Australia's best hotel spas

From metropolitan havens to island idylls, here's our list of Australia's best hotel spas.  

Last December, sybarites near and far welcomed the return of one of the country's favourite spas at The Langham Sydney (formerly The Observatory). The subterranean day spa has been freshened up but remains a softly lit sanctuary of Babor facials and pedicures, and Martinis beside the 20-metre pool with its signature star-studded ceiling.

Sydney's other spa headliners include the harbourside glamour of the Park Hyatt, with five treatment rooms and an extensive range of Dreamtime-inspired treatments to soothe the most frazzled high-flyers.

At the chic boutique QT Sydney, the basement SpaQ's focus is firmly on self-improvement. Skilled practitioners specialise in wet shaves, manicures, and new-age indulgence with caviar facials and signature aloe wraps.

Melbourne is home to one of the country's most glamorous urban spas at Crown Towers, gleaming and gorgeous after a recent $10 million renovation. For that money you get 19 treatment rooms, two suites for couples, a hammam and relaxation pool. La Prairie handles the skincare side of things. Next door, Isika Spa at Crown Metropol has dedicated spa suites for peaceniks and a glass-enclosed sky pool with commanding views over the metropolis.

In the tropical north, the pursuit of relaxation reaches new heights. At the five-star Qualia on Hamilton Island, guests surrender to Coral Sea breezes and Whitsunday views in its six treatment rooms. Indulgence-wise, the options seem endless - native quandong hair masks, hot-stone massages and the tempting prospect of a five-day detox in paradise.

At The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa in northern New South Wales, guests are encouraged to escape into the rainforest with a therapist for full-body massages with macadamia nut and rainforest oils, while Gwinganna's multiday retreats in the Gold Coast hinterland offer a unique combination of organic living, utopian views and a 33-room indoor-outdoor spa complex.

Spa guests at One&Only Hayman Island are guaranteed to get that floaty feeling thanks to 90-minute massages administered in the middle of the lagoon. Or they can choose to commune with nature from a cabana beneath the rainforest. Treatments, using organic Amala products, are tailored to suit couples, bridal parties, expecting mothers - and even run to kids' facials and "mini manis".

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