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Spa culture has developed slowly and against the grain of New Zealand's Calvinist roots and view that spas are an extravagance. But over the last few years a number of spas have firmly established themselves, with organic products and a strong Eastern influence. The range of spas, some in hotels, provide everything from steam treatment to pore cleanse to deep laser therapy and heated, smooth basalt pebbles and scented oils.
EAST DAY SPA. The two branches of East Day Spa provide a sophisticated, pampering environment. The spa treatments blend Eastern, particularly Indian, culture with premium treatments based on a more Western approach to beauty. Body Treatments:
Massage (shiatsu, Swedish, and Balinese), total body exfoliation, manicure, pedicure.
Eyebrow threading, facials, hair removal, waxing.
Prices: Leg waxes from NZ$35, manicures NZ$95, massages from NZ$150.
Packages: Packages include a massage and pedicure from NZ$150 or a massage and organic facial for NZ$250. Ground level, 123 Albert St., City Center, Auckland, 1010. 09/363-7050. www.eastdayspa.com. Weekdays 9-9, weekends 9-8. 6 Tweed St., St Mary's Bay, 1011. 09/303-4777.
TAMARA SPA. This sophisticated spa with its Indian, Ayurvedic, and holistic treatments is designed for men and women and treats couples together.
The spa offers the best in Indian rejuvenation therapies from aromatherapy massages to facial treatments using the purest ingredients. Many opt for the Chandana, a soothing treatment that leaves the skin refreshed after the application of Chandana (sandalwood) paste.
Body Treatments: Massage (Eastern, Swedish, herbal, and couples), body scrubs and wraps, waxing.
Beauty Treatments: Facials using ingredients ranging from honey to oatmeal to cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and restore elasticity, skin polishing.
Prices: From NZ$110 for the basic massage.
Packages: Packages with a massage and facial begin at NZ$225 and range up to $500 for the Tamara Indulgence, which takes five hours and includes an Ayurvedic Facial, scalp massage, body exfoliation, and eye treatment. 16 Blake St., Ponsonby, Auckland, 1011. 09/358-2284. www.tamaraspa.co.nz. Mon. 10:30-5, Wed. and Thurs. 10-6, Fri. and Sat. 10:30-5, Sun. 11-4. 1 Victoria Rd., Devonport, 0624. 09/358-2284. By appointment only.
Mens Works Grooming Lounge. This central city operation is aimed at the modern man of any age who wants to maximize his time while maintaining good grooming whether a wet shave before a meeting or wedding or a haircut that works without product.
Most of its services focus on those things men often neglect like eyebrows, toenails, and ears, but it also provides services such as waxing of most body parts, chest hair clipping, facials, skin toning, and what it calls a "man-i-cure."
Body Treatments: Massage (deep tissue, relaxing, skin cleansing, waxing, and herbal skin therapy).
Beauty Treatments: Wet shaves, haircuts and treatments, eyebrow coloring, hair removal.
Prices: Haircuts start at NZ$39; facials start at NZ$75.
Packages: All the packages are customized; the NZ$200 two-hour executive package is built to order with what suits the customer that day. 22 Viaduct Harbour Avenue, City Center, Auckland, 1010. 09/909-7777. www.mensworks.co.nz. Mon., Wed., Thurs.-Sat 9-6, Tues. 8-6.
Beauty on Ponsonby. This day spa and salon is loved by the trendy set who live in the comfortable suburbs of Ponsonby and Grey Lynn for its wide range of therapies. There are full body massages, some using heated stones, as well as nail care and facials.
Regulars at BOP, as it's known, often opt for the packages which combine a number of treatments:
Hot Stone Massage, aromatherapy, pedicures including lower leg massage, toning skin treatment.
Many of the facials are tailor-made after a skin-type assessment. BOP will also perform skin peels and aromatherapy.
Facials begin at NZ$55 for a half hour.
Treatments taking more than three hours (like The Alchemist which combines massage, aromatherapy, a pedicure, and nail treatments) cost from NZ$370. 334 Ponsonby Rd., Ponsonby, Auckland, 1011. 09/376-9969. www.beautyonponsonby.co.nz. Tues. and Thurs. 10-8, Wed. and Fri. 9-6, Sat. 9-4.
CLINIC 42. Clinic 42 is a boutique specialist center offering a range of the most current international, medically based skin enhancement and rejuvenation procedures. It's recognized by New Zealand's College of Plastic Surgeons.
The clinic's team comprises four doctors, one aesthetician, and one nurse with more than 30 years of experience. They keep up-to-date with the latest techniques for men and women.
Pigment reduction, skin tightening and vitamin infusions, which are "driven" into the deeper dermal layers of the skin.
Botox-based procedures; restalin therapy for lines.
There is not a single price list at this clinic; services are tailored to the client.
Packages are tailor-made and the clinic generally requires medical records. 321 Manukau Rd., Epsom, Auckland, 1023. 09/638-4242. www.clinic42.co.nz. Mon.-Thurs. 9-6, Fri. 9-5.
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