Time Out says
The Crown's indulgent spa and wellness space wears its six-star status on its (haute couture) sleeve
With wall-to-wall marble, silver-leaf wallpaper and a 'Vitality Pool’ as its gushing, blue heart, the Blainey North-designed Crown Spa is a study in interior décor decadence and OTT luxury.
Exiting the lift on the sixth floor of the Crown Towers Resort, shades of lilac and shiny, sleek marble abound. There's a quiet thrill in seeing the space's decisive shirking of the ubiquitous, ecru-minimalist aesthetic that has held many other recent spa openings hostage in its rattan handcuffs. Banished be the textured wall-hangings and terracotta cushions and earthen stone benches. That aroma in the air isn’t from a roughly hewn hunk of smoking palo santo. No, that’s the Crown’s signature scent, and it just smells, well, rich. Goodbye boho-chic approximations of Tulum. Hello ultra-luxe wellness hub of the future.
The Aqua Retreat area sits just off the main foyer and includes a Morroccan steam room, a sauna and an ‘experience shower’ (the bamboozling number of silver nozzles are a microcosm of late-capitalist society and its tyranny of choice), and of course, the aforementioned Vitality Pool. It's set to 37 degrees exactly, or human body temperature, which may go towards explaining why it's so unbelievably soothing. This must be what it feels like to float in the womb.
A purple perspex curtain cordons off the Vitality Pool from the main area, crafted by surfboard-maker Hayden Cox. Dotted around it are a few bright purple, egg-shaped pods, big enough to seat a small human or double as an arty (if ineffective) towel-rack. I inquire as to their purpose. Of course, they don’t have one. They are delightfully superfluous. They are purple egg-pods, and that is all they will ever be.
The circular affect of the pods blends into the curved design of the pool, and the various shades of purples swish into one another in the dressing room and main areas. North has explained that she was inspired by French painter Yves Tanguy in her desire to blend elements without clear delineation. Next door, the men’s leisure area is an exact replica of the women's – expect rendered in tones of blue where here, there are lashings of purple. Not a classic assignation of colour to gender, then, but close enough. The purple is even mirrored in the water cooler in the waiting area: it's infused with a tumble of pale pink, clear and violet crystals, each of which exerting a specific property (tranquility, stimulation, etc.) into the water. Apparently.
As for what treatments are available? Head into one of a series of private rooms where you can be lathered and massaged to heaven and back. Pick from a selection of the usual suspects – facials, body polishes, laser light therapy, exfoliation treatments – alongside an a la carte menu of more unusual options.
These include the spa's signature quartz hot sand therapy. It isn’t as esoteric as it sounds: it follows the structure of a massage, but with the addition of singing bowls at either end of the treatment and a classic massage table is subbed out for a bed of quartz sand, rumoured to have therapeutic effects for muscle aches and pain. Known as psammotherapy, the treatment is derived loosely from a kind of healing known to the ancient Greeks. Otherwise, sink into a a 'spa wave touchless therapy’ which lets you snooze on a "quantum harmonic sound therapy table" that melds music, sound and light for an ambient, multisensory treatment.
At the Crown Spa, the self-care conscious jetsetter is also catered to – perhaps optimistically, for now at least. Jet lag got you down? Try sleep therapies or a ‘recovering traveller’ treatment that combines meditation, massage and lymphatic drainage for restful sleep. If you’re looking for the full glow, you can even get your nails done at the nail salon next door.
Products used at the Crown capture the spectrum of spa-goers' needs: you’ve got La Prairie for the legacy set, for the ones who’ve used Estee Lauder’s Night Serum their whole lives, but on the other end, they also use essential oils by Subtle Energies, a brand which makes ayurvedic aromatherapy products from essences found in the Himalayan hills.
Spas often subscribe to the idea that relaxation can be achieved through a lack of sensory stimulation and arrange their spaces to follow suit, draining the colour and sound out of a venue to leave behind hazy earth tones and hushed elevator muzak. But at the Crown Spa, you'll find a strange level of relaxation in being thrust into an intensely opulent, purple-bean-dotted, bells-and-whistles-filled riff on reality, too. It makes 'less is more' sound like a crutch for those who don't drink their water infused with quartz crystals.
Crown Towers Sydney
1 Barangaroo Avenue