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Ubika Spa: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Australia

By:
Joanna Hall
 

Where Is It: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.

Why Go: It’s an impressive, full-service spa and beauty salon.

Best For: Girls’ weekend escapes and couples’ retreats. 

Three Things We Loved: The huge Sanctuary Suite, the option to enjoy treatments together and its uplifting environment.

The Ultimate Factor: The Sanctuary Suite - why not splash out and get it all to yourself for an afternoon!

Overview:

There are so many things to love about a girls’ getaway to the Hunter Valley besides wine tasting and fine cuisine, and one is the opportunity to indulge in some pampering spa treatments. Fortunately, if you’re staying at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, you won’t have to venture far to enjoy many of the region’s activities, which includes having a relaxing massage or skin boosting facial. Nestled in Lovedale, in the heart of the Lower Hunter wine country near Cessnock, the resort has two-bedroom, two bathroom villas, or three-bedroom options ideal for friends’ and girls’ getaways. As for facilities it has it all, including a fine dining venue, world-class golf, a gym and a full-service Ubika Spa complete with a hairdressing salon. The name Ubika hails from Indian Sanskrit meaning “to grow”, and the spa menu features an impressive lineup of therapies for both men and women aimed to regenerate and restore - perfect for a weekend away. 

The large facility is located on the ground floor of the main building at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, with facilities including a luxury Sanctuary Suite which can accommodate groups of up to 12 people, a romantic couple’s suite featuring a private spa bath, and treatment rooms including one for Vichy Shower Treatments, a steam room, and a spray tanning booth. Options to whet the appetite include couple’s or solo massage in a variety of styles including aromatherapy and hot stones, indulgent body exfoliations and body wraps, and soothing facials including intensive hydration and ultimate anti-ageing. Hands and feet are not forgotten either if they’re in need, with a range of manicures and pedicures on offer, and the adjoining hair salon the place to enjoy a complete service menu to complete any pampering package.

The Decor:

Unlike many spas of its type, on arrival into the Ubika Spa you’ll find it bathed in light and spacious as well as welcoming. Even the corridors are wide, adding to a sense of space, and the treatment rooms are elegant and simple; the decor makes use of a palette of natural colours including chocolate coloured wood, warm biscuit-colour washed walls, caramel towels and plenty of fresh flowers. They’re also heated to a pleasant temperature, and filled with lusty aromas. The couples suite features a gorgeous white marble sunken spa bath, surrounded by candles, and the area for mani-pedis has a lineup of relaxing off white spa recliners. The Sanctuary Suite is truly impressive and is tucked away in a quiet corner of the spa with a comfortable lounge area in which to relax, and a huge, elevated hot tub; the decor embraces natural colours, with a mix of rich blonde and chocolate wood, natural fibre mats, splashes of green from the silk cushions on the couch to the green and white mosaic tiles on the spa. As you can imagine there’s everything you could possibly need, including fluffy bathrobes, soft slippers and lush green towels.

The Treatment:

The first part of the treatment for my friend and I was some time in the Sanctuary Suite, allowing for a proper catch up in a relaxing environment, helped along by a plate of gorgeous freshly cut exotic fruits and a glass of sparkling wine. The huge spa tub offered an additional opportunity to kick back for an indulgent soak before our massage treatments began; any tension from my two-and-a-half hour drive from Sydney, and from my friend’s 24/7 mothering duties, quickly melted away. The hour we enjoyed chatting and soaking slipped by in a flash, and before long we were collected to adjourn to a treatment room for two for our massages. We both opted for a hot stone massage, a favourite treatment for a variety of reasons. It’s a deeply soothing and healing massage, especially if you have any aches or pains as we both did, albeit for different reasons, using heated smooth basalt stones in conjunction with aromatherapy oils to massage your muscles. To get technical for a moment, the hot stones not only sooth muscles but also expand your blood vessels, which encourages blood flow throughout the body. As a result, they can have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation. Our therapists were top notch, constantly checking on the pressure they were using being just right, and after we were finished, we relaxed for while enjoying infused water before heading back to our villa.

The Verdict:

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley is an ideal place to stay for a romantic escape or a girls’ getaway for many reasons, but the Ubika Spa adds yet another. Time passed quickly in this lovely spa, in particular the Sanctuary Suite which is a great way to reconnect with your partner, friends or family in a soothing and nourishing environment. The massage was great too - next time we’ll have to try a facial, and maybe take a spin through the beauty salon to take such a pampering experience to the next level.

Ubika Spa at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley is located at 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale, NSW 2325, 02 4991 0000, www.crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au. The hotel is part of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), with packages ranging from a spa day with lunch, to golf packages which can be included in your accommodation.

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