A Hidden Treasure in the Heart of the Adventure Capital
Originally opened in 2007, Onsen Hot Pools Retreat and Day Spa offers a relaxation experience that few establishments can hope to match. Based out of an idyllic, natural location, they were recently named by LUXlife Magazine as ‘New Zealand’s Best Luxury Day Spa Experience’, a title which they are almost singularly deserving. We spoke with Liz Marshallsea, who offered some insight into the spa’s extraordinary offerings.
In this modern, technology-obsessed age, digital noise and information overload have defined day to day life. In response, over the last ten years, health, fitness and wellness have become a priority for those who understand the importance of taking a moment (or two) to detach and unplug from the stresses of the everyday. This is – by all regards – a global trend, and one that has affected all corners of the hospitality industry.
For those that would enjoy an hour spent luxuriating in a hot pool under a blanket of stars, look no further than Onsen Hot Pools Retreat and Day Spa, which has swiftly established itself as one of the must-visit attractions in the popular Queenstown region – famous for its picture-postcard views and reputation as one of the ‘adventure capitals of the world’. The area is an adrenaline junkies dream, with a plethora of biking trails, hiking routes and boating tours alongside bungie jumping, and renowned ski resorts. Naturally then, guests crave the perfect end note, a place to reflect and relax from the events of the day. This is where Onsen Hot Pools comes in, as Liz explains: “Onsen Hot Pools are a highlight for many on a visit to Queenstown and we are very proud of the boutique day spa experience we can provide. Boasting idyllic private cedar-lined hot pools overlooking the Shotover River, and a newly opened massage facility, the relaxation and pampering on offer here is second to none in the region.”
Though inspired by Japanese practices and traditions, Onsen is proudly New Zealand owned. “This offers a unique kiwi twist on the expected experience. Our private pools are heated to 38.3 degrees and each tub is its own private room with a retractable roof, allowing guests to enjoy the views whatever the weather. Onsen is perched on the cliffs amidst a stunning mountain range in an old gold miner’s town just 10 minutes outside of Queenstown – making it a convenient escape from the action packed, adrenaline filled activities and wineries in the region.”
Open seven days a week, the retreat offers a range of experiences to suit any guests that steps over the threshold. The first is the ‘Onsen Experience’, which Liz describes as a “great way to kick back, relax and enjoy your surroundings. This package gives you private access to one of our cedar hot tubs with a retractable roof for an hour.”
Next is the Tandeki package, “which is good for those who are after something a little more special. Complete with an aromatherapy burner, a complimentary glass of the region’s finest wine, beer or juice and a choice of ice cream, crisps or chocolate to enjoy while you soak in one of our private hot tubs for an hour.”
Finally, Liz moves on to the ‘Ultimate Relaxation package’ which is comprised of back to back treatments: “This is pure indulgence. The guest experiences one hours in the cedar hot tubs while they enjoy a complimentary selection of local refreshments and a snack. They will then be treated to a choice of either, a 60-minute massage – deep tissue or relaxation – or 120-minute massage and facial in our onsite massage rooms.”
The conversation soon moves on to how Onsen guarantees their award-winning service to their guests time and time again. “We are confident that our water quality, treatment and cleaning systems are best in class and we have a relentless focus on recruiting the best staff, so we can help provide a memorable Onsen experience for all of our customers. Like any business, we know we won’t get it 100% right all of the time, but we are continually reviewing the way we do things. We also actively encourage feedback from guests after their visits via a satisfaction survey, so we can continue to deliver on their expectations and provide a world-class day spa experience.”
Liz continues, taking a moment to discuss the role of the staff in ensuring that guests experience all that Onsen has to offer.
“Firstly, our staff come from all over the world and we pride ourselves on the training we provide so that all team members are equipped to deliver a best in class day spa experience for our guests, including being able to answer any questions guests may have about the Hot Pools, Spa and local surrounding area.”
As we come to the end of the interview LUXlife is keen to hear Liz’s thoughts on the trends that she is seeing in the industry, and what Onsen is doing to stay ahead of any potential competitors. “We believe that we offer a truly unique experience, so we tend to follow our own path. However, the wellbeing mega trend is a big boost for us. The relaxation and pampering on offer here is second to none in the region and we pride ourselves on providing a convenient, tranquil escape from the more action-packed activities that the region has become famous for.”
In her closing comments, Liz summarises Onsen’s appeal as they look towards capitalising on their unique facilities. “Queenstown continues to grow as a renowned holiday destination for local and international travellers, and as a 100% kiwi owned and operated business, we are excited about the opportunities this presents. We added the massage and spa facilities to our complex in 2017, and we are always looking for ways to improve our offering to meet the changing needs and expectations of our guests.”
“Ultimately, we are a very popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Onsen is heavily booked all year round so we recommend that guests book their preferred package well in advance to avoid disappointment.”
Contact: Liz Marshallsea
Company: Onsen Hot Pools Retreat and Day Spa
Address: 160 Arthurs Point Road, Arthurs Point, Queenstown, New Zealand
Telephone: +64 3 442 5707 / (NZ) 0508 UNWIND