Reporter Christel Price visited the Body and Day Spa at the Hiwinui Country Estate, which is located a short 15 minute drive from Palmerston North.

A city girl at heart, escaping to the country is generally not at the top of my to-do list, unless it involves pampering. So for a trip to the Hiwinui Body and Day Spa I was extremely happy to make an exception.

Upon arriving at the Hiwinui Country Estate, I'm greeted by managing director, Julia Willson. A family business, the estate was opened by her parents, Jan and Dave Stewart in 2002 and is set on 1600 acres of farmland.

The body and day spa is a feature of the estate and offers a range of head to toe services, from luxury packages to standard beauty therapy treatments. On my agenda; a private spa, followed by a full body massage and Decléor Aromassage Facial. Let the pampering begin!


After changing into a white gown and slippers, I'm taken through the lodge and out to the private outdoor spa. The spa sits in a covered section, with a schist stone fireplace, surrounded by lush trees. While in the spa I'm treated to a glass of bubbles and a fruit pot. The faint sound of birds chirping in the trees adds to the serene experience.

After unwinding in the spa, it's time for my full body massage. Taken to a candle lit room, the hour long massage begins at the head, neck, shoulders and arms, before moving down to the legs and feet, finishing with the back. A relaxing blend of essential oils is rubbed into my skin with sweeping massaging movements, sending me into a sleepy, blissful state.

The massage is followed by the Decléor Aromassage Facial, which is designed to de-stress and replenish the skin. The facial involves cleansing, toning, exfoliation, aromapressure, aromadrainage and moisturising of the skin, all with the French Decléor products. The rejuvenating experience leaves my face feeling soft and fresh. Do I now look a few years younger? Here's hoping.

After slowly awakening from a tranquil state, a coffee is waiting for me in the lounge. I am seated by a wide window where I can appreciate the lodge's stunning backdrop. The first thing that strikes me is the view of the Ruahine ranges. The back of the estate features a small lake and private lawn, surrounded by trees.

The Hiwinui Country Estate has earned a 5-star Qualmark rating. After experiencing a small taste of what it has to offer, I understand why. Along with the body and day spa services, the estate offers boutique accommodation and is a popular wedding venue.

After relaxing for a number of hours, I'm not sure I want to leave. It has been a luxury escape from day to day life, a pampering in a stunning and serene setting. Before driving away I pause and wonder, can I just stay, forever? Unfortunately, the real world awaits.

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