New Zealand is a country known for it's thermal springs and mineral waters that have medicinal and cultural importance which is why this all new spa in Rotorua on New Zealand's North Island is going to drive tourists to the lakeside town.
There are lots of fancy spa's in the world, however this one really is quite different - you will not want to leave. The attention to detail, the uniqueness of the experiences and the quality of the spa were all outstanding you could not help but be impressed from the moment you walk into the building.
We visited and indulged in both the Sanctuary and the Restorative Journey, spending some four hours in pure relaxation bliss! Here are my top 5 reasons to visit Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa in Rotorua, New Zealand.
1. Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa is brand new!
The spa has only been open since June 2023! Everything is brand new and it is in immaculate condition. Your friends may have travelled to Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand - but unless they have been there since June 2023 they have not been to Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa, you will be the first to go!
2. Wai Ariki is locally owned
The spa is owned by local iwi, Ngāti Whakaue, which means a visit here is supporting the local people continue to succeed. Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa takes visitors on a cultural experience whilst reviving the senses - it really was a blend of the two which I found unique and different. The journey started with a guided tour of the cultural experience as you are walked through the Restorative Journey before you dive in.
3. A visit to a spa is forced relaxation
Wai Ariki is a great place for a relaxing break on a travel itinerary - I am normally flat out on overseas adventures packing my itinerary with as much activity as I can possibly squeeze in. Up early and out late my travels are normally go, go go! It was great to slow down the pace and take a moment to refresh. And with a visit that combined both the Sanctuary and the Restorative Journey I was in relaxation heaven for a good three hours!
4. Amazing saunas
The sauna room, a part of the Restorative Journey, included three options being salt, aromatherapy and hay - yes hay! I had never even heard of a hay sauna, let alone been in one. It was relaxing and unique and followed by a visit to the refrigerator room where you could pour a bucket of ice cold water over your body or scoop up a handful of fresh ice to bring your temperature down. Whilst that may not sound like something you may want to do - trust me it was invigorating!
5. Smooth your skin with mud
The final part of the Restorative Journey involved taking a bowl of mud and covering your body and face to cleanse and heal. Now we all may have done a face mask at home - however this is not something you can do every day at home where you can cover your whole body and then soak in the experience. I visited with a friend and we looked quite the pair lazing on the tiled heated lounge chairs whilst covered in local Rotorua mud! The steam room that followed the mud soak was the perfect end to the Restorative Journey and a great place to spray off.
I visited in October 2023 where I enjoyed both the Sanctuary and Restorative Journey. If you need to choose only one I would definitely recommend the Restorative Journey for the unique experience. However if you have less time the mineral baths at the Sanctuary have fantastic views over the lake and offer a great option for some relaxing soaking time.
Itchy Feet Family
*Itchy Feet Family were hosted on this visit by Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa . Find details of how to book this experience at their website www.wai-ariki.co.nz
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