The Edge of Indulgence

By Penny Gardiner

Every so often I pamper myself, and today was just that sort of day. It was an on-shore stormy beach afternoon, the gnarly type of sand-in-your-face day you avoid by comfort shopping with the credit card or lazing by the pool with tiny umbrellas in your cocktails.

Avoiding the urge to splurge, I instead checked into the Reef House Spa at Palm Cove, a short drive north of Cairns in Queensland, for one of their signature treatment spas – the Mala Mayi.

The treatments, so the brochure championed, fused ancient Aboriginal healing techniques with bush botanics, making use of indigenous plants such as herbs, kelp, fruits, nuts, ochre, peat muds, and desert and river salts. I was intrigued.

Inside The Reef House, a certain calm and tranquility descended as I entered the tropical garden that so richly reflects this part of the tropical north Queensland. They have carefully integrated many unique elements such as white washed walls, terracotta tiles and rich native timbers. A freshwater moat frames the building, with access via a wooden footbridge, creating a psychological and physical buffer between the outside world (like the winds whipping Palm Beach) and the sanctuary within.

The open-air reception area on the ground floor flows through to three tranquil treatment rooms, with an internal staircase leading up to the ‘Serenity Verandah’ and two dual treatment rooms, each with a private Jacuzzi.

State of the art fittings include Vichy Showers and a magnificent leaf-shaped signature massage table handcrafted from ancient recycled Melaleuca wood. Casually elegant, this exotic day spa features Li’Tya spa products? which integrate the precious qualities of the Australian earth with its native plants and spirit. Treatments offered combine the wisdom of Aboriginal spirituality, healing methods of aromatherapy, and herbalist principles to produce powerful experiences for the body and soul.

I chose the complete full body rejuvenation experience. With this treatment they cleanse, energise and exfoliate, then calm and revitalise the spirit as you are cocooned in warm mapi mud whilst submitting to a Paudi scalp massage. I followed all this with their exquisite ‘rain therapy’ and then finally surrendered my body to the optional Kodo massage.

I walked out into the swimming pool area feeling like my tired and weather-beaten body had been rejuvenated. They’d cleansed my body, cleared my mind, and soothed my soul. ??“Waiter, the cocktail list please.”

??FACTS:

Therapies include facials, head and body treatments, specialty massages, Mala Mayi signature treatment, Paloma hand treatment, Gubbera Kodo stones, aromatherapy massage and ‘Time For Him’ treatments.

Mala mayi Body Treatment 120 minutes a$289 (with Kodo Body massage) 90 minutes a$240 (with Kodo Body massage)?Mali mapi 60 minutes a$155 (without Kodo Body massage)

The Sebel Reef House & Spa, 99 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove, Queensland 4879
P: +61 7 4055 3633 F: +61 7 4055 3305 mirvac.com

Getting There:
We would like to thank Tourism Queensland and Tropical North Queensland for their assistance in visiting Queensland.? We flew to Cairns courtesy of Air New Zealand who offer a regular daily service from Auckland.