Earth Energies Sanctuary provides a holistic getaway with spa treatments aimed to re-energise.
WORDS JENNY RUDD / PHOTOS FELICITY JEAN WITTERS + SUPPLIED
A few hours after arriving at Earth Energies Sanctuary, I can’t for the life of me remember what felt so stressful this morning.
The new spa overlooks the Hauraki Plains and we’re here for two days of peace and relaxation. It’s definitely working. I am with two girlfriends, Sarah and Mia. Between us, we have an ever-fidgety tangle of children and businesses, so we’re looking forward to therapies designed to reduce stress and bring balance. Each stay is personalised to exactly what you need, and only one set of guests is hosted at a time so we have exclusive use of the 80-hectare retreat and therapy rooms.
We drive up from Tauranga in under two hours, and owner and therapist Marie shows us around the two-bedroomed cabin while her husband, Duncan, lights the fire, and chefs from Orchard Providores arrive with our three-course dinner for the evening.
As well as the lightest of smoked salmon with tart and sweet fennel and radish, there are fillet steaks and mustard mash with roasted greens, and cinnamon-perfumed fruit crumble. The fridge is stocked with eggs and sausages from the farm, veges for smoothies, and there’s a welcome basket of pâtés, chocolate, crackers and lots of fruit. Abundance and generosity are at the heart of all things at Earth Energies Sanctuary.
We settle in, then head up to the main house through the farm, past plump, proud chickens and a herd of red Devon cows. We all do an out loud ‘wow’ when we see the view from the luxurious spa rooms. You can see forever across the Hauraki Plains, Firth of Thames, Kaimai Ranges and Coromandel.
There are two treatment rooms and a consultation space, making the retreat perfect for one or two couples or a small group like ours. Over two days, we each enjoy a combination of treatments, which Marie planned according to our needs.
Climbing into this air bath of radiant heat, our chattering brains and mouths slowly quietened until Sarah said, “How long do you think we’ve been in here?” Half an hour, it turned out. Total peace.
This treatment is somewhere between massage and pilates. Marie encourages our bodies to relax using gentle stretches and pressure on points of the body and head. Tensions held deep in tissues and bones are released, and new pathways are created for energy to flow. It is both calming and envigorating.
Marie’s voice guides us through an easy-to-follow relaxation technique, which we can download onto our phones to take away with us. It helps rewire the brain to encourage positive thoughts and behaviour patterns.
We are all suited to different foods and stimulus. The Zyto bioscanner makes personalised recommendations according to its results from a scan. We loved this clever machine and enjoyed learning about the oils and tinctures it recommended for each of us.
Looking into the few inches of warm water in the float pod, I wondered how it held 500kg of dissolved Epsom salts. But, once lying back, free from all stimulus, you don’t think about these things. Instead, you drift into a state which can be confidently described as bliss.
Marie’s passion is oils. AromaTouch becomes a journey of wellness through botanicals, as pressure points absorb the fragrance of nature.
At the end of each day of spa treatments we return to the warm cabin and delicious meal waiting for us. You can bring your own food to cook in the well-appointed kitchen but, after sampling the three-course meal on the first night, we opted to do the same again the next day. Chef Sarah arrived laden with more goodies: baked feta and homemade crackers; Morrocan lamb and jewelled rice; and delicious panna cotta desserts with sharp raspberry coulis and a crispy chocolate topping.
Marie made up a pot of bath salts specially designed for each of us and put them in our cabin’s bathroom before we arrived. Sarah had citrus, Mia had lavender and Ylang Ylang, and I had frankincense. These special touches show how much Marie and Duncan enjoy looking after their guests.
Duncan has built a workshop for Marie to make botanical balms and creams from her favourite plant, kawakawa. She has created rich moisturising lotions and healing balms and talked us through what the creams are for and how to use them best.
On the second morning, we asked to go on a walk, so Marie took us on a fantastic hike through the farm’s gullies, streams and bush, ending in a clearing encircled by six ancient trees. We drank kawakawa tea and sat on cosy blankets in the morning’s warmth and meditated, guided by Marie, as the sun streamed between the trees. One of the best hours of my life.