Review: Champs-Elysées Day Spa
“You look like you have a spring in your step,” beams Champs-Elysées Day Spa coordinator Angela Rewha, as I pad down the lavish wooden staircase and into the relaxation lounge.
She’s right, I think, as I sink into the cushioned comfort of a well-upholstered French colonial chair in a Zen-like state of Nirvana and sip a tangy lemon water designed to flush the toxins from my invigorated system. When I arrived the spring was more a shuffle, courtesy of the weekend prior’s hard labour in the garden on top of week of desk-jockeying, with a dull ache in my shoulders and neck the reminder. Now with a new lease of life, super slack, and chilled, I’m perfectly primed for the weekend ahead.
Rehoused in their seriously swanky new forever-home in the surviving slice of Merivale history that is the character-filled Charlotte Jane Building, Champs Elysées presents a seamless marriage between old world charm and opulence; think stunning leadlight windows and ancient polished wooden surfaces alongside the cutting-edge nous of an iconic, modern, luxurious (and award-winning) spa. It's an oasis of tranquillity – the hustle and bustle of modern living is instantly left on the other side of the door, along with the hurried traffic buzz on Papanui Road, as soon as you enter the Spa’s refined surrounds. What’s more, I can already feel myself relaxing just talking about the upcoming deep tissue massage I’m booked in for with my therapist Misa (Misaki) Sugiura – highlighting my neck and shoulders as requiring particular attention – between sips of a calming herbal tea.
Slipping between the covers into the toasty warmth of the heated massage table within the refined lux of the high-ceilinged treatment room and waiting for Misa to return, I couldn’t be more ready for a massage. There’s a delicious moment of anticipation where I can feel the heat radiating from a hot towel near my feet before they’re enveloped in the soothing warmth in a pre-massage cleanse.
The massage ticks a lot of boxes; it's specifically designed to release tension in individual muscle groups, increase circulation, instigate relaxation and relieve muscular aches and pains. Misa gets to work correcting several weeks of wrongs and manipulating knotted muscles into submission with hot oil and some next-level massage ninja moves.
Despite the pressure required to unwind my body’s tension, along with some hurts-so-good moments as she expertly irons out some serious kinks, I find myself drifting off during the long, luxuriant bliss-inducing strokes. I’ve also become addicted to the intense embrace of the decadent, aroma-infused hot towel finales as she works her massage mojo around my body and annoying tensions and stresses dissipate with the towels’ steam.
There are few better ways to spend 60 minutes of therapeutic pampering as I take my final sip of lemon water, steeling myself before entering Friday night anew.
Champs-Elysées Day Spa
(03) 365 3630
110 Papanui Road