The Te Aroha Domain House is officially ready for beauty business after the Te Aroha Mineral Spas celebrated the move of its beauty and massage arm with an open home last weekend.
At the open home, locals were invited to wander the rooms of the recently restored 1908 Edwardian landmark. Matamata-Piako District Council tourism manager Aimee Davies says the day had an amazing turnout.
"People [were] eager to see what we've done with the place. The feedback and compliments we received blew our staff away, with many commenting on how lovely the rooms look and how peaceful, inviting and homely the place feels."
The beauty and massage services have been operating out of a single room in the mineral spas building on the site of the original No. 1 Bath House for a long time, but over the years demand has dramatically increased and the services were often booked out two weeks in advance.
"Every month, we're turning away paying customers, locals and tourists, so this move [goes] a great way in meeting some of this demand," Davies says.
With the move to the Domain House, the massage and beauty team is now able to provide a greater range of services, including couples' massages, pamper parties, group bookings of four or five people at the same time or mothers and daughters who would like to be treated together.
Following a massage or facial, customers can enjoy a cup of herbal tea in a specially-made relaxation area or on the veranda overlooking the Te Aroha Domain.
Davies says: "It truly is a special building in the most stunning spot – we're thrilled our skilled beauty therapists are able to treat our customers in this new space."
For the past four months, the Domain House received some much-needed repairs and maintenance to prepare it for commercial use, including repiling, air conditioning installed and the veranda replaced. It is now home to a mix of one and two-bed treatment rooms and a dedicated manicure and pedicure area.
"We are so proud of the modern, tranquil space we've created and have enjoyed working with the original features inside and out – Domain House is back in business and she's beautiful," Davies says.
The Domain House is a former tea house from the early 1900s which was previously used as a venue for hire, but it has had little to no interest in the past 15 years.
Meanwhile, work on the new spa facility for Te Aroha, approved in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, is also progressing. In mid-November, an expert team took soil samples from the Domain to investigate how stable the ground was. This will help to decide where a new day spa for Te Aroha could be located.
The project governance group of five people, including mayor Ash Tanner, is currently looking at critical risks, like whether there is enough geothermal water to support a larger day spa operation.
Once the risks have been analysed and the group is confident they can be managed, the focus for 2022 will be to develop concept designs for the facilities.
In July, the governance group conducted a study tour around other New Zealand spas to gain inspiration. Mayor Ash Tanner says in terms of design, the group would consider a mixture of mineral water and normal heated pools as well as pools that allow multiple people to relax in.
"We would also like to [incorporate] these pools in a bush setting because we have the mountain in Te Aroha."
The council has committed $18.9 million to the project over the next 10 years, but it will only go ahead if the business case stacks up.
To make a booking at the current Te Aroha Mineral Spas or Domain House click here.