Inspired by 70s Californian modernist architecture, One Wybelenna provides a mix of old Hollywood glamour and modern, rustic charm - most evident in its Tallowwood timber and slate features, striking bluestone walls and surrounding mix of native and arid gardens well suited to south-east Queensland's sub-tropical climate.
Spread across two magnificently landscaped acres (0.8ha), this award-winning Shaun Lockyer-designed building is a contemporary, spacious interpretation of the original Robin Gibson-built cottage which had previously occupied the site in Brookfield on Brisbane's leafy western fringes since the 1960s.
Purchased in 2008, after having forged a successful 10-year career rebuilding and renovating houses, the property was to be new owner Heather Sartain's final project - and a place to call home.
Instead, the wellness advocate and Yoga instructor has finally realised her dream with the opening of Brisbane's newest boutique day spa (officially launching on September 1).
"Health is my interest and I've always wanted to have my own place. It has taken me back to who I was," the former nurse told TLTB during a pre-launch visit.
Located just 13 kilometres from the CBD, One Wybelenna offers its guests the kind of experience they would previously have had to go to the Gold Coast Hinterland, Sunshine Coast or Samford Valley for, she said.
"Our approach to wellness centres on providing a holistic approach to personal wellbeing in a space that will cater for both men and women."
The Ambiance: The building's architectural design aims to connect people to place; because it was originally intended to be lived in, One Wybelenna certainly does that. Nestled beside a city blessed with abundant sunshine, floor to ceiling windows allow the natural light to fill the grand, open plan split-level lounge area complete with high ceilings, an adjoining kitchen, large screen TV and retro hanging fireplace. It is here where guests are greeted just as warmly by a team of three full-time therapists. Sliding doors, left open to catch the cooling breezes, lead outside to the manicured gardens, lap pool, deck and bubbling spa which guests are welcome to relax in for 45 minutes prior to their treatment.
Each of the spa's five treatment rooms are minimally furnished and sparsely decorated with indigenous South American artworks and artefacts; the earthy warm colours and fabrics beautifully complementing the timber and stone work which flows throughout. Separated by the central lounge, the treatment rooms include three single rooms at one end of the building and two fully self-contained couples retreats (the original master suite and separate pavilion overlooking the tennis court) at the other. Each couples retreat is luxuriously appointed with its own private sitting area and double hydrotherapy bath (where you can enjoy a signature red wine ritual).
On the menu: Heather's natural medicine and various holistic health and yoga studies has inspired the menu which includes a range of body and facial therapies, massage, waxing and grooming treatments. Popular choices include the Deluxe Chocolate Scrub with Ancient Thai Pinda Balance body treatment, the Crystal and Pearl Elixir for face and body, the Youthful Skin, Blissful Body ritual, Padabhyang Indian foot and leg massage and Multi Vitamin Detox Facial. Half and full-day bespoke packages are available. Couples on a full-day package can also enjoy a catered lunch - a choice of healthy and light chef-prepared meals or share platters from renowned local botanical bistro Wild Canary.
Therapists use Germaine de Capuccini cosmetics balanced with the Subtle Energies range of Ayurvedic aromatherapy products and make-up by Issada.
Other stresses are eased with off-street parking also provided for guests.
The treatment: I'm in good hands with therapist Gemma, whose career has stretched from Melbourne to Sydney and north as far as luxury resort qualia on Queensland's Hamilton Island. VIP's in her care have included British singer Paloma Faith, swim stars Michael Klim and Susie O'Neill and boy band One Direction.
It has a been a winter of discontent for my skin which is rebelling after overzealous moisturising, so I've booked the custom facial and SkinZen mask.
My 90 minute treatment begins with a firm mini-back-and-neck massage using Subtle Energies relief blend oil - the perfect entree. Gemma's firm touch is comforting and tensions are quickly eased. Soft, ambient music builds a relaxed atmosphere.
Our pre-treatment chat prompts Gemma to also include an AHA glycolic peel to help draw out my skin's impurities by removing dead skin cells and giving the fresh skin cells a chance to emerge (not normally part of this package). Next, she applies the SkinZen high performance anti-stress mask, designed to hydrate (perfect) and reduce redness. The perfumed air from the rose extracts (combined with a gentle scalp massage) forces me to stifle a yawn.
Eye, neck and SPF creams are finally applied (in order to protect exposed new skin cells from the Queensland sun) and, after an uplifting spritz of Subtle Energies Indian lime spray, I'm ready to face a new me.
The result: My skin feels a lot cleaner, more radiant and softer to the touch. Spring is a time for rebirth and renewal and my treatment has done the same, giving me just the (face) lift I need to break out of a harsher-than-usual winter slump.
| Spa facts: One Wybelenna, 1 Wybelenna Street, Brookfield, Qld 40698
|Luxury Spas Link: www.onewybelenna.com
Debbie Neilson-Hunter 1/9/15