returning for.
The facial, created exclusive for the Park Hyatt by Linda Meredith, starts with a foot cleanse followed with an oxygen machine facial and eye mask, using active botanicals and vitamin infusions.
Shelly said also popular on the spa menu was the Linda Meredith Essentials Package, which included a two hour massage and facial, and the City Bliss, a 90-minute body exfoliation, cocoon wrap and hydration.
“Our most luxurious package is the four hour Destination De-stress which includes lunch, a calming coconut cocoon massage, Linda Meredith V-tox facial and foot cleanse, and a massage with warming stones,” she said.
Shelley said the most expensive treatment didn’t necessarily mean it was the best and it was important that each client’s needs were individually addressed.
“Spas have always been competitive with their prices, however it is important to remember that while there are many different treatments offered at varying price points, a therapist’s skill and the products used are as essential as the treatment offered,” she said.
“Sometimes, the most expensive treatment on the menu is not always the most effective for an individual’s skin type, and the same goes to picking with the cheapest offering. A skilled therapist will be equipped with the knowledge to walk his or her client through everything they would need to achieve their desired outcome, as well as be able to deliver the results.”
We couldn’t agree more.