Pick and choose from a wide variety of treatments at city spas.
The city's most sumptuous spa sits within the five-star Langham hotel and guests can stay in designated spa suites. Adjoining is a gymnasium, heated outdoor pool and jacuzzi. Traditional Chinese medicine principles underpin all Langham spas and some of the world's top beauty ranges are used including Natura Bisse and Thalgo. The Ming Gold Facial is a speciality and there is a separate men's menu.
TRY the Aotearoa Aura, a flowing body massage and facial using native ingredients including kelp, clay and moisturising manuka honey at $210 for 90 minutes or $400 a couple.
* Chuan Spa, The Langham, 83 Symonds St, Auckland CBD, ph (09) 300 2960.
Popular and busy, East conveys tranquil calm and admirable efficiency, drawing on its owner's experience with sister spas in Wellington, Melbourne and Bali.
Staff are an eclectic mix and Balinese, Thai and Indian influences abound in treatments. As befits its location in a top-class inner-city hotel, East is used to dealing with male clients and couples and offers a good variety of massage. Threading is a specialty. Overseas ranges include Elemis and Moroccan Oil.
TRY the Snowberry premium facial, using a New Zealand range of bio-active skincare at $120 for an hour. Can be combined with a Bee Venom Mask, using the same Nelson-sourced venom reputedly slathered on Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker-Bowles before the Royal Wedding.
* East Day Spa at SkyCity Grand, 123 Albert St, Auckland CBD, ph (09) 363 7050.
With its 25m heated indoor pool, sauna and fitness facilities you can stretch before retiring to the spacious spa, which includes Kiwi touches in the otherwise pan-international décor. New Zealand oils feature in massage, of which hot stone is a speciality. There's also wraps and facials aplenty, with Elemis and Guinot products used.
TRY the Traditional New Zealand Greenstone Massage in which hand-picked pieces of pounamu (NZ greenstone or jade) are used to assist in a rhythmic 75-minute ritual priced at $150.
* Spa at the Pullman hotel, cnr Waterloo Quadrant and Princes St, Auckland CBD, ph (09) 355 1242.
This small spa overlooks the pretty garden at luxury boutique hotel Mollies. On a sunny day the lawn is the perfect secluded spot to wait for your nails to dry over high tea. With Dermalogica facials and the natural Sodashi spa line there's enough to choose from on a tightly edited treatment menu.
TRY the Spa Lunch Package for a mini-facial and mini mani-pedi followed by a two-course lunch with a glass of wine in Mollies restaurant at $300 for two hours.
* Sanctuary Spa at Mollies, 6 Tweed St, St Mary's Bay, Auckland, ph (09) 376 3489.
Clever chain combines the best of Eastern reflexology and deep tissue massage with Western expectations of spa-style surrounds. Appealing to both men and women, pressure-point massages are designed to de-stress and rebalance. There's oil and hot stone options also. Chinese-style pedicures (without polish) of a foot spa, nail trim, and skin sloughing cost $49 and take under half an hour.
TRY the Chinese Traditional Reflexology for a foot spa with neck, back and arm massage, followed by an intense foot massage at $89 for one hour.
* Bliss Reflexology: City, ph (09) 368 4698; Newmarket, (09) 520 6818; Takapuna (09) 489 4698; Air New Zealand Koru Lounge, Auckland Airport (09) 255 7055.
Go girly in Newmarket or Takapuna, where you'll find Lucy's pretty Powder Rooms alongside cutting-edge Stephen Marr salons. The beauty havens feature results-based, paraben-free skincare. Products include Osmosis, Ilsci, Mario Badescu and the Sans bio-active natural line developed locally by Lucy Vincent-Marr. Pamper packages, nail care, makeup and lash applications and spray tans are specialties.
TRY the Sans Bio Active Body Scrub for a gentle all-over workout featuring exfoliation and massage for $100 for 60 minutes or the Organic Spray Tan at $65.
* Lucy & the Powder Room, 16 Morrow St, Newmarket, ph (09) 524 6702 (closed Sundays) and at The Department Store, 10 Northcroft St, Takapuna, ph (09) 488 0585 (closed Sunday and Monday).
Top Auckland salon prescribes Kerastase products for your hair type and condition. (Other salons offer similar treatments, but Bettjemans comes in an indulgent separate spa).
TRY the Deluxe ritual for a treatment which includes a hair mask, neck shoulder and scalp massage and a blowdry to leave your hair looking red-carpet ready at $172 for 90 minutes.
* Bettjemans, 52 Coates Ave, Orakei, Auckland, ph (09) 522 8030 (closed Sunday and Monday).
With six Auckland locations (plus two in Wellington and one in Hamilton), Forme spas dispense a successful mix of rejuvenation and relaxation, from machine-based treatments to spa parties with catered lunches. Ranges include Bioelements and Environ.
TRY the Bioelements Facial, using a mix of cosmeceutical, botanical and aromatherapy-based ingredients, priced from $115 to $149 for 55 minutes.
* Forme Ponsonby, Mt Eden, and Parnell are closest to the CBD. For details and other locations see the website above.
At its six Auckland clinics, About Face's skin therapies extend to laser and light treatments. Ranges include Clarins, Priori, md Formulations, Ultraceuticals and Environ.
TRY the Pure Fiji Island Wrap Ritual for a top-to-toe 80-minute indulgence using frangipani oil from the tropics for $155.
* About Face, 415 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden, is closest to the CBD, ph (09) 623 8400.
Authentic, holistic Ayurvedic approach with contemporary consumer consideration. The spa uses its own Ayurda skincare line in massage and facials. Services range from waxing and threading to body steaming and Shirodhara, in which oil pours on to the third eye. Short massage sessions for children and teens are a speciality.
TRY the Ayurda Balancing Facial as an introduction to Ayurvedic beauty ($110 for an hour.)
* Spa Ayurda, 213 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland, ph (09) 360 0007 (closed Sunday and Monday).By Janetta Mackay Email Janetta