VOGUE : Avoid the awkward moments with this guide to spa and beautician etiquette. Alice Birrell speaks to expert Spa Consultant, Naomi Gregory.

What you should know about going to a spa. 

Your therapist and you both want the same thing: for you to have the most enjoyable and relaxing experience possible at your spa treatment. Naomi Gregory, head of operations at SpaQ, at QT hotels and resorts tells you what you should know about your appointment (and what you should be asking for if you aren’t already). 

Check in, on time

“My number one faux-pas would have to be arriving late for your spa appointment,” says Gregory. “One of the most amazing parts of the experience is taking time to relax and be nurtured and it is hard to do that when you have to rush through getting ready.”

Know what you should expect

You shouldn’t be left wandering around, unsure where to put your belongings, your clothes and when and where you should change into your robe. “Every new guest…is escorted to the various areas of the spa and full instructions are given. As it is a new environment for many guests, we believe it is an important part of the journey.” 

Don’t come if you’re sick

“We definitely recommend staying away,” says Gregory. Enough said.

You can nominate the gender of your therapist

“Absolutely!” confirms Gregory. “Your spa time should be about you. When you book, if there is any specific request you’d like taken into account, do make sure to tell the receptionist.  If the therapist you really wanted happened to become unavailable, I’d recommend ensuring the reception team leave a call back note on your booking.”

You should be spoken to about your treatment

A therapist should be in conversation with you says Gregory. There should be “scheduled breaks between appointments to allow time for your therapist to speak with you before and after your appointment. If your spa therapist doesn’t take this time to find out about you, then it is very difficult for them to deliver the right treatment.”

Don’t be afraid to speak up

“If the pressure is not right, the products make you feel uncomfortable or you are feeling cold or hot, make sure you communicate how you’re feeling,” says Gregory. “All good therapists should be regularly enquiring how you are finding the various aspects of the treatment, but…you'll enjoy your experience more if you communicate clearly what is and isn’t working.” 

You shouldn’t always have to decide which treatment you want before you book

“My mood, my body and my skin changes so I love a spa experience which enables me to customise an experience based on how I feel on the day rather than what I thought I might like several weeks before when I booked.”

 

Read the article here

QT Sydney’s spaQ Crowned New South Wales Top Spa

QT Sydney’s luxurious day spa, spaQ, has been recognised for its commitment to delivering the highest level of service at the Tourism Accommodation Awards for Excellence last night, awarded Health Club & Spa Facilities of the Year 2014. The Tourism Accommodation Australia (NSW) Awards for Excellence are recognised as the most prestigious hospitality awards, honouring high achievement in a wide range of categories in the accommodation industry. Located in QT Sydney, sophistication and relaxation are infused at spaQ to create a new designer spa concept that is geared to deliver the highest level of spa experiences. Guests are transported to a place of calm and relaxation, with a desirable menu and quirky design aesthetics that mirror the heritage of QT Sydney’s location, above two of Sydney’s most historical buildings. Rather than insisting on pre-selection of treatments, spaQ encourages its unique philosophy called ‘freshly picked’ which allows guests to specially craft and design their treatments on the day of consultation, adding to the designer experience. The menu features an array of different treatment options, including massages, customised facials and body treatments by Uspa and Kerstian Florian. spaQ facilities include 6 treatment rooms, a men’s barber, a Hammam inspired steam room,  a relaxation lounge, full amenity male and female change facilities and spa boutique. ‘We are thrilled spaQ Sydney has been acknowledged as the best in an impressive line-up of leading spa operators,’ said spaQ Development and Operations, Naomi Gregory. “ Like all spaQ day spas, spaQ Sydney prides itself on delivering a unique and relaxing experience”. This achievement marks one of many for spaQ Sydney which were nominated and made the shortlist for Best Hotel Spa Australasia at the ASPA Awards of Excellence and has featured on the Conde Nast Traveller 2013 ‘Hot Spas Lists’ in the U.S. and Russia.   Read more at http://www.etbtravelnews.global

Read more at http://middle-east.etbtravelnews.global/217418/qt-sydneys-spaq-crowned-new-south-wales-top-spa/

The exquisite Bay of Fires Lodge Spa - Open Oct 1st, 2013

In late September I arrived in Tassie with the spa team to put the finishing touches on the Bay of Fires Lodge Spa facility to open in time for the first walk of the season.  The Bay of Fires Lodge is located in the northeastern coastline of Tasmania (about 2.5 hours from Launceston) and it is drop dead gorgeous.   The Lodge Spa facility is equally beautiful.  It consists of a large lounge which serves as an arrival, chill-out and post treatment space with a fireplace (it can get chilly down in those parts) stunning views of the Bay and a full library of art, landscape, heath and wellness books mostly from Tassie.  There is one treatment room and a outdoor bath that has to be one of the most beautiful on the planet (see pictures below)  Li'tya products are on the menu and Cecilia and Monica the therapists taking care of the weary walking guests, are exquisite too.  

The concept delivers a wonderful wellness experience enhanced by the pristine natural surroundings.

Whether you are a walker or not (I am told the walk is achievable for most with a moderate level of fitness) this experience is a must.  It is untouched, eco "glamping" with beautiful azure waters, lots of wildlife, open fires, cosy rooms, great wine and the food is delicious.  

I am booking my walk for the New Year and the presence of the spa, has sealed the deal! I'll be needing that as a lure and as a reward!   Check it out http://www.bayoffires.com.au/lodge/spa/ 

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Conde Nast Best New Spa's in the World 2013

It's the annual list to watch and I am so excited to see two spa's I love to work with in Conde Nast's line up this year.  spaQ Sydney is listed alongside Opium Spa at The Siam in Bangkok.  Congratulations to both properties.

spaQ Port Douglas launch... Easter 2013

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Cairns Post, Wednesday April 03, 2013, page 28

Block out your worries with a pamper session 

The Far North's latest spa at Port Douglas refects the vibrancy of the town's newest hotel group, QT Hotels and Resorts. Located at QT Port Douglas, spaQ is described as "vibrant, fresh, modern and relaxing" by development and operations manager Naomi Gregory. It extends the family of spaQ which includes the Gold Coast and Sydney. "Rather than insisting on a pre-selection of treatments, spaQ encourages guests to reserve a block of time and not make a treatment selection until they've used the therapist's knowledge to fit in with the groove of the individual,"  Ms Gregory said. "SpaQ Port Douglas cleverly uses design, colour and quirky features to mirror the vibrant beach-chic personality of Port Douglas."  Ms Gregory said.  The spa features an understated canvas of muted tones and complimented with splashes of orange, yellow. blue and green. "The effect is striking and cheerful yet still manages to create a tranquil feel and is the ideal platform to relax," she said.  The spa serves La Gaia teas, including an exclusive spaQ blend, served in quirky, mis-matched cups. Snug sheepskin rugs adorn the relaxation lounge chairs and the team is decked out in light and bright yellow and red bamboo-print uniforms. The look of the spa is definitely light-hearted and fun and so it was very important to fill tile space with a quality guest experience and to deliver that in a fresh way," Ms Gregory said. "We played up the designer concept by including an accessories section on the menu and introduced a consultative and personalised approach with the freshly picked spa experience."  SpaQ facilities include five spacious treatment rooms with one dedicated to couples, a reception and retail area, male and female change rooms and a relaxation lounge. The menu features four different massages, a range of facials and body treatments by USpa, an accessories section with a creative range of 30 minute add on treatments, organic sunless tanning and four signature packages including The Weekend Warrior and The Plush Princess. 

Hotels and Resorts is the concept of AHL, one of Australia's premier entertainment, hospitality, tourism and leisure companies. 

Bay of Fires, Tasmania

I had the most extraordinary introduction to my new Eco Spa Consulting project Bay of Fires Lodge, Tasmania.   For those of you who are unaware, Bay of Fires is walk-in/walk-out gig only (or helicopter for bigger supplies) so my the trip was very memorable.  The location is breathtakingly exquisite and the project potential vast.  Stay tuned, this is going to be a beauty!

"Best Beach Spa" - Injidup Spa Retreat

It's always a wonderful delight to see Injidup mentioned in the press.  Thanks to the team as always for complementing our naturally beautiful landscape.  Here's what Michelle Bennett from The Age had to say...

 Image of Injidup Beach by  www.lanewayphoto.com

Image of Injidup Beach by www.lanewayphoto.com

Best beach spa - Injidup Spa Retreat

This coastal spa near the Margaret River wine region is the ultimate in luxury, peace and quiet. All you'll hear is waves crashing on the beach beneath your private villa's deck as you watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean - perfect enhancements to the relaxing treatments at the retreat's spa. The three-hour Revive package - a sea-salt body exfoliation, green-clay body mask, foot treatment, detox bath and 90-minute massage - is a good indication what's available.

Yallingup, Western Australia; see injidupsparetreat.com.au.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/travel/holiday-type/luxury/the-feel-good-factor-20130307-2fmk5.html#ixzz2MzqeLcAP

Spa Life - Two nuggets of Gold

Kris Abbey from Spa Life visited the Gold Coast late last year and stayed at QT Gold Coast and Hilton Surfers Paradise.