The spa scene in Auckland is stepping up, with the Pullman Hotel the latest to extend its range of indulgent offerings, including the introduction of a spa cuisine menu in line with international trends to turn a trip for a treatment into an extended experience.
The Pullman is also about to launch an eye-catching gold leaf facial which it says is a first in this country. "Other treatments and products include flecks of gold, this facial uses pure 24 carat gold leaf to cover the entire face," says spa director Steve Bartholomew. Its local developer, Nahaia Russ, of Nahaia Active Organics reckons the gold has a re-energising effect. Food standard gold leaf is foiled on the face after a cleansing facial and absorbs for a radiant finish. The facial costs $180 and is one of a number of new treatments at the spa, which has also introduced French marine brand Thalgo and an express manicure service.
The moves at the hotel, which changed hands from the Hyatt a year or so back, are aimed at bringing a wider client base to its spa, which boasts a 25-metre pool, gym facilities and six treatment rooms. The Pullman is up against the five-star Langham's Chuan Spa which has set the city's luxury benchmark and the busy and savvy East Day Spa at SkyCity Grand Hotel, which has recently expanded.
Although hotel guests are an important client base for all three spas, the repeat local market is particularly sought-after. The Pullman says wedding parties are among the groups who can be catered for with private bookings. The ability to offer guests food designed with well-being in mind is a bonus. The hotel's chefs have come up with healthy low-fat, high-protein snacks and meals rich in antioxidants and omegas. Examples include free-range chicken with fig and organic quinoa; beetroot and pear carpaccio with toasted walnuts and goat's cheese and tomato broth with soy bean curd, shitake mushrooms, water chestnuts and sea lettuce.
Spring Foot Spa is a new arrival in Queenstown, dreamed up by Ina Bajaj, the woman behind East Day Spa. Inspired by the social atmosphere of traditional Asian foot spas, Spring adds modern touches such as iPads or iPods on request in a unisex atmosphere where clients who have checked out of their hotel might happily while away the time with a glass of bubbles or a warm drink until their flight out of town. Foot services, including reflexology, massage and pedicures, are a specialty, with private areas for facials and body massage and the likes of threading, waxing and brow and lash services.
The menu is tourist-town clever, offering a range of $25 add-ons and more expensive packages with names such as Jet-Lag Remedy, Snow Patrol, Trail Blazer and Hangover Cure. One feature is Balinese body massage. Bajaj, who has taken East Day Spa to Melbourne and Bali, hopes to franchise the colourful Spring concept.
New Zealand's latest hairdresser of the year is Mana Dave of Blaze salon in Newmarket. Dave took the title, which he also won in 2005 and 2010, at Schwarzkopf Hair Expo in Sydney this month. We show two of three striking looks showing off his cutting, colouring and styling skills.
Dave was picked this year to be part of Redken's international mentorship programme, providing opportunities for more overseas experience.
Servilles also did well at Expo, winning three business awards against Australian finalists, including best educational organisation for the third year in a row. The company runs its own hairdressing academy in central Auckland. Servilles was also named business of the year and won an excellence in marketing award. "This is more than a prestigious award, it's an acknowledgement from some of our most experienced peers of the passionate and innovative approach we apply to our business," said owner Paul Serville, who is about to launch his salon business programme across the Tasman.