It's all about you, dahhhhling
We start by scrubbing your feet,” the devilishly handsome masseur says as he lifts my feet into warm water and begins massaging my calves with a tangy, orange salt. I feel slightly guilty getting scrubbed as smooth as velvet by a crouching masseur.
You can’t blame me for this twinge of guilt. My partner and I had just had a 30-minute siesta in the spa’s relaxation room and now we were getting the royal treatment.
Illuminated just enough to make out the shape of several creamy leather chaise lounges, the room beckons you to recline into the soothing shape of your chaise as you sip on aromatic herbal tea and tune into music that lulls you into a dream-like state.
Before that we had been led through the vast beauty bounty hidden within the spa’s fantastic Indigenous-slash-Thai-slash-New York-styled labyrinth. Sprawling over the entire second floor of the Darling Hotel, the spa comes equipped with 16 luxurious treatment rooms, an authentic Turkish Hammam, couple’s suites and every beauty treatment you could imagine.
As a world first, several of the treatments use Lit’ya, a brand of natural skincare and spa treatments that embodies both the spirit and ingredients of Indigenous culture.
Today we are being treated to SUNDÃRI, an all-natural, anti-ageing skincare range that derives its inspiration from a mixture of ancient botanical remedies and modern-day science.
With every stroke of the glorious scrub my guilt subsides. I glance over at my partner who, sans guilt, is lapping up the experience like a sultan.
Soon it’s robes off and onto two separate marshmallow-like beds to prepare for our royal experience. We are introduced to our second pair of hands (the royalty massage is a mixture of Swiss, Balinese and deep tissue massage performed by two technicians) and sink our heads into the marshmallow’s face-hole. We are no longer allowed to look at each other.
Although we were advised to concentrate on our breathing, our minds boggle over the thought of what the other half could be thinking or experiencing. This exotic mind-play adds to the sensual experience of Sydney’s five-star day spa.
Before we know it, there are hands everywhere. A kaleidoscope of strokes warms the oil on our backs. Like synchronised swimmers, the team of masseuses change speed, tempo and stroke as though they were trained prima-ballerinas – each movement perfectly executed.
From the small of our backs to the base of our necks, no inch of skin was left untouched, no muscle tension remained. Just before slipping into a trance-like nirvana, hot stones are rolled over my spine and placed into the palm of my hands. This sensation is both energising and electrifying.
When asked to turn over for round two, where our stomachs, legs and head are given much coveted attention, I can hear my partner’s steady breathing and I smile, knowing he was almost slipping into a deep sleep.
Sadly, the pampering comes to an end and we are left to slip into our plush robes and head to the second (yes, there’s a second) relaxation room to sip on a glass of refreshing watermelon juice and nibble on dried fruit. There are other people sitting here and I’m hard-pressed to find a single couple not holding hands, big smiles on their satisfied faces.
Like caviar and champagne, this Rolls Royce of a massage will get you in tune with your body and theirs, and become a favourite with those frazzled, burnt-out couples.
WHAT: The Enchanted Royalty Massage, The Spa at The Darling Hotel, Sydney.
PERFECT FOR: Adding the ohhhh in your oh-la-la.
TRADING HOURS: Monday to Thursday: 9am-8pm
Friday to Sunday: 8am-9pm
CONTACT: (02) 99657 8088
FULL MENU OF SERVICES: www.thedarling.com.au/the-spa
ALSO GOOD FOR:
Half-day couple retreats that include an array of treatments, a session in the private aromatic tub, lunch and a glass of fine bubbly.