A day at a day spa… the scene was set with a perfect, blue-skied, almost winter day with a latte, Johnny Cash bellowing poetry on the speakers and my GPS pointing me in the wrong direction.
When heading out to the dreamy wonderland of Brookleigh – don’t trust your Sat Nav, people! Fortunately, I knew Brookleigh was next to Belvoir Amphitheatre and a lot closer than the GPS suggested. And it’s a problem the owners of Brookleigh have dealt with a lot, so get your directions clear before you hit the road unless you want a 45-minute detour.
So, back to the blue skies, latte and Johnny Cash… I arrived feeling pretty peaced-out and ready to relax. I met the wellness consultant and personal trainer, Rachel and owner Nikki on arrival and was impressed by how healthy they both looked. Both had glowing skin, very fit bodies and huge smiles… these were happy people and I was ready to discover the secret to their sunshine.
A Brookleigh horse
My day began with a personal training session with Rachel. We jogged past the beautiful horse stables (Brookleigh started out as an equestrian centre and still is an Olympic training venue), the chateau where the spa resides and guests stay and a “roundabout” which is a gorgeous, meditation-style garden.
We kept on joggin’ past all of these beauties and out the back of the property where an “obstacle course” awaits. It’s also an equestrian training area but nicely doubles as a people fitness area too. The jumps were utilised as push up, dip and sit up stations while a trotting area was used for some punishing sprints (it was here the heart rate monitor I had to wear really betrayed me, sounding like a hideous alarm going off as if warning everyone I was about to drop dead).
After the PT workout, we stretched by the small lake where Brookleigh hosts weddings every weekend throughout October to May. You can see why, with a quaint gazebo overlooking the lake which is perfect for the ceremony to take place. Huge trees, the neighing of horses and the surrounding paddocks combine to make you feel as though you are far, far from civilisation.
Next up was the spa treatment. I met with the lovely consultant, Lisa, and discussed facial options and confessed my skin woes. Breakouts in certain areas were plaguing me and I definitely needed help. I was treated to a lime sugar exfoliation to start, which sloughed off any dead skin on my legs. Despite Lisa warning me it might hurt a little as the sugar did its job, the scrubbing felt just right and my skin was glowing by the time it finished. The smell of lime was delicious. The massage was next and thankfully Lisa applied just the right pressure for the knots in my muscles to be erased while sending me into a state of utter bliss. Despite trying very hard not to, I also fell asleep in the later stages but I guess it’s a sign of ultimate relaxation so I tried not to beat myself up about it too much.
Guinot Facial @ Brookleigh.
The facial did wonders for my skin. Brookleigh has either Guinot or the local, organic range Joi Pure. Despite trialling Joi Pure previously and knowing it was delicious, my skin was in need for something a little stronger and Guinot was enlisted. I had the classic facial and Lisa used a peel around the troubled areas to break up the congestion. Despite my skin glowing afterwards, it was also a tad red and it wasn’t until a couple of days later that I really noticed the benefits. My skin really cleared up and it totally confirmed what I’d suspected all along… I need to be getting regular facials.
To complete the day spa package, I had lunch at Stewart’s Restaurant which is also a part of Brookleigh. Stewart’s is one of the best restaurants in the Swan Valley and has plenty of healthy options to complement the day spas and health retreats that are on offer. I had the salmon with roasted beetroot and pumpkin with a lemon sauce and holy yum, it was sensational. And post-meal, I felt as though my body was being further nourished rather than overly-full like you might at many of the wineries boasting first class restaurants in the area.
Nikki and Rachel mentioned the three and five-day health retreats now on offer and I think they sound fabulous. Half a day out at Brookleigh and I felt rejuvenated and as though I’d been much further from Perth than the 45-minute drive it was.
If you’re looking for a girls’ weekend (classy hens’ weekends would be perfect there), doing something for your health or simply a getaway from the daily grind without travelling too far, Brookleigh is the place you’re looking for.
Brookleigh is located at 1235 Great Northern Highway, Upper Swan in the Swan Valley.
Article by Lisa O’neill, Freelance Journalist and Brookleigh’s newest devotee!