THE CITY AND THE POLONESIAN SPA
17.05.2017 - 29.05.2017 16 °C
After an incredibly busy week working in Auckland, I was happy to have a couple days to relax before heading home. My colleague and good friend, Crystal, had extended her stay by a week so we decided to spend the weekend together. She trusted me to plan things with only one request, that we would relax.
My plan took us 3.5 hours south of Auckland to the town of Rotorua. Rotorua is a tourist hub and is pretty unique. The main street goes on forever and is nothing but small hotels and motels. Although my reading assured a motel here was a step above the American version, I couldn’t bring myself to spend $200 a night on one. Instead we opted to stay off the strip at a Holiday Inn for much cheaper and with a shuttle for the 7-minute ride into town. The most unique thing about Rotorua is the wild geothermal activity in the area and the accompanying smell of sulphur. The town STINKS of rotten eggs.
Rotorua is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, a geothermal field on the Bay of Plenty Coast. Rotorua's has an array of geothermal features - volcanic crater lakes, spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and hissing fumaroles. Apparently, there are few places in the world where geothermal phenomena of such intensity are as extensive and easily seen. It makes the smell worth it as it was very cool. I will say, you do kinda get used to it.
Although the smell maybe a downside, the beautiful hot pools are a definite plus. On Saturday, I booked us in to the beautiful Polynesian Spa for a massage. With that booking comes unlimited access to the 5 Lake Pools. The spa is huge and beside what we saw, there’s an area just as big for families, another for adults only and pools that can be privately booked. We arrived about 90 minutes before our appointment and enjoyed to the fullest. 4 spas come from one source and are cooled (yup, cooled) to 4 different temperatures ranging from 38-42 degrees. All are set amongst gorgeous foliage and most have a view of steamy Lake Rotorua.
Even though it poured rain on and off all day, it didn't matter a bit.
There is also a cold plunge pool. I used the cold-water shower instead.
Lastly there is a pool that is more acidic and alkaline come from a different source that is support to be good for arthritis. I loved that one but it smelled the worst.
After that we went to the most serene area for our anti-stress massage. I would have preferred a good hard massage but that wasn’t an option. Still it was lovely.
After that, you spend time in the relaxation room with tea and a wonderful view of the lake.
From there, we went right to dinner where we continued to relax with a bottle of New Zealand red wine.
It was a pretty perfect day.